Custom Painted P-2000 units

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Two New Penn Central GP38-2s Join the Fleet

Greetings Blog Followers,

A couple of recent second hand GP38-2 locomotive purchases have been released from the New York Central Train Layout paint shop after being stripped and repainted and lettered for the Penn Central. The engines are Athearn BB and fill a void in the roster that left my BB Penn Central GP40 #3175 without a suitable running mate(s).

The EMD GP38  was introduced in 1966 but it did not attract much attention from buyers at that time as the Railroads opted for the more popular and powerful locomotives like the GP40s and SD45s of that year. The 2,000 horsepower non turbo charged V16 GP38 was ignored by the Penn Central for several years until a nationwide swing towards better fuel economy and maintenance made it a giant seller. Cheap to run and able to see use throughout the system the GP38 became Penn Central's ideal locomotive.

The Penn Central purchased 240 EMD GP 38s between 1969 and 1971. They were numbered 7675 - 7939. A handful of the GP38s were purchased for specialized service that saw them get a bumped out cab, dual controls and no dynamic brakes.

In the beginning of 1972 EMD began production of it's "Dash 2" line of locomotives. While the GP38-2 was internally different from the GP38, externally the only noticeable were high adhesion trucks with dampening struts and a sight glass on the long hood. Being pleased with the performance of the GP38 the Penn Central starting at number 7940 in May 1972 added 223 GP38-2s by October 1973.

   Newly released form the Paint Shop is Penn Central GP38-2 #8024

Released the same day is GP38 #7692 ( GP38-2 with a GP38#. Don't tell anyone)  

Penn Central GP40 #3175 was extremely pleased with the two newest Penn Central additions. 
This will mean more layout time for the 3175.

The newest Penn Central BB consist. Note the 8024 is non powered. 
Don't hurt his feelings by calling him a dummy

The units have been tested and run well and look good together

The versatile non powered 8024 has been added to a pair of Bachmann DCC equipped GP38-2s 

Some of the PC and NYC fleet. A smorgasbord of EMDs  

An interesting tidbit I found while researching was that Penn Central GP38 #7776 became Conrail # 7776 and was painted in a Bicentennial livery in May 1976 one month after the PC ceased operations. However by October 1976 it was repainted into Conrail blue during the CR's push to get it's several thousand locomotives in a dozen different paint schemes into Conrail blue. Seems no one thought to make this unit an exception. Quite possibly the shortest Bicentennial Liveried paint scheme.

CR 7776


  1. More great work by the paint shop! They all look very good together! Love the PC/NYC EMD family portrait toward the bottom. You'd think they might have wanted to preserve that Conrail Bicentennial scheme for just a little while. Oh well. Glad some one snapped a pic of it. Oh, I have the greatest respect for units.

  2. Thanks Ralph! Prior to researching info for this blog entry I never knew about CR 7776. I know CR inherited a some Bicentennial units EL 3632 and also rostered an ex EL unit painted 1776 that was used in NJ commuter service. The non powered community is thankful for your courtesy and respect.

  3. Excellent background on the PC GP38's and nice job on your new locomotives for the NYCTL. Based on some research in Yanosey's book, the PC started to get paper box filters on their GP38's late in 1969. I'm still trying to find out what road number it started. Again great information on a popular model on the PC, the NYCTL will have some new work horses to keep the freight rolling.

    1. Hi Joe, Thanks for the compliments!
      Check this link for some interesting PC GP38 info that may have the answers we are seeking;
      Shoot me an email at anytime.
      Always ready, able and willing to discuss the prototype Penn Central and trying to model it within my means and abilities!

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