Last month I came across a used Atlas Yellow Box undecorated FP7 at my LHS. With a 40% sale on used merchandise I couldn't pass up the deal. I brought the engine home and disassembled it for cleaning and painting. The power train was lightly lubed and tested. I was very pleased to see the engine ran very well without the need for further mechanical work. After painting and reassembly I added Kadee #37 (medium under set shank) couplers to match the Kadee height gauge. I ran it about an hour in each direction to break it in further.
So what's an FP7 and why did EMD make them? The EMD FP7 is a variant of the famous EMD F7. Railroads looking for streamlined diesels to pull their passenger trains and needing better tractive effort on steep grades than the EMD E units could provide with their A-1-A trucks looked to EMD for a solution.. The railroads had found the F units provided better tractive effort however as a freight model the cab equipped F units did not have the space necessary to carry water and a steam boiler. Adding a B unit with such equipment worked but added to the expense of having to always use an additional diesel. Starting in 1949 EMD introduced the FP7 at the same time as the F7. The FP7 was four feet longer to house the boiler and water and used an upgraded main generator. About 325 were built. The largest order of 45 went to the L&N. The A.C.L. grabbed 44 and the Pennsy 40.
A little about the PC FP7s: The 40 FP7s spent the earlier parts of their careers fulfilling their billing as dual purpose units on the PRR. During the Penn Central era these units were strictly used in freight service and eventually had their steam generators and water tanks removed. Perhaps due to light service during their time with the PRR the 40 units arrived into PC fully intact. For the merger they were renumbered from PRR 9832A - 9871A to PC 4332 - 4371. Neatly tucked in between the E unit diesels and the E unit electrics. FP7s 4347, 4367 and 4370 were reported to be painted with the red "P" logo during April to June 1968.
About the model: The FP7 was listed as used but it seems to have never been run or removed from the box. It is Atlas yellow box engine #8300, made in Austria and equipped with horn hook couplers. Some research indicates this model was released by Atlas in 1990 making it 25 years old. But like I reported above it ran very well out of the box and improved even further after the break in period.