TS20: Horses in Gray
Written by: Gary Dolzall.
Seaboard System operated a large roster of EMD SD50s, and now the husky diesel comes to Train Simulator in Seaboard’s distinctive livery!
Seaboard System, a predecessor of today’s rail giant CSX, called upon a fleet of 81 powerful Electro-Motive SD50 diesel locomotives, and now the SD50 is available for Train Simulator duty in Seaboard System’s attractive gray, yellow, and red livery!
In the late 1970s, Electro-Motive began development of a successor to its landmark SD40-2, and a part of that plan was also to replace the company’s successful but aging 645-series diesel power plant. This effort would eventually create both Electro-Motive’s “60-series” line of locomotives and EMD’s evolutionary 710-series diesel engine. But snuggled between the SD40-2 and the SD60 was a transitional model that would take the venerable 645-series power plant to its highest levels of output. That locomotive was the SD50.
The essentials of the SD50 first appeared in 1979 in the form of four “SD40X” testbed locomotives constructed for the Kansas City Southern. Built on the same 68-foot, 10-inch frame as an SD40-2, the SD40Xs filled every inch of available frame space with the carbody lengthened to house the dynamic brake equipment in a compartment between the cab and prime mover. The units’ “Q-series” (for “quiet”) radiator fans, exhaust silencers, and use of “Super Series” adhesion controls all were harbingers of the future production SD50s (and SD60s). The 645-series V-16s in the SD40X locomotives were rated at 3,500 horsepower, which was nearly the equal of what EMD had earlier coaxed from its 20-cylinder 645-series power plant as used in SD45 locomotives.
In 1980, the first SD50s appeared with six units for Norfolk & Western. Even these units, though, were not true production SD50s, as they were also constructed on SD40-2 frames (rather than the longer 71-foot, 2-inch frames which would be standard for the SD50) and were thus designated SD50S (“short”) models.
Production versions of the SD50 began rolling out of EMD in the spring of 1981 with 10 units for the Kansas City Southern. With American railroads’ thirst for diesels (which had propelled the SD40-2 to such sales heights) largely slated by the early 1980s, demand for the new SD50 model was sluggish. Nonetheless, between 1981 and 1985, 421 standard SD50s were constructed, all of which were equipped with EMD’s standard “Spartan” cab design. With construction of the new 710-series-powered SD60s beginning in 1984, it was inevitable that SD50 deliveries would quickly come to a close, but in 1985 Canadian National both extended the production life of the SD50 and gave it a fascinating model variant when CN acquired (through 1987) 60 SD50F cowl-carbodied version of the six-axle diesel.
In an effort to improve the appeal of the SD50, EMD had, in late 1984, boosted the horsepower rating of the model from 3,500 to 3,600 horsepower and had introduced improved alternators and traction motors.
Over its production life, the SD50 garnered 12 original buyers. Conrail was the most prolific single buyer, acquiring a fleet of 135 SD50s. The family of railroads that would soon come to form CSX were significant buyers: Baltimore & Ohio bought 20 units; Chesapeake & Ohio 43; and the Seaboard System purchased 81 SD50s. Many of these units remain in service today.
As a precursor to CSX, Seaboard System was formed in 1982 through the combination of the Seaboard Coast Line, Louisville & Nashville, Clinchfield, and several smaller southeastern U. S. railroads.
Created by The Loco Shop in partnership with DTM, the Seaboard System SD50 for Train Simulator will certainly be appropriate for use on a variety of Train Simulator routes, including the Miami – West Palm Beach route and recently released Clinchfield Railroad route. Note: The D&RGW SD50 loco Add-On is required, as a separate purchase, in order to utilize the content featured in this add-on.
The Seaboard System EMD SD50 is now available for Train Simulator duty at the Steam and Dovetail Games stores! – Gary Dolzall
Seaboard System, a predecessor of today’s rail giant CSX, called upon a fleet of 81 powerful Electro-Motive SD50 diesel locomotives, and now the SD50 is available for Train Simulator duty in Seaboard System’s attractive gray, yellow, and red livery! Screenshots by Gary Dolzall.
Electro-Motive’s SD50, rated at up to 3,600 horsepower, served as a transitional model between EMD’s extraordinarily successful SD40-2 and the builder’s 710-series powered “60 Line.” Between 1981 and 1985, 421 standard SD50s stretching a lanky 71-feet, 2-inches in length were constructed (above), all of which were equipped with EMD’s standard “Spartan” cab design (below). Note screenshots may depict content while in development.
As a precursor to CSX, Seaboard System was formed in 1982 through the combination of the Seaboard Coast Line, Louisville & Nashville, Clinchfield, and several smaller southeastern railroads. Created for Train Simulator by the Loco Shop in partnership with DTM, the new Seaboard System SD50 is thus ideally suited for use on several Train Simulator routes including the newly released Clinchfield route (above and below).
The now available Seaboard System EMD SD50 in the railroad’s attractive and distinctive gray, yellow, and red livery is also ideally suited for use on Train Simulator’s popular Miami – West Palm Beach route (above and below).
The powerful Electro-Motive SD50 – in distinctive Seaboard System livery – is now available for Train Simulator service at the Steam and Dovetail Games stores!
Screenshots and images displayed in this article may depict content that is still in development. The licensed brands may not have been approved by their respective owner and some artwork may still be pending approval.
TS20: Horses in Gray