EMD SD45 (Dummy)



CR Specifics

The Plan (Dummy-atized)

Taking Off the Shell

Kadee Coupler Upgrade

Unpowering the Brick

Battery Power


Speaker Placement


CR Specifics






390,000 pounds

Tractive Effort

83,000 pounds

Prime Mover

20 cylinders

Horse Power

3,600 hp

Fuel Tank

4,000 gallons


Conrail used Flexicoil trucks.  These trucks can be bashed off of USA Trains HT-C truck side frames that come with the SD40-2 loco.


The horn needs to be altered and moved to the side of the cab top (depending on road number).


Sinclair antenna and a cab signal box also need to be added.



The Plan

more info to come.


Taking Off the Shell

There are 6 screws on the underside of the shell to take off the long hood and 4 other screws to take off the nose section.


Underside of the frame.



Unpowering the Brick

I choose to make this unit a dummy with batteries.  I did this, but need to take pictures....

Removal of Bricks:

Remove the bricks from the loco by taking out the 4 screws that hold it on.  Be extremely careful when the loco is upside down as to not harm the top of the shell!

Open up Brick:

Now remove the 8 screws that keep the brick together.  

Pull out the Contents with CAUTION!:

Some bricks have the motor leads soldered to the metal tabs that are exposed on the outside of the brick.  If this is the case, the safest way is to cut the metal strip and order replacements.  Or, with very even pressure, yank the motors and gear assembles out.  Since I wont be using these motors again, I opted to use the yanking method.  Please be aware that you might bend the motor axles, rendering the motor wobbly and useless. (only did this to one motor :)

Taking the Wheels off:

Unscrew the wheel mounting screws and take the wheels off.  A quick and sudden tap on the side of the wheel will help knock them loose if they are stuck.

Taking apart the Gear Assemblies:

These gear boxes have 4 long screws holding them together.  A nice power tool may come in handy here!

Further Friction Mod:

Now take all the contents out.  There is a small metal ball supported by a spring that rides against the axels on either side for electrical contact.  Since I'm using batteries, these gotta go.  This will also help the axles spin more freely on the bearings.

Putting it all together:

Put the gear boxes back together without the worm gears, pop them into the brick, and screw it all back together.  You should have a very surprisingly free rolling truck (even with the 10lbs of battery weight on them!)



Battery Power

This loco is equipped with a total of 18 volt 5 amp batteries using  three 6v 4.5AmpHr batteries in series.  No Locolinc receiver is installed, so it will act purely as a dummy battery loco.

Power Sonic 6v 4.5AmpHr batteries:

Three of these batteries are wired in series, providing a total of 18v @ 4.5AmpHr.

Fitting in the Batteries:

In order to fit the batteries, the steel square "U" shaped beam needs be trimmed down some, so that the batteries can rest on it and fit in under the roof.

Side view of Battery Placement:

I found this the best way to place the batteries, allowing for maximum space for the other components.

Weight Balance:

All unnecessary weight is removed.




Of course, batteries go dead.  So I added some MU plugs to all locos with the following four connections:  two battery (+/-) and two for speaker (+/-).  The dummy loco has a main on-off switch to send its internal battery power out to the powered loco.  The two speaker connections are a speaker input, controlled from the main unit.  Its always nicer to hear the sound coming for both locos!

MU Rcepticle:

These four pole receptacles were actually creating by combining two 2 pole plugs.

MU Plug:

The plug was also created from two glued together.



Speaker Placement

Since I choose to use batteries that take up most of the room in the loco, including the location of where the original speaker is mounted, I need to fins another location.  Only place left, the fuel tank!  In my opinion, the fuel tank is the best location for several reason; 

1)  The speaker will face down and the sound will bounce back up off the track and road bed and although some of the sound is absorbed, the scattering sounds makes more for a realistic effect, rather then blasting straight up as in the original placement.  

2) The fuel tank can be fully sealed to create a great speaker cabinet that will greatly enhance the sound quality.  

3)  You can fit a larger speaker! 

Of course, their are some tricks to this install...

Speaker Selection:

I'm using larger speakers of size xxx by xxx with a magnet of xxx.

Fuel Tank Placement:

The speaker is placed in the rear of the tank.

Fuel Tank Mods:

Underside of the frame.

Fuel Tank Mods:

Here comes the tricky stuff.  In order to get this bigger speaker to fit, a few things need to be cut out.  First is to cut the floor of the fuel tank of the shape of the speaker.  This is some think plastic and allows for almost 1/8th inch additional space.  This will later be covered with speaker grating for protection.

Speaker Placement:

The speaker will hang in the whole, so some supports will need to be made to get the speaker at the appropriate height.

Frame Mods:

Now that the speaker is sitting in its place, you can notice that the magnet is still a little too high to get the fuel tank on.  A circle the size of the magnet needs to be cut out of the frame.  Again, this thick plastic allows for more clearance and will be supported by the metal beam.

Seal the Enclosure:

I sealed all around the speaker inside and out with silicone and added on a speaker grate cut from a 12 inch grate bought.  Once the fuel tank is mounted tot he frame, I then sealed around it and the opening cut for the magnet for an air tight enclosure.