EMD SD40-2 (Dummy)


Produced By USA Trains

Modifications will include:


Battery Power

Customize Lighting

MUing Concept



CR Specifics

The Plan

Taking Off the Shell

Kadee Coupler Upgrade

Unpowering the Brick



CR Specifics


EMD SD40-2


68 feet & 2 inches


389,000 pounds

Tractive Effort

83,000 pounds

Prime Mover

16 cylinders

Horse Power

3,000 hp

Fuel Tank

4,000 gallons


While the standard for the SD40-2 used HT-C trucks, Conrail opted to order their units with Flexicoil trucks.  These trucks can be bashed off of USA Trains HT-C truck side frames that come with the loco.


The two grab irons on the nose and hood of the loco need to be moved to the engineers side.


The chain hand brake needs to be converted into a wheel hand brake.


Plows, ditch lights, Sinclair antenna, electrical cabinet air filter and the wheel flange lubrication equipment behind the cab, and a cab signal box also need to be added.



The Plan

more info to come.


Taking Off the Shell

There are 8 or 10 screws on the underside of the frame to take the entire shell off.


Underside of the frame.



Kadee Coupler Upgrade

I choose to use Kadee Coupler #1 Scale #?? couplers.  These couplers do not have a height offset built into them, so some minor mods have to be made.  I choose these because I felt offsetting couplers would take away on the appearance of the loco.  More info to come...

Stock Coupler Mount:

Shot of the stock coupler mount.



Unpowering the Brick

I choose to make this unit a dummy with batteries.

Removal of Bricks:

Remove the bricks from the loco by taking out the 4 (or 6) screws per side that hold it onto the truck frames.  Spread the truck frame so that the axles pop out.  Be extremely careful when the loco is upside down as to not harm the top of the shell!  Also note that the end of the axles are extremely greasy.

Open up the Brick:

Now remove the 10 screws that keep the bottom third of the brick together.  

Pull out the Contents:

I removed the slide shoe contacts, all wiring, and all gearing at this point.

Accessing the motor:

Now you have to flip this over and take out another 10 screws to access the motor and worm gears.

Remove Motor:

Once the top of the brick is off, the motor and rest of the gearing should fall out easily.  Now replace the top and secure with the 10 screws.

Replacing the wheels:

Now flip the brick back too its under side to replace the wheels.  Since I was working on two SD40-2s at the same time, I opted to replace the traction tire wheel set with a standard wheel set.  Note that the brass bushings for the wheel axle goes in on an angle!  You will see this easily when screwing the bottom back in.

Future expansions:

I may seal up the box a little to help prevent dirt from getting in and gunking up the wheels.  Also and more importantly, I may mount the brick to the truck frame in a different method so that the weight of the loco is not on the ends of the axles.  This will produce more friction then necessary.  Its seems better to have the weight of the loco on the brick, and the brick on only 2 points of the axles where the brass bushings are (which I may also try to replace with bearings) instead of four areas. 




Did some detail painting on one of the units a while back, such as the walkways and nose hood.  I may have to go back and repaint the blue to a little more realistic color.