Union Pacific SD70ACe #8444

Union Pacific SD70ACe

The engine caught my eye because of a few reasons. First, it was RailKing's first Imperial class diesel engine. What this means is that this model has the highest detail, most features and best sound you can get in a RailKing locomotive. It has things most other RailKing models do not, such as ditch lights, engineer figures, interior cab lights, detailed paint scheme, wire railing and chains, legible micro-printing, actual prototype engine/bell/horn recordings, true (close enough) scaling and a smoke generator - cool!

The other reason was that as the first in their line of new RailKing Imperial diesels, MTH put it in a set with cars and track at an outrageously low price. The cherry on top was that the set came with a Z1000, 100 watt transformer, which is very useful and relatively expensive by itself (and I did not have one yet). Plus, I did like the huge American flag that the Union Pacific used on the real SD70ACe's, so into the collection it went. She's a beautiful giant also, second largest only to the Allegheny.

(Click on any picture to enlarge)

Here's an even bigger photo
Click here for videos of the SD70ACe

I thought it would be interesting to show how you access the controls (smoke, volume, etc.) for the engine. You can also see one of the flywheel engines here too. See the stripes on the flywheel? Those are read by a sensor that lets the engine's computer know how fast it's going. Neat huh?

Here's some history...

The SD70ACe is similar to the SD70MAC; however, it has been updated to meet the latest EPA regulations for road locomotives. Several other changes were included as well. The radiator on the locomotive is nearly as wide as the cab, and looks similar to the radiator on the SD80 and SD90 series of locomotives. The nose has been modified, producing a much more angular nose than previous models. The cables and brake lines have been routed beneath the walkways, allowing for easy access by maintenance workers. SD70ACe models are rated at 4,300 horsepower (3,200 kW). As of 2005, 185 examples of this model locomotive have been produced. Purchasers include BNSF Railway, CSX Transportation, Ferromex, Kansas City Southern Railway, Montana RailLink, CVG Ferrominera Orinoco and Union Pacific Railroad.

This locomotive model is also being produced for export. In 2004, BHP Billiton of Australia ordered 14 SD70ACe/lc locomotives for use in iron ore hauling; the "lc" in the model designation stands for "low clearance" as these locomotives are designed to negotiate the tight clearances under the mine equipment. BHP has also ordered an additional 10 SD70ACe/lcs, these will have a newly designed isolated cab.[5][dead link][6] On 29 August 2007, EDI Rail announced that BHP Billiton has placed an additional order for 13 SD70ACe/lcs locomotives, due for delivery in early 2009.[7]

Six unique UP "Heritage" paint schemes on SD70ACe locos (such as 1982, 1988, 1989, and 1995) came to life in Horicon, Wisconsin painted in schemes based upon railroads since absorbed by Union Pacific. In October 2005, UP 4141 was renumbered from UP 8423, and was re-painted in a Air Force One style white/blue and silver paint scheme commemorating the nation's 41st President, George H. W. Bush.

Here are some pictures of the prototype #8444 in action (click to enlarge)

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