Published on Oct 31, 2014
With a wave of consolidation behind it, North American railroading is once again a good business to be in. Freight traffic is booming. Locomotive orders are coming in at a record pace from the Big Six roads that dominate rail transportation on the continent: Union Pacific, BNSF, CSX, Norfolk Southern, Canadian National, and Canadian Pacific. And the two remaining diesel builders are locked in a battle to become the locomotive supplier for the 21st century. Caterpillar®-owned EMD, no longer a divison of General Motors, is represented by the AC-traction-motored SD70ACe and its DC-traction sibling, the SD70M-2. General Electric’s standard bearers are the EVOs, the Evolution Series ES44AC and ES44DC.
At the heart of the Evolution Series is a brand new prime mover, the four-cycle, 12-cylinder GEVO-12. While producing the same 4400 horsepower as its 16-cylinder FDL-series predecessor, the GEVO-12 uses less fuel and spits out 40% fewer emissions. GE claims the EVOs are “the most fuel-efficient, most environmentally friendly diesel locomotives in history.” Everything about these locomotives has been examined, questioned, and re-thought, generating 25 new U.S. patents in the process. And every Big Six railroad has ponied up to buy them, with the BNSF currently rostering the largest EVO fleet.
Like our debut RailKing Imperial diesel, the SD70ACe, the ES44AC comes accurately decorated in modern motive power paint schemes. Our near-scale model is a full 17" in length, yet operates comfortably on O-31 curves. Under the hood of the Proto-Sound 3.0 version is the same sound and control system found in our more expensive Premier model of this locomotive this locomotive, with sounds recorded from the actual prototype. Additional Imperial features include operating diesel exhaust smoke and flashing ditch lights. If you're looking for realism and a lot of fun at a RailKing price, it doesn't get any better than this!