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Walthers Proto 2000 EMD SD9 diesel locomotive

By | April 24, 2012

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Walthers Proto 2000 EMD SD9 diesel locomotive
Walthers Proto 2000 EMD SD9 diesel locomotive
Walthers Proto 2000 EMD SD9 diesel locomotive
I finally received the long awaited Walthers Part no. 920-41604 & 605 DCC and sound equipped SD9 locomotives. Unfortunately these were the units still being produced with the QSI decoder, not the Soundtraxx Tsunami future Proto products will use. I have a large fleet of sound-equipped locos from most of the manufacturers, and have come to the conclusion that there are two types of decoders, Tsunami, and all the rest.

The locomotives are nicely detailed, but a disappointment was that no mesh screens, nor radiator fan grills are used. Instead, it’s solid plastic just like the old Athearn SD9 of decades ago. Thus the only way for sound to emit from the carbody is through the underframe opening for the rear truck. Nice that they use two large speakers, but I’m replacing the decoder with Soundtrax 567 type, and opening the radiator grill area to install fine mesh screen. The old EMD’s have a characteristic generator whine, that no other decoder has successfully captured. It is good that there’s plenty of room for the replacement decoder, so installation is easy, just remember to add resistors for the LED headlamps.

Overall, these are nice locomotives, but at $290 plus another decoder, completed price approaches $400 each which is a bit high in my book. The Broadway Limited SD7’s were more nicely done, although I changed their decoders as well.

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