The long awaited SD70Ace model from Athearn’s Genesis line is expected to be delivered to White Rose Hobbies this September. Available with or without SoundTraxx Tsunami sound, Athearn’s SD70ACe locomotive is a must-have for serious model-railroading enthusiasts.
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In order to meet the stricter diesel locomotive emissions standards imposed by the EPA Tier II regulations, EMD modified the SD70MAC and created the SD70ACe. The SD70ACe is powered by a 16 cylinder, 710G3C-T2 diesel engine, producing 4,300 horsepower. The engine drives an alternator producing AC current that is rectified to DC current and then “chopped” back into AC to power the traction motors. The engine and electrical system are similar to the SD70MAC, but updated with newer technology. Much of the external design is based on the SD90 series locomotives. Some of these features include the full height nose door and rectangular windshields, the large flared radiators with two fans, and the positioning of the dynamic brake equipment at the rear of the long hood. In addition, the inverters were moved from inside the long hood to a box on the walkway behind the cab. Four demonstrator locomotives were built in 2003, followed by 20 pre-production units for CSX in 2004. Full production started in 2005 and through 2009, 820 SD70ACe’s have been built for the US and Mexico. Nine more were exported to Venezuela and 46 built for BHP Billiton’s iron ore operation in Pilbara, Australia. In addition 10 units from BNSF’s 2008 order were diverted to BHP. Union Pacific painted six units in paint schemes commemorating the six railroads that were merged into UP in the 1980’s and 1990’s and renumbered them for the year of the mergers.
The first run will include the following roadnames: Union Pacific/Missouri Pacific Heritage, BNSF, KCS, and Union Pacific.