Minneapolis Northfield and Southern SD39 by zephyr1934

Image of Minneapolis Northfield and Southern SD39 by zephyr1934

Builder: zephyr1934

About Minneapolis Northfield and Southern SD39 by zephyr1934

MNS was a spunky shortline with a long history and a large fan club for a railroad with just over 80 miles of right of way. They had a history of unusual locomotives starting with their predecessor, the never electrified Dan Patch Electric Lines and the first successful gas-electric locomotive that was the predecessor to diesel electric locomotives, to a fleet of massive Baldwin center cab locomotives built in the late 40's (nicknamed the "blue dragons"), and their last purchased locomotives the SD39's in 1968. These were essentially SD40's with smaller prime movers (and thus, lower horsepower). They painted in a distinct dark blue with a single white stripe running the length of the locomotive. The SD39's served until the MNS was purchased by Soo Line in 1982 and one has returned to the shortline (Progressive Rail) that now operates a portion of the old MNS route.

With my new fleet of 9 covered hopper cars I needed something to pull the train. None of my period accurate locomotives were powerful enough to pull the entire consist. So I set off to find suitable power. The 6 wide build has a lot packed inside, including 2 PF train motors, 1 rechargible PF battery pack, an IR receiver, a pole reverser, and four weight bricks. Fitting it all in required some compromises, like filling the cab with the IR receiver, and my desire to make the white stripe brick built as much as possible made fitting the battery a lot more complicated. One obvious tradeoff is that the long hood is 5 studs wide to hide the battery, I would have preferred to keep it 4 studs wide. But also a little ingenuity to plow through some of the challenges. If you look closely at the side views, just above the fuel tank you can seek a small patch of dark gray from the battery. I used an old school 4.5v motor plate with 4x8 cutout to drop the battery down below the white stripe and snotted studs to hold the tiles on that cover the side of the battery. The build uses custom stickers, 3-axle motor covers and fan housings from trainedbricks.com, and custom railings to keep them closer to proportional than the brick built alternatives. But I did have to use the classic train wagon ends as a nod to the fact that this is a Lego train after all.

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