47. MRH14-01-Jan2014-L.pdf - page 87

STEP 1: Laying out the parts
1970s Santa Fe SD45- 1
t’s the '70s again! Can you hear the Athearn “growl”
going around your layout? How many remember the
Athearn SD45 running on their layout with those horn
hook couplers? Ah yes, those were the days.
Some of us still use the Athearn product on our layouts.
However, I can’t bring myself to buy the updated DCC version
that starts at $134.98 MSRP. None of the RTR SD45 engines
from Athearn/Horizon are offered with sound. Another man-
ufacturer offers an SD45 with DCC and sound with a MRSP of
While at a train show, I found two of the older Athearn
SD45s, one in Santa Fe pinstripe freight and the other in the
yellow bonnet paint scheme. I bought them, came home, and
laid out my project. Let us begin to improve the units from
the 70s.
Improving a
1970s Athearn
Santa Fe SD45
1: I like the pinstripe paint scheme, so I chose one for
this article. The same steps are used on ATSF 5386, the
yellow bonnet unit. I laid out all of the parts that come
with the unit. The number on the bag of parts is 75106.
The little pile under the Athearn pocket covers is bits of
metal left over from the stanchions. These can be used
for scenery. It's a cardinal rule of model railroading,
never throw anything away.
1a: We will not use
the horns, coupler
pocket covers, and
the couplers. 
aware there are
different length
stanchions to be
used. Always make
sure you have the
parts you will need
to complete the
– Dirk Reynolds
Photos by the author
Reliable operations for a 1970s locomotive ...
MRH-Jan 2014
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