Produced from 1963 to 1966, the GP35, along with its six-axle SD35 sibling, marked both an end and a beginning. They were the last road diesels to use the EMD 567 motor that had powered switchers, F-units, and Geeps since 1939 (so named because each cylinder displaced 567 cubic inches). For the horsepower race of the 1960s, EMD tweaked the 567 to a turbocharged V-16 delivering 2500 hp. That was it for the 567, however, and in 1966 the baton was passed to the more powerful model 645. But while the “35 line” diesels ushered out an old motor, they inaugurated a new look. Their angled cab roofs and the clean, squared-off lines of their car bodies established the look of EMD power for the next three decades.
Introduced to compete with General Electric’s landmark U25B, which had ushered in the second generation of diesel power, the GP35 outsold the “U-Boat” nearly three to one. There was a strong market for new power in the mid-1960s because the first-generation diesels that had vanquished steam were wearing out. While first-generation rosters had often been a hodgepodge of manufacturers and models as railroads experimented with the new technology, by 1960 Alco, EMD, and GE were the only manufacturers left standing – and Alco would soon throw in the towel. As a result, virtually every major U.S. railroad became a GP35 customer, and over 1300 engines were sold in the United States, Canada, and Mexico.
While our Premier model is not the first O gauge version of this second-generation pioneer, it offers the best combination of detail, realism, and performance of any 1/48 scale GP35. Added-on detail parts include windshield wipers, metal see-thru body grilles, lift rings, metal grab irons and handrails, see-thru rooftop fan housings, and brake cylinders, air pipes, and swing hangers on our super-detailed Blomberg trucks. And in command mode with the DCS system, you can create a lashup combining one or more GP35s with other Proto-Sound 3.0 or Proto-Sound 2.0 first- or second-generation power, and run them from a single throttle just like the prototype.