Classics of Modern Railroading

CSX SD40-2 and Gunderson 60′ High Cube Boxcar by Aaron Burnett

I love coming across new (or maybe just new to me) train builders when perusing through flickr, or one of the other LEGO® train hangouts online. Especially when their models are as good as these two by Aaron Burnett.

CSX SD40-2

The EMD SD40-2 is a 3,000-horsepower diesel-electric locomotive built by EMD from 1972 to 1989 as part of EMD’s Dash 2 series, competing against the GE U30C and the ALCO Century 630. The SD40-2 was an improvement over the SD40, with modular electronic control systems similar to those of the experimental DDA40X.Although higher-horsepower locomotives were available, including EMD’s own SD45-2, the reliability and versatility of the 3,000-horsepower (2,200 kW) SD40-2 made it the best-selling model in EMD’s history and the standard of the industry for several decades after its introduction. The last SD40-2 delivered to a United States railroad was built in July 1984, with production continuing for railroads in Canada until 1988, Mexico until February 1986, and Brazil until October 1989. As of 2013, nearly all built still remain in service.

The infamous CSX SD40-2 no.8888, aka Crazy Eights, is wearing the “Bright Future” livery.

Aaron’s SD40-2 is modeled in CSX Transportation’s “Bright Future” paint scheme which CSX began using in the early 1990s.

The SD40-2 is one of the most often modeled, modern American diesel locomotives, in any model RR scale. It can be hard for any one model to stand out. Aaron’s take is a very clean, well scaled model, covering the right details, and modeling the CSX paint scheme very well. Any LEGO train fan would be delighted to have this locomotive on their layout.

Because the SD40-2 shared it frame with the larger SD45-2, the locomotive has a larger than usual platform area, or “Porch” as it’s come to be known.
A nice feature of Aaron’s model is the lighted cab.
St. Louis Southwestern Railway (Cotton Belt Route) Gunderson 60′ High Cube Boxcar

The modern 100 ton, high-cube, 60’ boxcar has become ubiquitous in the modern rail scene. These cars are designed to carry a myriad of loads, from auto parts to forest products. This 60 foot box car design was produced by Gunderson, Incorporated, now part of the Greenbrier Companies from the early 1970s into the 2000s.

The Cotton Belt livery may not be authentic to this particular car but it does look very nice. And there’s nothing wrong with a little proto-freelancing, Proto-freelance is model railroading practice that involves a freelanced or made-up model railroad that is based on the operations and/or location of a prototype or real railroad.

The ladder rung attachment may be a bit unorthodox, but it’s effective.

For the ladder rungs on the car, Aaron did employ the dreaded Kragle, but the result doesn’t look bad. And if it bothers you, I’m sure there is a way to do the ladders on this car with some flex tubing and clip plates. But this is Aaron’s model, so he can do with it as he pleases.

Look at those beautiful doors!

I love the double doors on this model. Door design is something I’m paying increasingly more attention to in my own boxcar models. Aaron does a good job of replicating the double plug door design of this car. And the decals add the perfect finishing touch.

A modern Gunderson 60ft car wearing TTX colors.

You can find Aaron Burnett‘s models on his flickr page.

Aaron Burnett on flickr

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