Athearn HO SD70, CN #1031
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Manufacturer: Athearn


  • As-delivered IC scheme in 1995.
  • P5 horn
  • Spare knuckle brackets on rear pilot
  • Spare knuckle basket on walkway
  • Sinclair and can-type antennas
  • Cab Vent


  • As modified with FRA reflective yellow frame stripe: 2005+
  • 3 or 5 chime horn per prototype
  • Air conditioner
  • Sinclair and/or Firecracker antennas per prototype
  • Spare knuckle brackets
  • Customer-installed electronic fuel gauge included in poly bag (placement varies; consult prototype photos).


  • Former IC with sublettering
  • Same major features as IC yellow frame stripe described above
  • Spare knuckle basket on walkway
  • No rear ditch lights
  • Large front plow
  • Early fuel tank
  • P5 horn
  • No spare knuckle basket on walkway
  • Equipped with rear ditch lights
  • Small front plow, late fuel tank
  • P5 horn on stand


  • Nathan K5LAR24 horn
  • CR-specific antennas and conduits on cab and long hood
  • Air Conditioner
  • Small front plow
  • ”Dual” fuel sight glasses
  • Late fuel tank
  • Spare kuckle brackets on rear pilot
  • Spare knuckle basket on walkway
  • Cab vent


  • Same details as Conrail units above
  • Aquired by NS after 1998-1999 split of Conrail. Lasted several years before recieving full NS paint


  • First time in NS “Horsehead” scheme
  • Units repainted by NS at various locations and times; each road number features unique decoration
  • Nathan K5LAR24 horn
  • NS-retrofitted toilet hatch & drain
  • Customer-installed spare knuckle brackets included
  • Large front plow
  • Air Conditioner


  • Fully-assembled and ready-to-run
  • DCC-ready features Quick Plug™ plug-and-play technology with 21-pin NEM connector
  • Scaled from prototype resources including drawings, field measurements, photographs, and more
  • Accurately-painted and –printed paint schemes
  • Coupler cut levers
  • MU hoses
  • Trainline hose
  • See through cab windows
  • Full cab interior
  • Walkway tread
  • Fine-scale Celcon handrails for scale appearance
  • Windshield wipers
  • Lift rings
  • Wire grab irons
  • Detailed fuel tank with fuel fillers, fuel gauges, & breather pipes
  • Sander lines
  • McHenry scale knuckle couplers - Kadee compatible
  • Genesis driveline with 5-pole skew wound motor, precision machined flywheels, and multi-link drivetrain
  • All-wheel drive with precision gears for smooth & quiet operation
  • All-wheel electrical pickup provides reliable current flow
  • Wheels with RP25 contours operate on all popular brands of track
  • LED Lighting for realistic appearance
  • Heavy die-cast frame for greater traction and more pulling power
  • Packaging securely holds for the model for safe storage


  • Onboard DCC decoder with SoundTraxx Tsunami2 sound
  • Sound units operate in both DC and DCC
  • Engine, horn, and bell sounds work in DC
  • All functions NMRA compatible in DCC mode
  • Precision slow speed control
  • Program a multiple unit (MU) lashup with lead unit only horn, bell, and lights
  • Many functions can be altered via Configuration Value (CV) changes
  • CV chart included in the box


Continuing upon the successful SD60-series, in 1992 EMD debuted the next step in locomotive evolution with the SD70. While outwardly similar at first glance to the SD60, the D.C.-drive SD70 featured several external design refinements from the predecessor model. Battery boxes were relocated to the left-hand side walkway immediately behind the cab, a large, boxy forward traction motor blower housing replaced the angular version used on SD60s, the raised walkway duct on the left hand walkway was eliminated, and an intake for the rear traction motor blower on the left hand side of the carbody, directly under the rear radiator intake grill, was added.

Internally, the SD70 boasted improvements as well; a 16-710GB prime mover, rated at 4,000hp, was coupled to a new alternator design, the AR20. New D70TR traction motors were standard, and controlling all of this power and locomotive function was EMD’s new EM2000 microprocessor, which boasted more memory, twice the processing speed, and improved locomotive self-diagnostic capabilities compared to the processor suite used in the SD60. Even more revolutionary was the inclusion of EMD’s patented “Radial” truck design, the HTC-R. This design, which made its debut under EMD Demo SD60 #3, replaced the venerable HT-C truck, and is unique in its ability to shift, or “steer”, the wheelsets laterally through curves, resulting in greatly reduced wheelset and track wear, and coupled with the new D70TR traction motors and EM2000 microprocessor, greatly improved adhesion.

Continuing with previous practice, EMD built a set of Demonstrator SD70Ms, EMD 7000-7002, all equipped with the North American safety-cab (hence the “M” in their model designation), and decked out in an attractive gray, silver, and burgundy paint scheme. These units travelled all over North America, showing off the latest technology from EMD. Eastern giant Norfolk Southern liked what it saw, and was the first to order SD70s, but with a twist; instead of having them equipped with the increasingly popular (and soon to be standard) “M” cab, they opted for standard, or “Spartan” cabs on their initial orders. The first production SD70s, NS 2501-2506, built in 1993, were quickly followed by additional units; NS 2507-2531, also built in 1993, and NS 2532-2556, built in 1994. They could be found in a variety of assignments over the NS system, and even saw run-through service on connecting roads, such as Southern Pacific, making appearances on the West Coast.


DCC:Ready/21-Pin NEM
Minimum Age Recommendation:14 years
Is Assembly Required:No

Search Terms: LED, 07ds, sd-70, ath_0316, sd70loco, 21pin, genesis, ATH_0819

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Athearn HO SD70, CN #1031 Reviews

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