HO scale GEVO Tier 4 diesel

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One of the latest locomotives to debut on North American rails, the General Electric ET44, joins the HO scale roster. I reviewed a top-of-the-line Rivet Counter GE ET44AH that includes roadname and number-specific detailing and a factory-installed dual-mode ESU LokSound decoder. Like other models, a value-priced, Digital Command Control (DCC)-ready Operator version with simplified detailing is also available.

The prototype. Part of GE’s Evolution-series (or GEVO), the ET44 was designed to meet the Environmental Protection Agency’s strict Tier 4 emissions standards. Like its predecessor, the ES44 introduced in 2004, the ET44 has a 4,400-hp, 12-cylinder GEVO diesel engine, Hi-Adhesion trucks, and a wide-nosed “Safety” cab. The ET44 has a longer frame and larger radiator section than the ES44. The GEVO Tier 4’s advanced emissions treatment equipment also requires a boxy enclosure that surrounds its exhaust stack. On early production units, this enclosure stretched over the engine compartment.

To date General Electric has built 899 of the Tier 4 GEVOs, most classed ET44AC. The BNSF GEVOs ride on A1A trucks (two powered outside axles and an unpowered center axle) and are classed ET44C4. Both CSX and Union Pacific have “heavy” versions, classed ET44AH and C45AH, respectively.

The model. The model’s dimensions match a prototype drawing in Locomotive 2017 (Kalmbach Publishing Co.) All the well-defined molded detail matches prototype photos, including engine access doors and panel seams. There’s tread detail along the walkways and see-through tread on the pilot steps.

The Rivet Counter model features accurately placed separate detail parts, including m.u. hoses and cables, and uncoupling levers. There’s even a tow chain along the sill and rotating bearing caps on the trucks. The air intake and dynamic brake intake grills are see- through, with radiator and blower motors visible inside, respectively. Correct per the prototype, there’s a separate antenna dome on the cab roof.

Although there aren’t any crew figures, the cab interior is fully detailed with seats, a control stand, tinted windows, and separate windshield wipers.

The model is smoothly painted in the correct shades of CSX blue and yellow. The placement of the lettering, CSX logo, and every stencil matches prototype photos of no. 3250. The et44ah classification is correctly placed on both sides of the cab in front of the lightning bolts.

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