The SDL39 was a join collaboration between the Milwaukee Road and Electromotive Division of General Motors to produce a lightweight locomotive for use on the light railed branchlines of the Midwest. With a total weight of only around 247,000 pounds spread over 6 axles the axle loading of 41k+ was easy on the light rail and bridges common to the rural lines these locomotives operated over.
The SDL39’s were built in two orders, the first 5 in 1969 and the second five in 1971. The 10 locomotives went on to serve the Milwaukee until it’s purchase by the Soo Line after which they were stored. 4 of the units were briefly used by the Dakota, Minnesota and Eastern before all 9 remaining units, the 581 was wrecked in 1981, were sold for use on the newly formed Wisconsin Central. The SDL39’s were in service on WC until being returned to the lessor in 2001 after which a couple of them were briefly leased to switch grain elevators.
In 2002 all 9 of the units were sold to a railway in Chile where they operate to this day, albeit changed to a wider gauge among other modifications.
Our models of the unique SDL39 will be produced in the following versions;
MILW 581 as built in 1969 with snow shields, no winterization hatch and electronic bell. No billboard lettering.
MILW 584 as it was in 1971 with snow shields, winterization hatch and electronic bell. No billboard lettering.
MILW 586 as it was in the late 70’s without snow shields, winterization hatch, high mounted air powered bell and flashing warning beacon. Billboard lettering.
MILW 590 as it was in the late 70’s without snow shields, winterization hatch, high mounted air powered bell and flashing warning beacon. No billboard lettering.
WC 584 with Pine Tree paint.
WC 588 with Pine Tree paint and white numberboards.