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South Jersey S Scale Modelers

B&O GP9 6541


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This is an American Models GP9. Even though it is a 30 year old design now it is still a great canvas to make a good running detailed loco. This loco came to me in a collection primed with a lot of brass parts installed most of which were crooked. The grab irons were castings and were all over the place. I simply cannot do crooked. I use wire grab irons.


I stripped the primer, took almost everything off and filled a LOT of holes with Evergreen plastic rod. Pretty much every hole drilled by the previous owner was filled. There was some significant time spent doing actual body work and cleaning up glue marks. You can wet sand plastic. It would have been much faster and easier to start with a brand new shell, but I was making this a budget build. I truly had almost everything I needed “in stock”. They are all available at Bills Train Shop. BTS



I was going to make this a Canadian Conrail GP9 but it did not happen. I got a Conrail GP35 instead. Good enough. I did not even know there was a Canadian Conrail until I saw the GP9 I thought about making. In all of the roads I have modeled I have bought but not made any locos in B&O. I finally made my B&O REA express boxcars which are Royal blue. Go big and paint other stuff blue too.


I am awful at taking the first true “before” photos. I usually dive in and take some photos later. This is my typical American Models drive upgrade and decoder installation. As mentioned they run great right out of the box but I remove the flywheels as I think the decoder does a better job now with momentum. This is a Sagami 22mm x 40mm motor and Overland driveshafts. It is a TSC WOW4 decoder with Keep Alive and RailMaster DLG8 speaker. The 3MM LEDs fit really well. I have this decoder set up in MANY of my locos. I make a 2-56 standoff and glue or solder them to the roof. A piece of brass flat bar glued to the speaker is pointing up through a fan. With the smaller diameter motor and no flywheels makes for more interior space.


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Some work has been done here. For me adding open brass fans and pilot steps are the beginning of making a great GP9. The draft gear is designed by Bob Frascella for the GP35. It also fits the GP9 perfectly and is available here. I decided to make this a medium build because I am using the plastic handrails. Brass handrails look so much better but are a huge job. While not likely I can make them later.



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Ready For Paint

Added 10-21-20


The plastic is just there to hold the brass parts in place! I already painted the trucks and fuel tank. White dots are where there were holes I filled in. Many got covered by other details. The wire grab irons are much better than they were.  The whole shell is actually painted black now. I wanted a uniform color to start with when I painted the B&O Blue.

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Completed 12-31-20

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In November 2020 I made another B&O SW1 #200 for my friend Al. They were painted at the same time. I wanted to pose all 3 locos together but I had to get Al’s loco to him before Christmas. These are both my locos.

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Added 1-14-21

I bought an Overland Alco S2 that was custom painted by Overland.  As Johnny Cash once said “I Got Stripes”. They all look great posed together.

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Updated 1-14-21

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