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South Jersey S Scale Modelers

Norfolk Southern RP-E4D 9176 Slug


This is an American Models based loco built to become Norfolk Southern RP-E4D 9176 bought from Bob Yahnke. This was purchased at the same time as the Norfolk Southern GP4.5 903 also bought and possibly built by Bob Yahnke. He may have ran them as a set but Norfolk Southern ran mostly the RP-E4D with a GP40-2 which does not exist in any form in S Scale. I have an Overland brass GP38-2 planned to fill in for the GP40-2. I could not find any prototype photos with 4 digit slug locos on the internet they were all changed to 3 digits so I contacted Chris Toth owner of http://www.nsdash9.com even before I had the locos in hand here. I was not expecting this reply! What a SMALL world…. everyone thought Bob built the slug.


Thanks for sending the photo of the slug model.  It definitely caught my eye for good reason.  I built the body for that model back in the early 90's for Bob Yahnke.  I was renting an apartment from Bob at the time and I was an HO modeler.  I had built similar HO models and Bob asked if I'd be interested in doing one for him in S scale.  He provided the necessary S scale parts (American Models GP9 body) and I did the conversion.  Bob had another friend who worked in a machine shop who machined the frame to remove the fuel tank. I gave it back to Bob and he painted and finished it.


Not long after, I moved away and ended up losing contact with Bob.  But as soon as I read that was an S scale model I thought what are the chances someone else made one in S scale? :)  A close look at the photo confirmed it was the one I built.  Then a look at your website confirmed it was from Bob.  :)


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I was going to make this as a single project page with 903 but it is a separate loco. It could run with any number of my other locos as well.


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This was a clean, repair, touch up and add DCC project. Bob’s layout was dormant for a long time. This is how it was received on 6-23-23.

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This loco is so unique in so many ways. It is the only slug loco known to me in S Scale. It is my only loco that is NOT supposed to have a sound unit! It is not really a diesel but not anything else either.


It would have been great to include some under construction photos to see what was used. As best as I can tell now it is another American Models GP9 shell with almost all of it cut off. The dynamic brake parts were added back on.


Adding DCC

For the size of the loco it is very tight for space to add DCC. It is good that a speaker is not needed there is no way a DLG8 could fit anywhere. This is the parts of my projects I like, trying to solve problems even if they are sometimes self imposed. That is when I thought of this long angle bracket to hang the decoder and capacitors on top of the drive shafts.


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I first tried a NCE D13NHJ decoder. It ran very differently than the TSC WOW4 in GP 903. I don’t speed match programming - that is too much like work. Also the capacitors were JUST too big to fit in that space even after sanding the driveshaft down. At the same time of working on this I was upgrading the decoders in 2 Overland F units that had TCS WOW version 1. They ran well but 1 made strange noises. So I recycled a WOW version 1 sound decoder into a loco that will never have a speaker to run the motor only. The GP 903 and slug now run perfectly together! Again there is NO room here so I had to use a TCS KA4 (Cube) Keep Alive that I had to put in the dynamic brake blister. Bob did not have working headlights in the slug. That is a must for me so I added the 2) 3mm LEDs.



Completed 7-2-23


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Updated 7-8-23

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