California's Railroad to the U.S. 1861 - 1996

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Southern Pacific B39-8

HO Scale B39-8 Model by Ryan Martin

Modeling the B39-8 is fairly easy now that Walthers has a RTR B40-8 and Atlas has released a B40-8 RTR model in the all three major modeling scales.

There _appears_ to be minor detail differences from the B40-8. Studying photo's of the units I came up with the following differences:

  • The B39-8 has the rear sandfill on top behind the radiators - not in the notch below the rear headlight.
  • The B39-8 has the sideframes as supplied with the RPP B40-8 kit.
  • The B40-8 should use DA 3507 FB-2 Phase II sideframes.

    From a letter in 'Safety Valve' June 1994 RMC:

  • Anti-climber profiles can vary between 'orders'
  • And watch for the style of Numberboard numbers.

Modeling choices at the moment are:

  • For N Scale:
    • Atlas has released a B40-8 that can be backdated.
  • For HO Scale:
    • Atlas has released a B40-8 that can be backdated.
    • Rail Power Products makes a Dash8-40B shell/chassis kit that can be backdated.
    • Walthers makes a Dash8-40B that can also be backdated.
  • For S Scale:
    • ?
  • For O Scale:
    • Atlas 'O'


  • Model Railroader, Apr, '89, Page 86, - has a set of plans for the B40-8.
  • Railroad Model Craftsman, Jan '94 Page 71. - Dash 8-40B Plans.
  • Railroad Model Craftsman, Jan '94 Page 87. - Modeling both the SP B39-8 and SSW B40-8.

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Sunday, September 08, 2002