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

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Model Train Help EBook

Southern Pacific U30C

Atlas markets their HO Scale U30C painted for SP as a Phase 2, this mostly matches the features found on SP's first batch. To make it more accurate the following changes will need to be made:

  • remove the underframe bell from the engineer's side,
  • fit a roof mounted bell and bracket - from an Athearn U-boat shell or Details West #134,
  • fabricate a bracket for the cab roof and mount a UDE light casting (Detail Associates #1001) with red MV lens,
  • the upper signal light could be replaced with a (Detail Associates #1024),
  • the short hood (nose) dual headlight could do with replacing with a scratchbuilt square housing and new headlights maybe just MV clear lenses,
  • fabricate and/or fit a 2 door battery box on top of the existing battery boxes behind the cab on the fireman's side - possibly again from an Athearn U-boat shell,
  • depending on your era, block SP initials will need to be added to the front of the short hood (nose),
  • add a whip antenna (Detail Associates #1802) to the front top of the cab roof,
  • add 4 roof vents (Detail Associates #1902) to the cab roof,
  • and of course a snowplow, probably a Details West PL-140

The only good roof shots we have are of the later batch, so hopefully roof details were standard and detail placement can be taken from them for the earlier series.

Prototype photos can be studied on the SP U30C page to then add as many other details as you wish, eg. fuel fillers, cab armrests etc.


  • N Scale:
    • Kato

  • HO Scale:
    • Athearn - an 'earlier' 'fatso model
    • Atlas has released a new U30C

  • O Scale:
    • ?

Model References:

  • Model Railroader June 1996 Page 80 - GE U30C Plans and history.

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Saturday, 4 December 2004