Sd38-2

Discussion in 'Trainspotter ID' started by Chessie6459, May 23, 2006.

  1. Chessie6459

    Chessie6459 Gauge Oldtimer

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    An EMD SD38-2 is a 6-axle diesel locomotive built by General Motors Electro-Motive Division (EMD) beginning in 1972 until 1979. EMD built 83 of these medium road-switchers, which were used in both yard and mainline roles. Part of the EMD Dash 2 line, the SD38-2 was an upgraded SD38 with modular electronic control systems, HT-C trucks, and many other detail improvements. Power was provided by an EMD 645E 16-cylinder engine which could generate 2000 horsepower (1,500 kilowatts). These units were constructed with either 3200 or 4000 U.S. gallon (12,100 L or 15,100 L) fuel tanks and were available with or without dynamic brakes. It shared the same frame as the SD40-2 and SD45-2, which gives the SD38-2 a length of 68 ft 10 in (20.98 meters).
  2. LongIslandTom

    LongIslandTom Member

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    Interesting factoid for the '38's..

    The GP38, SD38 and their Dash-2 counterparts, unlike other contemporary 3rd-gen EMD diesels (the -35s, 40s and 45s), are not turbocharged. That means the -38's made a really distinctive sound-- Unlike turbocharged units in which the turbos somewhat muffle the sounds of the diesel engine and adds a whine, the normally-aspirated -38s are LOUD. You can hear them coming miles away, with their jackhammer bang-bang-bang-bang diesel rumble. :D

    Since the SD38 (and dash-2) are non-turbocharged, they are not suitable for high-speed road service, which is why these are primarily used for yard/hump duty or for slow-haul high-tonnage trains such as iron ore unit trains.

    The giveaway feature for the -38s (both the Geep and the SD) is the paper air filter box in front of the dynamic brake location.
  3. Chessie6459

    Chessie6459 Gauge Oldtimer

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  4. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

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    I think some of the class 1's at the time asked for something new for branch line service to replace aging Gp7s & 9s. For that sort of work they didn't need high horsepower or turbos. I just realized I put this in the wrong thread. This was supposed to be in a Gp38 & 38-2 thread not Sd38.
  5. Summit

    Summit Member

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    LongIslandTom wrote:

    "The giveaway feature for the -38s (both the Geep and the SD) is the paper air filter box in front of the dynamic brake location."

    I have to disagree with you on this one...there were -38's built without paper air filters.

    McCloud River in northeastern California had three SD38's (all without paper air filters) and 1 SD38-2. I have pictures of all four on my McCloud Rails website:

    SD38 #36: http://www.trainweb.org/mccloudrails/LocoImages/Loco-0036.html
    SD38 #37: http://www.trainweb.org/mccloudrails/LocoImages/Loco-0037.html
    SD38 #38: http://www.trainweb.org/mccloudrails/LocoImages/Loco-0038.html
    SD38-2 #39: http://www.trainweb.org/mccloudrails/LocoImages/Loco-0039.html

    Jeff Moore
    Elko, NV
  6. LongIslandTom

    LongIslandTom Member

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    Sorry Jeff, I should have been more clear.

    What I should have written is that those paper air filter boxes are unique to the -38s. You see one of those, you know right away it's a -38.

    Before you mention the GP-39s, let me mention I am talking about the full length boxes (I know some of the -39's have a short filter box).
  7. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

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    I would think that as of now, the Sd38 & 38-2 are probably the only fairly modern Sd that doesn't have a turbo, so the four ehaust stacks would also be a good sptting feature.
  8. Summit

    Summit Member

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    Tom- Understood!

    Russ- they only had two exhaust stacks, not four. However, that does make a visual difference as compared to the single large stack on a turbocharged unit.

    Jeff Moore
    Elko, NV