The Electro-Motive GP9 diesel locomotive was one of the most successful road-switcher designs of the postwar era. The four-axle Geep was produced in America by EMD between 1954 and 1959, though production continued in Canada until 1963. More than 4,000 total units were produced for railroads from coast to coast, making this a desirable model for many hobbyists. This rugged brass model was produced by Tenshodo in Japan and imported by Pacific Fast Mail. Tenshodo has left the model railroad business, but remains a manufacturer of jewelry for the Japanese market.
Collectors will recognize the shiny silver box lid that came with many early Tenshodo-made brass models distributed by Pacific Fast Mail (PFM) in the U.S. and Canada.
Know to many as a “tank drive,” this style of power distribution was common in a number of vintage brass imports. A connecting drive rod ran between the trucks through the fuel tank area, thus the name “tank drive.”
This Great Northern GP9 shows the road’s simplified “Empire Builder” livery applied to a variety of first-generation diesels, as well as some early second generation examples. In the first edition of HO Collector, PFM’s last Tenshodo-made diesel was featured. That 1970 model reproduced EMD’s SD45.