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Uncommon FT Diesel Locomotive

Wearing the road’s “wet noodle” livery introduced in the early 1960s is Bachmann’s Canadian National FT diesel locomotive released in the late 1970s.

Uncommon FT Diesel Locomotive

This Kader-made HO-scale Electro-Motive FT diesel locomotive model first appeared in AHM’s product line in the early/mid-1970s. The model joined Bachmann’s catalog in the late 1970s. This uncommon road name is a Canadian market offering that presents Canadian National’s (CN) 1960s livery on this early F-unit.

ABOVE: At a glance this white with yellow cardboard window display box looks like a typical 1970s era Bachmann package. Look closely in the upper right and you’ll see bilingual English/French for the hobby maker’s “Quality Since 1833” slogan.

While General Motors found many buyers in the U.S. for its legendary first regular production F-unit, the FT was skipped by Canadian roads. FT production began in 1939 and continued through late 1945. Combing A-units and B-units, FT production numbers topped 1,000 examples.

The prototype came equipped with a 567-type prime mover providing 1,350 horsepower for this four-axle diesel locomotive. While all F-units share a similar appearance, the main spotting feature for the FT is the closely spaced set of four portholes on the sides of this cab unit.

ABOVE: The real FT had EMD’s 567 prime mover under its hood, this late 1970s Bachmann release possesses a pancake-type motor mounted over the rear truck.

Early releases of this Kader HO-scale FT came with 8-wheel drive mechanisms and those included AHM’s releases of 1974. By the time this FT joined Bachmann’s line, a single-truck drive mechanism was common. In addition, Bachmann offered non-powered dummy FTs in the late 1970s and into the early 1980s.

The model made a 21st century comeback to Bachmann’s line and has available since the early 2000s with all-wheel drive, refined design truck sideframes, a new chassis, and knuckle couplers. The A-unit was joined by a B-unit with these 2000s production runs. In recent years an E-Z App FT has been offered, along with Digital Command Control-equipped FTs.


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This article was posted on: January 29, 2021