Life-Like Canada / Hobbycraft (China) EMD GP9 Chop-Nose

Introduced: 2004

These locomotives were the brainchild of "Life-Like Canada" (aka "Hobbycraft Canada", aka "Trueline Trains"). Anyway, whatever they're calling themselves these days, they had/have some sort of manufacturing relationship with Life-Like and specialize in Canadian livery locomotive releases. These particular models came in two different flavors - a CN version (flat cab front) and a CP version (extended cab front). Atlas acquired the tooling for these model in 2019, so expect a re-issue from them at some point.

The internals are virtually identical to those of "regular" Life-Like's pre-DCC GP18/20 models, excepting that an extra bit of lighting has been added for the nose headlight. However, despite the similarities, I'm told that these models are completely proprietary to Life-Like Canada. IE, they may use "regular" Life-Like's Chinese manufacturing facilities, but all the design work is their own -

With the exception of its complete lack of DCC-readiness, this model has pretty much every other feature we now associate with "modern" diesel models - IE, all-metal / split-frame chassis, skew-wound 5-pole motor, dual flywheels, low-friction drive/pickup, all-plastic gearing, bi-directional LED lighting, low-profile blackened wheels, shell-mounted Rapido-style couplers (easily swapped out for MT's), fine shell detailing, crisp paint, etc.

Performance on these models is perfect in every way - smooth, quiet, great throttle response, great pickup, great slow-speed creep, pulling power to spare, etc. My only real complaint is with the shell. It fits the chassis like a very tight glove, and consequently it's damned near impossible to remove it without damaging it in some way.

Grade: A

Spookshow Home