Overland/Ajin (Korea) Brass EMD SD40T-2 / SD45T-2 / SD45-2 / SD45B-2


Introduced: 2001

These models all came out at the same time, and as such I'm going to go ahead and assume they all sport the same basic chassis/mechanism. So, in order to save a bit of time (and money), I'm going to review them all here based on the couple that I've actually purchased.

The chassis is all metal, although relatively flimsy (with most of the actual weight being provided by the fuel tank and the shell). The motor is an open-sided, skew-wound 3-poler (with dual flywheels). Eight of the twelve wheels provide pickup (with the center wheels on each truck being electrically neutral). There are no traction tires. Pickup is provided by "wheel back" wipers. Current is transferred from the trucks to a lengthy PC board atop the chassis by way of long, sprung contacts. Contacts on the chassis PC board transfer current to the motor as well as an additional LED-equipped PC board mounted inside the shell (which provides directional lighting). All wheels are geared and all gearing is plastic. The wheels are low-profile, so no problems on Code-55 rails. The couplers are chassis-mounted Micro-Trains.

As one has come to expect from Overland, these are gorgeous looking models with fine paint and detailing. Better still, overall performance is very respectable. Throttle response is smooth at all levels. Pickup is great (no problems through turnouts). Pulling power is strong. And although they don't run quite as quiet as a modern Atlas or Kato diesel, they certainly can't be categorized as loud or noisy. Yes, the top-end speed is excessive. But then again, if that bothers you, don't turn the throttle up that high.

On the down side, these models are completely useless on curves sharper than 19"-radius (where they will either slow down and make all sorts of unpleasant noises, or worse still, simply derail).

On the QC side of things, these models all seem to come with their wheel gauges set too tight (or at least both of mine did). However, simply using a small screwdriver to pry the wheels a little further out on on their axles takes care of that problem.

Removing the shell is a somewhat complicated procedure. First, remove the Micro-Trains couplers. Then, unscrew the two (now revealed) screws (one at each end) that hold the shell to the chassis. The forward chassis screw actually holds the nose in place, so don't be surprised when it suddenly falls off on ya.

Grade: A (although "F" if you have 18" curves or sharper)

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