WalthersMainline HO EMD F7A, Standard DC
Sante Fe #1
Walthers Item #910-9903
- All-New Tooling
- Limited edition – one time run of these roadnumbers!
- Used in freight & passenger service from 1949 to the 1990s – many preserved today
- Nicely priced power for WalthersMainline freight & passenger trains
- 9-pin plug on Standard DC models for easy DCC conversion
- Single or dual headlights to match prototypes
- Factory-installed handrails
- Mars light on A units as appropriate
- Steam generator details as appropriate
- A-B Sets & Matching A Units in six roadnames
- Same powerful drive as WalthersProto. locos featuring:
- Five-pole skew-wound motor
- 14:1 gear ratio
- Helical-cut gears for quiet operation and easy multiple unit operation
- All-wheel drive and electrical pickup
- Dual machined brass flywheels
- Heavy die cast metal chassis
- Constant and directional lights
- RP-25 metal wheels
- Proto MAX(TM) metal knuckle couplers
- For railroads eager to dieselize, EMD’s F7 proved ideal for both freight and passenger service.
The F7 was the fourth model in GM-EMD’s successful line of F unit locomotives, and by far the best-selling cab unit of all time. In fact, more F7’s were built than all other F units combined. It succeeded the F3 model in GM-EMD’s F unit sequence, and was replaced in turn by the F9. Final assembly was at GM-EMD’s La Grange, Illinois plant or GMD’s London, Ontario facility.
The F7 differed from the F3 primarily in internal equipment (mostly electrical) and some external features. Its continuous tractive effort rating was 20% higher (e.g. 40,000 lb (18,000 kg) for an F7 with 65 mph (105 km/h) gearing, compared to 32,500 lb (14,700 kg) for an F3 with the same gearing.
A total of 2,366 cab-equipped lead A units and 1,483 cabless-booster or B units were built. (Note: the B unit is often referred to as an “F7B”, whereas the A unit is simply an “F7”.)
Many F7s remained in service for decades, as railroads found them economical to operate and maintain. However, the locomotive was not very popular with yard crews who operated them in switching service because they were difficult to mount and dismount, and it was also nearly impossible for the engineer to see hand signals from a ground crew without leaning way outside the window. As most of these engines were bought and operated before two-way radio became standard on most American railroads, this was a major point of contention. In later years, with the advent of the “road switchers” such as the EMD GP7, F units were primarily used in “through freight” and “unit train” service where there was very little or no switching to be done on line of road.