While Electro-Motive's FT road diesel is celebrated as "the diesel that did it" - vanquished the steam engine from American railroads - the lowly switch engine had quietly started the diesel revolution decades before. Compared with the 0-4-0, 0-6-0 or 0-8-0 steamers they replaced, the new end-cab diesel switchers were cleaner and quieter, started up almost instantly, and offered 360-degree visibility in the chaos of the rail yards and industries where they worked - not hard for an engineer to get used to.
Introduced in 1939, the same year as the FT, the NW2 was the latest evolution of Electro-Motive's line of dependable, hard-working yard goats. The "N" in NW2 stood for nine hundred horsepower, the power output of the first Electro-Motive Corporation N-series switchers with Winton motors. The "W" indicated a welded frame.
Power increased to 1000 hp with the debut of the 12-cylinder NW2, the first N-series locomotive with EMC's new 567 diesel motor - the prime mover that would power nearly all of the most successful first-generation diesels. Within a few years, EMC and Winton Engine, which had been owned by GM since 1930, would become the Electro-Motive Division of General Motors. By the end of NW2 production in 1949, over 1100 engines had been sold in the United States and Canada, and the hardy N-series switchers were ubiquitous from coast to coast.
The NW2 joins our S Gauge lineup for the first time in 2019, offering everything you need in a hard-working switcher: precision flywheel-equipped motor, metal chassis and traction tires for great pulling power; cruise control for steady speeds down to 3 scale miles per hour; authentic EMD 567 prime mover sounds; and superb detailing that includes separately applied door handles, air brake piping and metal handrails.