Produced from 1972 to 1986, the GP38-2 helped inaugurate Electro-Motive's "Dash-2" series of locomotives and became one of EMD's all-time best sellers. With over 2200 engines sold throughout North America, rare was the railroad that did not roster these reliable, second-generation EMD workhorses.
Building on the success of the GP38 introduced in 1966, the Dash-2 model looked almost identical on the outside but incorporated a host of internal upgrades that lowered exhaust emissions and improved reliability, ease of maintenance, and tractive effort. Most significant was the replacement of the maze of hard-wired circuits, switches, interlocks, and relays - which had characterized first-generation diesels and had been the source of many of their service issues - with modular, solid-state electronics. Other improvements toughened the pistons, rings, and bearings of the 2000-horsepower, non-turbocharged model 645 prime mover.
The result was an engine so hard working and dependable that it became as common on American railroads as the F-unit was in the 1950s and '60s. Trains magazine recognized this in 1982 by designating B&O GP38 #3802 (a pre-Dash-2 model) as the All American Diesel; the engine resides today in the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Museum, repainted in its 1982 Chessie System colors. Many GP38-2s have soldiered on for more than three decades and remain in service today on short lines and regional railroads.
New for 2014, this accurately modeled GP38-2 joins our economically priced Ready2Rail lineup in eight prototypical paint schemes. While Ready2Rail locomotives have fewer added-on details than standard M.T.H. motive power, Proto-Sound 3E+ versions feature the same versatile electronics and prototypical sounds found in every Proto-Sound 3.0 engine. In command mode, you can operate this second-generation stalwart in four different modes: AC Powered Analog/Conventional, DCC Command Mode with any DCC Controller, Märklin DCC Command Mode and Motorola 1 and 2 Command Modes. With the DCS system, you can create a lashup with just a few keystrokes, combining one or more GP38-2s with other Proto-Sound 3.0 first-, second-, or third-generation diesels - and run them all from a single throttle just like the prototype.
Outfitted with NEM 311 wheels and NEM 365 couplers, each of these engines feature an all-new version of Proto-Sound 3.0, contain a third rail sliding shoe for use with Marklin HO stud rail and can operate on AC or DC power. Like their 3.0 counterparts, Proto-Sound 3E+ locomotives feature full digital sound, speed control, 28 DCC functions, hundreds of DCS sounds and features and a command control receiver for use with Marklin DCC control systems. Unlike their 3.0 counterparts, Proto-Sound 3E+ locomotives cannot operate on standard 2-rail track. They only operate on HO (3-Rail) Stud Rail track (ie: Marklin C or K track).