GP38 vs GP38-2

GP38 vs GP38-2

Postby rdikken » Sun Mar 01, 2015 7:42 am

Dear TT fans,

I have a simple question for the GP-specialists. What is exactly the visible difference between a GP38 and a GP38-2. I have bought a GP38-2 kit from Lok-n-Roll and I was wondering how I can see that it is a GP38-2.

As soon as I have the model I will show some pictures.

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Re: GP38 vs GP38-2

Postby areibel » Sun Mar 01, 2015 8:23 am

The easiest thing to spot is the sight glass in the door on the engineers side, the small (maybe 3 mm high by 1mm wide) oval on the first short door under the radiators.. Fill that in and it's a GP38.
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Re: GP38 vs GP38-2

Postby scaro » Sun Mar 01, 2015 7:56 pm

Commonly asked question, this indicates the key ones. I did not know that the sight glass was an option on pre-dash 2 locos. ... 434&nseq=3

This is a typical later GP38-2, note the longer nose, the corrugated screen cover, prominent anti-climber etc. I like plain black locomotives and it's never better than a black '38 or '38-2, something about the squarish, modular look of these locos really suits schemes like Mopac dark blue or this late N&W scheme.

It's worth checking carefully as a lot of features identified as typical of a GP38-2 actually emerged in the later GP38s and then the 'transition' GP38AC. For example, the paper air filter, such a feature of the GP38-2, is sometimes assumed to be a dash 2 spotting feature but actually emerged in PC GP38s in July 1969.

Here are rosters of GP38/ GP38AC and GP38-2.

And don't forget the GP39 and GP39-2.


Re: GP38 vs GP38-2

Postby rdikken » Tue Mar 17, 2015 11:48 am

Thank you Scaro and Bernd.

But perhaps I should turn the question around. I have here pictures of a GP38-2 house in TT. How can I see on the hand of those pictures that this is a GP38-2?

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Re: GP38 vs GP38-2

Postby DKRickman » Tue Mar 17, 2015 12:57 pm

For me, the two most obvious spotting features are the sight glass opening on the right side of the long hood, and the closely spaced radiator fans and associated short radiator grille. Slightly less obvious, but distinctive of all -2 locomotives, is the tapered overhang of the rear of the cab roof.
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Re: GP38 vs GP38-2

Postby Tom Dempsey » Tue Mar 17, 2015 2:26 pm

Well the Clark paper filter element electrical cabinet air filter box doesn't show up regularly until the GP38-AC (which is right before the -2) also, the paper air box filter. Unfortunately, both of these were sometimes added during rebuilds so it's not 100%. Your best bet is to get a good picture of a GP38-2 and build your model to reflect the prototype you're going after. Try
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Re: GP38 vs GP38-2

Postby CSD » Wed Mar 18, 2015 10:31 am

Wasn't there some kind of difference in the battery boxes too?
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Re: GP38 vs GP38-2

Postby ConducTTor » Wed Mar 18, 2015 11:03 am

Yep. The "-2" has different length battery boxes. I believe the right (engineer) side box is the longer one.
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