Athearn RTR 64497 Norfolk & Western SD39 DCC/Sound #52962 HO

Athearn R-T-R

MSRP: $219.98
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3.00 LBS
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Detailed Information


  • All-new LED lighting
  • Rubber MU hoses for durability
  • Photo-etched stainless steel windshield wipers


  • Former MN&S SD39 
  • All-weather cab window on engineer’s side
  • Leslie S3L horn
  • Rear MU catch-tray
  • AAR “loop” style coupler cut-bar
  • Firecracker antenna
  • Cab-mounted Xenon strobe; effect with DCC/Sound version
  • Winterization hatch
  • 2600 gallon fuel tank

In February 19, 1985, the Soo Line purchased the bankrupt Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific and the smaller MN&S Railroads were both merged into the Soo Line Railroad effective January 1, 1986. To cut costs, the Soo Line created the Lake States Transportation Division (LSTD) on February 10, 1986 to operate the less-important lines, including the ex-Wisconsin Central line between Chicago and the Twin Cities.

This page is based on the copyrighted Wikipedia article “SOO Line”; it is used under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License (CC-BY-SA). You may redistribute it, verbatim or modified, providing that you comply with the terms of the CC-BY-SA.


  • Ex ITC
  • Gong style bell
  • Non-dynamic
  • MU hose catch trays on front & rear
  • Engineer side all-weather-window
  • Firecracker antenna
  • Leslie 3-chime horn
  • Each number features different patches and logos per the prototypes

On September 1, 1981, the Norfolk and Western Railway purchased the Illinois Terminal Railroad. The former ITC SD39s received “NW” patches on the units to denote their new owner. The bright green and yellow colors provided a splash of variety on the N&W roster. The green paint faded quickly- resulting in a very washed-out appearance for the SD39s.


  • Faded paint and lettering to match units as they appeared in service
  • P-3 horn
  • Roof mounted bell
  • 4000 gallon fuel tank w/ dual fuel fillers
  • Early style ballast blocks on walkway in front of cab
  • Large SP style armrests
  • Late cut levers with loops
  • Whip antenna


  • Stratolite beacon on cab; effect with DCC/sound version
  • Rebuilt “L” window cab
  • Blanked front & rear gyralights
  • 3-hose MU clusters
  • Chickenwire grills
  • Early inertial air intake
  • Total of 3 cab vents

#5309 & #5315:

  • Front & rear clear gyralights; effect with DCC/sound version. 
  • Red gyralights are non operational
  • 4-hose MU clusters
  • FARR grills
  • Total of 4 cab vents
  • Conductor side SP toolbox and 3 short stanchion handrails 
  • As delivered “L” window cab
  • Late inertial air intake

The 26 SD39s owned by Southern Pacific spent a significant amount of time working the steep grades of Tehachapi. In later years, the venerable locomotives were regulated to hauler service in the LA basin area. As time went by, the Southern Pacific lettering tended to decay and the paint colors faded under the California sun.


  • Late fans
  • Extended range dynamic brakes
  • P-3 horn
  • Roof mounted bell
  • Whip antenna
  • Chickenwire grills
  • L window cab
  • Total of 4 cab vents
  • 4-hose MU clusters
  • 4000 gallon fuel tank with dual fuel fillers
  • Early style ballast blocks on walkway in front of cab
  • Front & rear clear gyralights; effect with DCC/sound version
  • Red gyralights are non operational

These particular units lasted well into the 1970s before receiving the large “SP” initials on the nose.


  • Hinged battery box doors
  • Rear hand brake 
  • Illuminated ditch lights
  • Spare knuckles on rear pilot
  • Large Sinclair antenna on ground plane
  • Nathan 3-chime horn mounted on long hood per prototype
  • Cab air conditioner painted per prototype
  • Rear slug control box installed
  • Modeler-installed front slug control box included in poly bag (not installed due to interference with ditch lights)
  • Late cut levers with loops
  • Etched mirror on fireman’s side
  • All-weather window on engineer’s side


  • Electronic bell
  • RCL warning labels
  • Cab mounted Xenon strobe; effect with DCC/sound version
  • Patches on cab and long hood per prototype


  • Hinged battery box doors
  • Rear hand brake 
  • Illuminated ditch lights
  • Spare knuckles on rear pilot
  • Large & small Sinclair antennas on ground planes
  • Faded paint to match prototype photos
  • Horn placement and orientation per prototype photos
  • Other details same as BNSF Heritage 1 units 

BNSF continued to use its reliable SD39s in yard and transfer service just as Santa Fe had. The 2300-HP locomotives lasted well into the 2000s before they were sold off to locomotive dealers. Initially, the SD39s were renumbered into the 6200 series, and they would be subsequently renumbered into the 1900 series in the 2000s.

Several of the SD39s were painted into the Heritage I scheme, reminiscent of the colors used by the Great Northern.

One particular unit, BNSF 1914 (formerly the 6204), even received an unofficial “Rocky the Goat” herald on its nose, after the unit had been patched with “GN” on its flanks in anticipation of its upcoming retirement. However, the veteran EMD operated in this guise for several years, providing Great Northern fans with an opportunity to see what a GN SD39 might have looked like.


  • Fully assembled and ready-to-run
  • Separately applied wire grab irons
  • Separately applied air tanks
  • Coupler cut levers
  • Rubber MU hoses
  • Photo-etch stainless steel windshield wipers
  • Fine scale handrails molded in engineering plastic
  • Non-sound version features 21-pin NEM DCC plug
  • See-through dynamic brake and radiator fans
  • Curved radiator fan grab iron
  • Exhaust stack
  • Frame mounted bell (unless noted)
  • Detailed 4000 gallon fuel tank (unless different capacity is noted)
  • Flexicoil-C trucks with high or low brake cylinders (per prototype)
  • McHenry scale knuckle spring couplers
  • Highly-detailed, injection molded body featuring new tooling
  • Painted and printed for realistic decoration
  • See through cab windows
  • Bi-directional LED lighting 
  • All-wheel drive with precision gears for smooth and quiet operation
  • All-wheel electrical pickup
  • 5-pole motor with flywheels and multi-link drivetrain for trouble-free operation
  • Wheels with RP25 contours operate on all popular brands of track
  • Window packaging for easy viewing
  • Interior plastic blister safely holds the model for convenient storage
  • Minimum radius: 18”
  • Recommended radius: 22”


  • Onboard Econami sound decoder by Soundtraxx
  • Engine startup sound sequence
  • Dynamic brake sound or Non-Dynamic Straight to idle on F4
  • Extra prime mover and horn sounds exclusive to Athearn version Sounds recorded from a real EMD 12-645E3
  • Multiple bell sound files user configurable via Configuration Value (CV) 
  • Sound units operate in both DC and DCC
  • Full DCC functions available when operated in DCC mode
  • Engine, horn, and bell sounds work in DC
  • All functions NMRA compatible in DCC mode
  • Excellent Slow speed control
  • Current Keeper ready with on board expansion plug
  • Operating lighting functions with F5 and/or F6 
  • Program a multiple unit (MU) lashup with lead unit only horn, bell, and lights
  • Many functions can be altered via CV changes


  • Duplicated look and feel of “In Service”equipment; “Tattered and Torn” just like the real thing
  • Faded base colors matched to the prototype
  • Patches applied and shaped per road number matching each corresponding side to the prototype
  • Perfect starting point for adding grime and rust 


In 1966, EMD updated its locomotive catalog with entirely new models, all powered by the new 645 diesel engine. The SD39 had 2,300 hp from a turbocharged V12. The SD39 had the smallest prime mover of the SD locomotives in the EMD catalog. 54 were built for American railroads. 

This page is based on the copyrighted Wikipedia article “EMD SD39”; it is used under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License (CC-BY-SA). You may redistribute it, verbatim or modified, providing that you comply with the terms of the CC-BY-SA.


DCC: Econami
SOUND: Equipped
Minimum Age Recommendation: 14 years
Is Assembly Required: No