U18B Dates Built: March, 1973 to October, 1976 Number Built: 163
The GE U18B was introduced as a branch line roadswitcher in 1973. Easy to spot due to it's relativety short length -54ft 8in- it was the only North American locomotive powered by the 8-cylinder 7FDL engine, identified by only having 4 hood doors in the engine compartment area.
Phases: phase Ia: a: entire hood below radiator is the same width as the radiator itself. b: intake screens are corrugated and project silghtly out from the hood sides. c: 2 round latches per hood door d: flat pilot face e: handrail notch in the step wells are full length f: retangular headlight casing Built Dates: March to May 1973 # Built: 25 (SCL #300-324)
phase Ib: * headlight casing becomes oval shaped Built Dates: Nov. 1973 to Nov. 1974 # Built: 127 (SCL #250-261*)(SCL #325-392) (NdeM #9000-9044) (Texas Utilities #101-102) * SCL #250-261 were built with small 1,200 gallon fuel tanks
phase IIa: * door latches become square and centered on hood doors Built Dates: May 1975 # Built: 10 (MEC #400-409)
phase IIb: * addition of anti-climber to front pilot Built Dates: October 1976 # Built: 1 (P&W #1801)
Here is a photo collage showing the two different sizes of fuel tanks.
Last Edit: Dec 19, 2014 23:16:37 GMT -5 by danraitz
Models available: phase Ia: N scale: None HO scale: Intermountain Railway Company*
* the cab headlight casing would have to be changed to the rectangular one. You could use any of the "Hi-Tech" pre-1972 cabs. Item #s 5000, 5001 & 5002
phase Ib: N scale: None HO scale: Intermountain Railway Company
phase IIa: N scale: None HO scale: Intermountain Railway Company
phase IIb: N scale: None HO scale: Intermountain Railway Company*
* There would have to an anti-climber added to the front pilot.
Note: Lionel did produce an HO scale U18B in the late 1970s. But, I've heard that it's body is even wider the Athearn "U" boats and that it was designed to go on their (Lionel's) GP7/9 chassis. Does anyone here have more knowledge of this model? If so, could you share it with us.
If anyone has an interest in kit-bashing one of these locomotives, there have been several modeling articles on that. The most recent was a 2 part article in the July/August 2010 and Sept/Oct 2010 "Model Railroad Hobbyist" E-Mag.
Last Edit: Dec 19, 2014 23:50:49 GMT -5 by danraitz
Another great segment Dan. Those Maine Central U18s spent their last days typically working out of Northern Maine Junction, often running to the paper mill at Bucksport, right past my childhood home. Good memories.
My step father did one of the Lionel U18s in 1980, removing foot boards side sill skirt,added Utah Pacific lift rings,handrail stanchions,modified Hobbytown universal geep chassis with Atlas side frames this all written on an index card in the box I'll send a photo if I can figure out how to upload it. Dale
Thought I would poke my head into this thread and mention how extraordinarily helpful this post has been!
Reading this before starting a recent project involving about 9 of the undec IMR U18B's just saved me a bunch of money nearly buying the wrong hi-tech details cabs. What many (nearly all) of the U18B write ups I have been through from the S-CL Modeler, MRH, and others generally model is the later phases, requiring the cabs with the oval headlights. At first I thought this was a tiny discrepancy, but it is probably the most distinctive feature of the early road numbers I chose to model, second only two the double vs single latch difference.