GP38 vs GP40 vs GP38ac differences

RailMix Jun 7, 2021

  1. RailMix

    RailMix TrainBoard Member

    I'm slowly working on putting together a collection of Huron and Eastern diesels. So far, I haven't been extremely particular, taking in stride the inaccuracies in manufacturers' offerings. As an example, I haven't gotten too excited about substitution of a GP38-2 for a GP38.

    My dilemma is this:
    This engine is for sale on ebay and will probably sell at a fairly reasonable price:

    HO Scale Atlas Genesee & Wyoming GP-38 Locomotive | eBay

    I am considering using my Alps printer to do a minor rework on the decal job to represent this one:

    HESR 2026 (

    One of the most glaring differences is the prototype's lack of number boards on the B end, but I am sure there are others. The prototype HESR 2026 started life as a GP40, but was downgraded to a GP38ac somwhere along the line. Not being familiar with the fine points of diesel detailing, I'm wondering if this could be reasonable representation of the prototype, or would it be better to pass?
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2021
  2. Randy Stahl

    Randy Stahl TrainBoard Supporter

    a GP40 has three radiator cooling fans , I can see where they reduced the radiator section. the GP 40 also has a turbo exhaust stack whereas a GP 48 has two exhaust stacks above the prime mover.

    They installed a new engine air filter box in front of the dunamic brake hatch.

    The only external difference that I can see is the reduced radiator section. I would overlook that so yeah , buy it.

  3. Mike VE2TRV

    Mike VE2TRV TrainBoard Member

    There's basically no external difference between a GP38 and a GP38AC.

    On the inside, the GP38AC has an alternator instead of a main generator, like the GP38-2, but lacks the solid-state electronics of the Dash 2 series.
  4. RailMix

    RailMix TrainBoard Member

    Thanks, BTW, for the replies to this inquiry. Unfortunately, by the time bidding was over, the price had spiraled totally out of control.
  5. N-Jineer

    N-Jineer TrainBoard Member

    Out of control is an understatement! A used item selling for $7 less than MRP?!? Reckon the seller actually made a profit on it.
    Mike VE2TRV likes this.

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