Friday 25 November 2022

CN 7104 SWeep

On a couple of recent posts over at George Dutka's White River Division blog (link at the sidebar), Peter Mumby has contributed features including the CN SWeep type engines.  I've got one in HO scale here that sees occasional time out on the layout, so building on Peter's posts, I'm going to feature my model of 7104 this week.

I kitbashed this model many years ago from an Athearn SW 1200 and an Athearn GP9 (or 7), and some Juneco parts that I found somewhere or other.

The model never really ran very well though, always stalling and jerking as it ran.  Never mattered how much I cleaned the wheels. I even swapped out the motor from another SW1200 to see if that might help, but it didn't really do much. One day I took it in to Pete's Trains in London and asked them to try to clean it up, convert it to DCC and add ditch lights, all of which they did.  Truth is though, that it still never really ran properly even after that.

The front end of 7104 on the programming track as the SWeep sits outside of the JSSX maintenance building.

DCC circuit board (not sure of the manufacturer, but maybe TCS) and the jumble of wires for the ditch lights installed by Scotty at Pete's Trains in London, Ont.

One day I was looking through the Athearn web site, and just by chance happened to see their locomotive wheel sets listed as replacement parts. My thoughts flashed immediately to the SWeep and I wondered if maybe new wheels would help it run better so I ordered a set.
The wheel sets come in a package of 6, but of course I only needed 4.

I'm no locomotive technician by any means, but I did manage to replace the wheel sets in the SWeep, and WOW, what a difference!  7104 runs like a charm now.

I've often thought of blanking out the CN logos, and re-lettering it for the JSSX.  Maybe one day...

In this side view 7104 is showing some wear and tear, with a few paint scrapes and cylinders damaged or missing altogether from the trucks.  I really should try to find new parts and add them.

The end view of the cab.  I've always thought that the five vertical windows make a cool feature on this model

Side view taken underneath the Gratiot Avenue overpass on the JSSX line

A view with the ditch lights activated

My 7104 coming around the bend as it returns to the yard

And finally for this week, this image of CSX at Fairport, NY after the big snowstorm last week.



  1. Did you replace old Athearn "sintered" metal wheels with solid nickle silver wheels? If so, that explains the transformation. It is amazing what they can do, and I am surprised Athearn never made them standard issue on the bluebox engines.

  2. Yes, the new set are nickel-silver. I suppose that would be the difference maker. Athearn probably kept using the sintered metal because they didn't have a real reason to change, knowing that us modelers would buy their models anyway. And then they could sell the nickel-silver sets as replacements and make money on them. I think it was Henry Ford that said he could give his cars away for free and still make money selling parts.