DM&IR 130: Resurrecting an SD9


One of my first Missabe locomotives was a Proto SD9, it was actually a pretty good deal. Bought it off someone changing prototypes and scales and it wasn’t operational so he through it in with a number of ore cars. The original problem ended up being stuck bearings on the worm gears which made it a good deal.

After a while I started having problems though and eventually I couldn’t even run it reliably on straight track, no matter what I did it just didn’t work and I ended up giving up and putting it in my doesn’t work box in a pile of parts. Since then I’ve learned a few tricks both tuning up other locomotives and fixing car problems.

While troubleshooting a problem with my wife’s car my mechanic, and father, used dielectric grease to improve electrical connectivity between contacts on a connector. Shortly after than I ended up fixing a problem with DM&IR 413 and unpowered frogs by, among other tweaks, using dielectric grease on the power pickups. Then one day while digging through my parts box fixing one of my son’s locos I came across the frame and decided to give it the dialectric treatment. Before long I had it running pretty well.

One of my reasons for giving up on it originally was because it is a bit out of my era, the Missabe sold it in July 1996 but the tunnel motors from the SP didn’t start arriving until December of that year. This is one of those situations where when I’m running it I’ll invoke the stretchable reality clause.

The Prototype

DM&IR 130, and EMD SD9, was built 1957 and was one of 74 SD9s owned by the Missabe, including #110 which was originally EMD Demonstrator 5591. It’s my understanding that 130 is still around but just sitting having ended up on the now bankrupt Modac Northern.


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