Athearn has announced the release of HO EMD F7A and F7B units in the Santa Fe 325 Class Yellowbonnet scheme. Units are available with or without DCC and sound. Available set and units: A/B set numbered #339L/348A. Individual units: F7A #326L; F7B unit #345A. Orders due July 31, 2020, with an estimated arrival date of June 2021.
The Santa Fe’s Yellowbonnet scheme was the result of the FRA Visibility-Audibility study conducted from 1970 to 1972. The recommendation to the Santa Fe was “put more yellow up front”. In an effort to improve highway/railroad grade crossing visibility, Santa Fe standardized on the Yellowbonnet paint scheme for its diesel locomotive fleet in mid-June 1972.
Eight 325 Class cab units from the original 325 Class were painted with variations of nose stripes and “cigar-band” nose medallions applied to them. Four units — 334L, 340L, 341L and 344L — had a solid blue “cigar-band” nose emblem with a blue stripe running up and over the headlight to the base of the windshield as well as below the medallion. Two — 326L and 339L — had a hollow black outline type “cigar-band” nose medallion with solid blue stripe up and over the headlight and below the medallion. The 330L had a hollow black outline type “cigar-band” nose medallion but no blue nose stripe. Another variation was found on 328L with a hollow black outline “cigar-band” nose medallion and blue stripe above the “cigar-band” nose medallion but not below it. These units all have black trucks and under frame, and blue pilot and blue ends. The frame stripe was painted aluminum, except for the 334L and 339L which both had the frame stripe painted yellow. Booster units had blue ends, a wide yellow sill stripe and retained the Indian Head medallion.
The Athearn GENESIS Santa Fe 325 Class cab units are #326L and #339L that have the hollow black outline type “cigar-band” nose medallion with solid blue stripe up and over the headlight and below the medallion. The Athearn GENESIS Santa Fe 325 Class booster units #345A and #348A are former Santa Fe 300 Class booster units renumbered into the expanded 325 Class during 1973. The booster units have blue ends, a wide yellow sill stripe and the Indian Head medallion. The cab and booster units have the 5-inch tall Railroad Roman-style “SANTA FE” lettering on the sides.
Detail errors appear in the Athearn artwork for Santa Fe 325 Class cab units #326L and #339L and booster unit #345A. Santa Fe 325 Class cab units #326L and #339L show the water filler hatch located in the wrong place on Santa Fe cab units. It should be located at the rear of the unit behind the rear side door. Santa Fe 325 Class cab unit #326L and booster unit #345A have the incorrect Maintenance Point Name stencil. It should be ARGENTINE not CLEBURNE. Photos verify. The artwork does appear to show the correct cab unit front pilot for both cab units — Santa Fe “FT” style pilot with footboards.
Thanks to member Ralph Back for the writeup. Images courtesy of Athearn.