Missouri Pacific had the largest fleet of EMD GP15-1’s in the railroad industry. Conrail’s fleet of 100 units was second to the MP’s 160 GP15-1’s; and 30 additional “GP15AC” units; which brought the total fleet to 190 GP15’s. MP sought a replacement for their aging GP7/9 fleets and EMD’s answer was the GP15-1.
This engine was basically an MP15DC with a road-switcher body and “Dash Two” cab and front end. It was truly another multi-purpose unit for the MP; seen in all types of services. Additionally, the units were assigned system-wide on the MP.
In my home town…it was a common sight to see these little engines working the flat yard in West Frankfort, and on the various locals coming and going 7 days a week during the late 1970s. These engines were regularly mixed in with EMD GP38-2’s and sometimes GE B23-7’s in their assigned duties on the Joppa Sub.
Modeling the GP15-1 is easy now with Athearn Genesis version on the market in HO scale; and Atlas in N scale. Fortunately, Atlas N Scale version matches the MP prototypes; with the double grab iron ladders going up the rear of the long hood. In HO scale, Athearn Genesis GP15-1 and GP15AC’s are the quintessential models of this short road switcher. Overland Models did a run of them in 1999; and I believe Hallmark models did one as well. Smokey Valley has a flat kit available to assemble, and Walthers Trainline has their GP15-1 on the market with an updated drive. The Walthers engine is cheaper, but it also has mis-matched details on the engines; and is not road-number or road-name specific. Athearn Genesis models ARE road number and road name specific. Here is a photo exhibition of an Athearn Genesis MoPac GP15-1 under construction. THANKS ATHEARN!!!!