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. For years this engine was left to a flat kit in HO scale or brass versions. N scale offered nothing until Atlas brought their model to market; which matches the MP prototype.
In HO scale, Athearn Genesis GP15-1 and GP15AC’s are the quintessential models of this small, but ubiquitous road switcher. Athearn Genesis models ARE road number and road name specific. They really captured the look of this locomotive; and the engine’s details are unmatched with any other offering in HO scale. I’ve included a photo exhibition of an Athearn Genesis MoPac GP15-1 under construction. There are two different versions shown..as the Athearn offerings can be built into ALL phases of the MP engines. I have 7 of these units on the Joppa Sub roster…trying to encompass all versions.