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. Before the Athearn Genesis unit came out; all we had to model this engine was a GP15-1 flat kit from Smokey Valley; and the late 1990’s versions of the engine in brass from Overland Models.
In HO scale, Athearn Genesis GP15-1 and GP15AC’s are definitive 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.