The HO Scale MLW M420 - Never Before Made in Plastic
Rapido Trains Inc. is proud to reveal its latest all- Canadian model in HO Scale, Montreal Locomotive Works M420 locomotive, MLW’s answer to the popular GMD GP38-2.
The early 1970s were a time of massive change in Canadian locomotive design. CN’s mechanical boss, Bob Radford, worked with MLW designers, locomotive crews and the unions to devise a new cab design for freight road locomotives. This would become known as a (Canadian) Comfort/Safety Cab. The first units to be equipped with this cab was the M420 and it hit the rails in 1973, just a few weeks before the similarly-equipped GP38-2(W).
The M420 was equipped with the ALCO 12V-251c3 prime mover producing 2000 H.P. Most M420 units rode on MLW ZWT (Zero Weight- Transfer) trucks. The only exception to this were the 5 units built for the Providence & Worcester, which rode on ALCO trade-in FA trucks. The P&W required a different bolster design and different truck spacing, making them unique.
MLW constructed 103 M420s between May 1973 and February 1977 for four railways including CN (80), BCR (16 including eight B units), Ferrocarriles del Estado (2), Providence & Worcester (5).
CN would take delivery of the M420s in 3 groups: MR-20a class 2500-2529 (delivered 1973), MR-20b class 2530- 2559 (delivered 1974), and MR-20c class 2560-2579 (delivered 1976).
All of the CN units were retired by 1998 and today many of these locomotives have found second careers on short lines all over North America.