N Scale ACES: The Broadway Limited Imports SD70ACe

The Prototype

Launched in 2004, the SD70ACe was the 21st Century successor to the SD70MAC. Sporting a now iconic redesigned cab, and capable of producing 4300 horsepower, the SD70ACe was EMD’s answer to General Electric’s highly successful Evolution series. Produced in compliance with the EPA’s Tier 2 emissions standards, the first generation of ACes were able to cut emissions by 15% from their predecessors. Most major class one operators purchased a substantial number of the type, including the Union Pacific Railway, BNSF, and Norfolk Southern, while some roads such as CSX were more conservative with their orders. Several regional operators such as Montana Rail Link and Florida East Coast also invested in the type, with short lines such as Tacoma Rail and the Arkansas and Missouri Railroad even ordering a few examples.

A 4500 horsepower Tier 3 compliant example was launched later into production, and in 2015 the type was succeeded by the SD70ACe-T4, which featured a redesigned nose profile and new EMD 12-1010 motor. Despite this displacement, the majority of the original SD70ACe fleet continues in front line service to this day, and remains rostered with all original operators with the exception of CSX and Florida East Coast.

The Model

Although this isn’t the first release of the Broadway Limited Imports SD70ACe, this was a highly anticipated run. While the original release in late 2019 focused on units from Norfolk Southern and Union Pacific (including those painted in their respective heritage unit programs), this release widened the focus to a much larger selection of railroads – and some very eye catching paint schemes.

Examples in This Release

Units painted for CSX, Canadian National, Kansas City Southern, and BNSF join the fleet as the latest class one additions to the line, while several more Union Pacific examples are also featured. These include the strikingly decorated military unit, George Bush Sr. unit in both standard and funeral configuration, and the most recent addition to their commemorative roster; the Powered By Our People unit.

Other notable paint schemes include the EMD demonstrator scheme, units painted for BHP Billiton (found in Australia), and the ex-CSX scheme worn by PRLX locomotive #4834, which was made famous in the railfan community when it received unofficial heritage status after being graffitied with hand-painted C&O logos. In addition to the standard (yet vibrant) Kansas City Southern scheme, their veteran’s commemorative unit has also been included in this release.

Features & Details

Displaying the same high quality construction found on the first release, all variations of the SD70ACe include a sharply molded plastic shell adorned with scale details such as recessed paneling, doors, scale walkway treads, and finely produced window frames. Rooftop details such as molded 3D fan vents have also been included.

Additional separately manufactured details include windshield wipers, cab sunshades, fine scale plastic handrails, rooftop details such as a horn and exhaust stack, and road name-specific cab equipment such as air conditioners and varying antenna arrays.

Paint schemes have been sharply applied, displaying correct color tones, and all models feature clear logos, lettering, and even certain smaller features such as warning notices and (simulated) reflective striping. The replication of challenging schemes such as the camouflage on the military commemorative units has been completed with excellent precision, and the ex-CSX PRLX scheme appropriately features a slightly different blue patch covering where the CSX logo would have been. The C&O logos additionally appear to replicate the actual hand-painted logos seen on this locomotive, rather than a generic C&O stamp.

Operation and Electronics

Just as you’d expect with any new Broadway Limited Imports model, all versions of the SD70ACe feature built-in Paragon3 DCC and sound with Rolling Thunder compatibility and dual mode capability.

All models include an appropriately weighted metal chassis, giving the locomotives excellent traction and pulling performance, and as with the previous release, have been equipped with industry-standard knuckle style couplers.

Directional LED lighting has been fitted to these locomotives, displaying a prototypical warm-white color tone, and functioning ditch lights have been added to both the front and rear of the models.

Sound Features

As mentioned above, all models are Rolling Thunder compatible, meaning you can enhance the realism of the sound by using Broadway Limited Import’s smart subwoofer system. Sounds featured include a prototypical variable length horn, bell, and prime mover, with all the usual Broadway Limited extras including a walk-up effect prior to the startup sequence, radio chatter, announcements, and a range of ambient effects.

The Broadway Limited Imports SD70ACe is an essential addition to any modern N scale railroad! Watch our video review of the first release examples here

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