The new MTH Premier SCL SD45 Hi-Rail version arrived today.  Overall its perfect with only two minor issues.  The packaging is so tight the front and rear handrails are bent inwards. I don't want to stress crack the metal or plastic so any advice would be appreciated.  Same for the crooked horn.  I hope it snaps out and can be replaced.  Aside from that, its a stunning loco and I have provided pics of the recently acquired matching caboose as well.





MTH 20-20457-1 SCL SD45 - 1

MTH 20-20457-1 SCL SD45 - 3

MTH 20-20457-1 SCL SD45 - 4

MTH 20-20457-1 SCL SD45 - 5

MTH 20-20457-1 SCL SD45 - 7

MTH 20-20457-1 SCL SD45 - 8

MTH 20-20457-1 SCL SD45 - 9

MTH 20-20457-1 SCL SD45 - 10

MTH 20-20457-1 SCL SD45 - 12

MTH 20-20457-1 SCL SD45 - 14

MTH 20-20457-1 SCL SD45 - 15

MTH 20-20457-1 SCL SD45 - 16

MTH 20-20457-1 SCL SD45 - 17

MTH 20-20457-1 SCL SD45 - 18




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Last edited by Mike W.
Original Post

Thanks for sharing the pictures. It looks just awesome!


I have 2 of these preordered with my local hobby shop so hopefully I'll be getting a call from him soon. I already have the caboose, same road # as yours.


I'm surprised to see this model with illuminated front and rear class lights. My SD50s do not have them.


Speaking of my SD50s, I have to replace the grill cover that goes over the smoke stack on both engines. I posted this on another thread. I've already contacted Midge at MTH about this and she said they do not have this part in stock and that they would let me know when it arrives.


If you're looking at replacing the bent horn you might be looking at the same scenario.


The railings are an easy fix. You just have to gently pull back on them to straighten them out. I did that with a few other locomotives that were new.

Never argue with a fool, onlookers may not be able to tell the difference.

Glad the product has finally arrived.

Yeah. never liked the MTH horn on those. My number board - light section over the cab was hanging by the wires when I opened the container on my EL. Sent it back. Refuse to fix anymore MTH Quality issues.

The railings are flexible, so you can adjust them.


Here is another SCL OGR guy -


We need more SCL items. I ordered the Waffle car, it's hard to screw that piece up.





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While I can't guaranty anything, I have bent the handrails back to straight on about every engine I have. They all are tipped at least a little.

 I got a SW1500 with the horns bent down. I was trying to order replacements when it was suggested that I first try to straighten them. Against my judgement, they straightened up just fine. I was surprised they didn't crack off. Maybe I was lucky?

" on Sour mash and cheap wine " ??

Why go back to DCC when I have DCS!

I don't care for the horn either. My Western Maryland SD40-2 that I recently sold had the same 5-chime airhorn.


WM SD40-2

Never argue with a fool, onlookers may not be able to tell the difference.


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Thanks for posting those engines will be here on Wednesday...I am excited.


Those colors won't impress some...but, they are beautiful to me! I do wish MTH had screwed up and put the "Pulling for You" slogan on this model and/or numbered it for a locomotive with the slogan.  I am sure there all kinds of accuracy issues with this wish...but, it would look just a tad better.


Thanks to MTH for making this one!!!


Last edited by SD60M

These are very nice looking engines. Pictures here are very nice as well. This is a nice engine and I think MTH has done a good job with it. Although I don't know the details of the real ones, these look really good to me. I have also had many bent hand rails and was able to carefully straighten them without too much effort. The horns I haven't yet had a problem with, never tried to straighten one of those so not sure how that will work out. Maybe you will be able to straighten it as Engineer-Joe has done with his?


I saw the BNSF version of this model at my LHS yesterday and I am wishing I hadn't ordered the RK scale version about a year before this one appeared in the catalog. If I had know this one was coming out I certainly would have waited.  The Premier version is much nicer looking than mine, much better detailing and it just has a much better look to it overall. I was thinking there probably wouldn't be all that much difference between the two, but seeing the new one yesterday has changed my mind completely on that. Maybe I can cut a deal with my LHS, perhaps like a used car trade in. 


The RK scale version has very good sound, it's one of the best sounding MTH engines I have. I would hope the Premier version would be at least as good. They may be using the same sound files? 

Last edited by rtr12

Great pictures! I got myself the Wisconsin Central and Caboose.


"Passing the torch to the next generation of railroaders, one whistle toot at a time"

See me on Youtube


Looks more like a Leslie 147


Yup, another issue was the HO sized number fonts. Like I said, MTH had to eat it when it was sent back for a refund. No longer paying high dollars and accepting all the lazy over looked issues.(Bill)

Last edited by SIRT
Originally Posted by DaveJfr0:

Horn looks like it should be a Leslie RS-3L.  A lot of other types of SCL units had Leslie S-5T's.  Both are only available from Des Plaines Hobbies as a brass kit (AFAIK). If its like other MTH horns, it has two long metal prongs that go into the shell and then are twisted inside the shell so the horn stays tight to the shell.  You will have to undo that to get the horn out.  You may damage the horn in the removal process.  They use the same generic 5-chime horn for a lot of units these days for both Leslie and Nathan types.


The numberboard number font is incorrect.  They seem to use the same numberboard font for every locomotive no matter the road. For the era depicted (no pulling for you), the headlight housing should be black, not silver. The no pulling for you slogan was post 1974.


I don't get why the big importers don't ask any modelers to proofread their artwork for them.  Most modelers with a vetted interest would help for free.


[EDIT:] Number on side of cab looks smaller than it should be, but hard to tell from photos. My father had 2 units and a caboose shipped to me for weathering, so I'll check them out when I get them.  I'll probably redo the numberboards for him while I'm at it.  I don't think he cares about horn accuracy, so I'll prob leave those be.

Road number is smaller then it should be. But at least the headlights are in the right place even if the housing is silver. In some ways, I agree with SIRT although I don't think MTH cares. The only way you would get their attention is if everyone returned them.

US Army retired

Suncoast Regional Coordinator 

First Florida  Chapter of the MVPA HAZMAT SME(RID,DOD,IATA,ADR,CFR 49)  


The tipped-in handrails are typical on O-scale diesels. Simply grasp the handrails at the base between your index finger and thumb and bend slightly outwards as needed. You won't have to move it much. (Grasp at the base of the wires.) I've had to do this with all my higher-end hood diesels, any brand, so far as I can remember.


The horn is most likely a brass lost-wax casting. If so, the bent part is bendable - once or twice. You can straighten it yourself. Hold the casting as securely as you can at the base and using your other hand bend the "trumpet" to a better angle. Be patient. Bit by bit.


The entire horn is too high, I'd say. I have a Lionel CSX SD-40-2 that came with the horn in the wrong place for CSX (cab roof) and that stuck up way too high.


I worked the casting out of the plastic roof (pliers at the base; patience), drilled a hole back near the fans (correct spot); shortened the horn "post" and inserted the horn (with epoxy or CA - I forget). Filled the hole in the cab roof and re-painted the roof with a brush and good acrylic (no brush marks).


Now the horn is in the right spot and doesn't look like it's sticking up 5 feet above the roof.

I did not remove the body for any of this.


You don't have to do all this, of course - I'm just demonstrating that you can solve some problems yourself, for free, and learn something to boot. And my loco looks better.



My # board / lights were hanging by wires too...the horn is attached to that.  However that assembly just pushes back in place.  Perhaps the wires snap off and the entire piece with horn can be swapped out if needed.  


I would have never guessed the horn was brass and not plastic but after looking at how its bent without stretch marks it has to be brass.


Per an older post looks like they were correct in leaving off "Pulling for You."  Though I remember that phrase well.  


Now if they would offer a Seaboard System or Family Line unit I am sold as well.







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Last edited by Mike W.

The handrails typically bend back pretty easily without doing any damage from my experience.   Of course I am not looking at yours up close and personal,  so care is suggested and sounds like you focus too.


The cast horns are bent on purpose I have found out,  a reproduction of the real thing so they say,  it takes some getting used too...........  kinda strange IMO.


Enjoy......  nice paint scheme for the SCL being a Florida guy.  Like it!

Your funny that you bring up the horn on this unit, well I just found a video on youtube, which isn't mine but sharing. It was uploaded on Oct 24th, 2015. That he quotes this in the description box below the video on YT.


"After the success of the two horns for the former Southern Railway U-23B number 3965 I was appointed to build a horn for SARM's newest locomotive, former EMD SD45 from the Seaboard Coastline Railway.

This horn is a Leslie S-5TRRO with variable orifice. In this audio a slide show of photos play with the locomotive in it original paint and current paint without lettering as well as the horn before and after paint."


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