GP20 Diesel LocomotiveBurlington CB&Q
No. T228A -1962 Release
This Burlington example is likely the first roadname to have been offered on the TYCO GP20 model.
According to the Test Track evaluation in the January 1962 edition of Railroad Model Craftsman magazine, TYCO first shipped
its GP20 packed in the Black Diamond (No.6110) train sets in late 1961. The GP20 review states that TYCO would begin
shipping GP20 diesels as separate items by December 1961. Again the CB&Q example is stated as the only roadname
made, but that others would be in the works in the near future. Should this review's info be correct, and one would
have consider it very likely, it adds further evidence to the case that the black Illinois Central GP20 only exists as a pre-production
catalog model and was never produced for sale.
GP20 Diesel LocomotiveBurlington Northern
Over the years, TYCO offered at least three Cascade Green BN GP20 models.
The first one has been confirmed to have existed in the later part of the Red Box Era and would likely have been issued about
the same time the Burlington Northern came into being itself in March 1970. This first Red Box example BN GP20 features
the BN logo and railroad name placed below the cab windows. A later TYCO GP20 in BN from possibly the mid-'70s features
the same lettering, but the BN logo and railroad name has moved down along the lower section of the unit's long hood.
Finally, TYCO produced in large quantity a bright green BN GP20 first cataloged in 1979. This model had a very large
BN logo on its long hood and remained in the TYCO line until the early 1990s.
GP20 Diesel LocomotiveCanadian National
No. T228K -1966 Release
There are variations to the numbering
used by TYCO for its GP20 offerings. The CN model likely survives also into the 1970s and the Brown Box Era and may
also have been a Canadian-only offering at some point in its career. TYCO catalogs this CN GP-20 in its 1966-67 and
GP20 Diesel LocomotiveChicago
& North Western
No. T228J -1966 Release
GP20 Diesel LocomotiveDenver
& Rio Grande
No. T228F -1963 Release
GP20 Diesel LocomotiveIllinois
Though it does not resemble the pre-production
prototype GP20 dressed in Illinois Central's "green diamond" black scheme, TYCO did offer an Illinois Central GP20 during
the Red Box Era. The model featured the layout of Illinois Central's late 1960s orange-and-white paint scheme, however
TYCO used silver and red for its colors. Compared to Illinois Central's prototype, the white is silver and
orange is red on the Red Box Era TYCO GP20.
GP20 Diesel LocomotiveNew
No. T228D -1962 Release
GP20 Diesel LocomotivePenn Central
GP20 Diesel LocomotiveSanta Fe
No. T228B -1962 Release
The Santa Fe blue and yellow freight scheme GP20 arrives first in TYCO's 1962 catalog and
would remain in the line into the middle 1970s.
GP20 Diesel LocomotiveReading
No. T228E -1962 Release
GP20 Diesel LocomotiveSt.
Louis Southwestern (Cotton Belt)
No. T228G -1963 Release
GP20 Diesel LocomotiveSouthern
No. T228H -1964 Release
GP20 Diesel LocomotiveUnion
No. T228C -1962 Release
Found first in TYCO's 1961 Catalog, the EMD GP20 Diesel Locomotive
was only shown in a train set that first year. TYCO's Black Diamond (Set No. 6110) was powered by a black Illinois Central
GP20. The model shown in '61 appears to be a pre-production example, as it does not favor the appearance of later production
models. The GP20 is not listed as available separately and no other roadname, beyond IC, is provided in the 1961 catalog.
According to a review of the then-new GP20 in a January '62 edition of Railroad Model Craftsman magazine, the Burlington example
is the first and only roadname initially offered by TYCO.
Beginning with the 1968-69 catalog, TYCO no longer listed individual
roadnames for its diesels. This remains true for the 1969-70 and 1970-71 catalogs.
Retail Price for the Powered GP20
in 1962-63, 1963-64, 1964-65, 1965-66, 1966-67, 1967-68, and 1968-69 was $12.95. The price is $13.00 in 1969-70 and $14.00
A Non-Powered GP20 was available, carrying stock number 231, for $5.98 in 1962-63, 1963-64, 1964-65, 1965-66,
and 1966-67. The Non-Powered GP20 is not listed again beginning with the 1967-68 catalog.
Kit versions of the GP20
became available in the 1963-64 catalog. The Powered Kit, carrying the stock number K228, sold for $9.98 in the 1963-64, 1964-65,
and 1965-66 catalogs. The Powered Kit is $10.98 in the 1967-68 catalog. The Non-Powered Kit, carrying the stock number K231,
sold for $3.98 in the 1963-64, 1964-65, 1965-66, and 1966-67. The Non-Powered Kit is not found in the 1967-68 catalog. TYCO
stops listing diesel kits as of the 1968-69 catalog.
The image below is part of a full-page TYCO ad from the November
1962 edition of Railroad Model Craftsman magazine. The ad announces that TYCO is now offering in kit form the F9 and
GP20 models. The GP20 is announced as being offered in "the 5 most wanted road names" in the new kits for $9.98
An EMD GP20 without the dynamic brake feature was a rare prototype. The New York Central
is the only buyer of the GP20 minus dynamics. For most of its life in the TYCO line, the GP20 was offered as a non-dynamic
brake equipped model. During the Red Box Era however one could upgrade a GP20 with the dynamic brake molding.
TYCO part number 6500 selling for forty-nine cents was a black plastic dynamic brake that fit onto the GP20 shell. Examples
have also been seen of a Santa Fe GP20 in a TYCO Red Box with a burst-sticker on the box noting the addition of a dynamic
brake on the model.
Click on any of the following thumbnail images to view
TYCO's Instruction Sheets and Parts Diagrams for the GP-20...
How Dealers Might Have Gotten Them...
Below is about as "mint" an example as one might locate for a 1960s TYCO
GP20 model. The window display boxes were solid with a "Please Remove For Display" flap as seen in the image.
GP20 Dynamic Brake
TYCO offered a separate dynamic brake casting for the GP20 model.
Additionally, I have observed examples of a Santa Fe GP20 in Red Box Era packaging that included the dynamic brake on the
model and a note on the packaging stated the model was equipped with dynamic brakes.