Atlas or Athearn with loco?

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by CSX, Oct 28, 2005.

  1. CSX

    CSX Member

    What is better with deisel? Atlas or Athearn? Thanks!
  2. sumpter250

    sumpter250 multiscale modelbuilder

    Atlas is better than Athearn, Athearn is less expensive than Atlas. There is a difference between the Athearn "ready to roll", and the "Genesis" line. The Athearn "Genesis" line is very close to Atlas in both quality, and cost.
  3. CSX

    CSX Member

    Alright, thanks!
  4. brakie

    brakie Active Member

    The newer none BB RTR engines such as the SD50/60,CF7,GP35,SD45T-2 are on par with Atlas and Kato..

    Athearn is no longer just Blue Box like years before..Now we must understand the different types of models Athearn makes...To top that off the latest releases of RTR BB GP38-2 and GP40-2 has metal grabs with the plastic scale size hand rails..The early release of the BB RTR GP38-2/40-2 lacked the grabs but has the new scale size handrails as does the RTR SD40-2..... :eek:

    Keep in mind Athearn now uses their new hex line drive shaft which quiets the drive down... :thumb:

    Also keep in mind Atlas has different classes of locomotives. :eek:
  5. CSX

    CSX Member

    I am confused.
  6. stuart_canada

    stuart_canada Member

    Athearn has various levels of models they offer
    depending on the detail you want , they have a model line for you

    Athearn blue box line.
    you get the model and a bag of detail parts that may or may not be correct for your model.
    one set fits all models for that type of model produced
    lowest price and value.

    HO KIT F7A Super, CN/Zebra Stripes [ATH3247]
    Announced 4/15/2001
    Retail Price: $39.50

    Ready To Roll model line

    detail parts added and for the basic model, they put it together for you

    HO RTR F7 A/B, CN/Zebra [ATH80393]
    Announced 5/10/2005
    Retail Price: $69.98

    Genesis Line

    HO F7A w/DCC & Sound, CN #9100 [ATHG10261]
    Announced 6/7/2005
    Retail Price: $199.98

    Detailed Information

    DC Mode Features

    • All sound functions are operated by a wireless handheld remote (DC mode only). No additional control box is required to access advanced sound features.
    • The six-button wireless remote allows control of the horn, bell, coupler crash, brake squeal, dynamic brake and brake air release.
    • Additional programmable features allow for different bell and horn tones, coupler on/off, bell rate, directional lights on/off and volume control.
    • Allows for creation of multiple unit lashup with horn, bell and lights on the lead unit only.
    DCC Mode Features

    • Compatible with all NMRA standard DCC systems
    • Programable for either 2 digit or 4 digit address
    • Programable start voltage
    • Programable acceleration/deceleration rate
    • Programmable top voltage
    • Programmable speed steps
    • Programmable individual unit sound volume
    • Access to special lighting effects: Mars light, Gyralight, beacon or strobe
    • Advanced consisting
    • Access to nineteen accessory sound functions

    HO F7A, CN #9100 [ATHG1026]
    Announced 6/7/2005
    Retail Price: $129.98
    HO F7A, CN #9100 Key Features

    • Researched from the prototype to match specific units
    • Genesis driveline with dynamically balanced five pole skew wound motor and dual flywheels
    • Directional constant lighting
    • Seperately applied photo etched and injection molded detail parts
    • Cab interior
    That is jsut the basics for one model they make in the various skill levels or level of detail. What it really comes down to is what your needs are, how much work you want to put into a model detail wise, how much your willing to part with, how much time you have to put the extras on the model

    Atlas Offers a couple line of models also

    Trainman Model Line


    • The same drive as our basic Master Series™, in an affordable locomotive
    • Five-pole skewed armature motor with dual flywheels
    • Separately applied hand rails and end railings
    • Matching cabooses available separately
    • Locating dimples for grab irons
    • True scale dimensions with accurate details
    • Realistic die-cast underframes
    • Equipped with AccuMate® Couplers
    • As with our Master Series™ GP-38, this model features either a 2,600 or 3,600 gallon fuel tank, depending on the prototype.
    • 69.95
    Master Line

    Features Include:
    -Realistic die-cast underframe
    -Five-pole skewed armature motor with dual flywheels for optimum performance at all speeds
    -Directional lighting
    -Factory-equipped with AccuMate® knuckle couplers
    -Detailed cab interior with crew
    -Separately-installed scale windshield wipers, metal grab irons and fine scale handrails
    -Movable drop steps
    -Walkway safety tread
    -Coupler cut bars
    -Multiple unit hoses and trainline hoses

    Additional feature parts included but not installed:
    -Electrical cabinet air filter box (ECAFB)
    -Two engine compartment roof vents which were added by many railroads sometime after delivery (GP-40 only)

    The GP-38 and GP-40 locomotives are available in dynamic or non-dynamic brake versions, with either a 2600 or 3600 gallon fuel tank as appropriate by railroad.

    As an AtlasMaster locomotive, these units will come equipped with the NEW 4-Function HO Dual-Mode Decoder pre-installed.

    So with altas also it is up to decide the level of detail and extras you require.

    All major model train companies are now offering a basic line up and more detailed line up.
    Hope that helps explains the differences in the model lines.

    I have the Basic line of Athearn and very pleased with them run well and I also have the basic line from Atlas and very pleased with them also. all depends on the model you want what your willing to pay for that model
  7. KCS

    KCS Member

    Well, the new Atlas Master Series Dash 8-40B I bought is the Silver series and has brass details. I played with a few Atlas locomotives before but they had plastic details. The one I have now was a RTR with brass grab's and radiator grills. They also contain window wiper's, all MU hose's and cables, scale hand rails, cab crew, sun visors, lighted number boards, chain on right side truck, all truck details like speed recorder, brake line's, pipes, hose's, etc. They are very nice and also very pricey at $129.99 a pop but I got a really good deal on my first one for $50.00 brand new never opened. Next up in Atlas Master Series-Gold is all the same as the Silver except comes with a DCC decoder. Then I can't remember the other but it comes with a DCC equipped and with sound. You better make sure your bills are paid and all loose ends are tied up because these will set you back close to $300.00 a pop. That's what I saw for them on Ebay. I'm not sure what they retail. All I know is it makes me uncomfortable to talk about it! Athearn blue box kit's are affordable and simple yet durable and can just as nice as any $500.00 locomotive with the right parts and patience. Athearn Genesis has been know to have some issues with there SD60's - SD90's. I don't own any but a few of our club members do and I've ran them several time's and they have a bad tracking problem. It's very noticeable when your on strait track then you can see the trucks turning side to side. I don't know anything about correcting this problem. I'll have to find out more when I talk to the guys. I don't know anything about Athearn RTR series. I've been waiting to see some in action before I buy any to see how they run out of the box. Along with Atlas would be Kato. They make really nice detailed stuff like Atlas and run just as quiet as an Atlas. Everything on them are plastic but come detailed with everything but the MU hoses and cable. I haven't seen of their new stuff but the older ones from about 4-5 years ago was really nice so I'm guessing it's still the same. Life-Like makes good locomotives if you stay away from their toy's. Their top line has all the details including lifting lugs, see through fans, lighted number boards etc. I only use one that's not mine but not sure how the shell mounts on. The one that was on loan to me seamed to have no way to mount the shell to the frame so you had to pick it up by the fuel tank other wise it would come right apart. I'm looking for some better wheels to install in my Athearn AC4400's to see if I can do away with the original wheels for smoother running. Now, I don't know who else makes them and I don't think Athearn does anymore but Kansas City Southern has a specific type of unit that as far as I know, no other railroad use's. The AC inverter box on the left side is much different from what BNSF, CSX or any other road that I know of and as far as I know, Athearn only produced them in KCS only. Correct me if I'm wrong. Hope this may be of some help.
  8. CSX

    CSX Member

    So Atlas is probably the better way to go?
  9. CSX

    CSX Member

    Has anyone heard reviews on the Athearn Genesis CSX SD-70M "Spirit of Miami"?
  10. stuart_canada

    stuart_canada Member

    are you operating DC or DCC. that is a big factor, if your not going DCC you do not need all the bells and whistles ( pun intended here) , at just plain dc operations you can go with either brand of models and get a good unit.
    find a model you like and try it out, a good hobby store will let you test drive one first.
  11. brakie

    brakie Active Member

    I use Atlas and Athearn in order to get the engines and cars I need..You will find this to be true as you expand your motive power roster...Either brand is a great buy..Also you may want to look into Atlas's soon to be release Trainman Series of engines and cars.
  12. CSX

    CSX Member

    I am unable to get the Athearn loco I wanted, so I'll get the Atlas one.
    The Atlas is a Dash 8-40CW, silver series. Is that a good locomotive?
  13. brakie

    brakie Active Member

    No need for worry with a Atlas engine.They are IMHO among the best made.
  14. CSX

    CSX Member

    Alright. I will get the Atlas then. :D
  15. green_elite_cab

    green_elite_cab Keep It Moving!

    i have a BNSF SD75M which is the same motor and chassis under a different shell. i will tell you its worth every penny. Geneisis is a great line of trains. however, with the layout you wanted on another thread, an SD70M would be pushing it to the brink, but i'm guilty of doing the same thing with an SD75M, and so far it works.

    i personaly woudln't go for the 6 axle locomotives yet. i would settle for the B40-8, the Dash-8 40CW's smaller 4 axle equivalent. that would be perfect for the layout you wanted. absolutely perfect.
  16. CSX

    CSX Member

    I am going to get the Dash 8-40CW on eBay!! :D

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