EMD F7 A-B units, Athearn Genesis or Proto 2000?

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by Wildcatfootball, Dec 17, 2006.

  1. With DCC equiped, which is better, Athearn Genesis or Proto 2000? Just a quick easy question.
  2. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    Is the F7 being offered in the P2k line?
  3. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

    I don't know about the DCC end of it, but my choice would be Stewart.

  4. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    I just checked your link, it is expected on June 30, 2007. I have to wonder what the market is for it. Stewart made a limited run of top line f3 & f7 models a few years ago. Athearn has the f7 in their rtr line as well as the Genesis line, and Intermountain makes a top line f7, I think Broadway Limited is also making them. Personally, I would go with whichever of the top line models is less expensive equipped the way you want it. They all use basically copy cat drives with can motors. The only variable is the type of decoder and sound they install.
  5. What about body detail? Should one be worried about which manf. has greater detail? Is the best thing to do wait until the P2K is out, then make my decision? I just don't want to get burned on a $300+ loco here:cry:
  6. Dick Elmore

    Dick Elmore Member

    :thumb: Before you buy, make sure you check out Intermountain. Great detail, heavy, smooth running, reasonable price and I think they use Soundtraxx decoders.

    Texas Chief
  7. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    I bought a pair of undecorated Intermountain shell kits to paint up for Santa Fe. If you find something with more detail, I don't want to know about it. It already has enough detail to fill my junk box with the left overs, because it has details on top of details to model virtually any version of the f7 ever operated.

    The Athearn Genesis uses the "Highliner" shell. The reason I didn't mention detail is both Intermountain and Athearn Genesis are as detailed as any brass model ever built. I don't think it is possible for the p2k to do anymore than equal the Athearn Genesis or Intermountain.

    I haven't looked at Stewart that closely, but if my Stewart ft sets are typical, they are in the same class as Intermountain and Athearn Genesis.

    Unless BLI has lowered their standards, the detail level on their models will be the equal of the rest of the top of the line f7s.
  8. 1st off, I'm specifically looking for the Great Northern 'Empire Builder' F7 A-B set, so I'll focus on looking for those.

    2nd, for my sake of not going insane, lol, I'm going to list positives to each manf's F7. If you have any more, please list.

    Athearn Genesis- $350 for A-B
    -Researched from EMD bluebrints (which I guess they all are)
    -Factory installed DCC Decoder & Sound
    -Cab Interior
    -19 Functions

    Stewart- Doesn't seem to make the Empire Builder.

    InterMountian- $100 for A, $95 for B
    -Great Detail
    -Heavy and smooth running
    -BUT Empire Builder is sold out...

    Proto 2000- $370 for A-B
    -5 Skew Pole motor
    -14:1 gear ratio
    -LED Headlights
    -Factory installed diaphragms

    Broadway Limited- $225 for just the A... And doesn't make an A-B set in GN, but even if they did, its $505. Looking at pictures, the grills on the side of the F7's isn't even transparent like the others. I'll rule them out.

    InterMountain and Athearn Genesis both look great, I'll hold my judgement off until the P2K's are released.
  9. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    That was the point I was trying to make. They are all outstanding models, so look for the best price.
  10. Sorry for that. We LITERALLY posted in the exact same minute... If I would have read your post, I would have never posted mine. Thanks:wave:
  11. RioGrande

    RioGrande Member

    Comment about Athearn Genesis AB sets. Feed back is that the sound quality isn't that good on them. If you get the non-sound equipped, you can get AB sets for under $200. I just picked up an F3AB set in Rio Grande for $150 plus shipping in Ebay for example.
  12. COMBAT

    COMBAT Member

    I have seen a Proto 2000 in person with sound. It was an A B unit but it wasnt an F7. I have to tell you the proto 2000 was a great detailed unit. I dont run that era but I will say the detail, the metal screens on the side of the unit, the see through fans, the led lights and the overall paint job is just as good as my Athearn Genesis engines I have. I would say :thumb: on Proto 2000. Keep in mind this is just the details, I have never run one! :D
  13. RioGrande

    RioGrande Member

    For the price, Proto 2000 makes a nice looking F3. I think F3 is the only F they make but I've heard an F7 is in the works since Walthers bought Lifelike.

    Athearn Genesis, despite occasional QAQC issues, have the best looking models, paint jobs and details. They even go so far as to offer phase detail combinations that some RR's had due to modifications or wreck rebuilds which is really cool. I have an AB set of F3's which Rio Grande owned and modified. They have F7 side panels, but F3 chicken Wire air grills and tall fans etc. Sort of a combination of F3 and F7 which Rio Grandes F3's really looked like. Genesis also offers a Rio Grande F3 that was wrecked (in real life) and came back looking like and F9 on the sides, but and F3 on the roof. Another cool but unique engine. I plan on getting it too.

    As for Proto2000, their F3 is a nice looking shell with good paint jobs and a smooth running mechanism for a low price. The side ladder hand rails are molded in so rather than separate wire parts but a very decent loco for someone on a budget.

    For me, what I buy is mostly determined quality and do they offer the paint job I wan't. Proto 2000 doesn't offer anything that is "correct" for Rio Grande, but Genesis does and in spades - and even my favorite single stripe version.

    I also own some Stewarts which probably have the best chassis/mechanism made for F's, but the shells are not quite as good as Genesis and nor the paint. The chassis were made by KATO if that helps, and were improved upon after Steve Stewart acquired the molds from KATO.
  14. CRed

    CRed Member

    I have a BLI C&NW E7A and it has transparent side grills,very nice model.I also just bought a PCM F3 Santa Fe A/B set off of e-bay for $255 so I'm looking forward to getting that.

  15. Greg Elems

    Greg Elems Member

    I’ve seen the Athearn F7 and heard the sound and I was impressed. They sounded like the F7's I used to work on and the ones at the museum. Make sure you aren't getting the blue box because that has the old shell with the rectangular windshield. Also I seem to remember reading that Intermountain sold their F units to Athearn and would only sell undecorated F's while Athearn would sell decorated RTR F's. Either way, the market is saturated with F units. Even Marklin is selling F units. Go for the best price and you probably won't be disappointed.

  16. Dick Elmore

    Dick Elmore Member

    Rio Grande, the f3's that Lifelike makes are Proto 1000 not 2000, hence the molded on grabs. It still has the same drive mechanism though.:thumb:

    Texas Chief
  17. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    Almost, the Athearn Genesis units are actually the Highliner shells. Through an agreement between the two parties, Highliner continues to manufacturer undecorated body shell kits, but Athearn uses them to offer r-t-r decorated units. I'm not sure of distribution deals, whether the owner of Highliners has signed an exclusive with Horizon or not. I think maybe not, because I think the shells and the parts are still available through Walthers.
  18. Greg Elems

    Greg Elems Member

    Russ, thanks for the clarification on the Athearn deal. I know the new f units from Athearn were a great improvement over their original Globe shells.

    Greg Elems
  19. RioGrande

    RioGrande Member


    You are correct. The Lifelike F3's are indeed from the small line of Proto1000 loco's. I was having a senior moment. They are nice F units for a modest price.

    And yes, I though most people knew that any loco from the Genesis line would have nothing in common with the Blue Box line, thus the F units would be totally different tooling than the old Globe shells with the horrible looking windshield openings. The story I remember with the Genesis F's is that Paul Lubliner was working on the Highliner F units over many years. The B units were out in kit form, but the F's didn't get finished until Athearn made a deal to produce painted RTR F units based on the Highliner shells which had interchangeable phase details allowing one to make any combination of phases. Lubliner retained the rights to sell the Highliner kits while Athearn sold the painted version. I don't know if that is still in effect.

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