New Athearn HO set

Discussion in 'Product Review Forum' started by Jerry1949, Dec 29, 2007.

  1. Jerry1949

    Jerry1949 New Member

    Well I had this very long dissertation on how I came to buy my new Athearn BNSF Freight set, but for some unknown reason it disappeared on me. I hate when that happens. Anyway, I am new to this hobby but I'd like to add my 2C to this forum, so here goes.

    Several weeks ago I bought this set at a train store (NOT a hobby shop, but a real train store), in Fresno. The store was chaos at it's very best, with trains, magazines and spare parts scattered all over the place. You couldn't find any open counter space for all the debri laying about. I immediately fell in love with the place. The owner (a strange, but likeable guy), suggested Athearn with Kato UniTrack on the side. I took his advice after reading negative stuff about Bachmann EZ Trac.

    Anyway, I set the train up inside my old Lionel O set around our Christmas tree and it all looks great. It runs great too, right out of the box. It's very quiet and the throttle response is smooth and linear and the train starts moving at around 35% throttle. It will run just as smooth at very slow speeds as it does at high spreed. Turns in the oval do not seem to slow the train down much at all. Converse to that, the Lionel will lose over 50% of it's speed in the turns.

    I have it set up on carpet (I was told it wouldn't work on carpet do to track flex and subsequent derailments), with absolutely no operational problems. The train probably has around 50 hours on it now.

    I'm very happy with this train and I plan to do a 6 spur layout this coming year in either HO or N, building a San Joaquin Valley, Southern Pacific scheme. It will most likely be Athearn locos and rolling stock.
  2. Kevinkrey

    Kevinkrey Member

    Sounds like you have a good start in the hobby there Jerry1949. But may I ask, what did you hear bad about Bachcmann track? Kep us posted as you begin your layout.

  3. Jerry1949

    Jerry1949 New Member

    The negative talk concerning Bachmann track came from several different forums. Various people gave various reasons to avoid it. Conductivity issues (lack of), and flexing come to mind foremost. If I took inaccurate advice, I appologize to Bachmann. I may yet use the track for a small board layout at sometime in the future though.

    I am going to travel to the town that had (the spurs are now gone, unfortunantly), the scheme I am going to do and take some measurements of the area. I want to keep the layout to as close an exact scale as possible. Being a total ignoramous about DCC and switching, I will be relying heavily on the more knowledgable people of this, and other forums.......wish me luck.
  4. sumpter250

    sumpter250 multiscale modelbuilder

    Happy to hear your experience with Athearn has been a good one! In the fifty+ years I've been in model railroading, I have yet to find a "better bang for your buck" than Athearn.
    As for the Bachmann EZtrack system, When I was working in my local hobby shop (now bankrupt...long story) we had a Bachmann On30 passenger set running in the window, on the Bachmann EZtrack, on carpet, no nails, clips,or other forms of fasteners. The set logged over 800 statute miles (yes, four million, twohundredtwentyfour thousand feet! that's 352,000 trips around a 3' diameter circle.). We had a rail joint work loose and cause a derail, only twice in that time. The loco had to be remotored once, and the set was sold as "extensively used", and to my knowledge is still running. Qualifer: This was in a storefront window, and was hardly ever disturbed. Started up when the store opened, and shut off when the store closed for the evening. Temperatures from the mid forties(winter mornings) to the upper eighties(summer afternoons)
    Would I recommend Athearn, and Bachmann Spectrum products? betcha!
  5. CCT70

    CCT70 Member

    I believe what the fine folks on the other forums are talking about in relation to the Bachmann EZ-Track™ is the steel track with black road bed. In that respect, their spot on that it *is* JUNK. It corrodes really easy and is basically trash. The grey road bed track however, is nickel silver and is GREAT stuff for a 'round the rug setup. My step daughter uses it at her house with her Christmas train and though I help her clean each piece with a bright boy track cleaner before setting it up, it runs probably 15-18 hours a day for about 2 weeks while she is home on Christmas break from school. No derailments, no track dead spots, no worries. She has a Bachmann 0-6-0 that I can't say enough good things about that I service right before hand each year with teflon gear oil and a cleaning of the drivers, check the couplers for swivel and to make sure they all have their springs, and we're all set. It's good stuff. :thumb:

    Ignoramous.... sign1 When I was a kid my mom called me that all the time due to some of the stupid crap I used to pull. I miss that, cracks me up to hear it now.

    You thinking of modeling the San Joaquin Valley Railroad? :wave:

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