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Model Railroading > Some Trainfest notes and a visit with Athearn

Date: 11/10/08 10:55
Some Trainfest notes and a visit with Athearn

Well 20,600+ people and a record and another Trainfest is in the books. While my main commitment is to the store I work for at the bigger shows in our state and helping them get set up it doesn't allow me much time to visit the booths of the people that make all of this great stuff for us.
I did have two missions to go on. The first was since I knew in all likely hood that MTH would have test shots there of the SD70ACe was to check it out, and then see if I could photograph it to get posted here since we have been curious as to how it will look.
Sorry the pictures I posted previously were not better. I spend tons of time track side shooting the real thing but model photography is another art form I have much to learn on yet. I can appreciate how the pictures look that Harry, Ryan, Robby and some of the others on here that post from other shows and meets.
At least the opportunity is there for both MTH and Athearn's Heritage fleet models to look right
graphically as I gave them contact info for the guy that actually did the work on the real deal.
On to Athearn....
I asked a week or so back about modern Reefer on here and got several replies both on that car and several other "requests" I did get John Engstroms ear for about a half hour and would have been longer if someone else hadn't come over and started talking with me not realizing I was discussing business. It gave someone else a chance to talk to him and since it was about the time they where getting ready to pull out for the night to go eat...You get my drift. But I pretty much got answers to several questions.
A. Don't worry about seeing anything on either the GEVO or ACe for about 18 months, minimum.
They fully understand the demand for both these projects but that's the time line. They have to design a chassis/drive for both as well as some rework on the molds. One thing changing is the handrails so the sills and end pilots etc, molds need to be re-worked.
B. The main reason though is they have at minimum 40 brand new projects that have money invested in them in various stages of development that haven't even been whispered yet. With that investment they have to see them through to delivery as close to their schedule as feasible. The GEVO and ACe are just falling in line order wise.
C. On the modern Reefer...John liked the BNSF pictures I printed off and told me he remembered the thread I initiated. He said yes, he liked that car and if I can send him more pictures of variations along with dimensional data they would look it over. Tropicana is an absolute NO. He said IF someone tells you that you can't do their car in any way shape or form, or else... you just don't do it.
D. Carbon Black cars. Both he and another guy there said they have talked about it. Possibly in the 40+ new projects? Don't know, but I got the "we've talked about it" more than once.
E. Another run of Spine cars? Coming, but all in TTX again. Only information they have is on TTX car. I was told if anyone has pictures of FEC or TR to get them to him. If it's close he has information then he can use for reporting marks, etc. Did say it would be nice to do them in something other than TTX and or yellow though but he need to see information.

Basically he said they are open to looking at a lot of stuff and people are sending pictures all the time with the "can you do this?" question. In simple terms he said if someone can go out and get him a complete file of pictures on variations of a car along with all of the dimensional data and get it in his hands they'll sit down and examine it. They have two people, Craig Walker and Paul Ellis who are actually involved with going out and collecting this information. But with only two of them there is a limit to what they can do. If someone else though does the research work for them the chances are that much better it may happen.
I had hoped to talk to Craig Martin at BLMA possibly about the Reefer but found out a few days ahead of the show he wouldn't be attending as he was being presented and award. Also had a short visit with my good friend Matt Gaudynski who was the Production coordinator at IM for a couple years and is currently taking care of his own business, Fox River Models as well as helping run DesPlaines Hobby. He does N scale, great stuff. I asked when he was going to do some HO and he asked like what? I mentioned the reefer to him as well. Unfortunately we didn't have a chance top talk about it further with the people around and as busy as the show was I couldn't get back over to his booth Saturday or Sunday. My wife had a good visit with him though and he wants to come up for a couple days once we have all our Christmas lights up and visit for a few hours.
Can't think of much else. I think this has been long enough.


Date: 11/10/08 13:18
Re: Some Trainfest notes and a visit with Athearn
Author: funnelfan

Sounds like I'll need to dig up the original to this pic, and send it on over to Athearn.

Ted Curphey
Ontario, OR

Date: 11/10/08 13:38
Re: Some Trainfest notes and a visit with Athearn

Like I said they seemed interested in putting other color schemes and reporting marks out there if the car is close. It's just to this point the only information they have is on the TTX. Regardless the next batch is ALL TTX again...It used to be a project wouldn't even be considered with one road name. But this car is awesome and one we needed so I'm glad old rules are being relaxed. Now all we need is someone with tons of info on the Reefer..


Date: 11/10/08 16:44
Re: Some Trainfest notes and a visit with Athearn
Author: toledopatch

Anybody modelling North American intermodal needs Trailer Train/TTX cars, which is why those can be sold as one-road-name productions when others can't be marketed as easily that way.

I'd certainly buy more of the 1990-era spine cars if they were produced again (though if I recall correctly, that was a Walthers car, not Athearn).

Date: 11/10/08 17:11
Re: Some Trainfest notes and a visit with Athearn
Author: SantaFeCF7

> Now all we need is someone with tons of
> info on the Reefer..
Cheech & Chong could probably help with that! (Sorry, couldn't resist!)

Date: 11/10/08 17:25
Re: Some Trainfest notes and a visit with Athearn
Author: DeutzHDL

To answer Toledo's question Walthers is re-releasing the 48' five pack spine soon if that helps you. BNSFCSX or anybody else that gets to talk to the powers that be, can you suggest more modern trailers for these spine cars. I know Athearn has some new 53' trailers coming and those are on the right track but there's so many trailers popping up frequently now that I need to load Athearn's new Spines with. Just to name a few- ABF, a re-run of Yellow trailers-many types but Orange stripe fade, Marten trucking, Alliance Shippers, Interstate, US Xpress Interprises, England Intermodal, MDW, Clipper, Martrac, The Dart Advantage, Redon, Trans America Leasing, Roadway Your Way, Heartland Express, M.S. Carriers, and maybe Xtra. I know Atlas has the 48' pines out right now in 48' in Xtra and TIP but I'm not sure what size the trailers are that they run currently.

Date: 11/10/08 19:38
Re: Some Trainfest notes and a visit with Athearn
Author: CSXSD70AC

As to ABF not gonna happen... When RPP did the pup trailer with ABF decals ABF legal came down on them like a ton of bricks. They won't license them much like UPS won't. Most of the roadnames you listed have been done on modern trailers. Most need a rerun.


Date: 11/10/08 20:19
Re: Some Trainfest notes and a visit with Athearn
Author: foamer

Athearn handrails! Hooray!

I love Athearn handrails!


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