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Model Railroading > Is Athearn any good anymore?

Date: 09/07/20 20:58
Is Athearn any good anymore?
Author: cockaboose

I've been out of the hobby for a while now. I've bought a few HO Athearn Genesis models since I've gotten back into it though. They were one of the better brands when I was heavy into the hobby in the 80's. It seems like every engine I've bought recently though has some kind of issue. The notorious smashed in plow (Southern #3170) that I talked about here, and now I buy a Southern GP50, #7008, and the couplers are so high that it won't couple to any of my other engines. What is going on? Is Athearn a brand to just bypass now days? Or maybe just the Genesis line? I know that my dad, who is a longtime serious modeler recommends Rapido.     

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/07/20 21:01 by cockaboose.

Date: 09/07/20 21:15
Re: Is Athearn any good anymore?
Author: Fizzboy7

There are many brands out there today, and most are pretty good.    As a retailer, 80% of our train sales are Athearn/Genesis.   I wouldn't be able to make a living if they were junk.    There are some bad apples in every group, and quality control could always be improved.  But overall, I feel it's a great brand to sell and own.     

The way I look at Athearn is they are the leaders of detail.    A lot of detail is more prone to breakage.   So it's a trade-off.    I'm happy to inspect every unit I put in the case.   If something needs fixing, it gets fixed before a customer sees it.

Jason Eminian
Smith Brothers Hobby Center

Date: 09/08/20 07:59
Re: Is Athearn any good anymore?
Author: Athearn_Trains

Also, have you contacted Athearn customer support at help@athearn.com? As Jason said, there are a few bad apples in every bunch; that's true of all manufacturers. What sets them apart more is how much they are willing to try to help you out.

Date: 09/08/20 08:34
Re: Is Athearn any good anymore?
Author: Floridarailfan

When I bought an out of production engine on eBay(advertised as new) that had a problem, they were very responsive in fixing it for me. I have not had an equally positive experience from some other producers.

Posted from iPhone

Date: 09/08/20 10:00
Re: Is Athearn any good anymore?
Author: railstiesballast

Yes, generally very good.  And now LED lights.
The handsome little HO SW-1200 and SW-1500 are quite light and fussy though.  I did jam a Keep Alive into one to help out.

Date: 09/08/20 16:46
Re: Is Athearn any good anymore?
Author: trackplanner

Are you buying new or used models?

Date: 09/08/20 17:01
Re: Is Athearn any good anymore?
Author: wabash2800

With items made in China, it's hit and miss. If you are one of the companies that deals with them, you have to be to right on them. As we used to say in the automobile parts supply business, inspecting the parts after the fact for defects is not quality control.

I just receieved two boxcars made in China from a well known top of the line company and had to send one back to the hobby shop I ordered it from. The two left grab irons on both sides of the car were crooked--not bent but the mounting holes were off. I could see it without opening the clear packaging. Though this stuff is preordered, my pusher is going to see if they can find a replacement. My other boxcar was perfect.

Victor A. Baird

Date: 09/08/20 20:14
Re: Is Athearn any good anymore?
Author: cockaboose

trackplanner Wrote:
> Are you buying new or used models?


Date: 09/11/20 02:01
Re: Is Athearn any good anymore?
Author: AVR3001

I just purchased two HO Genesis DCC/sound PRR GP9s.  The couplers were 1/16th inch to a half a coupler knuckle too high.  I was not impressed that after manufacturing HO products for so long that they could not get the coupler height right, or even close.

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