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Model Railroading > The Difference Between Current Athearn RTR and Genesis Units?


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Date: 12/04/21 07:33
The Difference Between Current Athearn RTR and Genesis Units?
Author: OnTheSiding

Happened to be looking at some online shots and descriptions of the new Athearn RTR SD40-2s, and saw they had a whole lot in common with the Genesis units--roadname/number-specific details, operating ditch lights, etc.  So, is the main remaining difference then that these models are still based on old Blue Box tooling?  How about the drive?  As I glanced over the specifics, I did not notice a mention as to whether or not it has the old drive or the Genesis drive.  In any case, they are good looking units in the photos.  It would be nice if they could get the plates on either side of the cab side windows to look a little better (tighter), but even my Genesis GP38-2 looks similar on the side of the cab.  



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/04/21 07:34 by OnTheSiding.



Date: 12/04/21 07:41
Re: The Difference Between Current Athearn RTR and Genesis Units?
Author: OnTheSiding

That Arizona & California unit is nice and fake looking...I just love fake little railroads...and love the 3999 unit number on that one, too...



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 12/04/21 08:17 by OnTheSiding.



Date: 12/04/21 08:14
Re: The Difference Between Current Athearn RTR and Genesis Units?
Author: ntharalson

OnTheSiding Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> That Arizona & California unit is nice and fake
> looking...I just love fake little railroad...and
> love the 3999 unit number on that one, too...

What's it's oaint scheme?  A&C or G&W?  3999 sounds about right for a G&W painted unit.  

Nick Tharalson,
Marion, IA



Date: 12/04/21 08:21
Re: The Difference Between Current Athearn RTR and Genesis Units?
Author: OnTheSiding

It is the G&W scheme...somewhat "corporate" and repeated on other roads, but still very nice and fake.  The O&W units are also highly fake.  They scream modern shortline.  Love the green walkway, sill, and trucks...



Date: 12/04/21 09:17
Re: The Difference Between Current Athearn RTR and Genesis Units?
Author: toledopatch

OnTheSiding Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> It is the G&W scheme...somewhat "corporate" and
> repeated on other roads, but still very nice and
> fake.  The O&W units are also highly fake.  They
> scream modern shortline.  Love the green walkway,
> sill, and trucks...

Oneida & Western, however, isn't a modern shortline. It was a paper arrangement to allow Shamrock Coal to provide its own equipment for coal trains during the 1970s at a time when L&N could not satisfy its car needs, akin to what Detroit Edison did because of Penn Central.
 



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/04/21 09:18 by toledopatch.



Date: 12/04/21 09:22
Re: The Difference Between Current Athearn RTR and Genesis Units?
Author: OnTheSiding

Yes, I read about O&W.  It is a modern ghost line then...making it even faker yet...



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/04/21 09:25 by OnTheSiding.



Date: 12/04/21 09:37
Re: The Difference Between Current Athearn RTR and Genesis Units?
Author: Lighter

Blue box concepts, but the tooling is new. Two (more?) body shells, many nose variations, and several cabs. Lots of applied detail parts. The long hood and battery boxes are molded to the walkways which do not have tread. The motor is different from Genesis but vastly better than the blue box motor of days gone by. No lift rings. There are chunks of the weights that can be removed for speakers.



Date: 12/04/21 10:15
Re: The Difference Between Current Athearn RTR and Genesis Units?
Author: OnTheSiding

Lighter: Very informative--thanks!



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/04/21 10:16 by OnTheSiding.



Date: 12/04/21 10:32
Re: The Difference Between Current Athearn RTR and Genesis Units?
Author: OnTheSiding

I might actually prefer the long hood be molded to the walkway, as I have seen patches of glue in there between the two, and weathering paints do not take well to glue marks/globs.  I always remove any gluing errors and then weather..which is tedious.  Is shell removal any more difficult with the walkway/long hood configuration you describe?  It would be nice to be able to get in there without breaking the handrails, etc.  And I can make the walkways look good with weathering...the absence of a tread less noticeable...



Edited 4 time(s). Last edit at 12/04/21 10:35 by OnTheSiding.



Date: 12/04/21 11:29
Re: The Difference Between Current Athearn RTR and Genesis Units?
Author: ATSFSuperCap

The problem with the hood and catwalk as one casting is that it is not possible to have safety tread on the catwalk top without installing some from say Cannon.    I have late run ATSF SD45's in pinstripe with factory ( Tsunami ) sound and they run nearly the same as my Genesis F45's and SD45-2's.    On a train there is no difference in motor performance.   Running light the Gen motor has slightly better start stop characteristics.    I also have Scale Trains "operator" SD45's in pinstripe with factory ( ESU ) sound.    Again running light the ST SD45's have slightly better start stop characteristics but NO difference pulling a train.    In the case of the ScaleTrains units thier motor is almost imperceptably quieter than the RTR Athearn ones.   The Athearn ones are very nicely prototype detailed and the ST ones are generic, the Soundtraxx Tsunami sound is much better than the ESU sound in the ST units.    The only detail advantage on the ST units is the safety tread on the catwalks, all other details are much nicer on the ATH units.    My ST units had bad gears which ST fixed no charge they now run super sweet.   Unfortunately the ST units have a very much tooooo dark of a shade of Santa Fe blue, one is even purple looking, yes the two units from the same run with two different engine numbers are different shades of blue, both are wrong.   The ATH units have a correct shade of blue.    The current Athearn "standard" motor which looks like the old  blue box motor is way way way better than the old ones.    Mainly beacause they changed to a scew wound armature and a new smaller and much more concentric contact plate for the brushes ,  both of these improvements make for a much smoother motor.    In the end the Genesis units have better detail, somewhat better drives and motors, and a more fully functionaly Tsunami sound board, the RTR units are Tsunami but do not have as many functions.    If you start comparing say GP38 and GP40 then the Gen units also get modern frames and plastic fuel tanks that are RR specific.   In the case of the RTR line SD45 you do get the plastic fuel tanks, but there is no GEN line SD45 only the SD45-2.



Date: 12/04/21 11:30
Re: The Difference Between Current Athearn RTR and Genesis Units?
Author: Lighter

> is tedious.  Is shell removal any more difficult
> with the walkway/long hood configuration you
> describe?

I have an SD39, but it's newish like the RTR SD40-2. Remove the couplers, two screws diagonally under the side frames, and lift off the shell.

UNLESS

Someone dribbled extra glue between the cab walls and battery box doors. That required extra special cussing. The wires from the PC board to the motor and various lights on the shell are long enough to do any under the hood modifications.

The way the trucks are mounted looks like blue box. But that works, so why not? 



Date: 12/04/21 19:14
Re: The Difference Between Current Athearn RTR and Genesis Units?
Author: inyosub

A quick google search came up with photos of the two Athearn Sd units in A&C  Gen-Wyo corporate scheme.
The Oneida and Western Units the same, tons of photos. I myself was lucky enough to Photo them moving
thru Chicago one time. I believe they had been sold. The were connected with the L&N and some operation for 
I think US Steel  suppling coal via a unit train. So totally legit. 
Homework



Date: 12/04/21 20:04
Re: The Difference Between Current Athearn RTR and Genesis Units?
Author: OnTheSiding

The extra glue scenarios always get extra special cussing from me...



Date: 12/04/21 20:10
Re: The Difference Between Current Athearn RTR and Genesis Units?
Author: OnTheSiding

Based upon what Lighter has written about the shell, I forgot to ask...Do the RTR 40-2s then have that rather noticeable seam/gap between the battery box area and cab wall, or is there a nice, smooth transition there?  In the photos, it looks like it may be okay but it is hard to make a clear judgement on it...



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/04/21 20:11 by OnTheSiding.



Date: 12/04/21 20:47
Re: The Difference Between Current Athearn RTR and Genesis Units?
Author: MC6853

Are you suggesting ARZC 3999 is fake? This picture says otherwise...
http://rrpicturearchives.net/showPicture.aspx?id=5222698



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/04/21 20:48 by MC6853.



Date: 12/05/21 05:35
Re: The Difference Between Current Athearn RTR and Genesis Units?
Author: WLE2679

Correct wasn't sure about the "fake" comment. Athearn does make fantasy paint schemes but they do label them as such. Even Jim has mentioned the surprise requests from customers to do the fantasy schemes. The Athearn ready to roll SDs coming out will have tsunami 2 decoders due to the chip shortage.

Posted from Android



Date: 12/05/21 06:46
Re: The Difference Between Current Athearn RTR and Genesis Units?
Author: OnTheSiding

This gave me a good laugh...No, I am not at all suggesting that the unit is fake. it is just my way of saying something.  When you see the same Class 1 railroads over and over, the shortlines or other such units start looking "fake."  Again, it is just my way of joking around about it..."fake" meaning not very well known or unheard of or perhaps "lesser."  All of which is appealing to me.  The big boys get boring...and I do not mean a 4-8-8-4 here.   

And fantasy schemes or models are not my cup of tea at all.  My loco budget is small enough and I would not want to spend any of it on a fake loco...



Date: 12/07/21 09:48
Re: The Difference Between Current Athearn RTR and Genesis Units?
Author: OnTheSiding

I appreciate the commentary on the Athearn RTRs but I am still on the fence about getting one (SD40-2).  The lack of a safety tread does not bother me, but I am concerned, buying sight unseen (with no local shop) about sloppy details that I cannot fix.  Wasted quite a bit of time the other day (and on other occasions) trying to fix crooked handrails, among other things.  Actually, it is not so much the handrails anymore but the end rails--either pushed in or pulled outward.  Very noticeable and I have yet to be successful in fixing one.  Looks like the train was in a wreck, especially if pushed in...

I welcome your advice...



Date: 12/07/21 11:39
Re: The Difference Between Current Athearn RTR and Genesis Units?
Author: PHall

OnTheSiding Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I appreciate the commentary on the Athearn RTRs
> but I am still on the fence about getting one
> (SD40-2).  The lack of a safety tread does not
> bother me, but I am concerned, buying sight unseen
> (with no local shop) about sloppy details that I
> cannot fix.  Wasted quite a bit of time the other
> day (and on other occasions) trying to fix crooked
> handrails, among other things.  Actually, it is
> not so much the handrails anymore but the end
> rails--either pushed in or pulled outward.  Very
> noticeable and I have yet to be successful in
> fixing one.  Looks like the train was in a wreck,
> especially if pushed in...
>
> I welcome your advice...


Don't buy them then, because it seems that nobody can meet your standards.



Date: 12/07/21 12:01
Re: The Difference Between Current Athearn RTR and Genesis Units?
Author: OnTheSiding

I probably will not buy them and do not think my standards are unreasonable.  



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