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Model Railroading > New Athearn Amtrak California F59phi #2002.


Date: 01/31/23 19:21
New Athearn Amtrak California F59phi #2002.
Author: ChrisCampi

I picked up the newest F50phi offering from Athearn recently. Ready to Roll version with leds, and Econami sound, in an Amtrak California livery which I think that along with the Surfliners is about as classy as passenger trains get in this country anymore.

Right out of the box I took a minute to program the engine number as my address and add values to acceleration and deceleration.

The unit ran very smooth and headlight and ditch lights look good. Ditch lights are programmed to flash when long horn is activated and look very good.

The sound quality caught me off guard. I'm more then a little surprised at how good this unit sounds. The dual speakers set up really do a fine job and all the sounds are well defined. Particularly the horn, which is loud and clear. (That's for you Victor, if your reading this). Normally I would look at installing a Scale Sound System speaker and a SSS speaker might still be an improvement, but I don't think it's needed here. Best speaker I've heard yet out of a factory locomotive. I had to knock the master volume down to a value of sixty using CV 128 and honestly, it might still be to loud.

The 2002 had no problem pulling the four car Capital Corridor train around my layout. Looking forward to Athearns Genesis California Car set to replace the Walthers cars.

Here are a few photos with the foobie Walthers California cars, and then a question in the next post.








Date: 01/31/23 19:27
Re: New Athearn Amtrak California F59phi #2002.
Author: wabash2800

Thanks Chris. How about some video so we can hear it?

Victor Baird



Date: 01/31/23 19:32
Re: New Athearn Amtrak California F59phi #2002.
Author: ChrisCampi

Now the question. I'm not familiar with this particular paint scheme. Every F59 I've seen are at least remember seeing, had a dark blueish/black bonnet, yet this unit is equipped with more of a charcoal grey bonnet, fuel tank skirting and plow area. Athearn pictured it in this fashion on their website so I'm sure they had good reason, but can anyone tell me when or if this was done?

Here are a few photos and one includes the 2009 from the first run before they were even DCC ready.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/31/23 19:46 by ChrisCampi.








Date: 01/31/23 20:14
Re: New Athearn Amtrak California F59phi #2002.
Author: ChrisCampi

wabash2800 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Thanks Chris. How about some video so we can hear
> it?
>
> Victor Baird

I'll try to get you something this weekend Victor.



Date: 01/31/23 21:11
Re: New Athearn Amtrak California F59phi #2002.
Author: TomG

Thats not a bad looking engine for the RTR line.



Date: 02/01/23 07:06
Re: New Athearn Amtrak California F59phi #2002.
Author: atsf121

Great looking train Chris!  I'm glad your post on the Western board got some answers as it helps me with my circa 1995 modeling efforts for the Cal-P.

Nathan



Date: 02/01/23 07:24
Re: New Athearn Amtrak California F59phi #2002.
Author: ChrisCampi

Yeah Nathan, good news for me also that this is the as delvered 1994 scheme. I seriously don't remember it but it's a fairly subtle difference over thirty years I guess.



Date: 02/01/23 14:22
Re: New Athearn Amtrak California F59phi #2002.
Author: BoilingMan

This was the press unveiling of the F59 in LA,  before they were in service.  I don't think any had yet arrived in Oakland (If I recall the 2003 was the first to arrive in Oakland, coming North on #14)
When they were first coupled to a California Car it was found the rear duct on the locomotive didn't clear the diaphragm on the door of the car!  The ducts had to be modified before the F59's could enter service with the CA Cars.
SR



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/01/23 14:24 by BoilingMan.






Date: 02/01/23 17:03
Re: New Athearn Amtrak California F59phi #2002.
Author: ChrisCampi

I remember that duct thing. I see that their testing out that bumper! SR, your photos show what I remember with the dark blue bonnet, fuel tank and plow area, rather then the darker grey on the model. Was this from 1994?



Date: 02/01/23 17:15
Re: New Athearn Amtrak California F59phi #2002.
Author: BoilingMan

Yes- ‘94, as delivered, before entering revenue service.
SR



Date: 02/06/23 15:45
Re: New Athearn Amtrak California F59phi #2002.
Author: ChrisCampi

Some sound samples using an IPhone 13 set up about eighteen inches from trackside. Master volume CV128 reset to a value of 120 which I believe is close to factory value. I use a value of sixty. The last video displays a major omission on Athearns end. Did you catch it? Hint, these locomotives push as often as they pull. 

1-Stationary. 
2-Runby. 
3-Push mode departure. 

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Date: 02/06/23 17:51
Re: New Athearn Amtrak California F59phi #2002.
Author: wabash2800

Thanks for sharing Chris. The horn is a definate improvement over what is usually offered. It's not muted.

Victor Baird



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