• General opinion of Athearn Genesis

  • Discussion related to everything about model railroading, from layout design and planning, to reviews of related model tools and equipment. Discussion includes O, S, HO, N and Z, as well as narrow gauge topics. Also includes discussion of traditional "toy train" and "collector" topics such as Lionel, American Flyer, Marx, and others. Also includes discussion of outdoor garden railways and live steamers.
Discussion related to everything about model railroading, from layout design and planning, to reviews of related model tools and equipment. Discussion includes O, S, HO, N and Z, as well as narrow gauge topics. Also includes discussion of traditional "toy train" and "collector" topics such as Lionel, American Flyer, Marx, and others. Also includes discussion of outdoor garden railways and live steamers.

Moderators: 3rdrail, Otto Vondrak, stilson4283

  by MR77100
 
What are the Athearn Genesis diesels in HO scale like? I am curious about the Conrail SD50's and NS SD70's. Are they well-detailed? Do they roar like the old Athearn kits?
  by Chuck Walsh
 
MR77100 wrote:What are the Athearn Genesis diesels in HO scale like? I am curious about the Conrail SD50's and NS SD70's. Are they well-detailed? Do they roar like the old Athearn kits?
I'm not an Athearn guy but from what I see on forums the Genesis is their
premium model that roughly ranks up there with the Kato & Atlas models.
No, they don't roar and yes there's good detail.
Some modelers rank Kato # 1, others rank Genesis #1 or Atlas #2.
There are pros & cons of all three but IMO, it's Kato, Atlas.
If you have some past editions of MR, I'm sure you may find a review.

  by BrianM
 
The SD50 is part of the Athearn RTR Line. This is not a Genesis Locomotive. It is not a bad engine. They have the new cabs that they made for the SD70 series units. It is a REALLY nice cab! There are no pilot details at all and the plows are crap. They also feature the same power unit that the "Blue Box" has. The set-up is different because they are DCC Ready. Over all, not a bad unit, but not for the retail price of $99. I have found them on Ebay $59-$79.

The SD70 series is not bad either. The Drive system is better than the RTR/Blue Box line. There was/are problems with the early run units with the front end trucks derailing due to lack of weight. Detail level is about the same as the SD50, no pilot details & a crappy plow. These units do have working ditch lights. If you are looking for any, I would like for one of the factory assembled units. The paint jobs and drives, I believe, are much better than the early runs.

IMHO, kato & Atlas are tied for #1, P2K would #2 and then Genesis #3.

Brian

  by MR77100
 
By "BlueBox" I guess you are referring to the old Athearn motor from the kits? I suppose Athearn got into the RTR business because the were losing customers to Atlas and P2K, and no one was buying their products because they were not detailed enough, and were louder then a chain saw.

  by trainiac
 
I would really hesitate to say that nobody was buying the "blue-box" line... but it is true that there's an increasing tendancy towards RTR that Athearn picked up on.

I have a Genesis SD70I that I bought for $35 new on eBay, and I love it :-)

  by Throttle_JCKY
 
There are those that like Athearn and there are those that don't.
Personally I don't have 1 single Athearn (Genesis, RTR or BlueBox) on my layout.
It will depend on what you want.
Kato has the best drive/motor/gears
Atlas has good detail and almost Kato drive/motor/gear
Plus, Atlas has dual mode decoder built in (most Masters series)
P2K is great with detail and with the exception of the GP30, most run top notch.

I run Kato/Atlas/P2K units, as I have had nothing but bad things with the Athearn stuff. I bought the SD70I/M's when they came out, and do to a major problem, their trucks were warped which made them derail all over for no reason. The drive wasn't much to write home about either, as Kato and Atlas have left Athearn behind in the dust.

So if you are wanting something that runs great and reliably, then go Kato/Atlas/P2K
If you want something for just looks, then Athearn is ok......

  by trainiac
 
There was something above mentioned about problems that were specific to the early runs.

I've posted a page on tuning up regular Athearns--for anyone who hasn't yet heard of what I do:

http://trainiax.0catch.com/meathearn.htm

  by MR77100
 
Not to get off the subject, but what is wrong with the P2k GP30's? I have a Conrail one and I have another on the way. Also, does Athearn still make the "gift-wrapped" Conrail SD50 in RTR?

  by tocfan
 
On the "New" York Central the unit coal train normally runs with 2 SD80Mac's on the front and an SD70 as distributed power. Since they are 100 cars apart, you haave increased susceptibility to problems if they dont run evenly, however I have had (scale) miles of problem free running. the 80's are Kato and the 70 is Genesis. If I can figure out how to post a photo, I will show you the units.

Mike Fleming
Bartlett, Tn
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  by nick_anshant
 
Athearn Genesis units are great! I have a UP SD70M, Conrail SD70MAC and a Canadian National SD75I. All three run excellent and look great too. The ready-to-roll models come totally complete except for the windsheild wipers. The kits are nice but if you're not into small details and painting, then definitely stick with the ready-to-roll models.