Athearn SP&S 4-6-6-4 ZERO for 2!

kverdon Nov 10, 2017

  1. kverdon

    kverdon TrainBoard Member

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    Well after returning my first Athearn 4-6-6-4 SP&S Challenger due to it having a frozen front truck, I received a replacement and tested it on the layout. Unfortunately it too is defective. It would run for a few feet then stop with sound off, lights off etc and then start up again. I called Athearn Technical Support who had me test the locomotive connectivity and it was discovered that only the tender is picking up power from the rails, there is no power pickup from the engine itself. His only solution was for me to send it back to them for repair. To say I am rather massively annoyed with Athearn right now is an understatement. 2 locomotive defective out of the box! Talk about Zero Quality Control. This is the last Athearn Locomotive for me.

    I decided to return this one to Athearn for repair as I have zero confidence that I can get a good one out of the box and will be forced to eventually go down this route. At least this way I have a reasonable chance of finally receiving a working locomotive.
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2017
    mtntrainman likes this.
  2. MK

    MK TrainBoard Member

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    WOW!!!! You would think they would test the replacement before sending it to you! That extra 5% of effort could have saved them some bad publicity!

    It would certainly make me think twice before buying an Athearn locomotive!
     
  3. EMD F7A

    EMD F7A TrainBoard Member

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    Now that just plain stinks. I'm sorry you're dealing with that!
     
    BoxcabE50 likes this.
  4. SP&S #750

    SP&S #750 TrainBoard Member

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    I ordered #910, waiting on #911. Hopefully my #911 will run as well as my #910.
     
  5. kverdon

    kverdon TrainBoard Member

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    SP&S 750, glad you got one that works. Hope lightning strikes twice for the next one and you don't have a 911 for #911.

    I just don't get it. My other Athearn Challegers run great, why all the problems with this run (and the big boys?)? I wonder if they changed manufacturers in China to an inferior company? Would explain the extended delay on delivery. Glad there is virtually no loco Athearn is likely to produce that I would want for the layout, I am done with Athearn.
     
  6. MRLdave

    MRLdave TrainBoard Member

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    SP&S750.......does yours pull OK?
     
  7. scottryan

    scottryan TrainBoard Member

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    Its just a reflection of the current state of the industry. About 1/3 of the equipment I buy needs some type of repair before it is placed on the layout.
     
  8. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    :( :( :(
     
  9. NP/GNBill

    NP/GNBill TrainBoard Supporter

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    I had to send my first Big Boy back to Athearn for repair or replacement. I have my fingers crossed! I had already purchased another, and when I got that one it ran great, no problems. After reading this thread about the Challengers, I was really worried as I had preordered the two NP units. I finally got them this week and after a little hesitation about running them, I put them on the track and both ran fantastic. I hooked them right up to a 28 car train and let them run for about an hour and a half while I worked on the layout. I still wish they came with the little remote control the first run came with. It allowed you to adjust the volume in DC.
     
  10. EMD F7A

    EMD F7A TrainBoard Member

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    Well, that's darn fine news sir. Feel free to upload a video of one of them running? I haven't seen one in person yet!!
     
  11. SP&S #750

    SP&S #750 TrainBoard Member

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    Yes 23 cars on level unitrack, through 12 3/4 radius curves.
     

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