Athearn Big Boy?

Trains Jul 17, 2021

  1. Trains

    Trains TrainBoard Member

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    I have a chance to pick one up. are they a good engine? Any problems with them?

    Thanks
    Don
     
  2. freddy_fo

    freddy_fo TrainBoard Member

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    I have two of the latest run and yes they are a great engine with a little time running in. Detail is top notch with lots of applied parts. Basically a well detailed HO model shrunk to N size. As I said both of mine took some running in to smooth them out. Sound is decent for the versions I have but the horn tends to get drowned out by the steam chuffs from factory settings so one might want to tweak the volume settings of each channel if that is a concern.

    It does require well laid track if you are running tight radii (>= 13") any imperfection will reveal itself with a derailment.

    I've been waiting a bit for a good model of this subject and missed out on the first run when I wasn't doing much in trains at the time. I jumped on a pre-order when the second run was announced then got a second engine (great race to promontory) after being impressed with the first loco I received.
     
  3. NorsemanJack

    NorsemanJack TrainBoard Member

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    I know nothing about the Athearn model. That said, isn't Kato working on a Big-Boy? If I really wanted a Big-Boy, I would wait for the Kato release. I'm not suggesting for a moment that there aren't other good manufacturers. I just have chosen to be a Kato snob and that's all I own/buy.
     
    pmpexpress and BNSF FAN like this.
  4. porkypine52

    porkypine52 TrainBoard Member

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    You'll be missing some great running locomotives if you just buy KATO. If you have question about ANY engines, go to SPOOKSHOW: http://www.spookshow.net/ for the HONEST reviews of locomotive and more.
     
    Kurt Moose and Sumner like this.
  5. JMaurer1

    JMaurer1 TrainBoard Member

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    Athearn Big Boy = Fine Swiss watch

    Why would Kato be making one (not saying that they aren't, just wondering why do a locomotive that has been done already)?
     
  6. Hoghead2

    Hoghead2 TrainBoard Member

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    That's what I asked myself when the latest berkshires/mikado were announced.
     
  7. Traindork

    Traindork TrainBoard Member

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    I bought a few Athearn Big Boys, and I'll buy the Kato also.
    Don't limit yourself, buy them both!
     
  8. DCESharkman

    DCESharkman TrainBoard Member

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    Never got a Big Boy, got a Cab forward and a few Challengers from Athearn. I have no issues with them.
    Got a lot of Kato steam, a Berkshire made for Con Cor, a bunch of Mikes and GS-4's. They all do pretty well.
    I have no issue getting steamers from either manufacturer. If Kato does a Big Boy, that will be great because I was not able to get one from Athearn.
     
  9. Shortround

    Shortround TrainBoard Member

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    My layouts will be restricted in size so I'm hoping that they make some smaller engines in N gauge. Both steam and diesel.
    In the past I did enjoy climbing into the cabs of some of those Big Boys at the museum in Allouez. But, that's as close as I care to enjoy them.
     
    Hardcoaler likes this.
  10. JMaurer1

    JMaurer1 TrainBoard Member

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    I'm still waiting on a realistic looking 4-6-0...sorry Bachmann, looks like an old time engine from the 1900's with a tender WAY TOO BIG.
     
  11. NorsemanJack

    NorsemanJack TrainBoard Member

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    Thanks. I know all of that. I've had some great running locos from Atlas, IMR and maybe others. That said, I've been and will remain in heavy downsizing mode and all I have left are Katos and that is all I'll buy from here on out. A nice thing about Katos is that if they are in like new condition in original packaging, they sell themselves if/when more downsizing is in order. I've even made some profits on a few without really trying.
     
  12. NorsemanJack

    NorsemanJack TrainBoard Member

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  13. CSX Robert

    CSX Robert TrainBoard Member

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    This could be asked of a lot of manufacturers through the years .
     
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  14. NorsemanJack

    NorsemanJack TrainBoard Member

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    Is it used? If it is, is it from somebody you trust 100%? That is a very complex locomotive and the number one way that they get screwed up is somebody trying to work on them that doesn't know what they are doing. After they screw them up, far too many wind up on ebay, etc. as "new/mint/TRO." We read the horror stories all the time.
     
    MK likes this.
  15. Trains

    Trains TrainBoard Member

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    It is new, picked it up yesterday. Very nice engine. Little disappointed in the pulling power.
    Pulls only about 10 cars with not much trouble.
    The old MRC mallet I had kong time ago would pull about twenty cars.
     
  16. CSX Robert

    CSX Robert TrainBoard Member

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    That doesn't sound right. I don't have a Big Boy (yet), but I do have an Athearn Challenger and it will pull a 24 car mix of Superliners and autoracks. I would expect the Big Boy to do at least as well. The Challenger does have traction tires, but my understanding is the Big Boy does too.
     
  17. Trains

    Trains TrainBoard Member

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    The big boy has four traction tires, I'm hoping when it gets broken in more it will do better.
     
  18. MRLdave

    MRLdave TrainBoard Member

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    We have a club member who runs Big Boys and Challengers all the time and pulls 50+ cars with either.........10 is definitely not right, although I bought one of the SP&S challengers and it's really poor on pulling power as well. I don't have anything at home to run those big engines on, and I don't like to fiddle with my locos when at a club layout, so I haven't figured out what the problem is.
     
  19. JMaurer1

    JMaurer1 TrainBoard Member

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    An Athearn Challenger pulling a 24 car mix of Superliners and autoracks...interesting consist.
     
    CSX Robert likes this.
  20. CSX Robert

    CSX Robert TrainBoard Member

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    What? Didn't Amtrak ever use a Challenger to pull the Auto Train?:)
     

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