Athearn Challenger

AB&CRRone Dec 22, 2006

  1. Pete Nolan

    Pete Nolan TrainBoard Supporter

    Tony has hit the nail square-on. I have an example of each of the problems he listed. It's not too hard to associate his problems with actual locos. I think N-scale steam is just incredibly hard to design and manufacture. At such a small scale, unexpected physics and manufacturing events come into play. The more ambitious the project, the more likely there will be delays.

    I won't be buying any of these. Wrong roads, and a budget squeeze.
  2. okane

    okane TrainBoard Supporter

    I have given up on steam in N-scale, I have sold my Model powers and Con-Cors on Ebay, I just want to run trains, have fun and besides with all of the other challenges this hobby offers I do not need a steaming headache.
  3. Kevin Stevens

    Kevin Stevens TrainBoard Supporter

    New release ETA is showing mid-March. I believe they are making sure the product is right before shipping them. While that creates a delay now, it will hopefully keep the number of items that need to be returned for repairs or adjustments to a minimum when they do arrive.
  4. Advertiser

    That same weekend we were in San Diego and a customer at the show swore to me that a working model was running on a track in a shop in the L.A. area. Alegedly a part time employee of that shop works days for Athearn and had pried one out to display at that shop. It was reported the model ran like a swiss watch and sounded great. I do not know the customer so I cannot vouch for his statements.
  5. alhoop

    alhoop TrainBoard Supporter

    My 1970's designed Rivarossi 0-8-0s, 4-6-2s, 2-8-2s and 2-8-8-2s still run fine. The rods don't fall off, all run fine forward and backward, and the drawbars don't break. They do have oversize flanges and the valve gear is not as nice as the later releases. Just think how unreliable N-Scale couplers would be if built closer to scale.
  6. AB&CRRone

    AB&CRRone TrainBoard Supporter

  7. HemiAdda2d

    HemiAdda2d Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    About my birthday time. Happy Birthday to me!!!;)
  8. CCRunner

    CCRunner Permanently dispatched


    That would be Arnies trains in Westminster?? He does testing for them, if the guy says he saw one, I'll take him at his word. No doubt, they will break the bank, but be worth it.
  9. Tony Burzio

    Tony Burzio TrainBoard Supporter

    Every manufacturer has a certain percentage chance of making a correctly running engine. By now, those engines that were likely to fail, have done so. Survival of the fittest! :teeth:

    I will be overjoyed if Athearn hits a home run. At least, it would be nice if their products live up to their ego! :eek:mg:
  10. CCRunner

    CCRunner Permanently dispatched

    I was right!!! It IS Arnies trains in Westminster! If you want to see one, NOW, take a run over there, he says the thing runs flawlessly, and that they should have them in by the end of the month...(we'll see) his price for one with sound is 279.99...not too bad..anyone able to beat that???
  11. SuperSteam

    SuperSteam TrainBoard Member

    From the Big E Show in Springfield

    Athearn Challenger-Clinchfield

    Athearn Challenger-UP

    Athearn Challenger-UP

    If they can be shipped before Chinese New Year (2/9) we will see them in 4 weeks, otherwise add another 2 weeks. So sayeth Mr. Athearn.
  12. J Long

    J Long E-Mail Bounces

    "Athearn Challenger-UP"

    Hot golly, dang, gee....My walllet is gonna get squished once again. Oh Athearn, why me.
  13. mtaylor

    mtaylor Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    One word.........DROOL :)
  14. OC Engineer JD

    OC Engineer JD Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    My hats off to Athearn. They have not been afraid to take risks in N Scale. They have really given us some great stuff, more on the way, and I believe they are seriously commited to this scale. They have done ALOT in a very short time. Two thumbs up Athearn! :)
  15. HemiAdda2d

    HemiAdda2d Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    I am so glad I resereved 2.... Drool is right!*drools*:thumbs_up: :thumbs_up:
  16. J Long

    J Long E-Mail Bounces

    Taking risks and bringing new models to the scale can "grow" the hobby. If it weren't for Intermountain tunnel motors, I'd still be feeding my Lionels with smoke fluid.
  17. bryan9

    bryan9 TrainBoard Member

    Three cheers!

    I've purchased quite a few of Athearn's freight car offerings; most of these are from retooled MDC/Roundhouse molds. Comparing them to the older Roundhouse releases is like night vs. day - the retooled Athearn releases have much crisper paint, more prototypical colors, and much better detail. I just received three 5-packs of UP Coaliner Thrall hoppers, with an additional 5-pack of D&RGW Coaliners on the way. I've already got 2 UP SD-40s with an additional two more being custom painted - so, in a few weeks, thanks to Athearn, I'll be able to model the Kaiser unit train on my D&RGW layout. The Thrall cars are just outstanding and, in my opinion, are in the same league with the best N scale stuff (MT, Red Caboose, LFB/Huberts, Deluxe Innovations, IMT). Of course, I have to change out the trucks/couplers, but I don't mind doing this because Athearn's price point is low enough (compared to, say, IM or MT) that an additional $3 is tolerable.

    I also just received a bunch of 65' mill gondolas and was pleasantly surprised to see how nicely they're weighted - these things are hefty! Again, nice detailing, crisp paint - they look great. I've gotta get some Hay Bros. loads to fill them.

    BTW an overlooked Athearn product is the lumber loads they make for their 53' bulkhead flats. These are very nicely done and are dead ringers for loads I've seen in films and stills from the late 1960s on. The Grande ran a LOT of lumber east from its WP connection, which linked up to the GN in No Calif.

    The Challenger, alas, is out of my time frame, and I've taken a vow to not spend on stuff that would be 'nice' to have even if it's anachronistic... You would think, with all that coal around, the Grande would have hung on to steam longer than it did, but in the early 1950s the purge was on and by 1954 steam was scarce throughout the standard gauge system - and gone by 1955.

    Bryan Pfaffenberger
    Charlottesville, VA
  18. Calzephyr

    Calzephyr TrainBoard Supporter

    Same thing I said 10 years ago.

    Bryan... I remember saying the same things many year ago when I wanted to stay in the late 1950's to mid 1960' time frame. Then I saw the Kato Mikado and began to 'like' steamers. Even though the first 'Mikes' weren't particularly great pullers; I wanted one... and 'fabricated a justification' that there could be an excursion special from a museum or even a historical society associated with the railroad. It's not difficult to 'warp' back in time and have older engines running on a layout... it's really tough to 'warp' time forward to have modern equipment (which I've got some 1970'-1980' stuff too :embarrassed:). So... now I have about a dozen various types of steamers... from the 1880's thru 1950's versions. I would regret not buying a Challenger... specially decorated for the D&RGW.... so I'm getting one even though it is 'anachronistic' to the late 1950' to mid 1960's era I prefer.
  19. Westfalen

    Westfalen TrainBoard Member

    There's been a lot said about these so I may have missed something, with the odd sample showing up here and there can anyone report on their pulling capabilities. I'd love to get one but I'm reluctant to shell out $400+ (Australian) for a large articulated that struggles to pull a dozen cars.
  20. HemiAdda2d

    HemiAdda2d Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    I sure hope it doesn't stumble in pulling power--my layout has 2% ruling mainline grades, and a 2% helix grade.
    How do other Athearn locos do in pulling power? I know, apples to oranges, when comparing seam to diesel; but do Athearn locos pull a decent load, or are they slippy?

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