Difference in Athearn Shells

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CaryTrainGuy

New Member
Hi,
I'm wondering if there's a difference between the Athearn (RTR) and Athearn (Blue Box) Shells. I can't seem to see the difference. The shells I'm comparing
are SD-40T-2.

Thanks
Jerry:cool:
 

flh80

Member
Don't know about that shell but I think they are all the same as the BB's. The only thing they did was make them "Ready to Run" and charge more money. They put the Glazing in and Hand rails on, charge triple the original price. In their defence they did come out with more paint scemes but that may have been to jump start the company for new owners of Athearn.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

jrbernier

Milw Road in SW Wisconsin
Most of the RTR line is based off of the old BB shells. For the most part, they have been upgraded with body mounted couplers, and the 'Hex' driveline. Also DCC Ready and the new handrails/paint jobs.
When Athearn was sold the first time(early 90's), there wa a rather steep price increase and you still had a basic BB model. The new RTR line is better, but again you pay more. But it is still inexpensive compard to some of the other competition.
I bought the RTR Milw SD40-2 engines. They are a big improvement over the old BB model. DCC Ready(either 8 pin NMRA or 9 pin JST), and the lights are prewired. They have the correct nose and the fuel tanks are correct as well. I am not thrilled with the fragile plastic handrails, but it seems everyone is into scale handrails now.

Jim
 

diburning

AlcoHaulic
Don't know about that shell but I think they are all the same as the BB's. The only thing they did was make them "Ready to Run" and charge more money. They put the Glazing in and Hand rails on, charge triple the original price. In their defence they did come out with more paint scemes but that may have been to jump start the company for new owners of Athearn.

Yes and no. The GP38/40-2 and GP50 are still the blue box tooling but the rest have all been retooled and use different shells. If the loco does not have a DCC Quick Plug equipped, then it uses the blue box shell.

The SD38 and SD40 series (including the SD45 series and your tunnel motor) are new shells made with the railpower products tooling with major detail improvements. The SD50 and SD60 were tooled from the ground up by Chris Clune, the guy who started exactrail, and the SW series were completely redone in-house by athearn.
 

diburning

AlcoHaulic
Well, they are DCC-ready, have grabs and etched metal detail parts. $110 is still cheap considering Atlas charges closer to $200 for newer non-sound locos! Also, Atlas and P2K uses primarily plastic parts that break off easily.
 

ICG/SOU

HO & O (3-rail) trainman
Does the pilot have a notch under it (so you can remove the shell without removing the couplers?)

I like Athearn on the detail parts, as they tend to get the horns, bells, and antenna in the right place and correct type. I was disappointed in my SOU Atlas Gold GP38s with the wrong horn and only one of them, as well as the bell on the wrong end.
 

CaryTrainGuy

New Member
The main reason I asked about the shells, is that I can't seem to fit the shell back to the frame. I know the frame is (RTR) the shell is Blue Box.

Jerry
 




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