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However, those models were still being produced using decades old technology.The Athearn Genesis models included can motors, flywheels, improved (non-tender) electrical pickup, very quiet operation, DCC-ready wiring and moderate detail.Now repaired, it runs great for me in DC mode, is exceptionally quiet and smooth, lights very nicely (has actual bulbs in numberboards, not sure about headlight and tender backup light--they may be LED--are bright).Now if I only had a good means of weathering that repaired cab roof... their comments were that 1)their gears were machined from solid delrin and wouldn't split like the original molded plastic ones and 2)these are nice locomotives and it baffles them as to why Athearn chose to save money by putting such cheep gears in scott writes: I have a Challenger and enjoy it.I recently purchased one of the last new 1930's versions in dealer inventory.
Athearn sold the tooling to this engine, occasionally rumors surface that the current owner will produce a run of them, but so far none have turned up.I had troubles with it operating well in DC mode and sub par DCC performance compared to the Digitrax, QSI & Soundtrax systems.The model in general is very striking and the motor drive system & traction are excellent.Otherwise I love the model (more than the MTH steamers I wrote glowing reviews about below). My friend has a pacific like mine and it has always run perfectly. On a flat layout it will pull 43 cars at a resonable speed.Paul Menkens writes: I have of these, 2 Mikados and 1 Pacific. soon after I got it, when I contacted Athearn they told me that they were trying to get some replacement gears and to keep getting back to them and they would eventually be able to fix it for me (at no cost) finally about a year and a half later they said to send it in and they did fix it and it has run fine since however they broke some of the detail parts and the headlight has not worked since. When these things run they run great, when I inquired about the replacement gears at N. I would like to get a second 3900 but none are to be had in Houston.