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What's your thoughts on the new Athearn announcement of the dash 9

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What's your thoughts on the new Athearn announcement of the dash 9
Posted by DAVID FORTNEY on Sunday, August 2, 2020 9:34 PM

This is a great announcement for me. Been looking for a new dash 9. 

I'll be in for a Union Pacific scheme and I hope in another run they will do the Santa fe in the red and silver. I'm surprised they did not do the SF considering that scales trains screwed up the color in their last run of dash 9's.  

I have the new sd90 from Athearn and everything about it is some of the best ho models from Athearn or anybody else for that matter.

Be on the look out for some improvements in detail like ground lights and step lights leading up to the cab doors.

Dave

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Posted by tstage on Sunday, August 2, 2020 9:39 PM

Since I model the early-to-late 40s NYC, it holds no interest for me.  Should Athearn release an early diesel?...then I'll take notice.

Tom

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Posted by rrinker on Sunday, August 2, 2020 9:45 PM

 Closest thing to a GE I run is an Alco-GE-IR boxcab, and I'm stretching to have it still operating in my modeled era, in reality, it was already scrapped, or at least sitting on a deadline somewhere.

 Not counting the generators and traction motors in all the Alco RS3's and S-model switchers.

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Sunday, August 2, 2020 10:44 PM

Dave, glad they are making a model you are interested in.

This speaks directly to several recent threads about the production and availability of models in our hobby.

I would not know a Dash 9 if I tripped over it. I would need to read the end of the box. One modern diesel looks like the next to me.

I do not follow current or "modern" railroading. I don't "railfan" the prototype, except for historic operations like Strasburg.

My reply to you is not meant to be negative, it is simply to politely point out the wide range of interests in the hobby today.

I model 1954, I don't buy ANY models just to collect or display, I only buy models that fit the theme of the layout.

Manufacturers like me, when I do buy locos it is common for me to buy them in pairs or greater. There are models that I have 8 and 10 copies of, because it is all about creating a believable roster and conducting realistic operations.

Sheldon

 

    

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Monday, August 3, 2020 12:24 AM

I looked up the announcement. It took FOREVER for the PDF to download.

The CNW version looks great, but I have always liked the CNW paint schemes.

It is a handsome and striking model. It looks like they are allowing less than four weeks for reservations, and then it is estimated to take a year to deliver the model.

-Kevin

Wink Happily modeling my STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD. A Class A line located in a personal fantasy world of semi-plausible nonsense on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954.

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Posted by DAVID FORTNEY on Monday, August 3, 2020 12:48 AM

I only mentioned the new engine by Athearn because it is one engine I have been looking for. Of course it does not fit everyone's scheme or era. But it should be a good one for people who model the modern era like I do. 

Dave

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Posted by Doughless on Monday, August 3, 2020 6:57 AM

SeeYou190

It looks like they are allowing less than four weeks for reservations, and then it is estimated to take a year to deliver the model.

-Kevin

 

A sign of the times.  

Most contemporary locos are too long to look good on my layout. I'm testing a 42 inch radius curve with an SD40 and the inside overhang still bothers me. 

- Douglas

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Posted by dti406 on Monday, August 3, 2020 8:27 AM

Athearn is doing the same model that has been done by Scaletrains (except for the Canadian versions).  We are still missing models from the fifties-sixties-seventies that have not been made why bring out a duplicate model.

 

Rick Jesionowski

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Monday, August 3, 2020 8:53 AM

Rick, I have made that argument 1000 times. Apparently they don't sell........

    

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Posted by NittanyLion on Monday, August 3, 2020 8:57 AM

dti406

 We are still missing models from the fifties-sixties-seventies that have not been made why bring out a duplicate model.

 

Rick Jesionowski

 

Price point. They're not exactly "the same." 

Plus, the Dash 9 is one of the most produced locomotives of all time. It'll sell. 

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Posted by DAVID FORTNEY on Monday, August 3, 2020 10:25 AM

Sheldon,

You hit the nail on the head. Most modelers today want to model what they see. When there is a market for the ones not being made right now the mfgs. Will make them. There is just no market for those locomotives. 

I grew up in the 50's so I had some of those models not being made but I really like today's railroading, not for everybody, sure but that is where the market is. 

Looks like there could be a market out there for some mfg. To make those earlier models but maybe they have and it's just not there.

Dave

 

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Posted by maxman on Monday, August 3, 2020 11:13 AM

dti406
We are still missing models from the fifties-sixties-seventies that have not been made why bring out a duplicate model.

You need to ask the folks that are still making F7 models that question.

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Monday, August 3, 2020 6:41 PM

DAVID FORTNEY

Sheldon,

You hit the nail on the head. Most modelers today want to model what they see. When there is a market for the ones not being made right now the mfgs. Will make them. There is just no market for those locomotives. 

I grew up in the 50's so I had some of those models not being made but I really like today's railroading, not for everybody, sure but that is where the market is. 

Looks like there could be a market out there for some mfg. To make those earlier models but maybe they have and it's just not there.

Dave

 

 

Really? You have polled every modeler? I was being sarcastic because I have had this conversation before.

There are others on this forum that will tell you most modelers want to model "the trains of their youth". Who is right? Is it what they see everyday? or is it the trains of their youth?

Funny thing is, me, Kevin and more than few others on here model trains from before we were born, or from before we were old enough to remember.

Right now, manufacturers make what is "safe", until it is not.

Making models aready made and popular, is safe, but it is not really smart.

In the 1950's thru the early 80's, there was almost no overlap between Athearn and Model Die Casting - why you ask? Because they were smart, they wanted to grow the hobby, and they happened to be friends.

And their product lines had little overlap with Walthers, until Walthers got into the plastic freight car business.

Fact is, they don't know what else will sell. And they can't afford to take a chance.

Sheldon

 

    

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Posted by DAVID FORTNEY on Monday, August 3, 2020 11:15 PM

You don't have to poll every modeler to know where the market is going. Just look what is being offered. Maybe the mfgs. don't know what will sell but believe me they do. Marketing research is big business and if your a smart business owner you want to know where the market is going. 

Look if you want items from the 50's,60's and 70's then let the mfgs. know, trust me they will listen but it must be worthwhile for them to do it. It may be BTO and small runs will mean more expensive per unit. 

Dave

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Posted by Paul3 on Tuesday, August 4, 2020 11:23 AM

dti406,
Athearn did this model first as an Athearn BB model.

What loco models from the 50s, 60s and 70s have not been done?

Here's a list of all diesels made for the North American market sorted by date along with production numbers:
http://www.urbaneagle.com/data/RRdieselchrono.html

Sheldon,
Yes, you and I are the exceptions to the "model what they saw" idea.  But we are the exceptions, not the rule.  Most modelers do model what they saw.  A guy at my club models CNW because he grew up in Chicago.  One other models the California Zephyr because he rode it as a kid.  Another does the Alaska RR because he vacationed up there.  Heck, even I model stuff I've gotten a cab ride in and I'm all about the NH otherwise.

About Athearn & MDC, they avoided overlap due to the constant run nature of the market back then.  Once you tooled a model (which was hideously expensive), you had to run the heck out of that tooling to pay it off and make money.  Production runs lasting decades was the norm.  Today, tooling is paid off in the first run of several thousand units.

Manufacturers take risks these days but only when the pre-orders allow it.  Take FL9s for example.  No one made one in mass produced plastic for over half a century, but Rapido took a risk and made them.  Now they are gearing up for their 3rd run of them.

There isn't much worry about overlap these days when you're only selling 3000 or 5000 units.  As long as the production run doesn't overlap within a couple years, you can get away with multiple copies of the same model hitting the market.

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Tuesday, August 4, 2020 3:23 PM

DAVID FORTNEY

You don't have to poll every modeler to know where the market is going. Just look what is being offered. Maybe the mfgs. don't know what will sell but believe me they do. Marketing research is big business and if your a smart business owner you want to know where the market is going. 

Look if you want items from the 50's,60's and 70's then let the mfgs. know, trust me they will listen but it must be worthwhile for them to do it. It may be BTO and small runs will mean more expensive per unit. 

Dave

 

You might want to take a look at the responses to my thread asking what era people on here model...........

Sheldon

    

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Posted by dti406 on Tuesday, August 4, 2020 9:21 PM

Paul3

dti406,
Athearn did this model first as an Athearn BB model.

What loco models from the 50s, 60s and 70s have not been done?

Here's a list of all diesels made for the North American market sorted by date along with production numbers:
http://www.urbaneagle.com/data/RRdieselchrono.html

Paul,

The Athearn Blue Box model was not well done, but acceptable as a standin, but after Scaletrains did their superb model, why would Athearn then upgrade their model  and release it.

Great a list of prototype locomotives, how many of them have been produced (not counting brass) in enough quantities to meet demand.

Ones I know of that many modelers have asked for:

Alco S-5, S-6, T-6 Family, C-415

Baldwin Baby Face Freight Units, RT624, HiHood version AS416 and AS616

Fairbanks Morse H20-44 and H16-66

EMD GP38AC (different than stock GP38 and GP38-2), GP49, DD35, GP28

GE U23-6

Lima Switches and Transfer Unit

Rick Jesionowski

 

Rule 1: This is my railroad.

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Rule 3: Illuminating discussion of prototype history, equipment and operating practices is always welcome, but in the event of visitor-perceived anacronisms, detail descrepancies or operating errors, consult RULE 1!

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Posted by riogrande5761 on Wednesday, August 5, 2020 6:50 AM

You can please some of the people some of the time, but not all of the people all of the time.  This seems true enough for this hobby.  Anyway, what we think may or may not agree with the trends and the market research.  As my wifes mom used to say, "you get what you are given".  Here we are with more excellent model choices than ever and hobbyists seem disatisified.  Human nature maybe.

Rio Grande.  The Action Road  - Focus 1977-1983

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Wednesday, August 5, 2020 10:55 AM

riogrande5761

You can please some of the people some of the time, but not all of the people all of the time.  This seems true enough for this hobby.  Anyway, what we think may or may not agree with the trends and the market research.  As my wifes mom used to say, "you get what you are given".  Here we are with more excellent model choices than ever and hobbyists seem disatisified.  Human nature maybe.

 

Some may be dissatisfied, I'm not.

Most of this expensive high detail product is not in my era anyway. What is, I buy my share of. But I'm not waiting or begging for manufacturers to make high detail, highly researched models of everything I might want before I build my layout and run my trains.

The stuff I have is plenty close enough in most cases.

That covers me personally, but philosophically, I do think manufacturers could duplicate less, make an even wider range of stuff, and make more money than they are now.

Sheldon

    

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Posted by DAVID FORTNEY on Thursday, August 6, 2020 12:28 AM

The people who respond to anybody's thread is a small example of people into ho trains. I would bet that 80%+ who are into ho have never seen this forum or for that matter any other forum.

I did not start this thread to start a argument. I posted it because I like dash 9's and Athearn models. Everyone wants models in their era they model. Instead of trashing what I want how about you guys talk up the models you want.

Btw I have nothing against scale trains and the dash9's they made they were incredible models but I like Athearn and mostly run Athearn locomotives on my layout. 

Dave

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Posted by DAVID FORTNEY on Thursday, August 6, 2020 12:36 AM

Btw I have 5 blue box dash9's. They were not great engines but ok with some work. 3 of the 5 are now dummys. The other two will follow soon. Add a little detail to them and they will pass when put in a consist. 

Dave

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Posted by Paul3 on Thursday, August 6, 2020 2:28 AM

dti406,
Why would Athearn upgrade their C44-9W model and release it?  To make money.

There were 3,668 C44-9W's made (that's right up there with GP9's and SD40-2's in popularity).  In North America, they have been owned by ATSF, BCOL, BNSF, CN, CNW, CSXT, NS, QNSL, SP, UP, GECX and LTEX.  Add in multiple paint jobs and patch-outs, and Athearn can crank out run after run of these models.

By comparison, there were:
7 S-5
126 S-6
55 T-6
26 C-415
33 DR-4-4-15 (Babyface A's & B's)
24 RT624
25 AS416
221 AS616 (A's & B's; Didn't Stewart/Bowser already make this?)
96 H20-44
59 H16-66
261 GP38AC
9 GP49
30 DD35
31 GP28
223 U23C
136 Lima Switchers
22 Lima Transfers
--------------------
940 locos

Those 17 engine types all together are roughly a quarter of the production of C44-9W's.

Worse, there are several in the above list that were only owned by one or two railroads.  The 22 Lima Transfers, for example, were all PRR owned.  The 9 GP49's were all Alaska RR.  The Alco S-5 was B&M only.  How many of these could you expect to sell?

While I think most of your list will get made someday and will make money for the manufacturer that makes them, the C44-9W will make Athearn more money over the years or even decades of production.  And that's why they did it.  Every modern day Class I modeler needs C44-9W's.  They are just about everywhere on 5 of the big 7 RR's. 

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Thursday, August 6, 2020 8:11 AM

DAVID FORTNEY

The people who respond to anybody's thread is a small example of people into ho trains. I would bet that 80%+ who are into ho have never seen this forum or for that matter any other forum.

I did not start this thread to start a argument. I posted it because I like dash 9's and Athearn models. Everyone wants models in their era they model. Instead of trashing what I want how about you guys talk up the models you want.

Btw I have nothing against scale trains and the dash9's they made they were incredible models but I like Athearn and mostly run Athearn locomotives on my layout. 

Dave

 

I agree, this forum likely only represents 1%, and it may or may not be a good cross section.

But my point still stands, how do you know what percentage of modelers are interested in present day? I worked in this business, I know better than to even think I have a good guess.

I'm not trashing your choices or interests, I'm indifferent to them. But I do have an opinion about the excessive duplication by different manufacturers rather than attempting to grow the choices and the hobby.

That opinion may or may not apply to the Dash 9.

Model trains, especially HO, is more diverse than it ever was in the past. More great product, but also more possible eras to model. But most importantly more different approaches to the various activities in the hobby.

Good RTR did not really exist 30-35 years ago. The appearance of good RTR has dramatically changed the nature and face of the HO hobby.

Sheldon

    

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Posted by Doughless on Thursday, August 6, 2020 9:54 AM

Paul3

dti406,
Why would Athearn upgrade their C44-9W model and release it?  To make money.

There were 3,668 C44-9W's made (that's right up there with GP9's and SD40-2's in popularity).  In North America, they have been owned by ATSF, BCOL, BNSF, CN, CNW, CSXT, NS, QNSL, SP, UP, GECX and LTEX.  Add in multiple paint jobs and patch-outs, and Athearn can crank out run after run of these models.

By comparison, there were:
7 S-5
126 S-6
55 T-6
26 C-415
33 DR-4-4-15 (Babyface A's & B's)
24 RT624
25 AS416
221 AS616 (A's & B's; Didn't Stewart/Bowser already make this?)
96 H20-44
59 H16-66
261 GP38AC
9 GP49
30 DD35
31 GP28
223 U23C
136 Lima Switchers
22 Lima Transfers
--------------------
940 locos

Those 17 engine types all together are roughly a quarter of the production of C44-9W's.

Worse, there are several in the above list that were only owned by one or two railroads.  The 22 Lima Transfers, for example, were all PRR owned.  The 9 GP49's were all Alaska RR.  The Alco S-5 was B&M only.  How many of these could you expect to sell?

While I think most of your list will get made someday and will make money for the manufacturer that makes them, the C44-9W will make Athearn more money over the years or even decades of production.  And that's why they did it.  Every modern day Class I modeler needs C44-9W's.  They are just about everywhere on 5 of the big 7 RR's. 

 

Good post.

- Douglas

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