GP38-2's, SLSF 663-699 & SLSF 400-478, Athearn Genesis

Discussion in 'Electo-Motive Division (EMD)' started by meteor910, Nov 30, 2014.

  1. meteor910

    meteor910 2009 Engineer of the Year Staff Member Supporter

    I pulled out one of my two Athearn Genesis Frisco GP38-2's tonight, SLSF 695 (I also have SLSF 419), to see what added detail work was necessary to get them ready for service. It proved to be a rather short list! Only about nine items, many of which involve only paint.

    The only major item I identified was with the front and rear pilots, which do not have the Frisco "standard" plow pilot, i.e., the Details West #235-130. I was initially taken back that Athearn missed this, as both my 38-2's have a standard squared off hose holder pilot beam (like DW #235-193) instead of the plow pilot. Everything else I noted was a relatively minor improvement. On balance, I think the Genesis Frisco GP38-2 is a very well done model.

    Before I started ripping off pilot beams so I can put on the plow pilot, I thought it best to have a look at my pics of the Frisco GP38-2's to see just what they carried. Well ..... you guessed it ..... after looking at about 60-70 Frisco GP38-2's, I didn't find one that clearly had the plow pilot mounted. They all seemed to have either the plain pilot beam hose holder, like the models, or the pilot beam hose holder with footboards (which was how they were equipped when delivered in 1972-1976).

    Does anyone have any solid evidence showing that the Frisco did indeed install the plow pilots on the GP38-2's? Frankly, I hope not! Saves me a lot of trouble putting on the different pilot detail part, which, frankly, is oversized and results in some clearance problems of its own when installed.

    Let me know. Thanks.


    PS: We need Details Associates (if they are still in business!), or Grandt to do a proper plastic plow pilot detail part for us!
  2. gjslsffan

    gjslsffan Staff Member Staff Member

    I agree completely If you put the DW 130 pilot plow on (the correct height) then your couplers sometimes come apart or wont couple up at all. I think I left mine the same as Ath/Gen made them. They are really nice models. I wonder sometimes if the fan grills are getting a little anemic though. I will be looking FWD to seeing others input on this too.

  3. Oldguy

    Oldguy Member Supporter

    Out of the nearly 200 photos that I have scanned of GP 38-2's, not a single one had a snow plow. Some had a foot grate on the standard "hose-holder" pilot beam, other than that all were the same.
  4. meteor910

    meteor910 2009 Engineer of the Year Staff Member Supporter

    Thanks! I'm gunna leave 'em on as Athearn has them. I'll bet the plow pilot went on as a replacement for earlier foot boards that had no hose holder beam. Noticed from my GP38-2 pics that these units came from EMD with foot boards, but their boards were bolted on the the pilot beam that also served as a hose holder. To remove the boards, all they probably had to do was to undo the boards and keep the hose holder beams mounted.

    If it ain't broke, don't fix it as they say.

  5. Coonskin

    Coonskin Member

    As I recall from being onboard them and around them, the GP38's had footboards into the mid-70s? (When footboards began to be removed.)

    Okay... just pulled a box of old prints that I snapped back in the mid-70s and took a quick glance at some of the 38's therein, and sure 'nuf, footboards are on all the GP38's that I just viewed. So, if you're modeling pre-1976, seems the footboards need to be in place.
  6. klrwhizkid

    klrwhizkid Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporter

    I just got notification that Spring Creek Model Trains will be shipping my four new Athearn Genesis Frisco GP38-2 locomotives numbers 406, 411, 476 and 478 tomorrow. HOT DOG!
  7. meteor910

    meteor910 2009 Engineer of the Year Staff Member Supporter

    Those are nice models Keith. Enjoy!
    I always liked the '38's and '38-2's.
    Ozarktraveler likes this.
  8. Should be fun Keith.
    Ozarktraveler likes this.
  9. William Jackson

    William Jackson Bill Jackson

    Yep, I got 2 of the new Genesis ones. I got pissed off when I seen them, and then looked at my RTR ones. YEEEOWW!!
  10. Iantha_Branch

    Iantha_Branch Member

    I recieved #406 and #478 in the mail this week. Finally got them out this morning and marveled out the impressive product that Athearn continues to produce. Any one else catch that the rear number boards on the back of 478 are white with no numbers? Also, they got the difference in grills right with the 406 and 408 being a phase 1b and the 476 and 478 being phase 1c. And the silver gyra light is a nice touch too. I lined up the two new units with the one I have from the first run for comparison. To my eye, the new run has a little bit more orange to the paint than the first run, so it looks a little closer to a fresh paint job. I'll attach pictures.

    Attached Files:

  11. meteor910

    meteor910 2009 Engineer of the Year Staff Member Supporter

    Excellent. Athearn Genesis models continue to be "TT Grade" ..... typically terrific.
    How do they run?
    Ozarktraveler likes this.
  12. Iantha_Branch

    Iantha_Branch Member

    These two came out of the box smooth as butter, as if they've already been broke in.
    Ozarktraveler likes this.
  13. klrwhizkid

    klrwhizkid Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporter

    I am happy to report that the new Tsunami 2 TSU-GN1000 sound decoders in these locos are full feature decoders. They have all the functionality of the SoundTraxx Tsunami 2 TSU-PNP decoders, just with sound profiles pared down to the appropriate EMD 645 prime movers that were available on the GP38-2 locomotives.
    A few of the more significant features include:
    1) Dynamic Digital Exhaust with throttle change sensing and load sensing; when properly programmed, if you crack the throttle, the prime mover will notch up until the locomotive gets up to speed and will then notch back. If the locomotive encounters a load, it will automatically notch up with no change in speed, and if the load drops (like going downhill) it will automatically notch back - even potentially to idle.
    2) Three different braking features with separate braking rates; Independent brakes (locomotive brakes), Train brakes, and Dynamic braking (with two different levels of braking that will slow the train down but not stop it). All three can be programmed to perform as you see fit.
    3) Functions that can be mapped to any function key and can be mapped to multiple keys or multiple functions to one key. I can map the prime mover shut-down sequence and handbrake setting sequence to one function key.
    4) If you don't like the Digital Dynamic Exhaust you can use two function keys to manually notch the prime mover up and down while still being able to control the speed of your locomotive/train (unlike another highly touted manual notching while uncontrollable speed decoder for your Lokomotive)
    5) The best lighting feature reproduction functions in the business.

    Can you tell I'm hyped up about these new locos?

    My only disappointment is that we did not get LED lighting instead of bulbs, but I can fix that.
  14. William Jackson

    William Jackson Bill Jackson

    Great review Keith, we should stress the contribution you make to this group. Thank You for all you do. !!
    Ozarktraveler likes this.
  15. dwoomer

    dwoomer Member

    I will echo the roadmaster's comment - thanks Keith!
  16. RogerRT

    RogerRT Staff Member Staff Member Supporter

    Haven't taken mine out yet but did take a look at them...The only negative I can see is a bit of handrail stretch that Tom Holley mentioned but I think you are going to get that on any Athearn model, on my 406 the rear handrail on the fireman's side popped out & was bent, not sure if this is going to be a problem...The numbers are properly centered on this batch & the all the handrails are painted white...All & all AAA+++, thinking of picking up a couple more of the late versions...Roger
    Ozarktraveler likes this.
  17. meteor910

    meteor910 2009 Engineer of the Year Staff Member Supporter

    Glad to hear Athearn got the handrail colors correct. This was a problem on a few prior models.
    Ozarktraveler likes this.
  18. My dad's arrived today. He had them out of the box and running a couple minutes later. I coule not believe all the DCC options available.
    Ozarktraveler and paul slavens like this.

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