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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Incredible detail
Without the Genesis price.


The club just purchased these Athearn RTR SD40 variants... (two 40's, two 40-2's) all with Soundtraxx.
All except one ran perfectly out-of-the-box... (one stubbornly refused to address, so it was upgraded with ESU & Loksound).

Fine scale handrails... MU hoses... Wire grabs... Windshield wipers... Cut levers, etc, etc.
McHenry's were immediately swapped for Kadees.

I hadn't known about these variations. They're all extremely attractive.
I think CSX got these units from Conrail.
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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Within the past few years, Athearn finally went to LED lighting, and greatly upgraded their RTR line.
My SP SD40R was one of the first examples. It's superbly detailed, far in excess of their previous RTR production.

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The 4617 is an SD40. Compare to the trucks on CSX 8057 above. The difference is on the SD40's Flexicoil truck, the inboard axle has the traction motor toward the center of the truck so there are two motors between the two inboard axles of the truck. The SD40-2 has an HTC truck where all three traction motors are toward the center of the locomotive relative to their axle. As a result, the HTC truck's frame extends closer to the fuel tank.

To make things a little tricky, Conrail ordered their SD40-2s and SD50s with Flexicoil trucks because HTCs were on Amtrak SDP40F locomotives that occasionally derailed in the late 1970s. There is still some difference of opinion about those derailments but since thousands of other locomotives used HTC trucks, they probably weren't really the issue.

Other differences between SD40 and SD40-2, the SD40-2 is about 3 feet longer making the long porches even longer, the battery box doors are divided up differently, there is a small overhang on the rear of the -2 cab, there is a small sight glass on the engineer's side near the front of the radiator.
Paul
 

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I re-read the original post and noticed the 8864 is one of the ex-Conrail SD40-2s with Flexicoil trucks instead of HTCs. Notice how much longer the porches are than the SD40s above and below. You can also see the difference in the battery box doors. The separation between the two doors is even with the front of the cab on the SD40 and is under the cab on the SD40-2.

It also looks like 8323 is the old Athearn/RailPower tooling and the 8901 is from the all new and improved tooling. Notice the difference in the fidelity of the door latches and dynamic brake intake.

Paul
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
The models are pretty easy to tell apart... a lot easier than spotting the prototypes from a distance.
Even without two models to compare, it's easy to tell a 40 from a 40-2 or a 40R.
The porches on -2's & R's are distinctly longer by quite a bit.
Interestingly, the Athearn RTR 40R that I have, came in a box (labeled from the factory) as just plain "SD40".
 
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