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The Pacific was based on a Boston & Maine locomotive.
It went through several drive revisions before ceasing production in 1966.
the first Mike was from the very first batch and has worked perfectly since new, the second one came a few years later and the gear S. The Pacific split it's gear also and i am going to buy the replacement gear from N. The Digitrax system is fine and the sound (DCC) good. No more Atherin car kits to be had but I have 45 freight cars and a passenger train that I seldom use.
In summary I enjoy the sound system and 3900 but will not have a good place for a layout for quite some time. Nearly all of these suffer from a main drive gear on the axle that has cracked, resulting in an engine that won't run.
Who knows by then I may have been able to find another 3900. writes: Notes on Athearn's original steam engines: The 0-4-2T is based on a drawing published in Model Railroader; it's not a bad little locomotive that runs well and will pull a fair amount of cars. The last I checked, they were selling for about $25; a good display piece since most do not run and many better models of the same engine have been released since.
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.
Some of them run very well and the whole lower boiler and frame is cast, giving them a fair amount of weight.
They also have decent detailing especially considering their era.
I would like to see stronger Headlight performance and the red mars light is a nice touch but could also be brighter.
Overall I really like Athearn's quality for the money and would highly consider them in my purchasing decisions.
In 1999 Athearn entered the steam locomotive market with the Genesis Series USRA 2-8-2 and 4-6-2. At the time, this was the first new steam locomotive offering in many years.
The other companies offering steam locomotives at this time were Rivarossi, MDC/Roundhouse, Tyco/Mantua, and Bowser.
That engine uses so much power that it shuts itself off and when you want an operational coupler for dubble-header operation, they only give you the parts and say "figure it out yourself because we don't want to put it on the manual" and some of the parts fall off.