From Athearn July 17th
Ever since we purchased the state-of-the-art SD70ACe / SD70M-2 tooling from Tower 55, there has been much speculation on what we would do with it. Rest assured, despite all the other new and upgraded projects in the pipeline, we have not forgotten about the SD70ACe and SD70M-2!
As fans of these burly locomotives can attest, there have been many phase variations and railroad options on these, in addition to common details, and we are hard at work covering as many variations of these as possible. Fortunately, the basic tooling design will allow us to cover many of these as separate components, including features such as:
- Different Inverter Cabinet Panels
- Different Rear Sand Filler Placements
- “Isolated” Cabs
- Alternate Fuel Fill and Gauge Placements
- Different Anticlimbers
- Early/Late Jacking Pads
- High and Low Headlights
- Dynamic Brake Louver Panels
- And Much, Much More!
Naturally, we realize that running quality is just as important as looks, so these models will have the proven Genesis® motor and drivetrain in order to deliver smooth and powerful performance. Of course, sound-equipped units will come equipped with Soundtraxx Tsunami-brand digital sound decoders, as included in all current Genesis® sound-equipped locomotive models. There are many different paint schemes that we will be doing on these models, including the colorful Union Pacific “Heritage” schemes on the SD70ACes.
So at the moment, in addition to covering all those details we mentioned previously, we are also busy engineering and tooling the final bits and pieces needed to complete the basic tooling we acquired … things such as handrails, chassis, mechanism, and so forth. We are hoping to have test shots within the next few months.
Once all of the parts are ready, we focus on the fit and finish, as well as the proper running performance of the assembled model. Once we feel they’re ready to begin production, we’ll announce the road names and paint schemes for the first run. If everything goes as planned, we should be able to do that later this year.
So … the Athearn Genesis® SD70ACes and SD70M-2s are on the way, and will be well worth the wait!