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Thread: Walthers Mainline vs Athearn Roundhouse

  1. Default Walthers Mainline vs Athearn Roundhouse

    Just wondering your experiences with Walthers Mainline vs Athearn Roundhouse Diesel loco's. Basically which line has the smoothest and quietest drive? Are the axles metal or plastic? Any known issues with the GEVO's? Thanks for any input.

  2. Default

    I don't have any of their GEVOs, but I do have a couple of the SD70ace locos. They seem to run very well, and the sound is ok. I haven't run them a whole lot, but I'm going to pick up a Citirail when its released. I have no RoundHouse locos, so I'm no help there.

  3. Default

    Thanks for the info. I bought two Roundhouse NS AC4400's and I'm not very impressed. I have Athearn Genesis and there is a world of difference...I know price is way different as well. But some companies use the same motor and drive/gears in lower lines as their premium. The 2 Roundhouse are noisy and not smooth at slow speeds. I pulled the factory boards and installed Rail Pro and it took me about 30 seconds to MU the two and try them running together. One ran at a faster speed than the other so I reversed the slower one and made it #2 in the MU and it ran the same speed as the faster one...LOL

    Quote Originally Posted by migalyto View Post
    I don't have any of their GEVOs, but I do have a couple of the SD70ace locos. They seem to run very well, and the sound is ok. I haven't run them a whole lot, but I'm going to pick up a Citirail when its released. I have no RoundHouse locos, so I'm no help there.

  4. Default

    I have 3 of the Mainline SD 70ace and 3 Athearn RTR SD40-2 units. While they are not as detailed as the Genesis models, they run pretty smooth. The sound units do not have all the sound options as the higher dollar models but they work fine for me.

    i will say this, out of the box with no speed matching they run as well together (Mainline to Mainline) as anything I’ve seen. I even use one midtrain as a DPU with no issues.

    i can say the same for the Athearn RTR units as well.

    For the price point, they were a good investment.

    Hope this helps you out.
    DB

  5. #5
    Join Date
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    Location
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    This is copied from the specifications sheet of the Mainline ES44AC


    • Factory-Installed SoundTraxx(R) sound for DCC and DC layouts

    - 16-Bit digital quality sound
    - Horn and short horn toot
    - Bell
    - Prime mover

    • Three lighting functions


    • Same powerful drive as WalthersProto(R) locos featuring:

    - Five-pole skew-wound motor
    - 14:1 gear ratio
    - Helical-cut gears for quiet operation and easy multiple unit operation
    - All-wheel drive and electrical pickup
    - Dual machined brass flywheels
    - Heavy die cast metal chassis
    - Constant and directional lights

    • Molded drill starter points for grab irons (sold separately)


    • RP-25 metal wheels


    • Proto MAX(TM) metal knuckle couplers


    To me, the most notable advantage these models will have over both of their competition, is the use of the Proto versions motor and driveline, incorporating the latest improvement to that line of all helical cut gears. This should guarantee a very quiet drive with very smooth running, something Proto has been renowned for even before that modification. I can't speak for Athearn's Roundhouse line, but only their Genesis line uses can motors, their other line, Ready to Roll, does not, using a 5 pole open type that has been around since after their Bluebox days. Gears are straight cut and the shafts are the modern hex drive. I would assume the Roundhouse versions to be the same. The Tsunami decoders used in the cheaper versions are reduced function versions, made by Soundtrax to the model makers specs. e.g. Bachmann's Sound Value also. I note that Athearn now say the RTR models are fitted with the newer Econami decoder. It also lacks, like the models being discussed, the Prime mover start-up and shutdown sounds available in both the old Tsunami and the new Tsunami2.
    Last edited by tootnkumin; 02-21-2018 at 03:23 AM.
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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Caboolture in SE Queensland, Australia
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    I did also find on the Net, a Model Railroader magazine review of the Mainline model, where it said the ditch lghts could be made to flash, but it appears this means they both flash together, but not alternating. You could, with the old Tsunami and presumably the new Tsunami2, reprogram a few CV's to make them alternate flash (I have done this with most of mine, all the first version) because they are wired to 2 function outputs on the decoder. In the case of mine, that involves both F5 and F6 functions.
    CONVICTED SERIAL KIDDER

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