Author Topic: Athearn delivery schedules?  (Read 338 times)

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nkalanaga

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Athearn delivery schedules?
« on: December 01, 2019, 01:10:45 AM »
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I, and probably a bunch of others, have Athearn's new 1960s/70s containers reserved.  JTC has now announced the same roadnames on their new containers.  If I didn't already have the reservations made, I'd buy the JTC.  JTC may be more expensive, but at least they deliver the goods.

Athearn's first run has been pushed back from March 2020 to January 2021.  Along with yet another delay on the ACF 4600cf CFs, I'm wondering if anyone has actual knowledge, not just rumors or speculation, on what Athearn's business plan really is?  They're getting to be as bad as Intermountain for delays.
N Kalanaga
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CBQ Fan

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Re: Athearn delivery schedules?
« Reply #1 on: December 01, 2019, 09:27:22 AM »
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I, and probably a bunch of others, have Athearn's new 1960s/70s containers reserved.  JTC has now announced the same roadnames on their new containers.  If I didn't already have the reservations made, I'd buy the JTC.  JTC may be more expensive, but at least they deliver the goods.

Athearn's first run has been pushed back from March 2020 to January 2021.  Along with yet another delay on the ACF 4600cf CFs, I'm wondering if anyone has actual knowledge, not just rumors or speculation, on what Athearn's business plan really is?  They're getting to be as bad as Intermountain for delays.

I emailed them on a run of their hoppers and they responded quickly with helpful information.
Brian

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nkalanaga

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Re: Athearn delivery schedules?
« Reply #2 on: December 01, 2019, 04:07:49 PM »
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I've heard they respond to specific requests well, and their customer service is good.  Their models are good, when they finally release them.  But I was wondering about their production problems, which most companies don't really like to keep rehashing every time a customer gets curious. or annoyed.
N Kalanaga
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jagged ben

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Re: Athearn delivery schedules?
« Reply #3 on: December 01, 2019, 06:20:49 PM »
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I have no inside or special information but I'll offer some observations.

First, Athearn for the most part consistently delivers on announcements, usually within 6 months of their original forecasted ship date, and without too much deviation in the order in which announcements are made.  This is particularly true of models that were previously released with the same tooling.  New tooling seems to routinely come delayed 6-12 months after the original forecasted ship date.

The ACF 4600 is the most notable exception right now, being the only item I've noticed being delayed 2 years from original announcement date; I would note that it is the most complicated new N tooling they have in development right now.  For what it's worth, it's also in direct competition with the IM model, which IM recently shipped some roadnames of with improved features (body-mounts and metal wheels) that make the Athearn no longer clearly superior.

So far as I've noticed, Athearn has yet to cancel any announced product.

In summary, I think it's an overstatement to compare Athearn to IM, which routinely takes more than 2 years from announcement to release even for simple models, and which also rather explicitly makes announcements just to feel out the market and then cancels models if they don't see enough interest.  Athearn is more like a slower moving Atlas, or at any rate somewhere in between Atlas and IM.   

I feel ya that it's certainly tough to choose between getting (2) JTC cans in the next few months vs. waiting to get (3) Athearn cans for the same price in a year or more.  Ya just gotta make a choice.

Mark5

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Re: Athearn delivery schedules?
« Reply #4 on: December 01, 2019, 08:12:37 PM »
+1
The ACF 4600 is the most notable exception right now, being the only item I've noticed being delayed 2 years from original announcement date; I would note that it is the most complicated new N tooling they have in development right now.  For what it's worth, it's also in direct competition with the IM model, which IM recently shipped some roadnames of with improved features (body-mounts and metal wheels) that make the Athearn no longer clearly superior.

Ben, the 4600 is an entirely different (and new to N scale) model than the IM 4650 (which competes with the MTL 4650).

https://www.therailwire.net/forum/index.php?topic=41069.0

Mark


jagged ben

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Re: Athearn delivery schedules?
« Reply #5 on: December 01, 2019, 08:45:11 PM »
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Ben, the 4600 is an entirely different (and new to N scale) model than the IM 4650 (which competes with the MTL 4650).

https://www.therailwire.net/forum/index.php?topic=41069.0

Mark

I don't know about 'entirely different' (they're both very similar looking ACF 3-bays) but fair enough, it's an indirect competitor not a direct one.  That was the most speculative off-topic part of my post in any case.

nkalanaga

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Re: Athearn delivery schedules?
« Reply #6 on: December 02, 2019, 12:10:03 AM »
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Since I only need one of each container, a 2-pack is fine.  It was rare to see more than one of most containers in a train in the early 70s.  In the Northwest, SeaLand was a big exception, but nobody seems to make theirs anyway.  Probably because a lot of theirs were odd-length, and wouldn't be usable for any other road.
N Kalanaga
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