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Hope this is in the right spot...so here goes...

I have just purchased Premier Amtrak F40PH...it has fast become one of my favorites.   I would like to purchase another.  I have opportunity to by a MTH 20-2713.   New but CIRCA 2006.  I have asked and been told it operates and the battery is fine.   My question is this, when considering the purchase of new one compared to an "old" new one what if anything am I not getting in the old one.  Obviously, one is PS2 and one is PS3...and potentially a battery issue.   Any other considerations?   My ultimate question it what sort of discount would i expect to get to entice me to purchase the old one v. a new one.

My thought is if I can get it at 75% of the new price it is worth it.    Curious as to your thoughts.

thanks

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I had a PS2 version that was a CSX and upgraded to PS3, that I swapped shells and to put another PS3 in because of a shorted speaker wire to frame be the previous owner. It ran identical to my PS3 version and now lives happily with @David K. Simpson. Other than the blue being too dark, it was a favorite.

My 2¢? Do it… if you have the older generation Amfleets and/or the MTH heavyweights and MHC cars; all the blues match!

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@msp posted:

Interesting point on the paint.  I have the Lionel 21" which match the blue on the new F40PH.   The older one would match my older amfleet and superliners.

I think your paint is a real concern then you gonna have to be very careful on what you purchase and where by myself don’t worry as much about paint because coming from the railroad industry it was rare anything matched. And if you look at Amfleet cars running around today almost nothing matches even when they were new they were slight variations to thickness of stripe and color.

The biggest change on the MTH F40PH that is of importance to me is the Blomberg truck block.  MTH had a shortened one for many years before they retooled it to the correct wheelbase.  I have some of each as well as many K-Line F40PH's and the wheelbase of the truck is very noticeable to me.  I just don't remember what year MTH made that correction. 

In either case, I have run PS3 and PS2 locomotives together without issue.  On the large club layout I occasionally operate on, I have actually had more success mating PS2 and PS3 locomotives than I have with two PS3 units.  Not sure why and haven't spent enough time to figure out if it is the multiple TIUs or just plain operator error. 

Not a great video, but two of my MTH F40s pulling Williams 20" Superliners which are a holding place until my GGD ones arrive.  The front pilot on the MTH model is not very accurate, but the snowplow makes up for it which is currently not on my Phase II painted unit. 

As for my collection of F40PHs in Amtrak, this is from a recent TCA meeting where I showed mine off.

This doesn't include a Railking one I picked up for an extremely fair price.    Three of these are MTH and three are K-line.  All different numbers.

I like the F40PH quite a bit.  I also have three in VIA, one I painteded for NJT, and CalTrans and TriRail units awaiting a future repaint into either NJT or Amtrak.

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@GG1 4877 posted:

The biggest change on the MTH F40PH that is of importance to me is the Blomberg truck block.  MTH had a shortened one for many years before they retooled it to the correct wheelbase.  I have some of each as well as many K-Line F40PH's and the wheelbase of the truck is very noticeable to me.  I just don't remember what year MTH made that correction.

In either case, I have run PS3 and PS2 locomotives together without issue.  On the large club layout I occasionally operate on, I have actually had more success mating PS2 and PS3 locomotives than I have with two PS3 units.  Not sure why and haven't spent enough time to figure out if it is the multiple TIUs or just plain operator error.

Not a great video, but two of my MTH F40s pulling Williams 20" Superliners which are a holding place until my GGD ones arrive.  The front pilot on the MTH model is not very accurate, but the snowplow makes up for it which is currently not on my Phase II painted unit.

As for my collection of F40PHs in Amtrak, this is from a recent TCA meeting where I showed mine off.

This doesn't include a Railking one I picked up for an extremely fair price.    Three of these are MTH and three are K-line.  All different numbers.

I like the F40PH quite a bit.  I also have three in VIA, one I painteded for NJT, and CalTrans and TriRail units awaiting a future repaint into either NJT or Amtrak.

I cant find those MTH VIA F40PH engines anywhere, I've had some luck with finding VIA genesis engines but those F40PH ones are illusive (and very well done).

@GG1 4877 posted: ...snip...

I like the F40PH quite a bit.  I also have three in VIA, one I painteded for NJT, and CalTrans and TriRail units awaiting a future repaint into either NJT or Amtrak.

I have one MTH F40PH two-rail Tri-Rail (numbered 804, wrongly as the real 804 is an M-K rebuild), I just wish that K-Line had gotten as far as releasing the 21" Bombardier tri-levels in Tri-Rail.

I cant find those MTH VIA F40PH engines anywhere, I've had some luck with finding VIA genesis engines but those F40PH ones are illusive (and very well done).

One of mine is a repaint of a K-Line.  I didn't do the work and the colors are a bit dark, but I like it. 20150320_19044720210905_192813_HDR

My MTH ones are in the current VIA paint scheme and I couldn't get them to run together in lashup mode when I tried running them at my club even though they synced fine on the setup track.  I had to settle for single unit to pull my Canadian. 

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@GG1 4877 posted:

One of mine is a repaint of a K-Line.  I didn't do the work and the colors are a bit dark, but I like it. 20150320_19044720210905_192813_HDR

My MTH ones are in the current VIA paint scheme and I couldn't get them to run together in lashup mode when I tried running them at my club even though they synced fine on the setup track.  I had to settle for single unit to pull my Canadian.

Those look awesome, I just found a 2nd genesis unit so unfortunately I have to settle for those to pull my canadian, this video I took at my club when I only had one unit, I'll take a video this weekend of the two of them:

https://www.instagram.com/p/CwtM0vvxmsl/

If you ever come across anymore VIA F40PHs please let me know! I've been searching for them far and wide but no luck so far, though I just stumbled across a 3rd VIA genesis

@msp posted:

How does the K-line version compare to the Premier?

I personally like the K-Line model better from a scale model standpoint, but there are few key differences.

  • The K-line model is TMCC with Railsounds 2.0 so the horn is the wrong sound if that matters.  It is a single chime Leslie A-200.  Neither the MTH or the K-Line version run constantly in notch-8 like the prototype did for the HEP gensets in the original design for prime mover sounds so they are about the same to me there.  The horn on the MTH is a decent approximation of the P5 or KL5A horns used on Amtrak's F40PHs.
  • The K-Line model is more accurate as a late phase III F40PH (phase of EMD design evolution - not paint scheme) in that it has the recessed fans on the roof.  As such this is more accurate for road numbers 329-409. 
  • The MTH model is more accurate as a phase I or phase II model - road numbers 200-328.  It has non-recessed fans.
  • Colors on the K-Line model are closer to being accurate but they still are not correct. MTH's colors are too dark and closer to being the paint used on Amtrak Phase IV paint scheme. 
  • The front coupler on the K-Line version sticks way too far forward for my tastes.  I plan on mounting a scale coupler on one of mine that I will use for the lead unit.
  • Finally, both models are done with ditch lights, however that was a late modification for the F40PH in the mid to late 90's.  They were not delivered that way.

There is also the Lionel Legacy model which shares a lot with the K-Line model even though Lionel claims it is new tooling.  I do not have that model, but I suspect the sounds are the best available for this model in O scale. In 2-Rail, Overland imported this locomotive in brass, but I only model CNJ and PRR in 2-rail so all my F40s are 3-rail. 

MTH road number 301 with a K-Line unit in front of it.  FL9 in front of that, but not on topic!

20150405_164632

Two of the three road numbers K-Line offered.  Note there is no builder's plate. 

20151028_19393920151028_194000

Another closer photo of an MTH PS2 model.  Note the darker blue color and also the variance on the width of the stripes.  They should all be the same scale 8" wide.

20151028_194024

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Those look awesome, I just found a 2nd genesis unit so unfortunately I have to settle for those to pull my canadian, this video I took at my club when I only had one unit, I'll take a video this weekend of the two of them:

https://www.instagram.com/p/CwtM0vvxmsl/

If you ever come across anymore VIA F40PHs please let me know! I've been searching for them far and wide but no luck so far, though I just stumbled across a 3rd VIA genesis

I will let you know!  I personally was hoping to find a set in the prior VIA colors which are also extremely hard to find.  My NJT one is a former VIA unit, but it was in Home Hardware paint so I don't feel bad about repainting that one.

In the meantime, some prototype VIA F40PH photos I took last year.  I have some work to do on mine to make them more prototypical.

The rescue locomotive parked at Jasper, AB

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Toronto, ON.  Note the triple headlight on the nose, the dual horns, and the modified HEP section on the rear.  A P42 runs push pull style on the opposite end of these Toronto-Montreal corridor trains.

20220506_191613_ED

Sorry for deviating from Amtrak.  I like these locomotives in all paint schemes.  I fact I'll deviate a bit more.

I was 13 when these just started testing on the NY&LB.  The O scale one is MTH and I removed the dynamic brakes, added strobes, and repainted it.  The HO one is Walthers while the N scale one is a Life-Like. 4120 is one of two F40PHs still operating for NJT currently. 

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Thanks Jonathan, great information.   I see what you mean about the coupler on the K-line.   I will now probably always pay attention to it - might not have otherwise noticed it.  While we are down this road, I have a Williams - is actually larger than the scale I guess as it is bigger than my MTH and Lionel versions.  It is a great puller but after seeing the Premier and Lionel scale it size is bothering me and I just like the detail on the others.   Curious your thoughts on the Williams?

@rplst8 posted:

I have the most recent delivery of the Lionel F40PH.  Here's a thread I started on it with videos and pictures.

https://ogrforum.ogaugerr.com/...hase-iii-226-arrived

Looking back over it, I'm wondering if Lionel used the wrong trucks on these.

If you’re ever up in the Syracuse area, I’d love to do a side by side comparison of the MTH and Lionel and K-Line.

I did a similar launch when the Atlas’ (nee MTH) arrived…

https://ogrforum.ogaugerr.com/...c/173034318329899734

Thanks!

- Mario

@msp posted:

Hope this is in the right spot...so here goes...

I have just purchased Premier Amtrak F40PH...it has fast become one of my favorites.   I would like to purchase another.  I have opportunity to by a MTH 20-2713.   New but CIRCA 2006.  I have asked and been told it operates and the battery is fine.   My question is this, when considering the purchase of new one compared to an "old" new one what if anything am I not getting in the old one.  Obviously, one is PS2 and one is PS3...and potentially a battery issue.   Any other considerations?   My ultimate question it what sort of discount would i expect to get to entice me to purchase the old one v. a new one.

My thought is if I can get it at 75% of the new price it is worth it.    Curious as to your thoughts.

thanks

I was just thinking of your original question, and I can sum it up in one sentence...

I wish I never sold it to David.

Thanks...

- Mario

@rplst8 posted:

I have the most recent delivery of the Lionel F40PH.  Here's a thread I started on it with videos and pictures.

https://ogrforum.ogaugerr.com/...hase-iii-226-arrived

Looking back over it, I'm wondering if Lionel used the wrong trucks on these.

Nice model!

The Heritage Blue (link to Amtrak paint guide) looks correct and the P5 horn is correct for the road number and the horn sounds are correct for that horn, as well.  I like that they chose to model the Phase 1 body, with the smaller notch for the horn, the battery box and air tanks ahead of the fuel tank, the F unit style steps leading up to the side door, flat roof and the fewer side car body doors.  Can you fix the kinematic pilots to the frame?  I'm wondering if I should pick up one.

If any F40PH fan hasn't read the Rapido F40 Master Class, then please check it out!

All good stuff!

Thanks!

- Mario

@msp posted:

Thanks Jonathan, great information.   I see what you mean about the coupler on the K-line.   I will now probably always pay attention to it - might not have otherwise noticed it.  While we are down this road, I have a Williams - is actually larger than the scale I guess as it is bigger than my MTH and Lionel versions.  It is a great puller but after seeing the Premier and Lionel scale it size is bothering me and I just like the detail on the others.   Curious your thoughts on the Williams?

The Williams is an FP45, but not a particularly accurate one.  It is shortened quite a bit and has the shorter nose.  I have a pair myself and you can see it in the background of this photo.  The shortened nose makes it feel more like an F40PH, but if you look you will see it has 6 wheel trucks.  They are great runners though.  Mine can pull stumps. 

IMGP1668

MTH made a slightly better FP45, but it has a whole list of its own issues and Amtrak of course opted for the SDP40F in lieu of the turbo charged FP45 when they ordered their first new locomotives.  The story of how they didn't work out is well documented and most got recycled into F40PHs.  The nose is much closer to scale as is the length of the MTH version so there is no mistaking it for an F40PH.

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@GG1 4877 posted:

MTH made a slightly better FP45, but it has a whole list of its own issues and Amtrak of course opted for the SDP40F in lieu of the turbo charged FP45 when they ordered their first new locomotives.  The story of how they didn't work out is well documented and most got recycled into F40PHs. 

Here's a riddle... the SDP40F had a 16 cylinder 645E3 while the FP45 had a turbocharged 20 cylinder of the same generation. Yet the FP45 only had 600 more horsepower. That seems out of whack. The extra four cylinders should easily have made that up.

@GG1 4877 posted:

The Williams is an FP45, but not a particularly accurate one.  It is shortened quite a bit and has the shorter nose.  I have a pair myself and you can see it in the background of this photo.  The shortened nose makes it feel more like an F40PH, but if you look you will see it has 6 wheel trucks.  They are great runners though.  Mine can pull stumps.

IMGP1668

MTH made a slightly better FP45, but it has a whole list of its own issues and Amtrak of course opted for the SDP40F in lieu of the turbo charged FP45 when they ordered their first new locomotives.  The story of how they didn't work out is well documented and most got recycled into F40PHs.  The nose is much closer to scale as is the length of the MTH version so there is no mistaking it for an F40PH.

20170705_191726

Well isn't that interesting...all the time I thought I had a "not accurate" model of a f40PH when what i had was a "not accurate" model of the FP45.   Funny.  I noticed the 6 wheel trucks but just thought it is just liberty Williams took with it.   It has the Phase III paint job but a white line on top....so thought more liberty taken.  

In any event, I think I will have to sell it to make space and $$ for the F40PH...I knew i liked the Premier F40PH better because I was comparing it to a completely different loco.  I agree that thing would pull a stump out of the ground.

@msp posted:

Well isn't that interesting...all the time I thought I had a "not accurate" model of a f40PH when what i had was a "not accurate" model of the FP45.   Funny.  I noticed the 6 wheel trucks but just thought it is just liberty Williams took with it.   It has the Phase III paint job but a white line on top....so thought more liberty taken.  

In any event, I think I will have to sell it to make space and $$ for the F40PH...I knew i liked the Premier F40PH better because I was comparing it to a completely different loco.  I agree that thing would pull a stump out of the ground.

I need to get a photograph, but I have a Williams FP45 shell that someone rebuilt into an F40PH.  It is pretty good other than the paint job.  I got it along with a modified Willaims E60 shell that as lengthened to be closer to scale.  However, for the amount of work involved getting an F40PH out of the box is much simpler!

After reading this (and selling off some trains recently) I found an Atlas (former MTH) F40PH in Phase III paint on Beth's store website and ordered it. I'm mostly curious about the trucks on the Lionel version I have and whether they are the correct wheelbase.

The Lionel model always looked a little off to me from the side and I wonder if the wheelbase is the reason.

The Weaver and MTH Baldwin RF-15/16s never looked right to me because they used the AAR Type A 8' wheelbase trucks instead of the correct 9' 10” AAR Type B ones. The fuel tanks on those were too small too.

Once I get the Atlas F40PH I'll do a proper comparison and post here.

@rplst8 posted:

After reading this (and selling off some trains recently) I found an Atlas (former MTH) F40PH in Phase III paint on Beth's store website and ordered it. I'm mostly curious about the trucks on the Lionel version I have and whether they are the correct wheelbase.

The Lionel model always looked a little off to me from the side and I wonder if the wheelbase is the reason.

The Weaver and MTH Baldwin RF-15/16s never looked right to me because they used the AAR Type A 8' wheelbase trucks instead of the correct 9' 10” AAR Type B ones. The fuel tanks on those were too small too.

Once I get the Atlas F40PH I'll do a proper comparison and post here.

That would be nice, thank you.
I can see some cursory detail differences just from photos, and they both have some great features. The Lionel has a Nathan P5 horn, the MTH/Atlas has a K5LA, each with their corresponding roof notches. Of course this may have change throughout their life, and I know of at least one unit that had a different P5, with a non-standard bell arrangement; #216.  As aforementioned, the Lionel has the battery boxes forward of the fuel tank and the MTH/Atlas has them trailing. I’m working on a solution for my #216 to have the same detail. The Lionel has sill notches in the front corners, the MTH/Atlas does not. I’m not cutting into my shells to add them. The Lionel has single wipers per windshield , the MTH/Atlas has twin. Oh, on that topic, get some EMD wipers from P&D Hobby; trust me, you’ll want to swap them over on the Atlas; they’re white plastic globs.

IMG_8156
Last thing are the front pilots; the Lionel has three steps and the MTH/Atlas has four. Only the rear pilot should have four.

Don’t get me started on the strobes. 🤢 Seriously? Can no manufacturer come up with a decent Xenon Amtrak strobe? I’m experimenting with a Circuitron kit but I’m having an issue track power to the voltage, and capacitor, needed to power the kit.  They use the 9V battery as basically a giant capacitor.

Other than that, I’ll dig out mine and measure the truck wheelbase to see if it’s scale 9’ (2.25” in O scale).

Can’t wait to see more!

- Mario

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@GG1 4877 posted:

One of mine is a repaint of a K-Line.  I didn't do the work and the colors are a bit dark, but I like it. 20150320_19044720210905_192813_HDR

My MTH ones are in the current VIA paint scheme and I couldn't get them to run together in lashup mode when I tried running them at my club even though they synced fine on the setup track.  I had to settle for single unit to pull my Canadian.

Hello @GG1 4877,

Your video of your VIA Canadian is beautiful! Can you tell me the source of your Canadian passenger cars? I haven’t found any source of the dome observation car in that paint scheme.

Thank you!

Peter

@Peter C posted:

Hello @GG1 4877,

Your video of your VIA Canadian is beautiful! Can you tell me the source of your Canadian passenger cars? I haven’t found any source of the dome observation car in that paint scheme.

Thank you!

Peter

The cars are Golden Gate Depot cars.  When we did the Canadian back around 2014, about 12 sets were done in VIA.  I am lucky to own one of the 8-car sets.  After riding the train last year at 20 cars long, I wish I had invested in a second diner, a second Skyline Dome car, and another 10 Manor sleeping cars as that is the consist I rode on.  Granted the Chateau sleepers have been rebuilt into Prestige Class cars along with the Park Observations.  I've asked Scott Mann about running this set again, but with the current value of the Canadian dollar, it just doesn't make economic sense for the time being.  These cars do occasionally show up for resale, but with only about 100 made in this paint scheme they are rare.

Same goes for the CP Rail version.  I can't say how many of those sets were made, but again it is not many.  I have never seen one up for resale.  Most people purchased the traditional Canadian Pacific cars as delivered.  Even then with over 100 sets produced, I never see them for resale.

As for the F40PHs pulling this train, the crew referred to them as our "old girls".  I got the clear sense that the crew who staffs this train has a great sense of loyalty to the route and the equipment.  It is such a part of Canadian lore that the 10 dollar note has an F40PH on it. 

@GG1 4877 posted:

The cars are Golden Gate Depot cars.  When we did the Canadian back around 2014, about 12 sets were done in VIA.  I am lucky to own one of the 8-car sets.  After riding the train last year at 20 cars long, I wish I had invested in a second diner, a second Skyline Dome car, and another 10 Manor sleeping cars as that is the consist I rode on.  Granted the Chateau sleepers have been rebuilt into Prestige Class cars along with the Park Observations.  I've asked Scott Mann about running this set again, but with the current value of the Canadian dollar, it just doesn't make economic sense for the time being.  These cars do occasionally show up for resale, but with only about 100 made in this paint scheme they are rare.

Same goes for the CP Rail version.  I can't say how many of those sets were made, but again it is not many.  I have never seen one up for resale.  Most people purchased the traditional Canadian Pacific cars as delivered.  Even then with over 100 sets produced, I never see them for resale.

As for the F40PHs pulling this train, the crew referred to them as our "old girls".  I got the clear sense that the crew who staffs this train has a great sense of loyalty to the route and the equipment.  It is such a part of Canadian lore that the 10 dollar note has an F40PH on it.

IMG_6796IMG_4892Jonathan,

Thanks for your detailed reply! I had no idea that Golden Gate Depot included a small run of VIA cars around 2014. My wife & I rode the Canadian in 2017 for my 60th birthday. Although we rolled through the Rockies at night, we did ride in one of the beautiful Prestige class cars.

I did manage to buy both road numbers of the MTH PS3 F40PH in the correct VIA paint scheme sometime around 2017. The colors on my MTH models are a bit different than the ones we had on the Canadian: the green is darker and the yellow is lighter on my MTH models. In an attempt to recreate the train we rode, I bought all 3 sets of blue striped VIA 70’ streamlined cars from MTH. These passenger cars look a bit short and there are no dome observations. Nevertheless, they bring back memories of a train trip of a lifetime!

Peter

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@rplst8 posted:


Once I get the Atlas F40PH I'll do a proper comparison and post here.

So I got my copy of the Atlas Premier F40PH and it's a pretty nice model. The Lionel is nice too, and to be fair, it's not a 100% fair comparison because they are of different builder phases, while both are in "Phase III" paint.

For the Lionel model...

Pros

  • Kinematic pilot that doesn't always swing out
  • Correct number of steps on the front pilot
  • Nicer overall pilot
  • Runs in notch 8 at start (although, somehow I disabled this and I don't know how)
  • Legible builder plates

Cons

  • Rear steps are incorrect
  • Kinematic pilot doesn't always center itself
  • Sounds are little "staticy"
  • Number on the sides seems to be an incorrect font
  • Bright white LEDs
  • No doors that open


For the Atlas model...

Pros

  • Far more detailed trucks
  • Correct number of rear steps
  • Crystal clear sounds
  • Correct number size/font
  • Warmer LEDs
  • Opening doors all around

Cons

  • Swinging pilots
  • Strobes are yellow
  • Incorrect number of front steps.
  • Does not run in notch 8 by default


Some general comments. The Lionel does at times look a little "gap toothed" in comparison. Though it really depends on the angle you look at it. It might be in part due to the fact that the EMD Ph1 version with it's smaller diameter air tanks make that more apparent. The Atlas model does have a bit more space between the trucks and frame. I think this could maybe be remedied by grinding down the two "pivot" points on the truck where the frame rests. Probably 1/16th of an inch would do it, and improve the appearance even more. The Lionel model seems to have the shell extend down with a black trim to better hide it's gap. I didn't remove the shell to determine if it's the shell or frame that has it though.

The frame and main cowl of the Atlas unit is a hair longer, also the bolsters on the trucks are thicker, and I think this is the main thing that makes the trucks look bigger. To me, they appear to have nearly the same wheelbase, with the Lionel shorter by like maybe 1/16", maybe as little as 1/32", which would be 1.5-3" too short. I need to find my calipers and do a better measurement. Though neither suffer as badly as some of the Baldwin RF-15/16s out there with the completely wrong length truck underneath it.

Interestingly, both seem to have the EXACT same shade for the blue stripe. I guess that means the older MTH AmFleet cars are just plain wrong. Overall, to me, the Atlas model looks "better" but only by a hair, and only from an angle above eye level because of the frame/truck gap. The Lionel suffers at eye level too because the trucks look "dainty" because of those thinner bolsters and that ever so slightly shorter wheelbase.

Here are some pictures.

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So I got my copy of the Atlas Premier F40PH and it's a pretty nice model. The Lionel is nice too, and to be fair, it's not a 100% fair comparison because they are of different builder phases, while both are in "Phase III" paint.

For the Lionel model...

Pros

  • Kinematic pilot that doesn't always swing out
  • Correct number of steps on the front pilot
  • Nicer overall pilot
  • Runs in notch 8 at start (although, somehow I disabled this and I don't know how)
  • Legible builder plates

Cons

  • Rear steps are incorrect
  • Kinematic pilot doesn't always center itself
  • Sounds are little "staticy"
  • Number on the sides seems to be an incorrect font
  • Bright white LEDs
  • No doors that open


For the Atlas model...

Pros

  • Far more detailed trucks
  • Correct number of rear steps
  • Crystal clear sounds
  • Correct number size/font
  • Warmer LEDs
  • Opening doors all around

Cons

  • Swinging pilots
  • Strobes are yellow
  • Incorrect number of front steps.
  • Does not run in notch 8 by default


Some general comments. The Lionel does at times look a little "gap toothed" in comparison. Though it really depends on the angle you look at it. It might be in part due to the fact that the EMD Ph1 version with it's smaller diameter air tanks make that more apparent. The Atlas model does have a bit more space between the trucks and frame. I think this could maybe be remedied by grinding down the two "pivot" points on the truck where the frame rests. Probably 1/16th of an inch would do it, and improve the appearance even more. The Lionel model seems to have the shell extend down with a black trim to better hide it's gap. I didn't remove the shell to determine if it's the shell or frame that has it though.

The frame and main cowl of the Atlas unit is a hair longer, also the bolsters on the trucks are thicker, and I think this is the main thing that makes the trucks look bigger. To me, they appear to have nearly the same wheelbase, with the Lionel shorter by like maybe 1/16", maybe as little as 1/32", which would be 1.5-3" too short. I need to find my calipers and do a better measurement. Though neither suffer as badly as some of the Baldwin RF-15/16s out there with the completely wrong length truck underneath it.

Interestingly, both seem to have the EXACT same shade for the blue stripe. I guess that means the older MTH AmFleet cars are just plain wrong. Overall, to me, the Atlas model looks "better" but only by a hair, and only from an angle above eye level because of the frame/truck gap. The Lionel suffers at eye level too because the trucks look "dainty" because of those thinner bolsters and that ever so slightly shorter wheelbase.

Here are some pictures.

IMG_20231129_154840201IMG_20231129_154832827

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Images (2)
  • IMG_20231129_154840201
  • IMG_20231129_154832827

Thanks for the comparison!  I have not seen as detailed a review on the Lionel version and it is nice to see them side by side. 

MTH finally corrected their colors near the end of production for Amtrak Heritage Blue and Heritage Red.  It has been wrong since their first model in the 90's.  Atlas has had accurate colors going back to the 1999 production of the AEM7 and Horizon cars, so they had a good reference.  Nice to see these newer Atlas Premier locomotives are more accurate.  If I didn't already own so many F40PHs, I would consider adding some.  Probably in time I will anyway and sell off my older MTH ones, but then again??? Nothing like having a yard full of these.

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