Monday, November 21, 2016

Resurrecting a Pair of Atlas GP40-2W

A year ago I commented about my hard dilemna between keeping our pair of Atlas GP40-2W or replacing them with Athearn models. The big reason is the serious discrepancies on Atlas rendition of CN wide cab. It is too obvious to be glossed over. Just to be clear, the following picture by Tim Hayman shows Atlas at left and Athearn at right... The disturbing mistakes are hard to not see, even more when switching at slow speed.

Tim Hayman's original picture from Flickr (2013)

On the other hand, the Atlas drive is exceptionnal and these models crawl at very slow speed without making noise. I feel it's a waste to get rid of them when I'll have a hard finding fine running models like them. I know the Athearn version is excellent, but not that good.

For this reason, it struck me today I could just replace the cab with a more prototypical one. A few years ago, Canadian Prototype Replica used to make a very good rendition of the comfort cab. Out of stock everywhere, hunting these cabs would still be feasible.

Atlas details (bells, headlight, grab irons, etc.) could be salvaged and installed on the new cab which would help save a lot of money. Then adding a state of the art LokSound decoder would turn them in great locomotives. Honestly, I feel I should have thought about that idea many years ago instead of complaining.

As a matter of fact, I wasn't the only one to have that idea and a member of The Diesel Detailer forum, iomalley, suggested doing the same surgery. The improvement is quite obvious as his picture shows.

Another proof the answer is sometimes closer than we think. It seems the RTR bonanza clouded my judgement.

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