Athearn HO GP38-2 w/DCC & Sound, SP #170
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Manufacturer: Athearn


  • Cab mounted headlight
  • Blomberg-B truck side frames
  • “Weed cutter” style snow plow front and rear
  • Sinclair antenna
  • Cab mounted Leslie 3-chime air horn
  • Chicken wire radiator grilles
  • Early production GP38-2 units delivered new to the PC; continued to operate for Conrail and beyond


  • Former Southern locomotives
  • Large “switcher” step wells
  • Long hood mounted walkway lights
  • Firecracker antennas
  • Chicken wire radiator grilles
  • Front and rear mounted 3-chime air horns
  • Long hood mounted bell
  • Currently in service on the Northwestern Pacific in Northern California


  • Some of the only RI GP38-2s that did not receive names
  • Corrugated Grills
  • Pointed anticlimber
  • Late ECAFB
  • 5 chime horn
  • Blomberg-B trucks
  • Small plow

Built in the late 1970s, these GP38-2s were the last new units delivered to the Rock. As times on the Rock Island were changing, so too were the spotting features of these geeps, which featured corrugated grills, anticlimbers, late ECAFB boxes and 5-chime horns. After the road went bankrupt, these units wound up on the GTW and operated in patched Rock Island paint for several years.


  • Cab mounted headlight
  • Blomberg-M truck side frames
  • MU catch trays front and rear
  • Whip antenna
  • Cab mounted Nathan 3-chime air horn
  • Chicken wire radiator grilles
  • Illuminated strato-beacon
  • Illuminated nose mounted gyra-light
  • Lighting effect DCC/sound model

Painted in the eye-catching mandarin orange and white scheme, this group of Frisco engines substantially outlived their parent road. When the BN took over in 1980, most of them received a clean patch job and ran this way for several years before receiving Cascade Green.


  • Leased from HELM former CSX/L&N
  • Nose mounted headlight
  • Extended Range dynamic brake
  • Chicken wire radiator grilles
  • Sunshades
  • Wind deflectors
  • Correct style 3 or 5-chime horn per prototype
  • Blomberg-M truck sideframes
  • Unique non-standard Speed Lettering font
  • Each roadnumber features prototype-specific decoration and placement

The SP was desperate for reliable power in the early 1990s, and this group of former CSX / L&N units from HELM leasing was one solution. Lacking typical SP light packages, they wandered over the entire system both before and after the Union Pacific takeover.


  • Operation Life Saver
  • Nose mounted headlight
  • Four exhaust stack
  • Non dynamic brake hatch
  • Sinclair antenna
  • Nathan 3-chime air horn
  • Corrugated radiator grilles
#9601 & Unnumbered:
  • Chicken wire radiator grilles


  • Fully-assembled and ready-to-run
  • DCC-ready features Quick Plug™ plug-and-play technology with both 8- and 9-pin connector
  • Scaled from prototype resources including drawings, field measurements, photographs, and more
  • Accurately-painted and –printed paint schemes
  • Coupler cut levers
  • MU hoses
  • Trainline hose
  • See through cab windows
  • Full cab interior
  • Walkway tread
  • Fine-scale Celcon handrails for scale appearance
  • Windshield wipers
  • Lift rings
  • Wire grab irons
  • Detailed fuel tank with fuel fillers, fuel gauges, & breather pipes
  • Sander lines
  • McHenry scale knuckle couplers - Kadee compatible
  • Genesis driveline with 5-pole skew wound motor, precision machined flywheels, and multi-link drivetrain
  • All-wheel drive with precision gears for smooth & quiet operation
  • All-wheel electrical pickup provides reliable current flow
  • Wheels with RP25 contours operate on all popular brands of track
  • Incandescent bulbs for realistic appearance
  • Heavy die-cast frame for greater traction and more pulling power
  • Packaging securely holds for the model for safe storage


  • Onboard DCC decoder with SoundTraxx Tsunami2 sound
  • Sound units operate in both DC and DCC
  • Full DCC functions available when operated in DCC mode
  • Engine, horn, and bell sounds work in DC
  • All functions NMRA compatible in DCC mode
  • Precision slow speed control
  • Program a multiple unit (MU) lashup with lead unit only horn, bell, and lights
  • Many functions can be altered via Configuration Value (CV) changes
  • CV chart included in the box


  • Duplicated look and feel of “In Service” equipment; “Tattered and Torn” just like the real thing
  • Faded base colors matched to the prototype
  • Patches applied and shaped per road number matching each corresponding side to the prototype
  • Perfect starting point for adding grime and rust


By the early 1970s, many first generation diesels were reaching the end of their service lives. The most common replacement locomotive became the GP38-2. EMD began production of the 16-cylinder, non-turbocharged, 2000 horsepower engine in 1972. Unlike the GP38’s engine, which drove a generator to supply power to the traction motors, the GP38-2s prime mover drove an alternator which produced AC electrical current that was rectified to DC to power the four traction motors. Another major change for the GP38-2 was the introduction of the “dash 2” modular electrical cabinet. For more than 40 years, the GP38-2 has worked main line freights, locals, switching jobs, yard service, helpers, snow fighting trains, and hump power. Many remain in service today.


Minimum Age Recommendation:14 years
Is Assembly Required:No

Search Terms: gp-38-2, genesis, gp38-2loco, gp-38dash2, gp38dash2loco, decoder, soundtraxx, Tsunami2, ATH_0717


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Athearn HO GP38-2 w/DCC & Sound, SP #170 Reviews

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