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Athearn Genesis Challenger on 18 Inch Radius

Roland asks this question:

“I plan on buying a pre-loved (I presume that means 2nd hand but used with care) HO Athearn Genesis Challenger. Due to where it is, I will need to buy it untested. From the pictures and description, it does look to be in good condition, and the price seems fair considering what they go for new. My research tells me a 22-inch radius is recommended, but I only have 18-inches. Does anyone have any experience with running this model on less than a 22-inch radius, and what’s the general opinion on the Challenger?”

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5 Responses to Athearn Genesis Challenger on 18 Inch Radius

  • Jerry says:

    The challenger will definitely run much better on 22 inch radius curves. You may want to call Athearn and ask if it will run on 18” Curves. It may derail. If your layout is not overly big, you may want to switch to 22” curves. Your trains will run much better and allow you run longer cars as well as passenger cars.

  • Rich says:

    I received an answer to a similar question from Athern. 6 axle trucks basically need 22 in curves. 4 axle trucks will run on 18 inch curves without much problem. Everyone will tell you bigger is always better. I designed axlayout with 18 inch curves and found out before starting construction that I would need 22 inch curves. You can’t just swap 22 in for 18, everything has to be repositioned.

  • Jim Myrhum says:

    One thing I have discovered over this past year, is that if’n it says 22″ minimum radius, go ahead and try it. If it jumps rail, chances are you may have a clearance problem on the engine ( and for that matter, rolling stock as well ).
    If it means remodeling the vehicle ( changing the way it looks ) that is up to you. I have run into the same problem with rolling stock. I just put those cars into a box for later, when I add on to current layout, keeping in mind the idea to build with minimum 24″ radius curves. Then those other cars come out of storage and used as well.

  • Allan Levy says:

    I own 2 Genesis Challengers–#3977 in greyhound livery which I run, and #3985 brand new in the carton which I am afraid to remove from its packaging because I might damage it inadvertently. My layout has 18″ radii and the greyhound runs just fine. I have a few Genesis 2-8-2 USRA Mikados that will also run on my layout. Two of the drive wheels are unflanged, allowing the locomotive to negotiate sharp curves. It won’t run on 15″ radii though. Good luck.

  • Martin Eagle says:

    Go ahead and have fun it will run on 18 inch curves ,22 is better ,I run a big boy on 18 and 5 challengers ,if they derail put them back on and have fun ,22 is the ideal ,its your layout

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