News & Reviews Product Reviews Staff Reviews Athearn HO scale GE P40DC

Athearn HO scale GE P40DC

By Cody Grivno | June 2, 2024

Genesis series model features new tooling and operating strobe lights

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The Athearn HO scale GE P40DC diesel locomotive is back, this time with new tooling and operating strobe lights. Join Senior Editor Cody Grivno as he provides a brief history of Amtrak No. 813, points out the numerous details on the Genesis-series model, and demonstrates the sound and light functions. Then sit back and watch the four-axle passenger unit haul a short passenger train on the Wisconsin & Southern between Troy and Williams Bay.

Athearn offers the HO scale GE P40DC decorated for Amtrak in the passenger carrier’s phase 3 and 5 paint schemes. Phase 3 models feature a newly tooled body with cab-mounted strobe lights, a single Sinclair antenna, and a rear hostler window. Phase 5 models have a bolted-on nose and road-number-specific antenna arrangement but no rear hostler window. Both versions have a 5-chime air horn (all bells facing forward) and front and rear red marker lights. The Amtrak models are available in three numbers per scheme.

In addition to the P40DC, Athearn offers a General Electric P42DC decorated for Amtrak (phase 4 [three numbers] and Operation Lifesaver [one number] paint schemes) and VIA Rail Canada (“Love the Way” [two numbers], Poppy [one number], and 2015 teal-and-green [three numbers] schemes).

Features on the Athearn HO scale GE P40DC include a Genesis driveline with five-pole skew-wound motor, machined flywheels, and multi-link drivetrain; all-wheel drive and electrical pickup; and light-emitting-diode lighting. The model also has a redesigned die-cast metal frame for improved tractive effort, flexible rubber trainline and m.u. hoses, and factory-installed and painted wire handrails. The P40DC has a minimum radius of 18” and a recommended radius of 22”.

Direct-current models with a 21-pin NEM connector retail for $209.99. Models with a dual-mode SoundTraxx Tsunami2 sound decoder are priced at $309.99. Add $10 to the Amtrak Operation Lifesaver unit and models lettered for VIA Rail Canada.

Learn more about the Athearn HO General Electric P40DC in this product review. Product Review videos showcase the latest new items from manufacturers of products in Z, N, HO, S, O, and large scales. In the videos, you can watch locomotives in action, take a close-up look at details on freight cars, see kit components, and much more.

If you are a manufacturer and have products you would like reviewed, please email Senior Editor Cody Grivno at for more information.

One thought on “Athearn HO scale GE P40DC

  1. Rather abrupt start, but some speed and momentum settings on the decoder can fix that. Sadly, no current keeper feature is available, often useful for four wheel trucks. I hear that you are moving from your current building; what will happen to the MR & T and Wisconsin Southern when (if) that occurs?

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