Athearn’s coming HO-scale Tacoma Rail SD70ACe

Athearn’s coming HO-scale Tacoma Rail SD70ACe

HO Scale

Athearn’s February 2021 announcements include a new collection of Genesis 2.0 HO-scale EMD SD70ACe diesel locomotives. The run is due in early 2022 and there are several road names and many detail variations that will be included in this production.

Featuring upgraded tooling and never-before-offered details, Athearn’s coming SD70ACe will present three of Union Pacific’s Heritage Units (Missouri Pacific, Western Pacific, and Missouri-Kansas-Texas). Though Athearn has offered these special liveries before, this release will represent 2017 appearances for these units following a repainting with some minor differences in decoration.

Contemporary black and orange BNSF units will come in three road numbers and will include newly tooling PTC antenna details on the cab roof and the models will come with a six-step, late production body shell. Montana Rail Link (MRL) will be represented with three regular livery road numbers and the road’s recent 4404 “Thank You To All Essential Workers” special livery. Horizon Hobby will make a donation from each sale of its MRL 4404 release to the “Hobbies for Good” program. These MRL SD70ACe models will also feature later production styling with six-step pilots.

ABOVE: Here’s Athearn’s illustration for its coming HO-scale Genesis 2.0 Tacoma Rail SD70ACe diesel locomotive model.

Tacoma Rail

Also coming in this Genesis 2.0 HO-scale SD70ACe production will be red-and-white Tacoma Rail releases. This is a first-time release from Athearn for this road name on this model and two road numbers are planned for production: 7001 and 7002.

Operated by Tacoma Public Utilities, Tacoma Rail’s system includes three divisions consisting of more than 140 miles of track. The railroad’s website includes roster information for the 16 units in service, which include EMD and National Railway Equipment (NRE) motive power ranging from MP15s to four-axle GP38-2s, six-axle SD40s, and a pair of SD70ACe-P4s. Watch the “Athearn Train Tuesday” video and Model Railroad News’ Aaron Adams notes what the “P4” designation identifies on these modern ACe units.

Learn more by visiting Tacoma Rail’s website and watch the February 2, 2021 edition of “Athearn Train Tuesday” with host James Wiggin and guests from Model Railroad News: Aaron Adams and Tony Cook. Aaron Adams is a regular contributor to the magazine and lives in the Pacific Northwest and shared prototype images of Tacoma Rail on this edition of Athearn’s program.


Athearn will offer this run of Genesis 2.0 HO-scale SD70ACe diesel locomotives in non-sound, standard DC version (MSRP: 259.98) and with Digital Command Control and SoundTraxx‘s Tsunami 2 audio system. Visit Athearn online or check with your hobby dealer for more information. Reservations are due February 26, 2021 and the release is planned to ship January, 2022.

Athearn Trains


A regular contributor to Model Railroad News, Aaron Adams lives in Washington state and is a recent college graduate. Aaron enjoys contemporary railroading and is an active HO scale modeler. The prototype pictures for Tacoma Rail locomotives on this webpage are Aaron Adams shots. On the Athearn program, you’ll see Aaron’s photography work and a friend of his Nick, who hosts the Western Washington Rail Productions YouTube Channel.


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This article was posted on: February 4, 2021