By Tony Cook
There’s not a collector alive who hasn’t looked through an old product catalog or vintage edition of a model train magazine and, coming across a release, hasn’t wished they could have had the opportunity to purchase a now-collectible and long-out-of-production model. While doing research for this edition of HO Collector, I saw an early 1960s ad featuring Varney Aerotrain and TYCO’s rare Talgo train set at closeout prices. The sought-after Talgo was available in ready-to-run and kit versions at half its retail, which made them $10 and $15 acquisitions. I’ll order five; what’s the website address?!
Most collectors are also current model train buyers. I know I enjoy both new releases and vintage trains with equal passion. Keeping track of new releases and watching for unique and uncommon items is important for any collector. Products currently arrive with a frequency that would have been unimaginable decades ago. However, let’s factor in the quality level of these contemporary releases. The 2nd Quarter 2021 HO Collector is an Amtrak-themed edition, I wanted to take a moment at the conclusion of this issue to be sure you were aware of and had on your radar for purchase some truly neat recent, and coming, Amtrak models.
ABOVE: This Rapido Trains illustration shows the company’s coming limited-production release of Amtrak’s 4316 E8A diesel locomotive. This special offering will come packaged in a wood presentation case and is expected to ship in late 2021 or early 2022. Reservations are closed and the manufacturer lists this special release as “sold out,” check with your hobby dealer if you didn’t pre-order one.
Rapido Trains (rapidotrains.com) announced a new high-end HO-scale E8A/E8B for release in the coming year. The standout for collectors and a must-have release is Rapido’s Amtrak 4316 E8A replica. This will be packaged in a special wood presentation case and is a limited, one-time offering.
ABOVE: Athearn recently introduced its “Legendary Liveries” series and for the first time is providing “what if” schemes for its Genesis-level models. This Amtrak ES44 shows what the carrier’s “Pepsi can” scheme (only on Dash 32-BWH prototypes) would look like on a contemporary General Electric six-axle GEVO.
Athearn’s (athearn.com) recent “Legendary Liveries” line of “what if” paint schemes on Genesis models is another point of interest. If you get busy now, you can be in on the ground floor of this series. An Amtrak ES44AC (shown above) is just one of these recent Athearn offerings. Remember, today’s releases are tomorrow’s collectors’ items.