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UPDATED: Athearn moves tooling to new manufacturer

Published: May 24, 2012

In a sector of the industry beset by supply problems, one of the biggest names got a boost in May.

Athearn Trains has retrieved all of its tooling from Creative Masters Ltd., its Chinese supplier that closed in January, and moved the tooling to the same factory that produces its Genesis models, said Vic Audo, interim director of Horizon's model railroad division.

"Over the next few weeks, we’ll be evaluating the tooling and taking the steps necessary to begin production," read an Athearn Facebook post on May 15.

Audo said Athearn moved back its delivery dates on all products affected by the relocated tooling, which includes almost everything except Athearn's Genesis line.

The company will not know the actually delivery dates of these products for another 45 to 60 days, he said. "But we do believe we will be able to make substantial progress before the end of this year for sure," Audo said.

The company's Facebook page also indicated plans to produce a Southern Pacific MT-4 steam engine with skyline casing at some point in the future, and news that the "DDA-40X is in production now so it should be available within the next few few months." That model was announced in March 2011.