Starting us off today, we have a Canadian Pacific locomotive.
GE ES44AC History: they're built by General Electric, and are a member of the fantastically successful "Evolution Series. Locomotives of this series are often referred to as "GEVO" units. There are several variations of the GEVO line, but we're focusing on the ES44AC. The nomenclature here stands for - E=Evolution, S=Series, 44=4,400 hp, AC= Alternating Current (traction motors). Just this specific model has been ordered by every Class 1 road in North America. They were first offered in 2003, and with new regulations over the intervening years, were discontinued in 2019, and it was replaced by the ET44 Series, which were introduced in 2012 and are still being built and ordered.
CP 8703 History: The ES44AC is referred to by CP as a "DRF-44", which is visible beneath the numbers on the cabsides, along with the official ES44AC lettering. I'm not sure what the CP nomenclature refers to, but my guess would be - D=Diesel, R=Road, F=Freight, 44, the hp. This is a scheme CP has had for a very long time, and uses on all their locos. 8703 was built in November of 2005, and was part of a 291 unit order. Being so new, its history is not extensive, and it has stayed with CP, with the same number, since 2005, and continues pulling freight all around North America.
Here's the info on the box.
And the loco.
I thought my snowy diorama fit the Canadian loco well.
Overall Build Quality
Paint and Lettering
Ease of Operation
Good - This'll seem like an obvious thing, but the loco, as is common with Athearn products, was packaged very well. The loco operates just right, the sounds are spot on, the details were good, and the paint and lettering was perfect.
Bad - As is unfortunately common with Athearn, the small details are on the flimsy side. The handrails and some frame and truck details were noticeably questionable. However, they were not damaged, and are still holding up, but do appear as if they'd be very easy to damage without precise and meticulous handling.
Verdict - It's great. I personally like the bright red color, and like CP in general, and this loco does both justice. 100% recommended.
Next up, from Bachmann, this~
Verdict - As with most of my Bachmann rolling stock, it hits all the right notes; it looks good, it's sturdy, the weight is decent, and it operates just as it should.
That's all for this round of reviews, thanks for looking!