Atlas, perhaps the most prolific makers of n-scale engines and rolling stock, has clearly embraced one of the industry's latest trends: factory installed DCC sound. The company just announced that it will produce its second sound-enabled engine, a re-release of their N Scale C-628 and C-630 locomotives (with an estimated delivery date of 3rd Quarter 2017). The S2 switcher represented Atlas' first foray into factory-installed DCC sound.
The C-628 and C-630 release includes new UP C-630 road numbers as well as all new paint schemes for both locos. The two engines share the same mechanism and differ only in shell details. That is why they are released together. New paint schemes include D&H, NdeM, SP, CP and others including the obscure Minnesota Commercial and Western New York & Pennsylvania.
What is really interesting is that this engine will be available with a DCC sound option (Gold Version) as well as an upgrade-friendly DC version (Silver Version). There will be over 20 different sound effects on the chip including engine start-up and shutdown as well as the usual bell and whistle - pun intended. There will be 16 different user-selectable horns, 2 bells and 2 different brake squeals (dynamic and non-dynamic?)
The increased heft of the six axle C-628/C-630 will most likely address one of the complaints about the sound quality of the light weight, 4 axle S2; this engine's sound had a tendency to drop in and out.
Here is a list of previously released C-628s.
Here is a list of previously released C-630s.
Atlas has a bad tendency of missing deadlines, so I wouldn't count on seeing this by September of 2017, but I think there is a good chance we will see these by Christmas. If one of our contributors requests it, we may order one as a give-away to our wonderful team of volunteers.