Just some info to feed into the great Athearn/Horizon debate. I sent off an inquiry to Horizon to clarify some points that have been brought up on the newsgroup.
Here's the deal: Horizon has been reviewing the needs for distribution of model railroad products. This included discussion of what to do about Internet sales. They have decided to offer products to Internet only suppliers. However there are stipulations. These Internet only suppliers must be an commercial business. They must have commercial warehouses, websites via there own servers (not an AOL or yahoo web site), secure ordering on line, etc. in order to qualify. There are a couple of your favorite on line entities that will becoming Horizon dealers in the next week. This means that an Internet entity such as Internet Trains will continue to carry Athearn products. I'd also note that although Internet Trains has on there web site a "disclaimer" that they are an Internet only operation and are a newly authorized Athearn Dealer. They have in fact a relationship to a retail operation of another name thus qualifying under previous requirements. The retail operation although a stand alone provides the umbrella coverage required. So mail order sites such as Standard Hobbies and the like can in fact get Athearn and other railroad products from Horizon. It's the small independent basement operator that will not be able to purchase from Horizon. Hopefully this will shed some more light on the issue.
Dave Jacksonville, FL