Lionel Centipede: Disappointed

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September 17, 2012 8:19 PM

I received my Baldwin Demonstrator Locomotives (factory sealed) this evening and unpackaged them as soon as I closed the door. What awaited inside was disappointing. BOTH windshields were cracked and punched out, the breaking point was virtually identical on both windshields. I am shocked as these were packaged extremely well, or at least seemed to be. I've fished out the pieces I can with needle nose but a few are still in the cabs. The other major issue is the fan noise on one of the units. It sounds like a box of rocks and completely drowns out the sound system. As it stands, I am very displeased with these very expensive engines. Hopefully Mike Reagan or someone from Lionel can chime in, as the failure point on both windshields is quite similar, and I will also be needing a replacement pair of windshields. Any suggestions for how to fix the fan noise or even turn the fans off would be appreciated.  These really are beautiful pieces, just need to get them 100%!

 
Last edited by Surefire September 17, 2012 10:00 PM
 
 
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September 17, 2012 8:27 PM

I'm pretty sure Vision Line includes free shipping back to lionel service. Just call the number in the manual and I'm sure they'll take care of it for you.

 

 

"Of course we know its O-gauge or no gauge." -- Sheldon Cooper

 
 
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September 17, 2012 8:45 PM

Surefire sorry to here about this, I wonder if a piece of the windshield plastic went into the fan unit, but I would wait to see what Mike Reagan says before you take off the shell. I'm quite sure Lionel will take care of this quick.

 

Alex

 

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September 17, 2012 8:48 PM

why wait for someone to "chime in" on a public forum?  if you have been reading much of ogrforum you would know Lionel service center is top notch and will take care of you.

 

It's always about the trains!

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September 17, 2012 8:49 PM

Originally Posted by Alex Malliae:

Surefire sorry to here about this, I wonder if a piece of the windshield plastic went into the fan unit, but I would wait to see what Mike Reagan says before you take off the shell. I'm quite sure Lionel will take care of this quick.

 

Alex

The cab is actually its own contained unit, so all the pieces are within that. Going to email Lionel tomorrow and see about fixes or an RA#. Potentially taking off the shell does not bother me, and I would do so to replace the windshields to avoid shipping, but the fan noise is something I'm not so sure about. 

 
 
 
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September 17, 2012 8:50 PM

Originally Posted by bigdodgetrain:

why wait for someone to "chime in" on a public forum?  if you have been reading much of ogrforum you would know Lionel service center is top notch and will take care of you.

After business hours for Lionel, I could not get anything done tonight whether I wanted to or not. Figured I would post and see if anyone had similar issues, or the off chance someone from Lionel was browsing this forum and could offer their take. 

 
 
 
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September 17, 2012 8:54 PM

yes you can on the internet. 

 

I go here and by the middle of the next day I have my RA number.

 

http://www.lionel.com/ContactUs/

 

It's always about the trains!

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September 17, 2012 8:55 PM

I believe on these VISION LINE Pieces taking off the Shell Voids the Warranty..

 
 
 
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September 17, 2012 8:56 PM

Originally Posted by Surefire:
Originally Posted by Alex Malliae:

Surefire sorry to here about this, I wonder if a piece of the windshield plastic went into the fan unit, but I would wait to see what Mike Reagan says before you take off the shell. I'm quite sure Lionel will take care of this quick.

 

Alex

The cab is actually its own contained unit, so all the pieces are within that. Going to email Lionel tomorrow and see about fixes or an RA#. Potentially taking off the shell does not bother me, and I would do so to replace the windshields to avoid shipping, but the fan noise is something I'm not so sure about. 

Surefire here's the view of the fan smoke unit

If you want to look in the fan unit just unscrew number 9 and you will see if there's anything in there, but again it's up to you Lionel customer service is top top notch.

it will all workout

Alex

 
 
 

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Last edited by Alex M September 17, 2012 9:12 PM
 
 
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September 17, 2012 8:58 PM

Originally Posted by Alex Malliae:
Originally Posted by Surefire:
Originally Posted by Alex Malliae:

Surefire sorry to here about this, I wonder if a piece of the windshield plastic went into the fan unit, but I would wait to see what Mike Reagan says before you take off the shell. I'm quite sure Lionel will take care of this quick.

 

Alex

The cab is actually its own contained unit, so all the pieces are within that. Going to email Lionel tomorrow and see about fixes or an RA#. Potentially taking off the shell does not bother me, and I would do so to replace the windshields to avoid shipping, but the fan noise is something I'm not so sure about. 

Surefire here's the view of the fan smoke unit

If you want to look in the fan unit just unscrew number 9 and you will see if there's anything in there, but again it's up to you Lionel customer service is top top notch.

it will all workout

Alex

 
 

Alex, thank you for the info, but I should clarify the fan noise I am talking about is the roof radiator fans not the smoke units. 

 
 
 
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September 17, 2012 9:05 PM

Oh sorry I misunderstood you, I would do what all the guys are saying call Lionel and get the RA number.

 

THANKS, ALEX

 

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September 17, 2012 9:05 PM

For anyone interested, here is another photo (w/o windshield) These are very pretty units. I plan to call Lionel in the morning.

 

 
 
 
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September 17, 2012 9:11 PM

Just for the heck of it here's the whole parts view you can see number 22 is the whole fan assembly.

 
exploded view.

 

Part #NameSequencePrice  
6304687002SHELL / BALDWIN CENTIPEDE / BALDWIN DEMO #60001$480.00Click to view part.Must contact Lionel to order.
63046787724-WHEEL TRUCK / CENTIPEDE / VISION2$24.50Click to view part.Unavailable
63046787708-WHEEL POWERED TRUCK / CENTIPEDE / VISION3$60.00Click to view part.Unavailable
6304678119AIR HOSE / M-U CONNECTIONS / REAR / CENTIPEDE4$3.60 Unavailable
6918040T50BATTERY CLIP5$0.95Click to view part.<input class="qty" id="qty_25716" name="qty.25716" style="width: 50px;" type="text" value="1" />
6911255115BRACKET / I.R. DECODER PCB / UBER / LEGACY6$2.40Click to view part.<input class="qty" id="qty_368825" name="qty.368825" style="width: 50px;" type="text" value="1" />
6911248T20BRACKET / RAILSOUNDS LITE PCB MOUNT7$4.00Click to view part.<input class="qty" id="qty_366865" name="qty.366865" style="width: 50px;" type="text" value="1" />
6304678205BRACKET / SMOKE UNIT / CENTIPEDE8$4.60Click to view part.Unavailable
6304678135CAB INTERIOR / CENTIPEDE W/ CREW / GRAY9$9.40Click to view part.Unavailable
6204536550COIL COUPLER / MNT C / LENGTH: 1.74" / 2.0MM LEOCO10$10.00Click to view part.<input class="qty" id="qty_29177" name="qty.29177" style="width: 50px;" type="text" value="1" />
6304678055COUPLER / NON-WORKING / CENTIPEDE11$5.40Click to view part.Unavailable
6101229081COLLECTOR / SINGLE ROLLER12$6.40Click to view part.<input class="qty" id="qty_371486" name="qty.371486" style="width: 50px;" type="text" value="1" />
6101107335COLLECTOR INSULATOR / BOTTOM13$1.10Click to view part.<input class="qty" id="qty_298213" name="qty.298213" style="width: 50px;" type="text" value="1" />
6304732334COLLECTOR INSULATOR / TOP / RS-1114$0.80Click to view part.<input class="qty" id="qty_375462" name="qty.375462" style="width: 50px;" type="text" value="1" />
6304678600DC MOTOR / LIONDRIVE W/ FLYWHEEL / CENTIPEDE15$28.00Click to view part.Unavailable
6304678602DC MOTOR / LIONDRIVE W/ FLYWHEEL W/ SENSOR / LEG16$32.00Click to view part.Unavailable
6101154130DC MOTOR / MINIATURE FAN / DIAGONAL SCREW HOLES17$6.00Click to view part.<input class="qty" id="qty_360321" name="qty.360321" style="width: 50px;" type="text" value="1" />
6304678130DC MOTOR W/ FLYWHEEL / FAN DRIVE / CENTIPEDE18$12.40Click to view part.Unavailable
6304678047DIAPHRAGM / CENTIPEDE / RUBBER / LONG / STANDARD19$5.20Click to view part.Unavailable
6101104135ENCODER RING / OPTICAL / LEGACY20$8.00Click to view part.<input class="qty" id="qty_298138" name="qty.298138" style="width: 50px;" type="text" value="1" />
6304678024FAN / RADIATOR / BALDWIN CENTIPEDE21$2.60Click to view part.Unavailable
6304678144FAN DRIVE ASSEMBLY / RADIATOR / CENTIPEDE22$28.50Click to view part.Unavailable
6304678518FOAM PAD / 1/8" x 5/16" x 5/8" / FRONT LIGHTING23$0.30Click to view part.Unavailable
6304678758FRAME / STAMPED / CENTIPEDE / LEADING UNIT24$20.00Click to view part.Unavailable
6304678033FUNCTION SWITCHES W/ POT ASSEMBLY / CENTIPEDE25$18.50Click to view part.Unavailable
<form action="/CustomerService/ReplacementParts/index.cfm" class="pagingFrm" method="get" style="float: left; width: 250px;">
<label for="resultsPerPage652CBC09" style="margin-right: 5px;">Results Per Page:</label> 
</form>
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September 17, 2012 11:05 PM

Those are just stupid-gorgeous and your issues will be resolved.

I have a set of UP's, would absolutely love the Demonstrators, too.  Heck, I have a mile-long list of stuff I'd love to have... oh, and there's the minor detail of getting a layout built, too.  Anyway, CONGRATS ON THE DEMOS (problem not withstanding, though inconvenient).

 

- Carlton

 
 
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September 18, 2012 4:22 AM

What a bummer having breakage and mechanical problems right out of the box. But on no account would I take off the shell; I learned to my cost that Vision line engines have much more complicated innards than standard Legacy models and there's no point voiding the warranty when these are really issues for factory repairs. Better to be safe than sorrier.

 

Some K-line engines had motorized roof fans and they were quite noisy due to having a strange plastic belt and pulley system to run them. The Lionel unit looks to be all gears in which case I'd imagine that one of them is not aligned or lubricated properly. I'd leave it up to one of Lionel's techies to deal with this. The service turn-around time is really fast although they might not have all the spare parts on hand just yet.

 
 
 
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September 18, 2012 5:26 AM

I have a FM trainmaster with the roof fans. They do make a fair amount of noise but not enough to drown out my engine sounds. Mine quited down quite a bit after some use time. May be there is a You Tube video that you can hear what the roof fans sound like so you have something to compare it to. At first I was annoyed at the sound but now look at it as if the real things definetly make noise when on. That's a beautiful engine you have there. I'm sure you will enjoy it very much once initial bugs are out. Legacy items for me have been rock solid after a trip or two to Lionel for tune ups. Sucks about windshields. My fans turn off if I shut down smoke unit with remote.

 

Jeff

 
 
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September 18, 2012 7:22 AM

My PRR 5-stripe has one quiet and one noisy roof fan unit. The noisy fan is on the trailing A unit, and loud enough to be heard over the sound system set at a medium level.  I emailed Lionel through their web site the middle of last week but have not heard from them yet.

 
 
 
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September 18, 2012 7:39 AM

When I received my new Lionel Blue Comet about 6 months ago , fresh out of the box there was touched up paint to fill a chip on the cab roof and a casting hole in the metal near the nameplate. I called the dealer (Charles Ro) and they gladly replaced the complete Engine for a nice crisp one. Thank You Crarles Ro.  Good Luck with your situation.

 
 
 
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September 18, 2012 12:55 PM

Originally Posted by Casey LV:

When I received my new Lionel Blue Comet about 6 months ago , fresh out of the box there was touched up paint to fill a chip on the cab roof and a casting hole in the metal near the nameplate. I called the dealer (Charles Ro) and they gladly replaced the complete Engine for a nice crisp one. Thank You Crarles Ro.  Good Luck with your situation.

And that should be thought #1.  Repairing brand new products is far too accepted by many participants, but whatever works for them, I guess.

 

-Dave

 
 
 
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September 18, 2012 9:40 PM

Yes, brand new toys with problems suck, no matter how you slice it. The windows out, loud roof fans, blinking cab lights, whatever the case may be it can get frustrating, we can all agree. Blame it on production, QA, the freight carrier, heck the guy down the road if it suits you, I suppose. Bottom line is at Lionel, we stand behind the product. Our 1-2 day turn around on repairs is what I feel makes the "suck" suck less. Yes, it is Vision Line, we pick up the shipping tab. Contact service, explain the issue, get the RA and the call tag and shoot it in to Ohio. We'll do what we do best, test the snot out of it and get it back to you in short order. End result; happy happy joy joy train time! I wish I had a crystal ball to tell you what went wrong and where, but what good would it all be if your train still had the problem? Thanks, Mike
 
 
 
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September 18, 2012 9:45 PM

Cappilot, Every email received up through 4pm on any given day is responded to that day. Check your spam folder! Mike
 
 
 
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September 18, 2012 9:46 PM

Kinda says it all, huh?

 

Bottom line is at Lionel, we stand behind the product.

 

Avatar sanitized for your protection. 

 
 
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September 18, 2012 10:15 PM

Hey! love that service - way to go!  Also love my new Pennsy centipede!

 

Harold

 

 
 
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September 18, 2012 10:20 PM

Wow with this kind of service sign me up for the next vision line steam engine.
 

 
 
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September 18, 2012 10:29 PM

Now that's what I call service  Mike Regan and Lionel are awesome they will always get my business
When I buy something from Lionel I feel totally comfrotable about it because they got your back
Thanks, Alex
 

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September 19, 2012 3:50 AM

Originally Posted by Alex Malliae:
Now that's what I call service  Mike Regan and Lionel are awesome they will always get my business
When I buy something from Lionel I feel totally comfrotable about it because they got your back
Thanks, Alex

I wholeheartedly second this sentiment. Mike Reagan and his team are the best. I've recently had cause to call for help with some small problems on one of my locomotives, and the support and service have been all that anyone could ask for. Lionel really do look after their customers.

 

Nicole. 

Not quite dead yet.

 
 
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September 19, 2012 5:36 AM

Mike,

 

Your response was in the spam folder.  It did not say from Lionel, but "Talk To Us", which I probably would not have opened anyway thinking it was spam.  Here is your response:

 

"Ronald,
The Centipede fans are louder and we don't have a fix for that.
Thank you
Lionel"

 

The noise off that one fan is too loud to live with.  What do I do now?  Send it back to you so you can disconnect the fan? 

 
 
 
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September 19, 2012 8:11 AM

Cappilot, Do what we do. Put a drop of oil on the fan shafts. Carefully lift the fan casting off the shaft, apply a "drop" of oil on each shaft, reseat the fan casting. At the end of the day they are "electro-mechanical" toys. This means moving parts; metal on metal. Oil will quiet them down! Mike
 
 
 
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September 19, 2012 9:03 AM




quote:
 End result; happy happy joy joy train time!




 

Could Mike be a fellow fan of Stinky Wizzleteats?

 
C.W. Burfle
Last edited by C W Burfle September 19, 2012 11:22 AM
 
 
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September 19, 2012 11:08 AM

"Yes, brand new toys with problems suck, no matter how you slice it. The windows out, loud roof fans, blinking cab lights, whatever the case may be it can get frustrating, we can all agree. Blame it on production, QA, the freight carrier, heck the guy down the road if it suits you, I suppose. Bottom line is at Lionel, we stand behind the product. Our 1-2 day turn around on repairs is what I feel makes the "suck" suck less. Yes, it is Vision Line, we pick up the shipping tab. Contact service, explain the issue, get the RA and the call tag and shoot it in to Ohio. We'll do what we do best, test the snot out of it and get it back to you in short order. End result; happy happy joy joy train time! I wish I had a crystal ball to tell you what went wrong and where, but what good would it all be if your train still had the problem? Thanks." 

                     .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .   Mike Reagan


Lionel has the best service in the business and Mike Reagan makes all the difference. I send it in. He sends it back as if it were new. Can it be a pain? Not as big as a heart attack.


Scrapiron Scher

 

Passengers will please refrain, This train's got the disappearin' railroad blues...

 
 
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September 19, 2012 4:51 PM

I just fired up my UP Centipede (luckily no physical damage) and the cab light blinked 3 times.  Man, was I scared.  I consulted the manual and it said if there are 3 blinks then there is a problem with the front smoke fan.  Sure enough there was no smoke coming from the front fan of the lead unit.  I was like man I don't want to send in my UP for service!!!  I followed the manual's instruction and reset the locomotive and that didn't help and the cab still blinked three times.  I next shut down the entire track power and powered it back up.  To my surprise the front smoke unit "magically" fired up and the blinking cab lights went away!!!  Woo hoo!  So happy.  Mike Reagon, can you chime in on why that is or was?  Was it simply a software issue that just needed a hard reset or am I just experiencing a temporary fix?

 

96.5% Lionel, 3% 3rdRail, and 0.5% MTH

 
 
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September 19, 2012 6:07 PM

Originally Posted by Ansonnn:

I just fired up my UP Centipede (luckily no physical damage) and the cab light blinked 3 times.  Man, was I scared.  I consulted the manual and it said if there are 3 blinks then there is a problem with the front smoke fan.  Sure enough there was no smoke coming from the front fan of the lead unit.  I was like man I don't want to send in my UP for service!!!  I followed the manual's instruction and reset the locomotive and that didn't help and the cab still blinked three times.  I next shut down the entire track power and powered it back up.  To my surprise the front smoke unit "magically" fired up and the blinking cab lights went away!!!  Woo hoo!  So happy.  Mike Reagon, can you chime in on why that is or was?  Was it simply a software issue that just needed a hard reset or am I just experiencing a temporary fix?

I had the same thing happen with my k-4. About a month later though it completely failed.

 
Is it real, or is it K-line
 
 
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September 19, 2012 6:19 PM

That's definitely not re-assuring.

 

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September 19, 2012 8:12 PM

I just noticed the roof fans on my trailing unit to be incredibly nosier than the lead unit which is silent.  Sounds like glass cracking when it spins.  Any owners experiencing the same problem?  The blinking cab lights come on every so often. Wonder if it's a sign of imminent smoke unit failure. 

 

Anyone know if we can just take the part (i.e. smoke unit and roof fans) off and send it directly to Lionel instead of sending the whole train itself?  I've disassembled engines before and Lionel engines are pretty straightforward.  Worst case is I am hoping to take it to a local Lionel service station not too far from my house.  I am trying to avoid sending the entire train via any carrier like UPS knowing how irresponsible they are.

 

 

 

96.5% Lionel, 3% 3rdRail, and 0.5% MTH

 
 
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September 19, 2012 8:45 PM

I am sure Lionel pays a good amount of money to their manufactures for this high end product as we do as the end user. Maybe it is time for Lionel to protect themselves and inspect these high end models when they receive them of the boat. I am sure they would not ship it out if they saw the windows missing, so they would not incur the shipping cost to and from and possibly they may ship it back overseas or repair it themselves if they had the parts.

It must cost them money and if there were many in that condition it would cost Lionel a small fortune in shipping. They are heavy!

I know when we buy something in the high value range like the centipedes we inspect like a new born.

Just my two cents.

John

 
 
 
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September 19, 2012 11:35 PM

By no means is this a bash Lionel quality thread. Even with these minor issues, which are all fixable, I would never trade my Centipede for anything else. Still a joy to run and I am just an impatient person. Nothing is perfect.
 
 
 
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September 20, 2012 12:55 PM

Originally Posted by Ansonnn:

...............

Anyone know if we can just take the part (i.e. smoke unit and roof fans) off and send it directly to Lionel instead of sending the whole train itself?  I've disassembled engines before and Lionel engines are pretty straightforward.  Worst case is I am hoping to take it to a local Lionel service station not too far from my house.  I am trying to avoid sending the entire train via any carrier like UPS knowing how irresponsible they are.

 

Perhaps it's not all Vision Line engines, but at least a few (and at least one non-Vision engine) have indications that if the user removes the shell, the warranty is voided.

 

And I am 100% with you on the UPS (and other carriers) concern.  That is not normally considered in the "but the customer service is top notch" responses.  I tend to worry about what else will happen to a unit in shipping even if it does come back with the original problem fixed.  (this is obviously not a Lionel exclusive problem, shippers can abuse a box from anyone)

 

-Dave

 
 
 
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September 20, 2012 1:10 PM

Originally Posted by John Pignatelli JR.:

....... Maybe it is time for Lionel to protect themselves and inspect these high end models when they receive them of the boat. I am sure they would not ship it out if they saw the windows missing, so they would not incur the shipping cost to and from and possibly they may ship it back overseas or repair it themselves if they had the parts.

...............It must cost them money and if there were many in that condition it would cost Lionel a small fortune in shipping. They are heavy!

I know when we buy something in the high value range like the centipedes we inspect like a new born.

Just my two cents.

John

 (sorry for the odd modifying of the quote with the "...." above, but needed a good way to split the responses - the html looked much more involved then the way you could just use the quote/unquote switch in  the old days)

 

1) The way it is now this risk is successfully being transferred to the end customer, so what would be the motivation for a change on either the part of Lionel or the factory?  Right now Lionel only pays for the shipping to return a defective item to them for repair if you are a veteran (nothing wrong with giving veterans some benefit here), which reduces the risk, as only a certain percentage of customers fit that criteria.  The business model you suggest would just move it up one notch.  The factory can continue to ship whatever quality level of merchandise they wish, as they know there would need to be some really serious issues before anyone is going to send a container full of trains back across the ocean.  Now, if we were to suggest inspection before the items were accepted for shipment, that would be another story.  A bunch of messed up trains sitting in the factory because they were not built properly (or carefully enough, whichever the case may be) would actually have an impact on the factory operations.

 

2) The small fortune in shipping costs is now successfully spread across the end users, so this is a non-issue.

 

-Dave

 
 
 
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September 26, 2012 3:58 PM

So I've just boxed up my UP Centipede to send back to Lionel for repairs specifically the front smoke fan element on the lead unit and the abnormal roof fan noise on the trailing unit.  The roof fans on the trailing you unit sounds like broken glass compared to the whisper quietness of the ones on the lead unit.  Good thing Lionel is picking up the shipping cost on this since the box weighs over 31lbs alone.  Can't wait to get her back.  Praying for a safe delivery to Lionel.

 

96.5% Lionel, 3% 3rdRail, and 0.5% MTH

 
 
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OGR Forum Member
 
October 5, 2012 9:10 PM

Surefire, did you send you Centipede back to Lionel for repair?  Mine is on its way back and after talking to the Lionel rep, she told me that the one and only Director of Repairs himself, Mike Reagan, worked on it!  Nice to know Vision owners get the personal touch from the big kahuna. 

 

Apparently the repair notes to be included is very detailed including a 3 hour run with a 16 car consists.  Unfortunately, they could not duplicate the blinking cab light indicative of a malfunctioning smoke fan code.  I am hoping that it is an isolated incident and will not pop up again.  I also complained of nosy roof fans on the trailing unit and the rep told me the roof fan gears were re-lubricated and that some noise was normal.  Hopefully the sound of cracking glass is significantly less.  Well, at least I have warranty on this baby until 2014.  Praying the engines arrive back home unscathed.  Excited to see her again!!

 

96.5% Lionel, 3% 3rdRail, and 0.5% MTH

 
 
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