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lehighline:      "I don't know how many of you have noticed, but the latest set of cars were made in Vietnam, not China. I'm not certain when the switch occurred, but my guess is that is when and why the new tooling was created and when the problems started."

     Yes, and these cars made in Vietnam are the same ones with the paint chipping problem!

NOT LionelLLC:      "There's nothing wrong with the Milk Reefer trucks.  The trucks are perfectly fine.  It's the couplers, and just the couplers, which don't consistently work as well as they could."

    The original trucks were truly sprung trucks. The trucks here have springs that are just decorative. They don't function. It looks like most of us here THOUGHT that these would truly be a second run of the milk cars from a few years ago. In many ways they are a pale imitation of those original cars.

     John

Last edited by John Knapp
@Mannyrock posted:

Landsteiner,

"Stuff goes wrong despite people's best efforts. "

True, but best efforts in the products world includes actually opening the box of one of your newly manufactured products and testing it out before you start shipping it out.    :-)

Manny, I’m not trying to pick nits, but best practices would be to design in quality and build in quality. It’s very, very difficult to test in quality.

I just got an email from Lionel "Talk to us" offering to replace the trucks on my reefers again since the first replacements didn't work. While I appreciated their follow up, I don't believe they realize this is an issue with a defective coupler design - just replacing trucks is never going to correct a defective design.

Last night I was watching on YouTube about the GS engines. That is the poster was indicating issues with Lionel and these engines, speaking about design process. He briefly touched on the milk cars saying just look up on YouTube and you'll have a whole bunch of things come up.

In his talking about the design process, he said what a great portion of our community know very well. That was that there are some great engines from the TMCC into early legacy as far as great work horses that have no issues. I don't remember how many times I have seen one of our own suggesting to the original poster to look for these types of engines, or even some other like old KLine ones.

The poster also suggested what we have pretty much echoed here, go find older rolling stock. Today I put in my pre-order. It was just a few engines, that's it. No rolling stock at all. I told my local train store Tony, that there was no New Haven Cabooses, so I'd have to get an old one wherever he has them whether old Lionel or MTH. Since Tony has a great selection, I'm sure I'll be okay in that regard. I'll have to ask him as well if he has any Madison New Haven passenger cars as well, but I'm getting ahead of myself.

I just received a new Chessie System I-12 caboose with Bettendorf trucks, and I am very disappointed in the new truck design. The uncoupler tab needs to be forced into position and then you have to pull the knuckle open! It’s also having a hard time coupling to any other pieces of rolling stock. Also, the trucks are no longer sprung. Not that it makes a big difference operationally, but I always thought that it was a nice detail to see. I hope Lionel goes back to the old design and provides replacements for customers that have purchased this inferior design of trucks!



Mat

There's nothing wrong with the Milk Reefer trucks.  The trucks are perfectly fine.  It's the couplers, and just the couplers, which don't consistently work as well as they could.

Please just give Lionel time to announce their plan.  I think most people will be pleased at how simple their plan will be.

Stu

I’m going to respectfully disagree here and let this video speak for itself. This is a Ross 072/054 curve switch. I have run hundreds of pieces of rolling stock through this switch with no derailments. I’m not sure exactly what’s causing this but it appears to be a combination of the fixed couplers and narrower wheels. I’ve sent this video to Lionel also.

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Wow - that video is compelling - in the wrong direction. Until now, I've had confidence in the Lionel rolling stock. Now I'm beginning to rethink this. The question has been asked: "where else do you go?" So I'm looking for an answer. Do the Atlas cars work well with the existing (pre Vietnam)Lionel rolling stock and with electrocouplers?

@PRR Steam posted:

I’m going to respectfully disagree here and let this video speak for itself. This is a Ross 072/054 curve switch. I have run hundreds of pieces of rolling stock through this switch with no derailments. I’m not sure exactly what’s causing this but it appears to be a combination of the fixed couplers and narrower wheels. I’ve sent this video to Lionel also.

Your video is very reminiscent of my Friendship PS-1s going through an 072 S-curve. They pull each other off the track with 100% repeatability. It’s not just a coupler issue.

@PRR Steam posted:

I’m going to respectfully disagree here and let this video speak for itself. This is a Ross 072/054 curve switch. I have run hundreds of pieces of rolling stock through this switch with no derailments. I’m not sure exactly what’s causing this but it appears to be a combination of the fixed couplers and narrower wheels. I’ve sent this video to Lionel also.

Wow! I don't know whats more amazing.

The number of derailments, or the fact the train just kept going and going without a breaker popping.

@RickO posted:

Wow! I don't know whats more amazing.

The number of derailments, or the fact the train just kept going and going without a breaker popping.

I should have mentioned this is a crossover from my outside loop to my inside. So power is on in the crossover and the outside loop but not the inside where the cars are derailing.

I tried to shoot a video with cars going the other way, which is even worse. But they short after 1 car with the crossover power on.

With all the discussions, I am really surprised and disappointed that not one word from Lionel. Even if they are working on a fix, I would have expected something from Lionel.

Are we beating a dead horse? It is falling on deaf ears at Lionel? Does anyone at Lionel really care about their reputation and their customer base that has been loyal to them for over a hundred years?

For me, I am thankful I bought only one car. Had to filed the coupler so it will work with my other cars. But at some point, I guess I will have to buy new trucks. Just hate paying $100 or more on a car that is worth less than half of that.

So much bad PR for Lionel. I hope they address the issue one way or the other.

RAY

Ray of sunshine:

     You are right! And with Lionel being the dominant O Gauge supplier for the near future at least, they need to be called out when  there is an issue with their products. In their almost-monopoly position now, we need to let them know  when things are going good, as well as when products just aren't living up to expectations.

John

@Lionelski posted:

PRRSteam.

Got a couple pics of just that section of track without the cars on it?

Is that the only place these cars derail like that?

How many cars are behind those derailing?

Here is the switch without cars (excuse my split tie) just a standard 054/072 Ross switch. This is a RH, I also have a LH which these cars are just as bad on. Below is also a video of cars going the other way. This happens every time.

Those two switches are where I have most of the issues but have had other derailments. Several times in an area of my layout that has an 0-62 curve transition into 3 switches. It jumps the track after  the curve coming into the switches.

Whats in these videos is 17 new Lionel milk cars and an atlas caboose. The first video the cars were being basked through the switch by an engine.

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I broke down and ordered a set of the older tooling 6-14251 rotating end cap trucks. They’ll look better on a patched Chessie caboose anyway! I hope Lionel rectifies the situation with their new truck tooling and goes back to the much better older tooling. If it’s a cost thing, I’m sure we could bear the few dollar increase in cost to go back to the old tooling.



Mat

Lionel’s new car couplers work fine with MTH, Weaver, Atlas and others. Don’t own any Lionel Scale so I’m not sure about that thumbtack design.

BOTTOM LINE - The new cars don’t couple to Lionel’s original PS series era cars.

Question is, what’s Lionel going to do about it? They already lost sales with this issue once before.

0214210644

Old to new - no good



B&O I-12 red SP Collection 21 [3)

New style coupler

B&O I-12 red SP Collection 21 [4)

B&O I-12 red SP Collection 21 [5)

LIONEL COUPLER ISSUE 20 [1)

New to old, no good.



LIONEL COUPLER ISSUE 20 [2)

New to old

LIONEL COUPLER ISSUE 20 [3)LIONEL COUPLER ISSUE 20 [4)

New to old

Lionel new coupler issue 21 [1)

New to old



Lionel new coupler issue 21 [2)

New to old

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  • LIONEL COUPLER ISSUE 20  (2)
  • LIONEL COUPLER ISSUE 20  (3)
  • LIONEL COUPLER ISSUE 20  (4)
  • Lionel new coupler issue 21  (1)
  • Lionel new coupler issue 21  (2)

I have mixed feelings on this topic. 4 of the 6 milk cars do line up when strung together but tend to be off when coupled to an older Mill car (2016 and earlier). I have purchased a bunch of trucks before Weaver went out of business and have purchased a bunch of MTH trucks on EBay, Amazon and Marketplace. I am going to see how these line up. Hopefully they will but if not then the new cars will be at the end of the train I run as when they are behind the engine cars 1-4, they tend to derail.

still trying to figure out what’s best. Hopefully just a truck swap until Lionel produces a fix.

@mattrains posted:

If it’s a cost thing, I’m sure we could bear the few dollar increase in cost to go back to the old tooling.



Mat

I’m sorry but I can’t except this! Lionel has been going down the cost cutting path for a number of years now and I firmly believe it is founded in showing the board, or whatever entity their present CEO reports to, increased profits. I’ve been a fairly loyal customer for the past 35 years and I’ve reached the breaking point. Two catalogs and counting with no orders!

Message to @mattrains

MAT,

With the new design of the DEFECTIVE (Vietnam) coupler/trucks on these cars, why didn't the quality control engineer verify the accuracy and compatibility of the couplers? Why should I have to pay for his or her screwup?

If I buy a new car from Ford, only to find out that the tires are undersized, should I pay for new tires to fix their defect?

You guys are missing the point. It IS Lionel's responsibility to deliver QUALITY products for a reasonable price that makes a profit for them. WE should not accept inferior quality and then have to fork out additional dollars to fix THEIR lack of quality control. And if the issue is really with their supplier, then it is Lionel's issue, NOT OURS.

When Atlas screwed up the California Zephyr cars several years ago, they corrected it at THEIR costs. Then sent replacement window inserts to those that purchased the the cars at NO COST to us.

When Athearn misrepresented the accuracy of the Genesis F3's (HO gauge) they shipped replacement shells at NO COST to those that purchased the engines and we did not have to return to incorrect shells.

Am I frustrated, you're **** right, and I bought only one car. As far as I am concerned, until Lionel fixes the issue, the rest of the Friendship and milk cars can remain on dealers shelves or at Lionel's warehouse.

RAY

I just looked up Lionel's Mission statement:

"Our mission is to develop, manufacture, market and service the best electric toy trains and accessories in the world within a competitive environment.

Lead the toy train industry with innovative engineering, flawless manufacturing and superior customer service. Employ the best people and inspire teamwork and strong communications in an atmosphere of teamwork, trust, openness and innovation. Expose children to the magic of Lionel trains and sprout interest in the toy train hobby. Work closely with our dealer network and share with them some of the decision making processes for future Lionel products.

Keep the magic of the Lionel tradition living for another 100 years."

Note the second paragraph: "Lead the toy train industry with innovative engineering,flawless manufacturing and superior customer service."

"Flawless manufacturing", remember those words when any of you call, talk, email or text Lionel about the issue concerning the new milk cars, Friendship cars, etc.

RAY

I know some of the folks on this thread are waiting for Lionel to replace the failed coupler with a new working design, but I'm thinking it will still be a non-articulated design and some of the derailing problems might still be present.

I want my two reefers to have working couplers and, more importantly, to run as well as the earlier reefers did, so I think I will just replace the Vietnamese trucks with earlier ones. But I need to know which trucks are a good replacement.

If anyone has replaced these and found the replacement trucks to work well, I'd like to hear which ones worked for you. I see some roller bearing trucks (P/N 6-14251) on eBay which look like they might work well, but I don't want to invest $25-$30 on something which might work.

Any ideas on a good replacement?

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