Looking at page 134/135 of the new Lionel 2020 catalog I note that the LionChief GP 38 engines are priced at $219 .99 the 2015 catalog lists a somewhat similar LionChief GP 20 engines at $339.99. Looking at the steam engines on page 134 the 0-8-0 engines are $219.99 the 2015 catalog of LionChief engines most of the steam engines of different styles were listed at $429.99.
I am thrilled by the drop in price and will order a couple but was just curious how they are able to offer the engines at such lower prices?
I love the LionChief system and have around 30 engines of many styles. I think this has been one of the best systems to hit the market. The system is so easy to use the hand held remote and has great range on a large home layout or at the large garden railway club track. When having an operating session with grand kids or skilled adults the LionChief system works great. I set up the remotes on the fence around my large 40x24 foot layout area at shows with a cover over the remote to keep the kids from breaking the remotes, and keep the power lower enough from transformers so the kids can not run the trains to fast. I have had shows with 16 LionChief engines running with the kids controlling them. A few of my early LionChief engines have run for years reliably at many shows over the years thousands of hours of use.
However I have had several LionChief engines that have failed me of the last few years of releases most that have been run seldom with light loads on the home layout (not for hours at the train shows) ! From trains like the Hallmark Santa train having the gears slip run seldom with a light load at home very little hours on it, small switchers with gears slipping near new. LionChief control boards in the Thomas engines failing. Hogwarts train gears slipping. Etc. I have had more problems with the reliability of the more recent releases of the LionChief trains then the many other trains of different makes in my collection.
Do you like the LionChief system and how reliable have your engines been, any problems?