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My nephew received a new Union Pacific starter set, model number 1923040, but the lionechief app (on iPhone) would not recognize the 0-8-0 engine. It was never available to select within the app. Remote included in the set connected to it and worked fine. We attempted the tried and true shut down restart everything - unplug power, close app, remote off, then plugged it back in and reopened app once the engine was chirping. No luck  

Are there known Bluetooth connectivity issues with this model or with the app in general?  

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Because the app depends on the OS and hardware of your phone- yes, there can and has been problems where the app cannot operate/communicate with the bluetooth function of your phone or tablet.

Before declaring the engine to be the problem, it's best to try a different phone or tablets- especially apple vs android.

Generally, if the Lionchif board works with the remote, then it's working as expected and should be able to communicate bluetooth.

Remote off is key.  Once a remote is paired with the locomotive, nothing else will work.  This problem occurs with the phone app and also the orange universal Lionchief controller (available separately).  Unfortunately, it sounds like you got that far and it still didn't work.  Fortunately, you are still able to control the train via the remote.

I have had mixed results with the phone app on Android and it is very frustrating.  Sometimes it works great, sometimes it can't find the locomotives.  Try a different phone, or a tablet.  I don't know what to tell you.  Lionel is very wise to provide the remote with all their starter set engines, because the app certainly isn't reliable enough for general use.

For what it's worth, we tried the phone app and prefer the remote.  Also worth nothing that with the old style trains where you controlled them via the transformer, there was no danger of misplacing the controller because it was hardwired to the layout.

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