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@RandyC posted:

It may not be new but at the price we pay for these products it’s ridiculous. I would be willing to pay for the repair because it’s out of warranty. It’s the depleting coal tender that’s not operational.

I'm willing to say they don't have the personnel to keep up with all the warranty repair and out of warranty repairs.  This policy has been in place now for at least 5+ years, probably more on the plus side.  Again I don't have a problem if they refer me but those folks need to be trained.

Lionel hasn't had a repair training classes in a decade. When Mike left, that was the end of that. Even the certified ones a decade ago are now ' untained ' in LionChief, bluetooth, etc. I'm sure a lot of repair folks have left since a decade ago, making competent repair guys scarcer. The technology has changed so much, from modular boards like radio boards, audio boards are all outdated today.

Last edited by Chuck Sartor

Kalmbach Publishing Company (LOL) shut down Customer Service at their Waukesha, WI HQ and outsourced it to some unknown outfit in Tampa, FL a couple years ago.  Well, when that brilliant move flopped they found another fly-by-nighter in Big Sandy, TX, of all places.  Gads, what a thought...???  The sheer fact they put the girls in Waukesha out on the street (Item: These gals really knew their business too!) was enough for me to cancel all my subscriptions of the railroad related magazines I had purchased.

To add insult to injury, they have terminated Marc Horowitz, founder of Garden Railways magazine.  GR's magazine's quality completely disappeared soon after.  The  advertisements outnumbered the number of pages of the articals, at least this was the impression I received.  Believe me, Al Kalmbach, David P. Morgan, Rosemary Entringer, and Lynn Westcott, are all turning over in their graves to see how the top notch company Al Kalmbach started during The Great Depression with Model Railroader, has sunk so low.

A tip of my old wore out traditional striped engineer's cap to the entire OGR staff for maintaining Quality Plus with both the magazine and forum that all  subscribers have come to love from the Get Go!  WOW, you guys and gals run the OGR business professionally, and this is why I will renew my subscription when it comes due in 2021, and many more years too until my Maker calls me home to the roundhouse in the sky which is just beyond the Big Rock Candy Mountains where all railroaders, railfans, and model railroaders go when their number comes up!

Godspeed on the Heavenly Express

Joe

 

 

Training ended when service moved to North Carolina. To be honest, it would be enough for working service stations to just have access to the wiring diagrams and schematics. Service training was never about repairing to component level. Bruk has done more to help service post service school engines than Lionel by reverse engineering the boards.

Pete

 

Would you send your out-of-warranty washer back to Maytag?  No, you get in touch with a repair tech.  What's so different about model trains?

Most all companies I am aware of keep their service techs up to date with training and documentation. This hasn't happened with Lionel. That is a big part of the problem. They won't do the work themselves nor are they supporting existing repair centers.

Pete

@Cincytrains posted:

JADA is Alex M, as stated above and he has one of my loco's as I type this. He is a real stand up guy!!! Other than Lionel I ONLY use Gunrunner John and Alex to fix my trains. Gunrunner has fixed probably 3 or so and Alex is currently working on my second, and its more of an upgrade..Email Alex, he will get back to you quickly. 

Thank you very much. I saw photos of the Big Boy disassembled he posted when it was shipped out initially. I will contact him.

It's been awhile so I may be behind, but why would Mike discontinue the classes? He was a 'people person'.  Too many techs?

From what I remember, even though folks were trained, they were not doing the repairs correctly and then the engine would often have to be returned to Lionel to correct.  The comment I heard was out of 100 people that took the training, maybe only 10% truly grasped the repair process and were doing the repairs correctly even though all 100 might have passed the course.   I got the impression that the electronics were the big issue.

 

@Norton posted:

Alex is AlexM here. He had your engine apart the day it was released. Your engine will be in good hands. You could likely drive it there but with the tolls.........

 

Pete

Only about a 1700 mile round trip. I think it would be cost prohibitive unless I am in the area. But with everything I’m am interested in ie York Show , NJ Hi Railers . I will probably ship it. I could stop at Hennings Trains though.?

My theory, Yes 100 per cent get with Alex, he’s much better than Lionel would be due to proper training: Now take me serious, Pack your Big Boy very carefully in the Original box, then the original Carton,  then Place this Carton in a third box with adequate packing, styrofoam peanuts, bubble wrap for making sure no damage in shipping. Use UPS ground, place Fragile stickers on the outer Carton. You’ll be glad you did. Insure your Locomotive.  When I sell a high end engine, I Triple Pack for my customer and friends here in the hobby. 

Alex M is an expert repairman, very good at fixing these highly electronic based engines. Also, Gunrunner John could do the same work. These guys know their electronics, take great care in their work. The reason for triple packing is the fragile front end of this Big Boy. Great Question, Lionel is just being honest, they are not prepared to fix this locomotive.  Happy Railroading 

 

@leapinlarry posted:

My theory, Yes 100 per cent get with Alex, he’s much better than Lionel would be due to proper training: Now take me serious, Pack your Big Boy very carefully in the Original box, then the original Carton,  then Place this Carton in a third box with adequate packing, styrofoam peanuts, bubble wrap for making sure no damage in shipping. Use UPS ground, place Fragile stickers on the outer Carton. You’ll be glad you did. Insure your Locomotive.  When I sell a high end engine, I Triple Pack for my customer and friends here in the hobby. 

Alex M is an expert repairman, very good at fixing these highly electronic based engines. Also, Gunrunner John could do the same work. These guys know their electronics, take great care in their work. The reason for triple packing is the fragile front end of this Big Boy. Great Question, Lionel is just being honest, they are not prepared to fix this locomotive.  Happy Railroading 

 

I have all the original boxes and packaging. Yes UPS is the only way to ship something of value. I have used USPS before. Never will use them again for something high value. Thanks for the info.

@RandyC posted:

I have all the original boxes and packaging. Yes UPS is the only way to ship something of value. I have used USPS before. Never will use them again for something high value. Thanks for the info.

Keep in mind that everyone has different experiences with shippers. Over the years, I've had better luck with USPS Priority Mail than I've had with UPS. You might take a look at the recent thread about UPS losing a train the poster was supposed to receive. Last month I had an engine lost due to careless delivery by a UPS driver.

Regardless, brace yourself when you see what it's going to cost you to ship a Big Boy round trip for repairs. 

@breezinup posted:

Keep in mind that everyone has different experiences with shippers. Over the years, I've had better luck with USPS Priority Mail than I've had with UPS. You might take a look at the recent thread about UPS losing a train the poster was supposed to receive. Last month I had an engine lost due to careless delivery by a UPS driver.

Regardless, brace yourself when you see what it's going to cost you to ship a Big Boy round trip for repairs. 

I can only go by my experiences with a shipper. Shipping will be costly. I am retired so I can probably deliver it myself for the same amount and it will be handled better for sure. Also it will give me an excuse to take a trip.! LOL

Randy.......Discouraging isn't it? High end costly locos not repaired by the importers. Yes, send this to Alex. He has done repairs for me. I had the same issue with that depleting coal load. Lionel fixed it under warranty. After warranty, smoke unit issues were repaired by Alex for me. I sold that Big Boy shortly thereafter. Just didnt want to deal with any more issues in the future. Shipping that loco to NJ from Ohio with insurance was very costly. I had a Lionel FEF that was repaired by someone else (not Alex). Dumped about 600.00 in repairs that never worked. Tech kept putting in RCMC boards (3 or 4 of them) that lasted only minutes on my layout. I talked to the service manager at Lionel and practically begged him to repair my FEF. He refused because it was out of warranty. 2 independent service stations attempted to do the repairs but could not get it. I pushed Lionel some more and finally Lionel bought the loco back from Me. I did appreciate Lionel doing the buy back. Problem was I was still out 600.00 for previous repairs. Bottom line here is your best to let Alex handle this repair. I have not purchased a Lionel locomotive since and will never again. 

 I was always a MTH fan and still am however I will not buy any more locos from MTH due to no service after warranty and more than likely parts drying up. I will still buy passenger cars and freight cars. In my opinion, these high end locos are way too cool when all is working well. But when you need a repair you really are on your own. 

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