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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 The technology has changed so much, from modular boards like radio boards, audio boards are all outdated today.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. 

I found the problem. That piece pulled off the bottom of the coal load. A new coal load is $12.50 from Lionel. I will try to order it. I will let you know how it turns out. Piece of what looks like a monofilament line winds around that shaft behind the large gear and pulls down against those two springs.  It’s worth a try for a few dollars and time .4050A089-FEC6-4839-A802-95AB77863125DCAB0EFD-BBD7-48D4-BE62-73D91BCEB17CD0B482F6-A92D-41E2-9A02-CF0989C7CBE0

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And he charged you each and every time he replaced a RCMC board?  It's people like that Lionel needs to weed out!

He didn't say it was a Lionel-authorized or even trained tech who did the work, though. The only thing the poster said with regard to the RCMC boards was that it was repaired by "someone else." If it was someone at an authorized Service Station (and it may have been), then that should be made known to Lionel.

Last edited by breezinup

You know, Alex probably doesn’t need the entire engine, I think he has a VL Big Boy that he could connect with if necessary. Just a thought. Also, I have nothing against USPS, I just recently received a K-Line Hudson, shipped by USPS Ground, not Priority, and it cost $44, and took almost 2-1/2 weeks to receive. I had issues with the tracking system. It did arrive, in great shape. I just feel UPS has a better tracking system. They all throw packages like footballs, this is why I say place a fragile sticker on the package.  Alex M is a great repair man and has at one time shown the VL Big Boy inside and out. Good luck, Happy Railroading 

 

@RickO posted:

Good to hear you found the problem Randy. Looking forward to your updated post once you get it  resolved.

And WOW! Look at all the gears in there just to make the coal load go down.  It looks like an automotive transmission LOL!

4050A089-FEC6-4839-A802-95AB77863125

Yes they are all metal gears and very well made but the molded rubber hole is the weak link. I don’t know how else they could have made it better. Thanks. I will give it a try. 

mth locomotives are for the most part easy to work on. lionel is another story. I just fixed my lionel legacy mikado smoke unit and what a piece of junk that smoke unit design was. trouble with being a tech it seams is every time you get a new engine to repair they have changed the electronics package. legacy, lionchief, lc+, lc2.0 and so on. since mike gave those classes I bet the electronic pakages have changed a lot. especially now that blue tooth is invoved. 

so just like cars now a days its becoming a more and more specialized job. not to mention some things are just poorly engineered by especially lionel which makes working on them even more frustrating at times. I am sure that working for say lionel as a hourly tech does not pay what its worth either. hope you get your coal load working again. I am sure you will.

mth locomotives are for the most part easy to work on. lionel is another story. I just fixed my lionel legacy mikado smoke unit and what a piece of junk that smoke unit design was. trouble with being a tech it seams is every time you get a new engine to repair they have changed the electronics package. legacy, lionchief, lc+, lc2.0 and so on. since mike gave those classes I bet the electronic pakages have changed a lot. especially now that blue tooth is invoved. 

so just like cars now a days its becoming a more and more specialized job. not to mention some things are just poorly engineered by especially lionel which makes working on them even more frustrating at times. I am sure that working for say lionel as a hourly tech does not pay what its worth either. hope you get your coal load working again. I am sure you will.

I have three MTH locomotives that are DOA!

Looks like every high tech toy that is made today, regardless if Made in the USofA, or over there, over there, they all come with built in factory defects.  Having recently passed Milepost 74 in July, I wish upon a star, that I still had my Marx wind-up NYC freight and UP Streamliner.  They ran and ran and ran and if I still had them today they'd still run and run and run......

Of course, I wish upon that same star it was 1951, and I had just celebrated my fifth birthday knowing what I now know! 

 

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