My New Niagara came damaged (no surprise)

RoyBoy posted:

Nope. Once a traction tire has come off, it is at the end of its life. It has lost any stretch it once had, the stretch required to stay on the wheel.

You must put on a new tire.

If you put the old tire back on, it will just come off again... and again... and again

It wouldn't surprise me one bit if that tire was never put on the wheel at the factory. 

Removing the screws and stretching the tire is not a problem if the engine came with a tool to remove the screws.  Saying people should "quit the hobby if they cannot do these simple maintenance items." is exactly what is happening in the hobby, and what keeps new people from entering the hobby.

THERE WAS NO TOOL IN THE VISION LINE NIAGARA BOX.   NONE

As a life-long model railroader I had faith that the products would work.  This is why I have kept buying Lionel engines.  Faith in Lionel.  My thinking was "These engine difficulties cannot continue to happen and have a business continue to make products and survive."

Unfortunately my positive faith has led to negative outcomes.  You are correct.  I should return this new Niagara and sell my entire collection that includes six Vision Line Big Boys.

Sincerely, John Rowlen

 

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...It seems to me that replacing a traction tire is a pretty straight forward operation, done with (in this case) a small screw driver: something anyone should have, especially if they've been "a life-long model railroader". 

I agree that a brand new item right out of the box shouldn't need any sort of work , but something this minor shouldn't cause any major concern...should it?

Why on earth do they keep offering engines with traction tires: if they have a decent motor and weight, they don't need these...but that's for another discussion. 

Mark in Oregon

Mark in Oregon,  If I could get regular wheels on my Steam engines I would gladly do it. I have been running one of my six Big Boys without traction tires and it pulls thirty-five plus cars without any difficulty.  As far as having the tools to do the work, unfortunately mine are well used. I have replaced them several times.  I guess I will need a new set now. The China sets are a soft metal so they do not tear at the screws. They don't last long with regular use.

WHEN YOU SPEND $1,709.00 ON A VISION LINE NIAGARA, THE ENGINE SHOULD ARRIVE IN PERFECT CONDITION.

I have done many repairs on the 100 plus Lionel engines in my collection. All are under 5 years old, except a Santa Fe Whiskers ABBA freight set. Dean has sent new traction tires for many of my GP35 three engine sets.  The original tires were too fat, raising the wheel flange so it did not track properly through my Atlas O switches.  I have replaced all those tires. 

I am a life-long model railroader, but why should I continue to correct Lionel's errors. I have three engines currently at Lionel including two Vision Line GG1 engines with bad gears. One is back for a third time. They did not do all the repairs on my new CSX F40PH #9999 the first time.  I was counting on that engine to pull my seven-car set of CSX 21" passenger cars I detailed with Preiser figures I hand-painted. Those cars are among the 131 Lionel and Atlas 21" passenger cars I have detailed for my collection in the past five years. 

Sincerely, John Rowlen

Hi John

I'm not looking to start an argument here; life is too short, and this is just a "hobby" we're talking about, correct?

 I did say: "I agree that a brand new item right out of the box shouldn't need sort of work".

I guess what puzzles me is the fact that you have had seemingly so many issues with this product line, yet you continue to support that brand. By now you know what you're buying into (I guess), so when things aren't "right", you should be half expecting it...right or wrong.

Maybe I'm missing something here, but there's the old saying about "fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice..."

I really,really hope you can get things ironed out.

Mark in Oregon

 

 

Strummer posted:

Hi John

I'm not looking to start an argument here; life is too short, and this is just a "hobby" we're talking about, correct?

 I did say: "I agree that a brand new item right out of the box shouldn't need sort of work".

I guess what puzzles me is the fact that you have had seemingly so many issues with this product line, yet you continue to support that brand. By now you know what you're buying into (I guess), so when things aren't "right", you should be half expecting it...right or wrong.

Maybe I'm missing something here, but there's the old saying about "fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice..."

I really,really hope you can get things ironed out.

Mark in Oregon

 

 

Mark, I'm steering clear of the specific discussion with Mr. Rowlen.  But in terms of the more general issue, I think the underlying frustration is due to the following: 1) if you are an O gauge hobbyist and want to buy new locomotives with the latest innovations, your really have no choice but to buy from Lionel.  2) at the prices being charged for these Vision locomotives, there is an expectation that the manufacturer will have a certain level of integrity and responsibility to its customer base such that defects are the rare exception.   

WANNA BE HEARD? VOTE WITH YOUR DOLLARS

I agree with Mark in Oregon. If this was your first big purchase and this happened I could see your point. But you admittedly state you are aware of the quality issues Lionel has, and have had several problems with products of theirs previously.  At this point if you're still buying their product, you have nobody to blame but yourself. Lionel has made it clear up to this point that they are not doing anything to address their numerous quality issues. The laughing all the way at the bank at the consomers expense.  

Look at their most recent Fiasco with the moguls.  No where did I personally see any sign of true remorse or sorrow for the initial problem, and then the amount of time it took to address the issue let alone come up with a solution to try to fix it. Contrary, when  they finally accepted the returns they came back and said they only received a small percentage of the amount sold, and IMO sarcastically implied the consumers were making a mountain out of a molehill....

I agree with John Rowlen. For what they charge for these locomotives would it kill them to include the proper sized screwdriver? And no offense to anyone who owns this locomotive but I don’t like the Phillips screws at all. All my locomotives from all different companies including Lionel use Hex heads. Why change from something that worked? 

Since I am primarily a 2 rail guy, I do still have a modest collection of 3 rail, my new purchases in the last 10 years have all been MTH, Atlas or 3rd Rail. I have had to send back just a few locomotives and all were fixed to my satisfaction. 

If I were you John Rowlen, I agree the Lionel stuff is really cool and beautiful but I would stop buying it.  To each his own. Good luck. I hope you get your locomotives back fixed correctly. 

Phil

TCA Member

NYCHS Member

MTH RR Club

Hudson J1e posted:

I agree with John Rowlen. For what they charge for these locomotives would it kill them to include the proper sized screwdriver? And no offense to anyone who owns this locomotive but I don’t like the Phillips screws at all. All my locomotives from all different companies including Lionel use Hex heads. Why change from something that worked? 

Its not a change, but a return to what was used on the CCII Niagara. When Lionel reuses tooling they use ALL of it, right down to the siderod screws.

In Johns case, I would think the tire could be replaced without removing the screw. Unless he plans on removing the entire drive rod, theres no advantage to just that one screw. Simply make use of a thumb and forefinger on one hand, and a small flat blade screwdriver carefully in the other.

If the brake shoes are rubbing. On most Lionel steamers they are seprately applied and held on by screws as well. The screws can be loosened and the brake shoe can be rotated away from the drive wheels.

Having said that. I started a thread asking about the proper "phillips" style screwdriver for my trains. The screws used on O guage trains are not standard phillips but  JIS screws, Japanese Industrial Standard.

To minimize the risk of stripping screws on O guage trains these JIS screws are what you want. Thanks to Hotwater bringing this up months ago I never would have guessed.

Yes you can get away with a standard philips most of the time, but if you have $1000's of dollars in trains. Why not pony up $20-$30 for the proper tools

Heres my thread regarding these JIS Screwdrivers: Screwdriver Set Recommendation

 

" No matter how far we travel, the memories will follow in the baggage car."

one important thing you may not be aware of is there is NO QC anymore with any products you purchase including cars ! The consumer is the QC person that way All company's save there money by not having to pay a QC persons wages and benefits. hope you all realized this!  No company wants to pay benefits anymore at all. if you ever notice most electronic products today are throw away  it is all the sales only! tv's radios cell phones especially apple phones I recently took my apple 6 phone to get checked and I already knew what the problem was but wanted to confirm my suspicions bad screen. they told me they could fix it but would not fix it but said we will sell you a used  one for $149.00 and then screen was only $20.00 for my phone. all company's are getting like this anymore. at least most of the train manufactures are good at repairing there trains Lionel and Mth I would not hesitate to purchase them! just my opinion for what it's worth!

Alan Mancus posted:

one important thing you may not be aware of is there is NO QC anymore with any products you purchase including cars ! The consumer is the QC person that way All company's save there money by not having to pay a QC persons wages and benefits. hope you all realized this!  No company wants to pay benefits anymore at all. if you ever notice most electronic products today are throw away  it is all the sales only! tv's radios cell phones especially apple phones I recently took my apple 6 phone to get checked and I already knew what the problem was but wanted to confirm my suspicions bad screen. they told me they could fix it but would not fix it but said we will sell you a used  one for $149.00 and then screen was only $20.00 for my phone. all company's are getting like this anymore. at least most of the train manufactures are good at repairing there trains Lionel and Mth I would not hesitate to purchase them! just my opinion for what it's worth!

Good one!  I assume, of course, this is a joke.  

Not saying any particular company specifically has a QC department or how robust it might be.  But to make the unqualified statement that no company has QC is patently ridiculous.  Every company I've ever worked for deeply invested in QC an continuous improvement.  In terms of toy train makers, I know Atlas has QC - several layers.  MTH also does, or at least did when last I discussed it with several folks who I used to know there quite well.   

WANNA BE HEARD? VOTE WITH YOUR DOLLARS

Hudson J1e posted:

I agree with John Rowlen. For what they charge for these locomotives would it kill them to include the proper sized screwdriver? And no offense to anyone who owns this locomotive but I don’t like the Phillips screws at all. All my locomotives from all different companies including Lionel use Hex heads.....

I agree. I think these Phillips screws look cheap and tacky. What's next- pop rivets? They may have used Phillips in the past but things change. Look at the electronics now. Why wouldn't something as simple as a hex head screw be incorporated in a model of that price considering how much better it would look.

I wouldn't mind getting the necessary Hozan or Moody JIS screw drivers.

Nonetheless, maybe someone will come up with replacement hex head screws or be able to use hex head screws used on other Lionel locos.  I bet MartyE, MartyF, or GRJ are already thinking about it.

RickM46

And now it starts.

I bought a new screw driver set recommended in the thread on OGR Forum about screwdrivers.  Tonight I will box up my Lionel Allegheny that Lionel Service did not fix the first time, and then work on the Vision Line Niagara #6013. 

The rear traction tire was off when I received the engine.  It has signs that the dealer may have tested it.  That is a GOOD thing.  They may not have noticed the traction tire, or did not want to risk marking the engine.

My experience is that when a steam engine traction tire comes off, the new tire will also fail in three to four days of operation.  Diesels never fail for me, unless they have the wrong size tire (too thick) as used by the factory on the GP35 engines.  I will check the clearance on the brake shoe.  Some engines have the shoe screwed to the engine.  On the Allegheny they are molded into the bottom of the gear box, not offering much of an option to adjust them.

Sincerely, John Rowlen

RickM46 posted:

I wouldn't mind getting the necessary Hozan or Moody JIS screw drivers.

Nonetheless, maybe someone will come up with replacement hex head screws or be able to use hex head screws used on other Lionel locos.  I bet MartyE, MartyF, or GRJ are already thinking about it.

The prototype didn't have hex head bolts. They actually resembled oval head allens.

Pete

 

Finally, the new Vision Line Niagara #6013 is on the layout and running.  Looked at the Manual for a battery cable set of instructions because my sound drops out on the tender when going over Atlas O #5 switches.  The pickup rollers on the bottom of the tender are very close together.  This may be causing the tender sound to turn off.  The engine sound is fine.

If there is no battery cable, how can I eliminate the drop off of the tender sound?

Sincerely, John Rowlen

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Alan Mancus


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