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Hello all,

In the past,  I have posted and commented on a couple of the other forums about my continuing problems with my 20-20347-1 Via Rail Turbotrain.   Since the end of  March of this year,  I have only logged a little over an  1 hours run time on it,   the majority of time it being either shipped or at MTH for repair.   The first repair was to replace a slave board(approx 6 weeks total),  the second repair was to replace another slave board(yes the same one as the first repair),    "repair wiring at lead unit socket",  and "refurbish unit for operation".   This was approx another 9 weeks.   I received the Turbotrain back from MTH in late Sept,  but due to other things in life,  did not even open the box until last Thursday.   Another surprise-upon unwrapping the lead power unit from its foam/plastic wrap,   there was a gear from the lead power truck laying loose,  plastered between the foam and the side of the body(not on the bottom where the truck is-but up along the side).   There is an impression of the gear and it's grease in the foam where it was.   In addition,  there is a piece of the truck sideframe broken off(looks like a step) on one side.   This was not broken when I sent it in for repair and the broken part is not in the wrappings.   In addition,  on the coach car that couples between the 2 power units,  there is a tab broken off where the long plastic rod slides in from the adjoining car.   This also was not broken off when the trains was sent in for repair.   I waited a few days to calm down before calling MTH.   Explained the whole situation to the customer service girl,  so now the Turbo is going back to MTH AGAIN for damage repair!   I told the customer service girl on the phone that if I could use the lemon law on this train for a refund,   or even MTH credit for my original cost ,  I certainly would.   I'm at the point where I don't even want this piece of **** anymore.

Nick

 

 

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Whenever an engine is repaired at MTH, it goes into the layout room and gets run in DCS or (and) conventional.  Sorry to hear of your problems.  I am a fan and rode the Turbo Train as it passed through and stopped in my neighborhood.  I run both Amtrak trains and enjoy them.  I am very big on running any train when you bring it home to check for any issues.  This way the dealer may have another to swap out with you and if not you have the warranty period to work for you.   I have seen worse damage from the P.O. and Fed Ex.  I hope this gets handled for you.

Last edited by Marty Fitzhenry
Ray Lombardo posted:

What is pictured is obvious shipping damage.  Sorry to hear of the issues but if possible try to find an authorized repair facility closer by so you can handle it without the fedex, usps, or ups gorillas handling it.

 Since the piece wasn't in the wrapping, I question this being shipping damage...

machinist posted:
 Another surprise-upon unwrapping the lead power unit from its foam/plastic wrap,   there was a gear from the lead power truck laying loose,  plastered between the foam and the side of the body(not on the bottom where the truck is-but up along the side).   There is an impression of the gear and it's grease in the foam where it was.   In addition,  there is a piece of the truck sideframe broken off(looks like a step) on one side.   This was not broken when I sent it in for repair and the broken part is not in the wrappings.  

gunrunnerjohn posted:
Ray Lombardo posted:

What is pictured is obvious shipping damage.  Sorry to hear of the issues but if possible try to find an authorized repair facility closer by so you can handle it without the fedex, usps, or ups gorillas handling it.

 Since the piece wasn't in the wrapping, I question this being shipping damage...

Exactly.   That is why I made it a point in my original post to mention that neither of the broken pieces were in the tissue/plastic wrappings when I unwrapped the units.    And from experience,  I unwrap engines carefully on a soft cloth on a flat table in case anything is laying loose inside.   The gear issue is a whole different matter.    If someone can explain how that gear/shaft came out of the truck,  managed to work it's way up to the position between the tissue and side of the body(managing to leave an impression of the gear w/grease in the tissue) during shipping,  I'd love to hear it.   Turbo was purchased from Mario's,  one of the forum sponsors.   The first time Turbo failed,  I shipped it back to Mario's,  at which point Joe Romano personally drove and delivered Turbo to MTH.   When the first repair was finished,  Joe again drove to MTH and picked up Turbo and then shipped it back to me.   Second time I shipped directly to MTH.

J Daddy,  one of our club members has an Acela,  and it too is basically a shelf queen with various issues.

 

gunrunnerjohn posted:
Ray Lombardo posted:

In my mind there is a greater likelihood of an explanation for the parts not being in the wrapper as compared to MTH damaging the item and not owning up to the damage.  

Really?  Do you have a logical explanation for the parts not being in the wrapper and the item being damaged?

I don't argue with people on the internet.  It is certainly possible that you are correct and I understand the point being made.  That being said, it strikes me as silly for MTH or anyone else to play that game because it is not as if the customer is not going to put together that fact as well and blame them.  So not only do you wind up repairing or replacing the item,  you damage your reputation as well?  Makes no sense to me.  

Wow. I never would have bought one as it's not in my era of interest and I'm not into 3-rail, but man, what a nightmare! You guys who bought these sure have my sympathy*, as nobody deserves to buy something cool like this and then have this kind of problem(s) with it...

*for what it's worth.

I am with John on an employee causing this.  When any engine gets fixed it gets tested for a period of time then to shipping.  I know the tech guys at MTH and that would not be something they would do.  When they finish a repair they have to initial it.  Jason would not let something like this leave his shop.  

The fact a section of the sideframe was broken off and a gear floating about, I would be looking at Fed Ex rather than MTH.  Sideframes do not get broken by a tech.  

Last edited by Marty Fitzhenry

Ha... I bought two of these miserable trains and numerous extra cars.  My whole story on these exists on old threads on here.  MTH was not helpful as chronicled in my other thread.  Finally sets went back to MTH only to return and soon have more trouble.  They have since gone for more repairs at an MTH service  station and after another $100 out of my pocket the VIA train ran again briefly, now dead again.  My Amtrak one still works although two extra coaches are shorting out again and sidelined.  Many parts have fallen off of these sets...most before I ever opened the trains the first time.

 

Beautiful models...horrible design operationally...pathetic response from MTH.   The VIA one is a shelf display now at a cost of about $1200 with all the extra cars.  Amtrak set running for now but minus two cars.  i spent about $2,000 on TurboTrains and MTH really treated me poorly to say the least. 

 

My plan is to eventually rip out all of MTH'S electronics and put individual conventional boards in each power car.

 

Last edited by VistaDomeScott

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