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Received my new Lionel engine in on Thursday, SD70Ace 4545 Trump engine. Only to find that several of the steps and an air hose was broken off in shipping. Dealer said they don’t have anymore to replace it and suggested I contact Lionel, which I did. Got a voice mail prompt to leave a message. That was Thursday, still no phone call back. I will be calling tomorrow and see if I can reach a human at Lionel. Not a great feeling so far. 

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Original Post

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I’d second Marty’s comment while it probably isn’t the best option I think it’s a issue with how these SD70ACe’s are packed I’ve had two with basically the same issue, one from a dealer and the other I bought on the forum. I’ve basically come to the conclusion that we just need to ask our dealers to double box these expensive engines for us. I had a new big boy show up unscathed but the box had a dent all the way through from the shipping carton through the Lionel box and damaged the foam. I was extremely worried and probably would’ve refused the package had I been home but everything worked out. 

Sounds like a common issue.  There was a now deleted thread a day or so ago from another member with an air hose that was separated in the box.

So we only made "x" of them, but only "y" of them survived the delivery packaging process unbroken, so they are now more rare (assuming you'd like a non-broken one and not  a"never removed from box"  "mint" one)......

Last edited by Dave45681

I am probably too old (75) and probably have become a typical " grumpy old man" and I dont want to start a "WW3 ( of words) on this Forum, but I was at least born near NYC ( NJ) and so remember Howard Cosell admonishment to "tell it like it is". If you purchased the train from a "dealer" ( was it a brick&mortar place), and you are having difficulty dealing with the maker, the dealer should take the train back and try to get it repaired from Lionel. Clearly dealers have easier access to the folks at Lionel and the reason we purchase from dealers and sometimes pay a little "extra" is exactly for the reason(s) under discussion. Again, absolutely no disrespect intended ( to anyone)-just thinking about doing good business and starting a little good trouble.

In the days before the internet we bought from local hobby shops. Most times they had a small section of track to test on, which most of the time eliminated returns. We would not have purchased anything with parts falling off of it.

Double boxing probably would not have prevented the OP's problem and would likely have added to the shipping cost. Expecting a bomb-proof shipping container will surely increase the overall cost. So until we go back to LHS purchases I think it will continue to be a problem.

turtle7: I agree with you 100%!  Looks like The World's Greatest Hobby was much more fun when you could visit your friendly brick and mortar train shop where the owner would gladly test run the locomotive he had ordered for you.  This doesn't make you a Grumpy Old Man, but makes you yearn to return to those carefree years when you gathered with fellow model railroaders on a sunny Saturday afternoon to talk trains plus grab the latest issue of O Gauge Railroading off the magazine rack!

As a matter of fact, there are still a few left today in the USA.  Please support the one near you when you can.  Paying a fraction more $$$ for any model can and will save you a lot of unnessasary frustration in the long run.  Remember, the Mom and Pop hobby shop is what helped make America one if not the most wonderful place on the planet it has become known to be.

Last edited by OGR CEO-PUBLISHER

CSX AL, sorry to hear this, hopefully you can get this resolved soon through your dealer, and let the shipping company know about the damage. If USPS, UPS, FED X, File a claim. A friend of mine filed a claim upon receiving a Lionel Sante Fe Northern 3751, they paid him the $1K he paid as it was insured. So, one thing that I require when ordering any high end diesels or steam locomotives is Triple Packaging. Good luck my friend, your turntables, transfer tables are simply the very Best. Happy Railroading Everyone 

TRBB  Thanks for the  comments.  Reminds me of a verse from McLean's American Pie -something like "I went down to the sacred store- where I'd heard the music years before-but the man there said the music wouldn't play".  In the 50s-early 60s, one could go to a record store and ask that a certain 45 ( rpm) be played briefly to help deciding on a purchase. With the advent of LPs and tapes, that became burdensome and just didn't happen anymore. I do support my LHSs and they gladly "inspect" the things I purchase-and, you are correct again, that is part of the "music" of this hobby. Enjoy-and we do remember those poor folks out west. Spent part of my life in northern Maine and have seen spruce trees "explode" in forest firers. really scary stuff.  turtle7

Al

I have the same engine and the bottom step on three corners was broken off and one air hose.  The broken steps and air hose were lying in the bottom of the box.  My feeling is that the broken parts were do to poor handling when placing the engines in the Styrofoam box. Probably late Friday afternoon and in a hurry to getting the engines shipped. 

I also have the Geo. Bush funeral Train and all is well with it. No broken steps or air hoses.

Thanks for the comments and input guys. Rattler21, I don’t have a local dealer. I purchased it from a well know dealer and they do not have any more units to replace mine with. They did offer me the option to send it back for a full refund, but I wanted this engine and why I PRE-Ordered it. I do believe this is a packaging problem. I have most engines I want nowadays and when I order a product NEW, I expect it to arrive in good condition. The outer box looked fine. Just disappointing to unwrap a brand new engine a get a bunch of broken parts in the box, then to call the manufacture and not get a return phone call, that’s all. Let’s see what tomorrow brings.

@MartyE posted:

I’d see if Lionel responds but I’d hate to say this but glue will be your best friend here. It shouldn’t happen but I suspect you’ll be better off handling this on your own. The parts are overly delicate for the trip and as others pointed out the packaging has a lot to be desired. 

I'd agree with this. Certainly wouldn't bother returning the engine for this small stuff. I'd just glue the step back on, and see if you can do the same with the hose. You could also order the step part from Lionel, if it's available, drill out the two broken pins, and glue the new one in. I've done both of these things before. Not a biggy. I just got a new Lionel C44-9W a couple weeks ago, and there were two loose hoses in the bottom of the styrofoam. The other hoses are all still in place just fine. I may glue the two of them back, or most likely won't mess with them at all, given that their absence really isn't noticable. I've seen these hoses fallen off on Atlas O engines, too.

What happened to your SD70 happened to mine (Spirit of the Union Pacific) when I first got it as well and if I'm remembering correctly there was a thread about how people were receiving theirs in the same condition as well.  I was lucky and my hobby shop replaced it with another without question.  

@leapinlarry posted:

CSX AL, sorry to hear this, hopefully you can get this resolved soon through your dealer, and let the shipping company know about the damage. If USPS, UPS, FED X, File a claim. A friend of mine filed a claim upon receiving a Lionel Sante Fe Northern 3751, they paid him the $1K he paid as it was insured. So, one thing that I require when ordering any high end diesels or steam locomotives is Triple Packaging. Good luck my friend, your turntables, transfer tables are simply the very Best. Happy Railroading Everyone 

In regards to filing claims on the shipping companies, I think if everyone in the world filed a claim for every damaged item, the shipping companies would go broke.  LOL

I just inboxed a 4545 and found 3 of the steps broken off as well! Current plan is to CA them back on. Based on your post I will also do a more thorough inspection. The box itself showed zero damage so I am assuming factory error/handling.

Regarding the presidential seal with the George Bush Library and Museum inscription, I would never have noticed but do think it's lazy on Lionel's part. This is a $530 engine and attention to detail is expected.

Al, I'm sorry your engine arrived broken, and sorry for so many others having a similar problem.  I have had the same problem trying to call Lionel.  They haven't called back.  I will have to call again and again.  In my case it is a Western Maryland 2-6-6-2, the last one the dealer had.  The rear coupler has never worked.  Going to support on the Website, they tell me to go through a short reset procedure, but it didn't help.  I'm going to keep calling.  I can get by without the coupler working, but it should work.

I'm not a diesel guy.  But I've had this issue with steam, and I have sympathy for any of you who opened the box to find a damaged loco.  It seems that trains have become more detailed, while at the same time more trains are being delivered individually by mail order to the consumer than ever before.

Perhaps some features on the loco could be "beefed up" without decreasing realism.  I feel like MTH takes this approach with its products.  I've had MTH locos arrive with the styrofoam broken and crumbling, but the loco (covered in foam beads) had minimal damage.

The reality might be that Lionel has to package their scale-detailed locos the way that 3rd Rail its brass- a double-oversized sturdy box with at least 3" of foam padding on all sides.

Either that, or ship them as kits with final assembly to be performed by the consumer.  I would love this, but I'm sure some others wouldn't.  Hopefully you can fix the step yourself, or get a new pilot from Lionel.

Last edited by Ted S

turtle7: Thanks for more memories.  There was a charming lady in her Golden Years who owned an old fashioned bonified record shop in Ennis, TX.  I still have the 45rpm's I purchased from hern and when I spin on on my "Victrola" (LOL) it takes me back to the times I'd visit with her.  She didn't only sell music but always gave away a free smile with every purchase I made!  Northern Maine?  Sounds like you lived in a part of the US where you could enjoy watching the trains of both BAR and the CPR International of Maine Division do their stuff? 

A question for all: Who, in your opinion tops the list for delivering damaged goods: USPS, UPS, FedEx, DHL, or someone else? 

I don't have any statistics but DHL operations in Germany doesn't appear to be swamped with complaints, however if you are "in the know" please advise.

73

J. Toth Jr.

 

 

Last edited by Trinity River Bottoms Boomer

IMO all engines should come in a top bottom styrofoam configuration anymore.  The side insert is a recipe for damage.  I certainly don't think this is a QC issue as much as I think it's packaging. 

As far as getting back to Al, I would give them some time.  You called Thursday, I assume 9/10/2020, so I would at least give them a few more business days to return your call.  I had an issue pre covid and it took about 3 or 4 business days but they did call back and resolved my issue.  Hopefully you can get it resolved by them but if not, get hat glue ready.  If you send it back for them to repair it, I suspect they'll probably do the same.

@MartyE posted:

IMO all engines should come in a top bottom styrofoam configuration anymore.  The side insert is a recipe for damage.

I couldn't agree more. Most of my locomotives are MTH and they are all side packed. The wrapping material bunches up at the end of the locomotives. It doesn't make sense. When I received a Lionel 10 wheeler a few years ago, I was impressed with the top load styrofoam packaging. I returned a NOS MTH steam locomotive because the cast in bell was bent. Why? Because, undoubtedly it had been unpacked at the store and then repacked without the individual packing piece intended to protect the front of the locomotive. That piece was in the packaging, but not where it was doing anything.

@leapinlarry posted:

CSX AL, sorry to hear this, hopefully you can get this resolved soon through your dealer, and let the shipping company know about the damage. If USPS, UPS, FED X, File a claim. A friend of mine filed a claim upon receiving a Lionel Sante Fe Northern 3751, they paid him the $1K he paid as it was insured. So, one thing that I require when ordering any high end diesels or steam locomotives is Triple Packaging. Good luck my friend, your turntables, transfer tables are simply the very Best. Happy Railroading Everyone 

My understanding is that there needs to be visible external damage to the package in order to have any chance of getting reimbursed for a claim.  Sounds like that's not the case with this item.

The engines I have received from Sunset were wrapped with a protective tissue paper then stretch wrapped on to a full length board that had grooves milled in the board for the flanges.  The full length board would keep the engine from sliding back and forth.  Then the engine on the board was set into a box with individually placed firm foam blocks.  Also there was a foam floor and a foam lid inside the factory box.

Must have received three dozen Sunset engines over the years with zero damage.  One electric problem which was resolved on the first phone call.

A package can be double-boxed or triple boxed, but it doesn't matter if there is even just the smallest amount of space for the engine to shift in it's styrofoam cradle.  I agree with some that it's really a packaging issue and not a shipping issue.  If the engine is snug in it's packaging it should be able to withstand any amount of abuse (within reason) that it might endure while in the shipping process.

I like the detail that we enjoy on our models, but I've broken/bent parts just by not handling them correctly.

I can see both sides.  You spent good money to receive an engine that should not have broken parts, but I think you would be best served to glue the parts yourself instead of waiting weeks to get it back from repair only to take a chance it will be broken again in shipping.  Best of luck!

As someone that spent 24 years in manufacturing strong packaging goes along way. We spent tons of time drop testing product in boxes to ensure that when it left Japan it would be FedEx, UPS, USPS and anyone else that got a hold of it complaint plus. We kicked the crap out of all our products from clocks to Toughbook Laptops to industrial products. Cut back significantly on customer complaints.

 

turtle7: Thanks for more memories.  There was a charming lady in her Golden Years who owned an old fashioned bonified record shop in Ennis, TX.  I still have the 45rpm's I purchased from hern and when I spin on on my "Victrola" (LOL) it takes me back to the times I'd visit with her.  She didn't only sell music but always gave away a free smile with every purchase I made!  Northern Maine?  Sounds like you lived in a part of the US where you could enjoy watching the trains of both BAR and the CPR International of Maine Division do their stuff? 

A question for all: Who, in your opinion tops the list for delivering damaged goods: USPS, UPS, FedEx, DHL, or someone else? 

I don't have any statistics but DHL operations in Germany doesn't appear to be swamped with complaints, however if you are "in the know" please advise.

73

J. Toth Jr.

 

 

It’s not just about the packaging problem but the quality problems that have already been done at the factory, trucks in the wrong places and so on... Shipping back and forth for each defective locomotive costs me about 180 Euros (Finland-USA-Finland). I think the manufacturer should pay those costs, not the customer.

Johan

Johan: Since this Corona Nonsense Crap gripped the country (Germany) Deutsche Post has added a surcharge (cheap excuse) to packages shipped to the US.  I believe the cost amounts to ca. 35 Euros. 

No way will I pay additional postage (e.i. robbery) to benefit DP.  (That's Deutsche Post again folks, not Dr. Pepper...LOL)  Due to health issues here on the home front I'm currently not doing any model railroading, so I don't have any problems for the time being.  Since there are excellent train shops here in Europe (including the UK and Ireland) who handle American and Canadian model trains (as well as books too) if and when I decide to make any purchases, they'll be conducted on this side of The Big Pond as it is to begin with.

On top of international shipping charges, there's also the issue of customs (duty) which helps to drive up the costs even more.  When you're on a fixed income, the hobby is placed at the bottom of the list, whereas medicene is at the top.  No ifs, ands, or butts about it, this is just the horrible ugly truth, period!

So, I'll continue to do without for the time being.  It could be worse you know.  Like loosing your life, or a family member, in the wildfires currently raging out of control in CA, OR, and WA. 

I rest my case.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Last edited by Trinity River Bottoms Boomer

Johan: Since this Corona Nonsense Crap gripped the country (Germany) Deutsche Post has added a surcharge (cheap excuse) to packages shipped to the US.  I believe the cost amounts to ca. 35 Euros. 

No way will I pay additional postage (e.i. robbery) to benefit DP.  (That's Deutsche Post again folks, not Dr. Pepper...LOL)  Due to health issues here on the home front I'm currently not doing any model railroading, so I don't have any problems for the time being.  Since there are excellent train shops here in Europe (including the UK and Ireland) who handle American and Canadian model trains (as well as books too) if and when I decide to make any purchases, they'll be conducted on this side of The Big Pond as it is to begin with.

On top of international shipping charges, there's also the issue of customs (duty) which helps to drive up the costs even more.  When you're on a fixed income, the hobby is placed at the bottom of the list, whereas medicene is at the top.  No ifs, ands, or butts about it, this is just the horrible ugly truth, period!

So, I'll continue to do without for the time being.  It could be worse you know.  Like loosing your life, or a family member, in the wildfires currently raging out of control in CA, OR, and WA. 

I rest my case.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here in Finland, Posti is raising its prices because the amount of letter mail has decreased. Sometimes if Lionel starts paying attention to quality control I can buy their products again. 

I also bought a lot of stuff from Germany and Europe, and I know that, for example, the DP is about half the price than the Finnish post office.

The main thing, however, is that you can be confident that the product you ordered is in order. If four of the five products you ordered are broken, then there is a problem somewhere. Now I rely more on MTH products. Lets see and wait.

Johan

@catnap posted:

Maybe it's time for these locomotives to be delivered in kit form, you put them together. The damages due to insufficient packaging and shipping mishaps would be virtually eliminated.

Afterall, this is model railroading.

I suggested this exact thing in another thread.  I'm all for it - especially all those little detail parts like railings, horns, bells, etc.

Until that happens, the only way that they can prevent damage to small parts like this is making sure that their is something between the wheels in the packaging to keep it moving front to back, and something on either side of the flat parts of body and fuel tank (for diesels) to keep the loco from shifting in the box.  Steam locos need the same wheel treatment, but then there needs to be stand off parts that contact the boiler and frame to stop left-right movement. 

If detail parts are attached to the loco, then no amount of outer packaging will help if it can drift inside the inner packaging.  The best way to do it is to have nothing but air around the detail parts for a good bit of distance.  If not, the inner packaging could be made of the softest material in the world, and it's still not going to survive a several pound loco shifting and slamming it into a side wall of the packaging.

Since I butted in on Al's topic, I want to report what I learned when I got through today about my engine with the inoperable rear coupler.  Since Lionel was closed in the spring, they are still behind 2 or 3 weeks for service.  They will email me when they are ready to send me the RMA and instructions to send the engine to them for warranty repair.  I didn't even mention I had left a message on September 3rd, but suspect it got overlooked over Labor Day.  That's okay with me.  Those things happen.  They are taking care of the problem.  

Glad to hear they are making good on this and allowing the user to do a sensible field repair.  Shipping heavy, expensive, somewhat fragile items like these back and forth is a recipe for disaster.

Maybe they’ve factored this in to their bottom line but honestly I think everyone would Be happier if the packaging was better designed, Lionel included. 

breezinup, ALL RIGHT, I love your question! 

Item: How any senior OGR railroaders remember the Robert Kennedy funeral train?  It was powered by two shiny black painted Penn Central GG1s, the 9201 and 9203.  The 9203 is on display at the Museum of the American Railroad in Frisco, TX, north of Dallas, albeit repainted in it's original Pennsylvania Railroad dress.

 

@CSX Al posted:

That’s sad considering on how the economy has been the great under 45 and I’m sure UP has seen a surge in business & profits during this time. 

Not so great, in fact, and not for the railroads. 

You may not have been keeping up with railroading. Railroads have been slumping for several years. This has been discussed before on the Forum. This from Bloomberg's:

American Railroads Are Already in Recession With No End in Sight

 October 7, 2019, 4:00 AM CDT Updated on October 7, 2019, 10:32 AM CDT

Carloads tumbled the most in three years in third quarter

‘There are no pockets of growth in cargo', analyst says

This year’s railroad slump is getting worse as a slowdown in manufacturing threatens broader weakness in the U.S. economy.

There’s no bottom in sight as the decline in carloads for large U.S. railroads widened to 5.5% in the third quarter, the biggest drop in three years, according to weekly reports from the Association of American Railroads. Shipments are down for autos, coal, grain, chemicals and consumer goods, with crude oil the only bright spot.

Last edited by breezinup

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