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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.


@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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