Looks like the lion did it again. I saw the generator Christmas car and thought I'd like to have the illuminated Christmas tree as a holiday alternative to the spotlight. Nope,not at Lionel or Brasseur's. Here's a thought to Lionel, cat's, dogs and toddlers will if able,shred that tree( think ornaments). I'm sure my fellow 0gaugers feel the same. Lionel>Christmas>tree layout. Thanks for letting me rant and happy holidays 


Hudson ron1956

Original Post

You are thinking in postwar era in terms of parts - if you want that tree today you have to buy the car - it is not just Lionel - it is how businesses have to manage costs now

Hunt for the car used on eBay and Trainz and such 

Option 2 - you can get trees and make your own with 3mm led kits and a power/driver circuit to connect to a roller pick-up truck (Lionel does keep those in stock)


Arctic Railroad

You’re mad that Lionel doesn’t have a part that doesn’t even belong with the car you have? 

Moonman makes a solid point. There’s no way Lionel or any of the importers could stock a surplus of odd parts like that. Think for a moment of the warehouse and inventory for a few dollar part. Even with postwar parts, these days you can buy a different engine or car to use for parts and still be ahead.

I guess you don't realized that American business had to change many years ago the the government decided to tax big business every year on all there inventory in the new year January. when that changed big business had to change because they did not want to have to pay taxes  every year on there inventory, so what big business has done  ever  since is have blowout sales at the end of the year so they would not have to pay taxes on the same parts in inventory over n over again! hence every year Lionel and many other companies try to sell off all there inventory so as not to have to pay taxes on there inventory again! all business do this! It is a normal  

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Even if they did have it, this would (rightfully, IMO) probably fall under "must call" and "send in defective one for exchange". 

Sort of like for some shells/chassis. - How many people would try to buy just one full engine of an F3 set and then all the different shells so you can have SF, NYC, PRR, etc, right?! (just an example)

Otherwise LOTS of people would love to make their own with the unique parts.  Not the way the importers (nor overseas manufacturers) play the game these days.  A lot of the parts Lionel does have they get by disassembling extra full pieces they order with the batch of orders.


@Alan Mancus   From a federal tax standpoint, inventory levels are not taxed while state treatment varies.  IIRC, not so much a "government decided to tax big business" but rather businesses move over the last 30+ years to a "just in time inventory" practice.  Why waste upfront the financial and storage resources to maintain a fully stocked parts inventory when with proper planning, those parts/supplies could be obtained on an as needed basis.  The more recent move to more global or off-shore production obviously complicates the supply chain process.  A company's choice of accounting method to value their inventory (SpecificID/LIFO/FIFO/AvgCost) impacts revenues and when to recognize expenses (Cost of Goods Sold) and financial cash-flow and tax planning is more likely the reason behind a company's management of their inventory levels.

It's nice that we can get creative with various modification of products in our hobby.  I think Lionel keeps a good supply of parts and understand the limits of their ability to keep stock, especially of products that are beyond 10 years from the original production.  What surprises me is being told that many of the current production parts-stock comes to Lionel in the form of the completed product and must then be broken-down into individual parts at their North Carolina facility.  From the surface, this "completed product only" method for parts seems strangely @szBackwards.  Begs the question:  Is it the factory (or parts mfr.) can not or maybe WILL NOT - supplier's way to maintain control, dependence by Lionel and/or create more production by the contracted factory?

You can have a steam train ...If you'd just lay down your tracks.

The Chinese factories resist making spare parts. They cannot grok the need/desire to repair an item. Everything they make is single use. If it breaks, throw it away and buy a replacement.

Even if the customer orders spare parts with the initial production order, the Chinese factories will not make them.


RoyBoy posted:

The Chinese factories resist making spare parts. They cannot grok the need/desire to repair an item. Everything they make is single use. If it breaks, throw it away and buy a replacement.

That's the way of the world with many electronic products these days, and has been for quite a few years. Often it isn't worth what it costs to fix older equipment.  Besides, the newer items have technical advancements and people want to upgrade to get those anyway.

Getting back on thread:   Am I to understand the OP has a regular Lionel Generator car, and wants to see if he can buy the tree as a separate item to use with his current gen car?   That Christmas Gen car was last cataloged in 2007.   12 years ago.   That, and it's a one off.

I see a few of the entire car and tree at various sites.

If you want to get creative, I see a bunch of pre-lit led 12" Christmas trees, battery operated.

I'm sure with some ingenuity it could be adapted: or just run a fake line from the tree to the Gen car and light it with the battery pack.....


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