UPDATE (Jan. 8, 2016):   Many thanks to Lionel on their quick turn-around in removing the "flash boards" from the two, two-car sets of North Pole Central passenger cars (LINK: No. 6-35250) of mine.

It was a bout a week from the time I shipped them to Lionel to when they arrived at my house yesterday.  I put them on the Christmas layout (still up) & the lighting was repaired perfectly.    Thanks very much to Lionel & its repair department for covering this issue on a "new-old stock" item than was manufactured incorrectly.    Lets give credit where credit is due.    

Thanks again!!

OLD POST:    I bought them in recent years (one in 2013, the other in Oct. 2014) & am disappointed to learn ALL these cars were mistakenly built with circuitry from the Harry Potter "Dementors car," No 6-35229.

The circuit board makes all interior lights flash rapidly, whether the cars are moving or in neutral & parked.  Have buyers had to re-wire their own cars personally to bypass the stupid circuit board, or is Lionel willing to repair these due to their manufacturer's mistake?

Unfortunately, although I opened these & placed them on the track for the FIRST time today, both sets are beyond Lionel's three-year, "non-warranty" policy.   

Original Post

I would guess the best thing to do would be to cal Lionel service and ask.  That said, I don't think you could blame them if they wanted to charge for the 'repair' as the product is out of warranty.  I suppose if it were a very wide spread issue Lionel could issue a recall that would extend the time you have to have the item fixed, but as a general rule, I have little sympathy for folks that leave things untested then want to blame the manufacturers service department for any errors or problems years later. How long an item stays unopened in a box makes no difference to the manufacturer, as they have no way to confirm that.  In this particular case, however the malfunction is of the sort where it is obviously a manufacturing error, so it may be they will take care of you.  If not, then we have something to talk about, and I'm sure someone here can walk you through how to 'fix' the cars.  

$ This is John Galt speaking.  $

“I swear by my life and my love of it that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine.” 

 

 

Ron, I purchased mine online from Lionel (on Amazon).  I think they knew they were a goof and had them on clearance.  Wouldn't be surprised if these showed up on their warehouse sale as well.  I couldn't stand them either.  I  opened them up and removed the small circuit boards.  Getting the roofs off was the hardest part as they were very tight(and figuring out where to press on the windows).  And the wiring is a bit confusing, but after you look at it a bit, all you have to do is ensure you have a closed circuit.  I don't have photos but if you do a search I wouldn't be surprised if you find a photo or two.  Not worth disputing with Lionel IMO.  

BTW, this Holiday season I am running a PW Burlington 2328 Diesel set with classic small silver with red stripe coaches (Clifton etc.)  and removing the roofs is a simple task of unscrewing the thumb screws on the roofs that look like vents.  The lights flicker as the rollers and the wheels are a bit dirty and worn, but hey, I expect that from a PW set and besides if you've ever ridden on a passenger train in the NE, the lights always flicker!  But this flashing thingy is a bit excessive. 

These NPC coaches were designed to run with the Euro Style Santas Flyer I or II and are based on the same platform as the Harry Potter set, so its not surprising the manufacturer didn't have a clue that they shouldn't be that way, or perhaps they just had left over chasses from the Dementer coach run that they needed to dispose of.  Fifty years from now they may actually be collectable LOL!      

Let me be your sidetrack til your main line comes, I'll do more switching than your main line ever done...

JohnGaltLine posted:

Call Lionel service.  I don't think you could blame them if they wanted to charge for the 'repair' as the product is out of warranty.  I suppose if it were a very wide spread issue Lionel could issue a recall that would extend the time you have to have the item fixed, but as a general rule, I have little sympathy for folks that leave things untested then want to blame the manufacturers service department for any errors or problems years later. 

It is a widespread issue.... they were ALL made with that error.   No reference to, or "blame" laid on Lionel's service department.   This is a quality control issue lying somewhere between China & Concord, N.C.

Tommys_Trains posted:

Ron, I purchased mine online from Lionel.  I think they knew they were a goof and had them on clearance.  Wouldn't be surprised if these showed up on their warehouse sale as well.  I couldn't stand them either.  I  opened them up and removed the small circuit boards.  Getting the roofs off was the hardest part as they were very tight (& figuring out where to press on the windows).  The wiring is a bit confusing, but after you look at it a bit, all you have to do is ensure you have a closed circuit.  I don't have photos but if you do a search I wouldn't be surprised if you find a photo or two.  Not worth disputing with Lionel IMO. 

Tommy, there were two threads on this issue from like two years ago.   I didn't see any wiring diagrams in them.

I'll call Lionel service on Monday  morning (like a million other people on the first business day after Christmas).  I can do very basic wire clipping & soldering, but if there is confusion or advanced difficulty level involved, I'm out.

It is ironic, last year at York, I asked Howard Hitchcock why a first two-car set was released on these cars, but not a second (or 3rd).  He said it was likely due to "sales."  I began my conversation, however something like: " I have a question about the North Pole Central two-car passenger set."  And the first thing he said was, "are the lights flickering?"

Not knowing about THAT issue (& that not being the reason for my approaching him), I had no idea of asking about "the problem."  Looking back now, it is sad he didn't volunteer the information to me & suggest I get my first 2-car set in for warranty service ASAP.  Huh, & until now, I had through he was a pretty good guy.

RadioRon posted:

It is a widespread issue.... they were ALL made like that in error. 

Two things on this, first, if this is the case, why din't you, or the previous owner, send them back right away, and second, it sounds from your other post that these were purchased at a discount.  perhaps they were unloaded at a discount price with the knowledge that they were not properly made?  I am just guessing on this one, but it sounds a lot like buying a dented can of beans on clearance, then complaining because it is dented. 

I think Tommy above described the fix pretty well, and it doesn't sound difficult, besides opening the car in the first place.  Removing a board and running wire from a pick up to a light bulb should not be hard, but I'd go for one of GRJ's led upgrade kits while I was in there.  

$ This is John Galt speaking.  $

“I swear by my life and my love of it that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine.” 

 

 

JohnGaltLine posted:
Why didn't you, or the previous owner, send them back right away, & second, it sounds from your other post that these were purchased at a discount.  Perhaps they were unloaded at a discount price with the knowledge that they were not properly made?  I am just guessing on this one, but it sounds a lot like buying a dented can of beans on clearance, then complaining because it is dented. 

1) To whose "knowledge" do you refer?     2) My first set was bought from Gryzboski in 2013 at full price.  Didn't run just two cars (plus never assumed Lionel would have erroreounsly installed FLASHING CIRCUIT BOARDs in such cars).... assumed Lionel would be following up with 2nd 2-car set in 2014, which didn't happen.  (Although Lionel did so with the ugly, black Halloween version of these cars).  Seeing that no add-on set was coming, I got a second pair from Nassau Charlie at York in 2014.  It was discounted, but you say that I  should have known the price was cut because they were defective?  Sorry, I don't share your supernatural analytical powers.  I assumed the price fell because Lionel made a two-car set, then aborted the series, with no more add-ons to come.

I posted this to gain advice from others possibly in the same situation... not with an intent to debate you and your dented bean can analogy.  Sorry.

As I said, I don't have any knowledge of this issue and have never heard of it before this time.  I assumed that since you posted that you knew that ALL of these were made this way, you knew about the problem, and it would be something you would have looked into sooner.  My mistake.  

As for gaining advice and such, that was in the first post.  1, call lionel and see if they will help you, 2,  if not see if folks here can help.  Tommy, above, already explained how to fix the problem (in fair detail) if you so choose.  In a later post I also suggested, as did another person, installing LED lighting and being done with it.  

I apologize if you took it as a criticism or trying to argue a point that is not there, but from the posts you made, it sounded like this was a problem you knew existed with these cars, at least since "last year at york".  I did take another user's post of buying from amazon into the mix as well, at discount in my guessing.  Sorry for any apprehension.  

JGL

$ This is John Galt speaking.  $

“I swear by my life and my love of it that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine.” 

 

 

"Tommy, above, already explained how to fix the problem (in fair detail) if you so choose.  In a later post I also suggested, as did another person, installing LED lighting and being done with it."      I'm not a tech person beyond basic soldering.  Plus, I see that the roof/window assembly on these "Harry Potter" coaches is held on by three "window tabs" on each side of each car.   Now, the two tabs per side on the mini-Madisons used for Polar Express cars was difficult enough, but I don't know how Lionel expects anyone to exert inward pressure at three points on each side to release the roof. 

I spoke to Lionel customer service. They are well aware of this issue & apparently still doing corrective fixes - gratis, despite the cars being just past warranty.  If you have any of these cars, call Lionel customer service, give the product number; 6-35250, explain the unwanted light blinking (the lady I spoke to knew right away once she entered the number).

They'll provide a return authorization number.  I offered a copy of my receipt, but was told it wasn't necessary.   Customers, however, must pay for return shipping.  Lionel does the repair & covers the shipping back to you.  Seems like a fair enough deal.   Although I will not have my North Pole Central passenger cars for this Christmas season, I am happy that Lionel is doing the right thing by its customers... and I thank them.  

My set, which I got last year, had the same problem, of course. I'm no electronics wizard, but with just a soldering iron, I fixed it myself without too much problem. Just took a little time. I don't remember having much problem removing the roofs.

I also added a flashing red rear warning light to one of the cars (light and circuit board taken from a Lionel traditional bay window caboose), and drilled out two "windows" in the rear and inserted some round lens' (lens' used on the sides of a Lionel traditional F-3s) to make it more of a rear observation car. The addition of the "rear windows" and red flashing warning light made a nice addition, I thought.

I use some thin plastic rulers to hold all the catches apart and get the tops off.  I just did half a dozen LED upgrades to PE cars.  The hardest part of the upgrade is getting the roof off!

Add Reply

Post
OGR Publishing, Inc., 1310 Eastside Centre Ct, Suite 6, Mountain Home, AR 72653
330-757-3020

www.ogaugerr.com
×
×
×
×
×