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Are replacement parts readily available for the newer Lionel trains?
Is there somewhere other than Lionel itself to get them?

I was looking to get a tender shell for my Lion Chief Pennsylvania Keystone Special Engine.
I want to do a private road name and keep my original shell intact.
Lionel support site shows that the shell is unavailable. I contacted customer service via email, but haven't heard back yet.

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Are replacement parts readily available for the newer Lionel trains?
Is there somewhere other than Lionel itself to get them?

I was looking to get a tender shell for my Lion Chief Pennsylvania Keystone Special Engine.
I want to do a private road name and keep my original shell intact.
Lionel support site shows that the shell is unavailable. I contacted customer service via email, but haven't heard back yet.

Lionel, in the past, has been reluctant to sell shells. One reason, that I’ve heard/read about is that unscrupulous individuals would buy the shell put it on anything it would fit on and try to pass it off as an original. If I’ve needed a shell, I usually watch eBay or other such sources and acquire it that way.

Steve

Just as an aside here Oldegreybeard, I've read there has been a change in China. At one time the American importers could order parts as part of their orders, but in order to maintain hours of assembly workers at the factories, the importers now have to order extras of their finished production run products and then take them apart stateside to obtain parts.

It's not just Lionel. Take Williams by Bachmann for example: Many common parts on their website are shown currently as unavailable. Ironically, they do show a lot of shells available for various locos, but those are going to cost you dearly. So for train items that have unique to that product only parts, and in addition, are made in small production runs, long-term availability of parts will continue to be a problem that isn't going to disappear.

For me personally, I stick to train items that are made in much larger quantities and potentially have shared or common parts in them. So for example, if I needed a part for one of my 4-4-2 starter set steam engines and Lionel has it listed as unavailable, there's a good chance a parts dealer will have it stock. In a worse case scenario, I can always buy a second unit to cob for parts. This is one distinct advantage of buying products made in larger numbers, and over a longer time period.

Though as mentioned above, shells have always been one of the more difficult products to get from Lionel.

Wow GRJ.

That's great. Hopefully over time I'll know which parts work with what.

Oldgreyguy, as  a follow up to GRJ,  Lionel may list an item as unavailable for a specific locomotive, in your case, but it may be available for a similar lok with a different road name. I’ve found needed parts that are used by a similar item on the Lionel parts web site. Yeah, as you mess with this stuff more, you learn these tricks.  Sometimes it can be very time consuming.

Steve

Just as an aside here Oldegreybeard, I've read there has been a change in China. At one time the American importers could order parts as part of their orders, but in order to maintain hours of assembly workers at the factories, the importers now have to order extras of their finished production run products and then take them apart stateside to obtain parts.

It's not just Lionel. Take Williams by Bachmann for example: Many common parts on their website are shown currently as unavailable. Ironically, they do show a lot of shells available for various locos, but those are going to cost you dearly. So for train items that have unique to that product only parts, and in addition, are made in small production runs, long-term availability of parts will continue to be a problem that isn't going to disappear.

For me personally, I stick to train items that are made in much larger quantities and potentially have shared or common parts in them. So for example, if I needed a part for one of my 4-4-2 starter set steam engines and Lionel has it listed as unavailable, there's a good chance a parts dealer will have it stock. In a worse case scenario, I can always buy a second unit to cob for parts. This is one distinct advantage of buying products made in larger numbers, and over a longer time period.

Though as mentioned above, shells have always been one of the more difficult products to get from Lionel.

Very nice. Concerning 442s. I notice there is a lion chief 442 in Southern Rwy. May have to pick that one up.

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