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Hi guys,

Today I spent the day with my old friend Alex M. Most of you guys know him. He is the Lionel repair guru as far as I’m concerned. He’s been repairing my Lionel trains for years. But  we’ve been friends for 35 years before he became the Lionel Guru. Lol! Now he’s known by most of you guys. He’s probably repaired most of your engines. He’s got a great repair shop and has turned it into a great business, except when I show up. Lol! I take over the day and he can’t get anything done because we laugh and joke around and have a great day. You see he lives about an hour and a half away from me so we only get together a few times a year. When we do I usually bring him 5 or 6 engines to repair. So I dropped off a few things before the holidays and today I went to go pick up the last two. One was a Santa Fe station sounds car from the F3 Anniversary set from 2000. I’ve had problems with this car for years. I even sent it back to Lionel probably 19-20 years ago. It hasn’t worked for the entire time I have it. Alex found that it was wired backwards from the factory and he re-wired the hole thing for me. Needless to say, now it works perfectly.

The other piece was a CCII Niagara that I’ve had since new. I told him I think I burnt out the smoke unit. He dug into it and said it had a lot more problems than the smoke unit. I said I know. Lol! It ran intermittently. Come to find out the plastic gears were stripped and the driveshaft was on its way out. So I told him to fix whatever it needs. Well he upgraded everything from the gearbox, driveshaft, smoke unit, electronics, four chuffs, a Cruise M, Chuff n Puff, the works. Now it runs and smokes like a Legacy engine. Unbelievable job, I couldn’t be happier!

To throw one more project on top I brought overe a CCII Empire State Express Hudson I just bought from a forum member. It was brand new never run sealed in the shipping carton. Well it ran but not good. It would loose the TMCC signal and the smoke unit didn’t work. He opened it up and in ten minutes he had the shell back on and it was fixed and running perfectly. The R2LC board was loose and the smoke resistor was broke and needed to be replaced. Probably from being in the box for nearly 20 years and moved around.

The point is if you need anything repaired Alex M is your guy. oh yeah and we ran some trains!! One is the Vision Lne NYC Pacemaker box car set and a beautiful set of aluminum 21” K-Line passenger cars.

Sorry to be so long winded but I feel it’s one way to show my appreciation. That and getting us some nice Italian Heroes for lunch! Lol!

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Last edited by Mike R
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Mike,

   I was at Alex’s home this past Tuesday picking up two locomotives that he repaired. I live in Salisbury Maryland and its a 3 1/2 hour drive one way so I could only spend about a hour talking to Alex about trains, politics, family and other world issues. Probably the most enjoyable hour I spent in months. Alex is one of the best especially when Ben ribs him.

JohnB

Poor Alex.....look at his unfinished layout. He's so busy fixing everyone elses trains, he has no time for his own.

Great work, as always. Not to mention, that Niagara is one of the worst when it comes to repairs due to its complex assembly.

How fortunate we are to have access to guys like Alex that are arguably more talented than the factory service.

On a side note... that Niagara whistle is still one of Lionels best! Lionel needs to come up with a quillable version.

Mr. BluelineC4,

I dont know who you are (and don't care to know you anyway), but Alex is a great guy and a friend. Calling him a bum is just plain wrong, and slanderous. I am an attorney, and have no prbolem suing you on behalf of Alex. Moreover, I am going to get my friend and fellow New Jersey Hi-Railer Ben Fiorello to do some harm to your person, so there. Ben isn't the sharpest tool in the shed, but his is pretty muscular, a good friend and will take care of you. How do you like them apples?

Erol  

@locolawyer posted:

Mr. BluelineC4,

I dont know who you are (and don't care to know you anyway), but Alex is a great guy and a friend. Calling him a bum is just plain wrong, and slanderous. I am an attorney, and have no prbolem suing you on behalf of Alex. Moreover, I am going to get my friend and fellow New Jersey Hi-Railer Ben Fiorello to do some harm to your person, so there. Ben isn't the sharpest tool in the shed, but his is pretty muscular, a good friend and will take care of you. How do you like them apples?

Erol

LOL!!!!👍👍😂🤣😃 I am still laughing.

Last edited by laz1957

Thanks

Dave, Rob, Marty,Cincy, Paul,C.sam,Laz for you very kind words !

JohnB ,I know you had a long trip both ways, it was great to see you catch up and talk trains.

RickO , I am extremely busy upgrading and repairing trains , so it is  hard to do anything on my layout. But also i actually stopped working on it, because very soon we will be empty nesters. I don't think we will remain in this current home. Most likely look for a smaller home , and that's where i will definitely build a permanent layout. Thanks always for your kind words.

Erol, thanks for coming to my rescue LOL , Ben is a tough dude. We might need help LOL

Thank you all , Alex

@locolawyer posted:

Mr. BluelineC4,

I dont know who you are (and don't care to know you anyway), but Alex is a great guy and a friend. Calling him a bum is just plain wrong, and slanderous. I am an attorney, and have no prbolem suing you on behalf of Alex. Moreover, I am going to get my friend and fellow New Jersey Hi-Railer Ben Fiorello to do some harm to your person, so there. Ben isn't the sharpest tool in the shed, but his is pretty muscular, a good friend and will take care of you. How do you like them apples?

Erol 

Har har hardee har har.    Go get your friend and I’ll bend him into bookends

Mr. BluelineC4,

Although I don't know you, and don't care too,  I don't think you are so tuff, with your silly words above. My friend Ben, like my friend Alex is a a good and kind guy, but I bet he can flaten you like a pancake if he needed too.  The fact he is from Staten Island should be enough to scare you. He is also a NYC subway operator, and has been known to straighten the bent metal wheels on subway cars when they go out of round. Like Superman, he can bend steel with his bare hands. I think I will buy Ben a beer at the next York since he is  good guy.

Just run you chicken, and don't bother to come to Trainstock, as Ben will be there.

Erol 

Mike, I TRULY don't know you, but I have met these other guys at York!  I am certainly glad I checked out your thread!!  Besides a lot of laughs, I'm certainly glad to read about long lasting friendships, besides more of Alex's excellent reputation repairing trains!  Maybe a year ago, Alex posted a Legacy Chessie SD40 that he said he repaired on the for sale forum.  Those who have followed me, know I prefer steam and first generation diesels.  However, I grew up 1/4 mile from the old B&O Pittsburgh & Western mainline and started seeing Chessie on the rails when I was finishing high school.  I knew if Alex had repaired this engine, it was better than new.  It's a great engine.  Thank you, Alex!!!

BTW:  Following Paul's lead, There is one thing that Philly folks and we Burgh folks can agree on; and maybe the only thing we can agree on:  They are called Hogies!! 

Last edited by Mark Boyce
@Mark Boyce posted:

  They are called Hogies!! 

What the heck is a hoagie   They are heroes and like most english words they were derived from the Greek Gyro  Now how would you get hoagie out of Gyro  The word hoagie is an abomination of its original which was Hoggie.  A hoggie was a sandwich that an Italian immigrant invented for people that worked at the Hog Island Shipyard 

@bluelinec4 posted:

What the heck is a hoagie   They are heroes and like most english words they were derived from the Greek Gyro  Now how would you get hoagie out of Gyro  The word hoagie is an abomination of its original which was Hoggie.  A hoggie was a sandwich that an Italian immigrant invented for people that worked at the Hog Island Shipyard

😆😆😆

Ben,

Back then the driveshaft broke and Alex replaced the driveshaft with another plastic one. It was just before the metal one and metal gears were available. He also repaired the smoke unit all at that time. The driveshaft broke again. I didn’t know it. I thought maybe it was the plastic gears this time. (And it was both). So he did a major tear down Of the engine and replaced everything. He also upgraded the electronics with cruise m and a bunch of other stuff last month. It now runs as good as any Legacy engine I have.
Those are great pictures of My daughter and Vinny and I. I’ve never seen them. Thanks for posting. One day I’ve got to get back to the club and see you guys. Say hi to your wife and Vinny for me.

Mike R

@bluelinec4 posted:

What the heck is a hoagie   They are heroes and like most english words they were derived from the Greek Gyro  Now how would you get hoagie out of Gyro  The word hoagie is an abomination of its original which was Hoggie.  A hoggie was a sandwich that an Italian immigrant invented for people that worked at the Hog Island Shipyard

Forget which channel had the program "The History of Food" on during holiday times. My late mother had tuned onto that(those) programs a bunch of times. Names of sandwiches vary throughout the country because of how they got their new. Submarines were named because of the sailors that would pick them up heading back to the naval yard(I think on the west coast) to the submarine they were assigned to. Sandwiches that have French fries on them were a result for those in the trucking industry that wanted a whole meal and not have to pick at the fries, sort of all in one. The most interesting thing I have ever heard was that Chop Suey was invented in San Francisco when a bunch of sailors came into a Chinese restaurant late in the evening. The owner/cook told them he had no food but all the leftovers, the sailors replied they didn't care, so the owner threw everything together, this creating Chop Suey. It's the only Asian American export to China for Chinese food.

Also, the picture of Vinny above, at first I said to myself, "Where's that" and then smacked my head. Duh, at the HiRailers of course, that's the kitchen. Memories of 2019's OGR 50th Anniversary party came flooding back  I think I had a cheese steak and a pretzel. Don't remember what else I ate, but you can't knock great food made in a kitchen like that. Just like by my at my local pizzeria. Gotta love it.

It's always the guys with the NY accent who say New Englanders talk funny!!

My first job I helped in the office for a bit, had a guy who called in from Massachusetts with a very thick accent. Good thing was I could understand him the second time he said what he said the first time. There was another person who would call in who almost no one could understand, he was from NJ(not sure where he hailed from originally), and his accent was horrible. Could never understand him and he would get mad. Good thing the office manager had no issues with either of them.

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