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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone, new to the forum!

I am thinking about buying one of the K-Line by Lionel #22105 Hudsons in the NYC Empire State livery, but I hear so many comments these days about the reliability of some of these engines that I really don't want to invest in what turns out to be a mechanical or electronic nightmare. Some of my concerns about Lionel over the past few years is that if it breaks, there's no service or the parts just simply aren't available since everything is coming out of China. I know this engine is a couple of years old, but I think it's pretty sharp looking.

I also noticed that MTH was coming out with their own version of this engine. I hear much better things about MTH in terms of service and parts, but I don't have any experience with them. Every locomotive in our collection is Lionel from the '50s to today (and the only ones we have problems with are the new ones). Aside from being more expensive, I think the styling of the MTH engine is sort of off...it looks a little stubby and chunky and the bullet nose is too round instead of cone shaped. The K-line engine looks a lot better and more in scale to my eye.

So, any advice?

Thanks

Terry
 

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Railroad Tycoon
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What size curves are you running? You need O/31's minimum at least for that unit.

I have all kinds of curves on my main line but plan on making all the main line all O/72 in the future. That way I can run all my bigger trains at least on the main line.

Can't tell you about them running, but I sort of agree with what you say about MTH and Lionel looks.
 

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Yard Master & Research
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China isn't a problem. With electronics it's how you take care of it. You need all the pertinent info to run,troubleshoot and where to get repair.
If you are the smart guy that's need an electronic diagram. I suggest you ask first to get it before you buy. Some of these you won't get.

In general the online sites for Lionel and MTH are good. I have answered a lot of questions by just reading their pages.

Electronics to day is big In Model RR. You have electronic e units, sound and command control. In all instances they can be removed and work coventionally. If you collect you may even want to buy extra boards for the future because it will be outdated. Remember upgrades are available too.
As of now I have no specific plan just opinions. I make my own electronics and my progress is slow.
K Line is a lower end model so it is not a surprise MTH is better.
The thing with electronics you can enjoy sound, with all the bell and whistles.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
What size curves are you running? You need O/31's minimum at least for that unit.

O-54, which is just barely enough to run the big L2A Mowhawk NYC by Lionel, a beautiful but unreliable engine from the moment it came out of the box.
 

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Railroad Tycoon
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What size curves are you running? You need O/31's minimum at least for that unit.

O-54, which is just barely enough to run the big L2A Mowhawk NYC by Lionel, a beautiful but unreliable engine from the moment it came out of the box.
That's why I'm going with a main line of all O/72 curves.
Welcome to the site what gauge do you run?:D

Feel free to introduce your self in the Introduce yourself thread.:D
 

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Discussion Starter #6
China isn't a problem. With electronics it's how you take care of it. You need all the pertinent info to run,troubleshoot and where to get repair.
If you are the smart guy that's need an electronic diagram. I suggest you ask first to get it before you buy. Some of these you won't get.

QUOTE]

Smart, maybe, but not really interested in fiddling with circuit boards. I have to disagree with you a little bit about what you say here about China and maintenance. Our local authorized Lionel dealer shut down a couple of years ago, but they had some top notch repair people who had been working on trains for 20 to 30 years. One of the guys now sort of operates his own shop and he just shakes his head when he talks about Lionel. He says they keep changing designs, the parts run out, and the people who he talks to at Lionel don't even know entirely how their trains work. I saw him a recent train show and he talked about a repair job that he has had sitting for 6 months because parts aren't available for this relatively new engine. Lionel told him they would have to get them from China, if they were available at all. In contrast, he has a much easier time working with MTH...much less red tape. It pains me to tell that story, because we don't run anything other than Lionel.
 

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The early Lionel mechanics had the same problem.

What they did was use parts from other Locos to fix the problem. And the customer didn't care as long as it fixed the train.:D
 

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Thanks, all O-gauge these days. I have an attic full of HO too, but I would probably sell it all if my dad would let me.

I kind of figured it was O.:rolleyes: :laugh:

I got a ton of HO too. Along with a growing collection of N. To go along with all my O.
My signature explains better.:D
 

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Yard Master & Research
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It's sound s like your mind is made up.
I think a guy who services trains for twenty years is twenty years behind. Electronics is technical and proficiency is a must. Recently Lionel did have seminars on electronic troubleshooting and repair.
In my opinion if you can't go buy another engine for parts after buying one then you can't afford it. Ed has the right idea but it is sad about parts in short supply for newer pieces.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
It's sound s like your mind is made up.
I think a guy who services trains for twenty years is twenty years behind. Electronics is technical and proficiency is a must. Recently Lionel did have seminars on electronic troubleshooting and repair.
In my opinion if you can't go buy another engine for parts after buying one then you can't afford it. Ed has the right idea but it is sad about parts in short supply for newer pieces.
Umm, if you knew the guy, you probably wouldn't say that.
 

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When you guys speak of electronics and repir, parts and service. I have a couple of modern pieces. The Norfolk and western "J" #600 and a Dash 9 diesel. Made in 1996 and 1997 respectively. I know they were both made here in the U.S. but both have railsounds and TMCC capability. Do these fall into the category you guys are talking about or not. I really love that "J".
 

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Yard Master & Research
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This thread turned ugly. I tried to have a general discussion and it went personal. You have to understand that I have no electronic trains. So it is my opinion. I read other forums and there have been complaints. I leave it at that. It may be to your advantge to have electronic parts on hand. Or update. Some things don't last but some stashed parts may be worth it.

One member had a problem with sound boards. The companies that make them dissappear. If it goes bad no replacement is available, so a search leads to another company.

Unless you know how to repair a board what do you do????

Electronic e unit are availalble so I am all set.
 

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I was really only asking in regards to the quality of the locomotive running and magne traction and such. The electronic sounds are cool but I dont buy my trains brand new in their current model year so I'm really not paying the big money that they cost. Really the electronic sounds are a bonus for me as for right now I still just run them conventionally anyway.
 

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In general, if you don't abuse the train, the electronic controls and sounds last pretty well. I have one that has a problem, but it was a second-hand engine, and the chip for the Railsounds flatpack was broken, obviously abused by the previous owner. From what I hear, though I have no direct knowledge, the DCC HO & N stuff is a bit more sensitive to rail conditions and power surges/shorts. I've derailed cars and engines using TMCC a bunch of times, so far no damage other than my pride. ;)
 

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my k-line by lionel NYC Empire State Express loco and tender number 6022105 is an awesome unit. strong constant runner with great sound looks and detail. Magna traction is strong. this train can pull anything you hook up to it. the railsounds is crisp and clear. chuff,whistle work great with conventional zw transformer. i hooked up a 5609 sound activation button and now i have bell. Its worth the price.
 
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