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Like John, I prefer the new system. Much red tape with the current setup. As far as parts diagrams for newer engines, what few they have put up show most items not available anyway.
The idea that the factory won’t supply Lionel parts vs using whole engines is nuts. I’ll be curious to know where the MTH engines Lionel is acquiring will be made. Hopefully still in Korea where parts can be had without having to bring in complete items.

Pete
 

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They ”canceled” service training after Mike was moved to NC. Thats a big part of the problem. There has been no formal training since the introduction of the RCMC and Railsounds lite boards.
For those that have training we can rely on reading the markings on the board to figure out what signals should be there along with an enterprising individual who has done some of the legwork here.
As its now almost impossible to repair to component level, repair is down to board swapping. Not much skill required there.

Pete
 

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They don’t want old boards any more. If you are sure which one is bad you can just order it. Early on you had to return a RCMC to get a replacement but no more. At service school they actually made it a point they don’t want anyone repairing to component level as it takes too much time. Its still possible though in some cases.

Pete
 

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There is essentially just one board in there. A couple of tiny daughter boards but really little anyone could repair other than the LCDs.

Pete
 

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Lionel has stated that local repair will continue for out of warranty work. Service Stations can opt out of service altogether though I am not sure why they would. There was never any money to be made on warranty work. Given the time spent on the actual repair, plus parts ordering and paper work you were working below minimum wage these days.

Pete
 

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You are putting too much value on Lionel’s training program. They were aimed at folks with little or no electronics backgrounds. If you could use a multimeter and paid attention you could pass the test.
On the other hand many have degrees in electronics and computer science. If need be, new boards can be reverse engineered. Lionel could help a lot if they would just release documents describing the new boards rather than making one of us do that.
I was repairing trains for many years before taking any Lionel classes and I am in no way unique among those fixing trains today.

Pete
 

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Existing Service Stations will remain that if they are listed by Lionel or not. They will have the option to opt out if listed or not. If they choose to not opt out they still get parts at a discount. Doesn’t make sense as a business model to be unable to have a train repaired once its out of warranty.
Besides if the goal is to increase profits all they have to do is raise the price of parts like they are doing now. Radio boards used to list at 40 bucks, 20 bucks to dealers. Now they are 75 bucks, or 37.50 to dealers.
Pete
 

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TJ, Joe needs to reread the notice sent out to all registered Service Stations and Dealers. It states that REGISTERED Service Stations will continue to be offered parts at a discount and they will keep them on a list unless they decide to leave the system. Maybe Joe has heard something different since but I have yet to see that announcement. I one received was dated the 13th.

Pete
 

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He is right about parts for new releases are not listed other than electronic boards and those are usually not listed until after the warranty period. Typically you have to call Lionel during that period to get those parts.
As for not being listed as a service station I understood that they will send out an email requesting you confirm you want to remain listed or not and even if you request not to be listed they will still recognize you as a service station unless you tell them you no longer want to do service.
Thats my understanding but we know things change for no apparent reason.

Pete
 
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