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Wouldn't this also give them reason to cancel future training classes for technicians. If so you may need to modify your signature line!
Why do I have to modify my signature? Nothing about my status is changing.
Just curious, and I wonder, would they be willing to let the average capable owner remove defective part and send in for a replacement part, as opposed to sending in the whole blasted unit? :unsure:
And exactly how do they identify that "average capable owner"? Offering that option open's Pandora's Box to anyone that thinks they're capable. When you've been in the repair game for a while, you'll get to see a lot of ugly stuff that was done by "average capable owners"! :eek:
 

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I assume that Lionel will continue to at some point train repair folks on all their products, just not for warranty service, which will be at the mother ship only. It's in their best interest to have post-warranty service available from "Factory Authorized Service Stations" such as Hennings and similar expert dealers. If they don't, this is a serious oversight for the long run. Probably worth asking Lionel leadership about this soon.
 

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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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I guess what I am saying John is how are you renewing your certification with Lionel as a repair tech. My LHS has a "Factory Autherized Lionel Service Technician" but he got that title in the early 90's and never returned for any follow up training. I'm not exactly willing to let him open up some $2000+ loco when his creditials are basically as good as an "average capable owner". I would gladdly take the class if Lionel offered it but maybe this is only offered to authorized service centers?
 

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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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I'm not factory authorized in anything, but I repair stuff better than most factory authorized techs ;).
 

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An amusing thread. I’ve been sending my Lionel out-of-warranty repairs up to authorized Lionel Service Station repair tech, Jim Sandman in Ogden, Utah, just 35 miles away. On several repairs over the years, he’s had the items back to me within a week, perfectly repaired.

My newest engine is a 2012 Lionel Legacy GP30, which has been trouble-free. I don’t buy new Lionel and have never done a BTO, due to Lionel’s on-going quality control issues over the past several years. It works for me. 😉
 

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I guess what I am saying John is how are you renewing your certification with Lionel as a repair tech. My LHS has a "Factory Autherized Lionel Service Technician" but he got that title in the early 90's and never returned for any follow up training. I'm not exactly willing to let him open up some $2000+ loco when his creditials are basically as good as an "average capable owner". I would gladdly take the class if Lionel offered it but maybe this is only offered to authorized service centers?
I don't expect any future training from Lionel as far as my certification is concerned. It's been many years since Lionel has trained anyone, I don't remember when the last training classes were held. As for repairing modern electronics, I actually don't think I'm behind the 8-ball on that score. Having spent a ton of time designing flight critical avionics for commercial and military aircraft, I think I'm pretty well equipped to deal with model train electronics.

It's not additional training I need, what I need is the basic service information on the modern locomotives and boards. Simple stuff like board pin-out diagrams and locomotive wiring diagrams and I'm all set for the electronic end. FWIW, many people have already trusted me with their $2,000 locomotives, and I expect many more will. Although I still do quite a lot of board level repairs, the whole industry has been moving to non-repairable boards. When you look at the modern boards in the Lionel or MTH locomotives, there are less and less repairs possible on them. I know of very few train techs that are equipped to deal with a lot of the surface mount technology that is currently in use. As parts shrink, the equipment to service the boards becomes more specialized, and way more expensive! My equipment for board repairs stops at my hot air rework tool, the next step up the ladder is getting way too expensive!

Incidentally, I also develop electronics specifically for model train upgrades...
 

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Very well-stated, John. Those newer boards are another reason why I stay away from the newer Lionel locomotives.
Well, you have to stay away with anything that has electronics if you want to avoid the non-repairable stuff. :D I remember well when I could repair almost any board, first with thru-hole components, and even when we went to the early surface mount stuff. It was all large enough to deal with using common tools. If you've ever opened up a cell phone, you'll see most of the components are actually too small to identify without magnification! Most of the resistor and small caps there are 0.2mm x 0.4mm, think about trying to solder one of those in! :D

Like I said, as in everything else, we've become a throw-away society, nothing is made to be repaired nowadays. Add to the fact that most products have a very limited lifespan, and you get lots of piles of trash!
 

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Seems that Lionel has deleted the listing of Authorized and Independent Service Stations. They just list their dealer network with that information.

They used to list my friend Bob Karas from Southampton NJ, who passed away a couple of years ago, along with others as Independent Authorized Service Stations. Those individuals attended the training sessions that Mike Regan held and were able to do Lionel warranty work.

Many of these individuals in fact performed the Lionel warranty and out of warranty work for those dealers listed as service stations. Nicholas Smith Trains was a good example of one of those dealers who used those individuals. NS and others in the area used Bob.

So apparently there are no longer any Independent individuals who are Authorized Service Stations just those dealers that are listed as Service Stations.

An individual who has a relationship with a dealer, who is a Service Station, may be able to do Lionel service, but unless they attended the training sessions they were not authorized to do independent warranty work nor are they Authorized Lionel Service Stations.

In fact a number of those dealers who were Service Stations decided to sponsor an individual rather than sending one of their employees to the training session.

A notable exception to the training rule is Alex M, who posts extensively elsewhere. He petitioned Mike Regan to become an Independent Service Station and Mike agreed that with his extensive experience with Lionel electronics that he should become one. I think another factor was there were no other individuals in the area where he lives. There may be others.

The thing that I don’t understand with the new policy is they established an extensive network of individuals able to do warranty work because Lionel did not have the man power. So, what is the difference now. I know a number of dealers who are service stations were willing to do warranty work but only for their own customers It will be interesting to see how it all works out.
 

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The thing people and Lionel are NOT talking about. The wait time for in house service has been an ongoing complaint. Will they bring in new techs? Probably not, as that would increase their costs. So, I guess if you can wait 6 months for a new dishwasher, you can wait that long or longer to get a repaired unit back ;)

MTH goes away, Lionel prices take a huge jump, warranty service goes to all in house with no mention of what will be done to improve turn around. Isn't a lack of competition just wonderful?:cautious:
 

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So apparently there are no longer any Independent individuals who are Authorized Service Stations just those dealers that are listed as Service Stations.
And exactly where did you come up with this "fact"? It's news to me, and Lionel has not communicated with me to tell me I'm no longer an Authorized Service Station.
 

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Bob Karas, who I mentioned passed away, was an Independent Lionel Service Station and was listed as same on Lionels website. There were several others that I am aware of including Alex M, don’t know his last name, and Joe Mania also like Bob from NJ.

When you clicked on the “Service Station Locator’ their names along with others were there along with their contact information. They were identified as Independent Service Stations meaning they could accept and do Lionel Warranty Service independent of a dealer or hobby shop. Now when you click on the locator what comes up is a listing of the Lionel Dealer network which also identifies those dealers as service stations.

In order to become an Independent Service Station you needed to be sponsored by a dealer and attend the training school and pass a test. Not every Dealer sent someone to the training deciding to sponsor someone instead. Those individuals who did go were responsible for their own expenses hence one of the reasons dealers went the sponsoring route.

There are no longer any Independent Service Stations listed on Lionels locator. If you or anyone else can find them please post a screen shot.

Independent service stations were required to accept warranty work regardless of where the product was purchased as long as they could provide a receipt for an Authorized Lionel Dealer.

There are still Service Stations just no longer any Independent ones listed.

Again as I stated in my original post and responded to by another poster why break up a nice network to take the warranty work in house. They only paid the independents $35 to do the work and the provided parts. The only other incentive was they could purchase parts at a 50% discount.
 

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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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According to Joe Mania, an Independent Lionel Service Station, the program is dead in February 2022. Actual Service Stations based at their Dealer Network are not affected. They just can no longer offer warranty service.
 

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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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