LIonel Lion Chief Product Quality

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  • Member since
    August, 2017
  • 3 posts
LIonel Lion Chief Product Quality
Posted by otww55822 on Wednesday, August 30, 2017 6:05 AM

What is the general opinion of the reliability of the Lion Chief product line.Recently purchased a GP20 an it has been nothing but a hightmare of problems.  Like the features but its been back to lionel 4 times for repair.  Just don;t know if I hapened to get a bad one or if they are all problems


  • Member since
    August, 2010
  • From: Henrico, VA
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Posted by Firelock76 on Saturday, September 02, 2017 11:51 AM

I purchased a Lionel LionChief Plus GP-20 back in May of this year, the Susquehanna version.  So far, no problems, it runs beautifully.

Minor complaints, the diesel engine sound is a bit louder than the horn, but not the bell, and it takes a few minutes for the smoke output to get where it's supposed to be, but nothing I can't live with.  Great puller though, it could pull tree stumps if I wanted it too.

I did have a performance problem once, but I traced that to dirty wheels. Cleaned the wheels and it came right back.

Let me add I run conventional transformer control.  I don't like using the remote and I especially don't like or trust running locomotives at the maximum voltage used during remote operation, not with all those circuit boards in there, although it's been mentioned in another post max voltage isn't really needed for running remote. 

So far, so good, I'm very happy with it.

In your case, you know the old saying "There's always one that slips through the cracks?"  Not much consolation, I know.  I'd send it back to Lionel again with copies of your shipping receipts asking they PLEASE get it right this time or send a replacement.

If they have any sense of responsibility towards their customers that's exactly what they should do.

  • Member since
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  • From: Henrico, VA
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Posted by Firelock76 on Wednesday, September 06, 2017 5:44 PM

Just an addendum to my last post...

The hobby shop where I purchased the Lionel GP-20 also had an MTH SD60 in Susquehanna colors.  I'm a big fan of MTH and have had splendid service from their products, and almost went for the SD60 but at 18" in length it was just too big to run on my layout.  The biggest locomotives I can run are my FM Trainmasters at 17", and that's pushing it.

Again though, no complaints with the GP-20.

  • Member since
    July, 2006
  • From: Hightstown, NJ
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Posted by anjdevil2 on Thursday, September 07, 2017 2:17 PM

I have 2 LionChief engines,

Polar Express and the CRRNJ CamelBack.

While I have no issues with either of them, I did send the Camelback because the smoke output was not as copious as the Polar Express. 

Once the CamelBack returned, it was as good as the Polar Express.

I have already put a deposit down on the LionChief Plus Blue Comet, as this is the most inexpensive Blue Comet in the "modern" era.  The Legacy equipped ones where over $1,000 while this one is listed in the catalog at sub $340.

I have enjoyed the LC line and will run them in addition to my TMCC and Post War roster of Lionels.

Unleash the fury, free the beast.  You must heed the story told by the priests.

Ring the doomsday bells, raising hell!!! - Yngwie Malmsteen

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  • From: South Carolina
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Posted by rtraincollector on Thursday, September 07, 2017 2:52 PM

I have heard a lot good about them, but donot own any or care to. I like conventional or if running any type of command do not feel I should be limited to like 4 I think there up to. I like the idea I have one controller and can operate up to 99 engines well actually 98. ( iheard some where 00 doesn't work and 99 is suppose to be save for something else and not recommended to be used. 

Other wise I don't see a problem with them. and for small layouts and kids I would say great. For a set around a Christmas tree I could see that as a great choice also. 

Life's hard, even harder if your stupid  John Wayne

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  • From: MICH
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Posted by sir james I on Friday, September 08, 2017 10:12 AM

RT IF you only have TMCC you can use 99.

BUT 99 on Legacy starts every engine thats powered and asleep on the layout.

"IT's GOOD TO BE THE KING",by Mel Brooks 

  Charter Member- Tardis Train Crew (TTC) - TCA  - Detroit3railers-  Detroit Historical society Glancy Modular trains- Charter member BTTS

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