China Lionel Factory

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China Lionel Factory
Posted by dwiemer on Saturday, June 11, 2005 6:31 PM
Hi all,
Dennis here, from Leesburg, GA. This is my first post, but I have been reading for awhile. I have a quick question. My wife and I are going to China in July to adopt a baby girl. I would like to visit the Lionel Factory but do not know what city it is in. I emailed the Lionel Corp. and asked and I only received a short note that "The Lionel Factory does not give tours" I was dissapointed in the response from a company that I have grown up with. I was not looking to steal corporate secrets or anything, just wanted to see the place, even the outside of the building. Any help would be appreciated.

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Posted by Anonymous on Saturday, June 11, 2005 8:28 PM
Welcome to the forum, and bless you for taking on such a challenge.

I don't think you're going to get into Lionel's Chinese supplier. As someone who has been in dozens of Chinese plants, I can also tell you that you're not missing much. Just rows of workers doing the same thing over and over.

Also the Chinese factories are a hodgepoge of different levels. Some are very clean and well organized, others are dirt floor, and no AC. Lionel may not want their customers seeing how the product is made.

Do you really want to know????????????
Well, here is what the factory MAY be like (this is not a toy train factory)


Molds are made in a mold shop
plastic is injection molded in a place like this
people sit on an assembly line like this
and details are applied by hand painting
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Posted by dwiemer on Saturday, June 11, 2005 9:14 PM
Thanks for the reply. It does not look like much and I would not go way out to go there, but if it is on my route, it would be neat to take some pics of the outside. Who knows, maybe I can use it as proto for my layout. I will let you know if I see it.

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Posted by spankybird on Saturday, June 11, 2005 9:20 PM
I maybe wrong, but I do not believe that Lionel owns a factory there. They sub-contract the work out. Therefore you will not find a factory with the Lionel name on it.

This may also be why there are not any tours, Lionel has no control over who the sub-contractor lets thru there shop.

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Posted by Anonymous on Saturday, June 11, 2005 10:01 PM
The Sanda Kan company in China is the manufacturer of most of Lionel's trains and is also the main contractor for Hornby, Britain's biggest largest producer of model trains.
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Posted by Anonymous on Saturday, June 11, 2005 10:29 PM
They don't want you to see the barbaric and sweatshop conditions that the workers have to endure for pennies a day. I hope all of those workers in Red China revolt and demand unions.[:(!][:(!]

Congratulations on the adoption![:)]
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Posted by underworld on Saturday, June 11, 2005 10:49 PM
plasticlizard Are those Santa Tweeties???

dwiemer In China, like in many Asian countries, bribery is the way to get to see things and go places. How much would a guard or someone with access want??? I don't know...but it wouldn't be much. You also have to consider what plasticlizard said.......there may not be much to see.

underworld

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Posted by Anonymous on Sunday, June 12, 2005 5:07 AM
Lionel trains are--or once were--American icons. You're probably just as well off holding onto your childhood memories and forgetting about visiting the place where the trains are made today. It's not a Lionel factory, per se, in any event--Lionel is just one of the brands being ground-out there (in several locations, as I understand it).
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Posted by Big_Boy_4005 on Sunday, June 12, 2005 5:13 AM
All this talk brings back fond memories of my tour of the factory in Mt Clemens back in 1993.

My advice, see the Great Wall, take a train ride, and forget the factory.
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Posted by csxt30 on Sunday, June 12, 2005 6:16 AM
That reminds me, I have that movie Lionel made called Making of The Hudson. Shows the eng. being made & lots of other stuff. I really liked it. Now, I wonder if there are any model train guys in China ? Thanks, John
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Posted by Anonymous on Sunday, June 12, 2005 10:44 AM
Underworld, yes they are tweety in a Santa hat.

Frankie Z, did you see anything in my pictures that looks like a sweatshop?

The factory I work at here in Virginia doesn't have Air conditioning everywhere, so in July it's a bit of a sweatshop too I guess.

Alan said it right "You're probably just as well off holding onto your childhood memories and forgetting about visiting the place where the trains are made today."

Besides, far more interesting than Chinese factories are Chinese construction sites. Go watch a building being put up. They like to make scaffolding by tying bamboo together with twine. And the scaffolding is 20 stories tall. It's cool watching someone climb up to the top carrying a bucket in one hand and no shoes.

and as backwards as everyone wants to believe they are, they make some nice buildings,





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Posted by 3railguy on Sunday, June 12, 2005 5:53 PM
It is my understanding Chinese factory workers are provided with room, board, and health care. That their paychecks are mad money.
John Long Give me Magnetraction or give me Death.
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Posted by Anonymous on Sunday, June 12, 2005 8:00 PM
This would be a perfect opportunity to turn this discussion into a pro China vs anti China discussion......

BUT LET"S NOT DO IT!!!!!!!

Thank you for adopting a baby, it's a great thing.
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Posted by zwbob on Sunday, June 12, 2005 8:23 PM
I heard there is a thrift store with all kinds of train parts that sell for pennies. If you can find it bring back some number boards for the new Lionel F-3's. A friend of mine melted his and Lionel doesn't have replacements in the US.
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Posted by Anonymous on Sunday, June 12, 2005 11:49 PM
Man you guy's better stop talking about China and Lionel!!! I'm suprised the big ax hassen't fallen on this thread!
We don't talk about these things here!!!!!!,,,,,,,,,,,I don't know why,,,,But I had a therad about some of this stuff and it got shut down!!!
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Posted by underworld on Monday, June 13, 2005 1:23 AM
penncentral8885 What's going to happen??? Maybe the ghost of Mao will send out a hit squad? Or maybe Lionel will send someone out to our homes at night and switch the polarity on our transformers.....nevermind. [:p]

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Posted by Anonymous on Monday, June 13, 2005 4:06 AM
I'd say your chances of getting into the factory are very slim - I recall reading about a MRR magazine over here that attempted to send a couple of writers and a film crew "inside", getting the relevant permissions took them months, even for a well-known publication. Chances of any of us modellers getting in would be pretty low therefore, as in their eyes we have no legitimate reason to be there - trying to convince the staff otherwise is impossible given the nature of China!
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Posted by Bob Keller on Monday, June 13, 2005 6:50 AM
Note to PC 8885: I don't care if you guys talk about China, but when the bombs start getting tossed, the thread goes....

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Posted by ChiefEagles on Monday, June 13, 2005 7:58 AM
dwiemer, good job on adopting the baby. Hope all goes well. God bless you and your family.

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Posted by cnw1995 on Monday, June 13, 2005 9:07 AM
Dwiemer, congratulations on your new baby girl! We've adopted each of our three kids - the youngest turns 3 today.

Doug Murphy 'We few, we happy few, we band of brothers...' Henry V.

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Posted by Frank53 on Monday, June 13, 2005 9:21 AM
QUOTE: Originally posted by Allan Miller

Lionel trains are--or once were--American icons. You're probably just as well off holding onto your childhood memories and forgetting about visiting the place where the trains are made today. It's not a Lionel factory, per se, in any event--Lionel is just one of the brands being ground-out there (in several locations, as I understand it).


sad but true
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Posted by Anonymous on Monday, June 13, 2005 11:36 AM
Congratulations on your adoption! It's always great to see kind people like you doing noble things like this. Hopefully your girl will bring you a lot of enjoyment and pride in the years to come. Be sure to raise her right by making sure that she gets lot of trains to play with!

As others have said, there are better things in China to do. I'm not sure where in the country you are going, but there are some excellent railway museums that you should definetly check out if you are in the area and have the time. Here are some links with information:

http://www.railway-museums.com/china_rm/index.htm
http://www.railway-museums.com/shenyang/index1.htm
http://www.heritagemuseum.gov.hk/english/branch_sel_hkr.htm
http://home.c2i.net/schaefer/railwaymuseum/
http://www.railwaysofchina.com/beijing.htm
http://www.discoverhongkong.com/eng/heritage/museums/mu_nt_0003.jhtml

QUOTE: Originally posted by zwbob

I heard there is a thrift store with all kinds of train parts that sell for pennies. If you can find it bring back some number boards for the new Lionel F-3's. A friend of mine melted his and Lionel doesn't have replacements in the US.


Wow! Are you serious? If I ever found that place, I'd buy out the whole store!
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Posted by Anonymous on Monday, June 13, 2005 11:41 AM
If that is true, they might have some complete TMCC or DCS boards!
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Posted by cnw1995 on Monday, June 13, 2005 12:36 PM
If you are going through Hong Kong - take the train up into Kowloon one day to visit the Railway Museum - it's a hike from the station but I thought it worth it - visited it a few years ago. It's a former station along the R-o-W with models and signboards highlighting the history of railroads in HK. There's a few model railroading shops in HK - mostly European HO and Japanese N - I scoured them as well as the big department stores which had entire MR departments - again mostly N, and a model railroad society that meets regularly in HK too - though they are mostly into the smaller scales too.

Doug Murphy 'We few, we happy few, we band of brothers...' Henry V.

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Posted by Payitforward on Sunday, May 06, 2018 6:16 PM

I have been buying trains to create a large layout at home. I love the old Lionels. My Father gave my set away when I was ten. It was a simple four foot diameter set, but sure did love it and never lost the desire to have one again. Now that I am in a position to do so I am acquiring as I find fair pricing. The other day I bought one online that look decent and whe I got ii I was amzed how clean is was until I turned it upside down and saw the Made in China Label. This was supposed to be a vintage set featuring a Model 247 engine and tender. Buying online I want to warn everyone there are knock offs. Caveat emptor!

Tags: fakes , Knock offs
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Posted by Firelock76 on Monday, May 07, 2018 9:32 AM

If you're looking for vintage Lionel, and by that I mean the classic post-war stuff, now is a good time to get into it.  Prices are dropping from what they were several years ago, except for the "brand-new-still-in-the-box" articles which are a whole 'nother category, but sometimes you can find good deals there as well. 

If you don't mind some surface flaws in the paint, and all that means is it's been played with usually, you can find some good deals.  I too prefer to see it before I buy it.  My advice is click on "Resources" waaaay up on top of the website and check for any train shows that may be coming to your area.  There can be some good hunting there. 

And of course, the nice thing about post-war is if you've got good electrical/mechanical skills you can usually fix 'em yourself.  We can't say that with the modern stuff.

Click "Resources", then "Coming Events", and follow the instructions from there.  It's a good tool and it's accurate.  I use it often, especially if I'm traveling to a different part of the country just to see if there's a show there I might attend.

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Posted by Payitforward on Monday, May 07, 2018 11:35 AM

Thank you for the advice. I seem to be doing well on ebay. Yesterday I poicked up a 2035 in very good condition for $40 and today a 2026 for $38  I had alson gotten some cars and accories to start my set at afforable prices. Can't wait to dig in and build and repair as necessary. I will be bacl a lot seeking advbice. This is very exciting to be finally fulfilling my aspirations of doing a nice train layout. My recent dissappointment was buying a set ( 4 cars and a cab) on ebay featuring a #247 engine for $70 When I got it I was struck on how nice it was until I turned it over and saw Made in China. I will be checking out the shows now tht you mentioned that. Thanks again  George

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Posted by DJSpanky on Monday, May 07, 2018 1:33 PM

Holy Thread Rejuvenation Batman!

A 13 year old thread?

Spank


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Posted by Firelock76 on Monday, May 07, 2018 2:06 PM

Yeah, I'm amazed myself.

Payitforward, how'd you find this thing?

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Posted by ADCX Rob on Monday, May 07, 2018 3:12 PM

Payitforward
...whe I got ii I was amzed how clean is was until I turned it upside down and saw the Made in China Label. This was supposed to be a vintage set featuring a Model 247 engine and tender. Buying online I want to warn everyone there are knock offs...

It's a Lionel. Not really a knock-off, but a re-pop.

Rob

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