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Author Topic: To: The Yardmaster Subject:Large Scale Parts Availibility  (Read 3713 times)
« on: November 22, 2017, 10:11:37 PM »

Hi Mr. Yardmaster. While browsing the Bachmann online parts catalog recently, I noticed that some parts have been out of stock for a long time. Replacement chassis such as the version 6 and the new swing arm assembly sold out quite a while ago and have not been restocked. In fact, quite a large number of parts are also currently unavailable and have been that way for a very long time as well. A recent phone call to the parts department proved to be unsatisfactory as to answering my question, and the service rep suggested trying to ask you. So, are more replacement parts on the way? Or will you no longer sell them after they run out? Not restocking replacement parts would be a disservice to all of us loyal do it yourselfers who enjoy working on our trains as much as we enjoy running them.Not to also mention that it's cheaper, faster, and easier to repair them ourselves then to have to send them back to you for repairs.
Thank you!
Greg Elmassian

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« Reply #1 on: November 22, 2017, 11:20:33 PM »

Unfortunately, selling parts is not as profitable as selling trains. In their last years Aristo Craft owned up to the fact that usually they only made parts at the same time they ran the locomotives. (wheels and couplers excluded).

Kader made Aristo as Kader makes Bachmann. Not saying this is a conspiracy, but if Kader makes it uneconomical to make parts, then we are SOL. Bachmann can't alter the economics of Kader unless they start selling a lot more locos.

And they aren't so far.


Visit my site: lots of tips and techniques:
Loco Bill Canelos

Model railroading since 1947

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« Reply #2 on: November 27, 2017, 07:28:35 PM »

Hi All,

I know of only one other manufacturer that does as well as Bachmann when it comes to repair parts.  Like many I would love to see an endless supply of repair parts.  Regrettably it is not realistic to have expectations of this nature. Since my trains are important to me I have adopted the practice of buying junkers to salvage for spare parts for my most important items.  This was proved successful when a major supplier of locos and rolling stock abruptly went out of business.  They were never great with repair parts anyway  and the prices were very high!!!  I bought junk locomotives and rolling stock when the price was right.  Craigs list, Ebay and swap meets have been a great source for this project.  In my trainroom I have storage drawers which are dedicated to different manufacturers, just for holding spare parts.   I bought an RS3 with a damaged shell for $20, and the trucks alone were worth the price. I have robbed it of other parts as well. I prefer craiagslist and local swap meets and train shows, to avoid shipping costs and taxes.

I have set objectives for each manufacturer as to what I want in the way of parts items.  I then set up searches, and keep a list to take to swap meets etc.  This has worked very well even for Bachmann parts that are in stock, because many small parts are expensive, and the shipping to Colorado can be expensive. 

Last Saturday I went to a Train show in Loveland Colorado and saw a Big Hauler 4-6-0 in a junk box for $15,  I didn't buy it because I already have what I need, also saw a boxcar with metal wheels with a missing door for $10.

I did buy it, just for the metal wheels and trucks, a great deal at that price.

I strongly recommend the above, and you can for the most part quit worrying about spare parts.  Also lots of time junkers can be great for kitbashing projects, if you are into such things!!

Have fun,

Loco Bill

Loco Bill,  Roundhouse Foreman
Colorado & Kansas Railway Missouri Western Railway
Semi Official Historian; Bachmann Large Scale
There are no dumb or stupid questions, just questions!

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« Reply #3 on: November 28, 2017, 02:49:20 PM »

Well, all that me we fine for the short term. However, the economic environment will eventually rebound, even if slowly,  and what then. Kader makes no new product to generate interest in the market. Kader makes part prices too high or parts unavailable for the folks who already have product they wish to repair and keep running because there is no new product. That about sums up Greg's evaluation.

Can't get what you want from the manufacturer, go to the junk tables at trains shows. Another good observation, until the junk starts getting scarce and the prices of junk rise due to lowered supply. Sooner or later that runs out as well. At some point the hobbyist looks at his collection of now non running equipment and tosses in the towel. Ok, maybe some new junk for a short bit. That about sums up Bill's perspective over the long term.

Sooner or late when the manufacturers decide that the economic environment is again able to support new product, will there be buyers available to purchase said product. I am heavily invested in Bachmann products, and found it quite disheartening when I basically had to strong arm Bachmann to get a replacement gear for one of the newest locomotives they released. Will I invest in used Bachmann products when the part environment is bleak, probably not. Will I invest in NOS at the current pricing considering the parts availability, absolutely not. And I don't believe I am alone in this thought process. Maybe Bachmann doesn't care, maybe they are moving out of large scale entirely, who knows? Only the bean counters at the top.

This is my opinion only, but I don't believe I am alone.
« Reply #4 on: November 28, 2017, 07:23:16 PM »

My thing is that I own several large scale loco's from 3 different manufacturers. 3 are from Lionel. One is from Hartland Locomotive Works, and 6 are from Bachmann. All have their strong points. Some need more maintenance than others. Some less. All 3 of my Lionel locos turned 30 years old this past year. All still run like champs and look great. They are all original     with the exception of a couple of minor cosmetic plastic parts that I found on Ebay. Other than that, they're 3 decades old and still just fine,even though the parent company , Lionel, while still in business, doesn't offer parts or service for them. My Hartland is a 4-4-0 made back in 1996. It,too, is mostly original and is a great runner. The parent company is still in business. Parts and services are still available directly from them. For now.
Now we arrive at Bachmann. Bachmann is ,obviously, still in business. They still offer parts and warranty services directly. Which is good considering how easily their locomotives are damaged since the Anniversary Edition 4-6-0 has a lot of fragile, easily damaged parts. They are beautiful and I love them, but should parts and or services become unavailable, they are in danger of becoming shelf queens or being disposed of either in the trash or on Ebay (craigslist is out of the question due to the large amount of scammers operating on it). I have recently gone through  2  Anniversary chassis's that I bought directly from the Bachmann parts department. One was about a year old and the other less than 6 months! I just bought another Anniversary chassis that I purchased as a replacement for my Virginia & Truckee #26 (A Standard Big Hauler that I customized to look more like the real V&T #26 with paint and custom decals from Stan Cedarleaf. Bachmann's V&T #26,while very pretty,looks absolutely nothing like the real #26 did!! Not even close!)since part of the wheel well broke off on it for some unknown reason! So, as of last night, it's running again and I'm very happy to have it back "in service" ! I'm just hoping that Bachmann/Kador will remain in business and continue to offer parts and services for these large scale trains into the foreseeable future as I don't want to either junk them or resort to buying used,possible damaged/non-working parts on Ebay for these trains. Cars and other cosmetic parts on Ebay are fine, but the working parts/complete locos are sometimes iffy at best unless you know who the seller that you're buying from is reputable and can be trusted. I know a few sellers on Ebay who I trust and you can pm me if you want to know who they are.
Thanks for your feedback so far guys! Still waiting for a response on this from the Yardmaster.,to whom this was originally addressed.
So, how about it,Mr. Yardmaster? Any thoughts on the matter or information?
doug c

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« Reply #5 on: November 28, 2017, 08:42:49 PM »

"...and you can for the most part quit worrying about spare parts.  Also lots of time junkers can be great for kitbashing projects, if you are into such things!!..."

I as you stated --- strongly recommend this practise also !   

Another positive (ie. a save )  is that those peoples (or their significant others?)  selling those junkers/odds'nends will some day just say the heck with it and send (heaven forbid) all of it to a landfill !   Cry

Personally got my eye on a 'collection' of odds'nends to hopefully acquire in about 3wks when in-person access feasible.

"..Kader makes part prices too high..."
All Manufacturers of consumer goods for a variety reasons do the same.
ex. domestic vehicle manufacturer asking $170 for just a OEM screw jack ! 
Auto salvage range $75-100cdn for the complete kit (just need the jack though).

doug c   Smiley
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