Repair Service: Engine House Hobbies has several MTH and/or Lionel factory trained service personnel available for repairs. Engine House Hobbies is an MTH Authorized National Repair Center and a Lionel Drop-Off Center for warranty service.
Repair services are available for HO, S, O and G gauge model trains and accessories and a variety of manufacturers. However, repairs are often limited by parts availability, especially on older items.
Mail order repairs are welcome. However, one should consider the cost effectiveness of having something repaired when postage, parts, and labor are considered. Any shipping and handling to and from the store is at the owner’s expense. Additionally, there is a diagnostic fee which is applied towards any repairs performed when the problem with an engine, operating car or accessory is not clear and diagnosis and exploration is needed. Therefore, in considering costs, shipping to and from the store and the diagnostic fee, mail order repairs can begin at $45. Hence, sometimes it is more cost effective to replace items rather than having them repaired by mail order.
Diagnostic fee: Often we do not know the cost of repairs for engines, operating cars or operating accessories which are not operating properly or do not operate until we perform a diagnostic on the item. Also, it is not uncommon that once the time and effort is expended to open an item the problem can be quickly fixed. There is a $25 diagnostic fee to evaluate such items. The $25 fee covers the labor of opening and closing the item and the associated evaluation. The $25 fee will be applied to the cost of any work performed and parts. There is a separate diagnostic fee for each item to be evaluated. If the customer chooses not to have the work done, (for example, the replacement of an expensive electronics board) the $25 covers the labor of the diagnosis and is not refundable. Normally if repairs can be done for about $50 when the engine is open, the repairs are made.
If the requested repair is obvious no diagnostic fee is necessary. For example a car with a broken coupler does not need a diagnosis. Here the part cost and labor is rather well defined. However, an engine which does not run will most probably require taking the engine apart and looking at internal components. In these cases a diagnostic fee will apply. Any operating car, operating accessory or engine which is not working properly in some way can be expected to have a diagnostic fee. Here again, this fee is applicable to any work performed.
Types of repairs: The following types of repairs and services are available. Ala cart pricing will normally be more expensive than a packaged deal such as refurbishing an engine and/or a defined work package. It does need to be noted Engine House Hobbies is located in a rather expensive part of the US. As such cheaper labor prices may be available elsewhere if they can be found. Contact Engine House Hobbies for a sample of repair pricing.
Engine Service (prewar, post war and modern): clean wheels, polish third rail rollers, oil axles, lubricate gear box
Replace coupler spring
Replace pickup shoe
Clean and lubricate an operating cars’ wheels, rollers, shoes and/or mechanism
MTH PS-1 chip reprogramming
MTH PS-1 board replacement (as parts available)
MTH PS-1 to PS-2 Upgrade
PS-2 Upgrade for non-MTH engines with fly wheels and DC can motor.
Electric Railroad TMCC upgrades
Electric Railroad (ERR) RS-5 Sound installation
PS-2 and PC-3 Board replacement
Reprogram PS-2 and PC-3 board
BCR upgrade installation – 3 volt
BCR upgrade installation – 9 volt
Installation of lighting in non-powered diesel units (excludes kit)
Replace heating elements
Replace entire unit
Replace traction tires
Install coupler insulator
Reprogram TIU and handheld
Replace volume control