Inside Customer Service

11 08 2011

Parts inventory – just one row of many.

Lionel’s Customer Service Department is headquartered in Canfield, Ohio. In addition to handling customer questions and repairs, the staff also maintain a very extensive inventory of parts. It is a daunting challenge – but our staff is up to the task.

Even the smallest parts must be tracked.

The magnitude of this operation is hard to comprehend until you stand amid row after row of parts – more than 110,000 compartments full in the main room alone. Each part has been inventoried, stored and entered into the database. Over years of production, the same part may have received multiple numbers. At the same time, models of the same locomotive or car may have completely different parts and machining. From complete chasis to the tiniest electrical plug, everything has a place and a number. Even more impressive, the staff here can lay their hands on any one of them in a matter of minutes.

Technicians have the tools and the skills to get the job done.

The second floor of the facility features several workrooms where models are repaired. Other models are taken apart to create the parts inventory and then at least one is photographed for the website and parts lists. On average, Lionel completes customer repairs on a 2-3 business day turns-around from the time they are received until they’re back in the mail headed for home.

Every serviced engine will spend 3 hours on this layout before going home.

In the center of the second floor, a large test layout is equipped with multiple test loops. These include every radius, switch and crossing track that these models may find on a home layout. Grades also test an engine’s abilities. A second layout handles all American Flyer trains. Engines are all thoroughly tested before leaving the facility.

You can see all of this for yourself and meet the staff that makes the best customer service in the industry possible at next week’s open house.  The event is Saturday, August 16 from 9 to 4. You can get more details about the event and all that comes with it on



One response

31 03 2014
Karl Tosberg

I have 027 manual switches#5021 #5022 is there a adapter avalebel to make them remote Thank you.

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