The Broadway Flyer: December 2023
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to everyone! Curtis here from BLI back with another edition of The Broadway Flyer! 2023 is just about behind us and as we move into 2024, we hope you all had a safe, healthy, and festive holiday season! It's that time again for this months Broadway Flyer! We have A LOT of customer questions to get to and some other important information to share, so let's get started!
What's new at BLI?
We have some updates to share regarding the HO scale Southern Pacific GS-4 and the N scale Reading T1 projects. Starting with the N scale Reading T1's. Production on these locomotives wrapped up mid December but shipping delays around the holidays have pushed back the arrival to early January. We are hopping that in the next few days they should arrive at your dealers and onto your layouts.
Next update is regarding the GS-4 locomotives. These locomotives will wrap up production by December 31st and will be flown to Los Angeles from our factory. We expect these models to arrive to hobby stores mid January.
A big thanks to Jimmy from DIY and Digital Railroad! He showed off our latest example of N scale steam in our USRA Pacifics! These locomotives are in stores now and are widely available to purchase your favorite scheme today!
Check out the 3D Renderings of our Baldwin Sharknose locomotive in Missouri Pacific Fantasy Scheme. These locomotives are coming to stores next year in Paragon4 and Stealth. Plus they are available in many different paint schemes.
Finally, a big thanks to Ken Patterson and the team over at the "What's Neat This Week" video podcast for showing off some of our latest offerings in both HO and N Scale. Be sure to check out his video podcast as well as the segments Model Railroad Hobbyists Magazine.
As of right now this is the current status, of projects through the Spring of 2024. You can always find the latest changes in our delivery date and status on our website, here.
We had several samples in both HO and N scale make their way through the office. Take a look and feast your eyes!
PHOTOS: Our N scale Stock Cars have options for sound and no sound! They are the perfect fun addition to your model railroad!
PHOTOS: Our HO scale EMD GP30's are arriving in many different road names with multiple paint schemes. We are almost 100% sold out on these so if you haven't ordered yours yet, get yours in now!
PHOTOs: Fantasy Schemes, you either love them or hate them. For those of you that love them, check out the McGinnis Fantasy Scheme on locomotive number 1409. This new run of HO Scale New Haven I-5 Hudson locomotives feature hand-crafted brass boilers, cabs, and tender bodies, and die cast locomotive and tender chassis. Each model comes with our Paragon4 Sound/DC/DCC sound system with synchronized puffing smoke and integral GoPack capacitors.
This month, on Facebook and Instagram, we mixed things up in looking for questions. We gave you the opportunity to ask anyone from our service department anything to help with your models or what they suggest you do to fix your models. While we got a lot of questions regarding future projects, we will answer those in just a bit. In the meantime I am handing this over to Caleb, our lead service technician here at BLI, to answer your questions! Caleb take it away!
Thanks Curtis! I am excited to get into these. Let's get started!
Q: “Why don’t you make replacement gears for the N&W J class y’all made? They break and now you no longer support your own products.” - Mike on Facebook
A: Hey Mike! We still make gears for all of our N&W Class J models, even the ones dating back to the QSI days. Although we no longer support QSI equipped models in the service bay due to us no longer being able to get electronics and parts, we still support the gears. If you are having an issue with your gears fell free to reach out to us through Tech Support or the Parts Department. We can either ship you the gears for you to replace yourself, or we can take your geared driver into the service bay (Only the driver) and re-gear and re-quarter it for a $25 service charge. If you were referring to the QSI or Blueline N&W Class A, not J, we no longer can offer repairs for these models due to the design having press fitted drivers which makes it almost impossible to replace the gear and re-quarter the driver while inside the chassis. If you are interested in trying to tackle this yourself we would be happy to help you by providing the gears, but due to the issues mentioned above, we will not be able to support you any further than that.
At BLI we strive to support all of models for as long as possible by keeping the same tooling and compatible electronics for as long as possible. At the same time, we are constantly striving to make our products better and better, which sometimes requires changing tooling and electronics. If you or anyone else ever has any questions about our products and what we support/no longer support we are only one phone call or email away!
Q: “I bought a Blue goose Hudson and it does seem to loose all lights and power quite a bit . Any chance it could be a warranty issue?” - Danny on Facebook
A: Hey Danny! Sorry to hear you are having an issue with your Blue Goose. If you purchased that model within the last year it would still be covered under warranty. Feel free to reach out to us by either our tech support email form on our website or by contacting tech support by phone. We typically answer emails within 24-48 hours and our phone line is open from 1-4PM EST, Tuesday-Friday.
Q: “What's the one thing you wish people did BEFORE it gets to the point they have to send the model in for repairs?” - Lachlan on Facebook
A: Hey Lachlan, great question! We almost always recommend trying a reset before sending the model to us. You can do this by setting CV8=8 on the main/program track or by using the hardware reset button on the decoder. A hardware reset(reset button) is superior to a software reset(CV 8 = 8). A video showing how to do a hardware reset can be found on our website by clicking Support -> How-to Videos -> The scroll down and click the video titles "HARDWARE RESET FOR PARAGON2 LOCOMOTIVES". Although this video is titled for Paragon 2, the process is almost identical for all Paragon2, 3, and 4 models. If you ever have any questions about the reset for your particular model feel free to contact us. We are always happy to help.
One more thing we do require before sending your model to us is that you set up an RA number (Return Authorization number) This not only ensures that you are sending a model to us that we still support, but it also helps us out tremendously since we receive your model, look up your RA, and check your engine in. This process takes 2 minutes for us and ensures that we have all of the required information in order to properly check in, repair, and send your model back to you. If you send your model into us without an RA or any other information we are forced to put your engine on a shelf and wait for you to call us. This obviously delays your models repair time which is no fun for anyone! We always try our best to get your model back on the rails for you to enjoy as soon as possible, so please help us help you and always set up an RA number!
Q: “Is it possible on some of your older releases to make it possible for retrofit to newer parts for parts that are discontinued? It's a big expenditure to make a locomotive a shelf queen and purchase a newer release, even if it's available.” - Albert on Facebook
A: Hey Albert! If you are referring to the electronics in older QSI Models, we here at BLI do not support/do upgrades or modifications. However, there is hope! Seneca over at Trainservicedepot.com is the only authorized upgrade provider through BLI. I am not sure what their prices are and what they support and don't, but I do know if you want to have an updated decoder installed in your older QSI, PCM, Blueline, or Paragon 2 engine Seneca is your guy! (Please keep in mind we still support PCM, Blueline, and Paragon 2 equipped models here at BLI)
If you are referring to detail and mechanical parts, the answer can be very hit or miss. As mentioned above we try to keep the tooling the same for as long as possible. Due to many factors including lost tooling, adding more features, etc, this is often out of our control. If you have a question about a particular model and part I would recommend you reach out to our Parts Department through the online contact form. They typically answer within 24-48 hours.
Q: “I have a paragon2 Dreyfuss hudson. It picks up power, but doesn't move at all. The lights come on, but when try to get it to move all I hear is a clicking sound from within the engine. Can it be fixed?” - Aaron on Facebook
A: Hey Aaron! We still support Paragon 2 and would be happy to help! Based on the information you proved it sounds likely your gears have stripped. Please contact us through our Tech Support email form on our site and we will get back to you as soon as possible with a couple of options as to how we can help!
Q: “Are replacement gears still available for the Paragon 2 Pennsy I1s? And what can I do to get the front truck to stop derailing on these? Thanks” - Jerry on Facebook
A: Hey Jerry! Yes, we still offer gears for that model. As for the derailing issue there could be many different reasons, you can either purchase a new pilot truck(if you think that is the problem) or you can send that model into us for repair. Reach out to us and we will be happy to help!
Q: “I've got a HO paragon 2 ATSF 4-8-4 and a paragon 4 NYC Hudson that both have a tendency to "buck" at mid speed on level ground even with a train. Is this a lubrication issue, slack in the gears, or something else I could easily solve? The Hudson is new and only has break in time. The 4-8-4 has been run often.” - Aaron on Facebook
A: Hey Aaron! The issues you described could be a handful of different things. I would recommend reaching out to us via our email tech support form and let us know you don't mind doing some mild troubleshooting yourself. We can walk you through some test further through email!
Q: “Any single place (website) a person can go to get parts for BLI equipment? There needs to be a website where I can download a parts diagram to get numbers to order parts. Thanks!” - Mainline Model Railroad Products on Facebook
A: Great questions! Our Parts Department is the only place to purchase parts from BLI (Besides a few traction drivers on our site). You can contact the parts department via the email form on our site at Support -> Parts Requests . As for the parts diagrams, these can be found on our site under Support -> Support Documents -> Exploded View Diagrams. Hope this helps!
Q: “I do have a question about the issues I’ve been having with my Paragon 4 engines. All of them seem to have a bad chuff sensor as they don’t keep a 4-chuff per rev at all. Will this be looked into? One of my Vanderbilt Hudson’s has a fully shot sensor and I used the “broken sensor” CV but still hope that the sensors could be looked into as there might be a QC problem. I didn’t have this issue on my P2/3’s but all of my P4’s so far are issue engines.” - James on Facebook
A: Hey James! Sorry to hear you have been having issues! We have not had an abundance of chuff sensor failures in Paragon 4, especially an abundance from one customer. Since you are having an abundance of issues I would recommend contacting tech support through the online support form. We are always happy to help.
Q: “What are some of the interesting problems that the service department comes across?” - Matt on Facebook
A: Hey Matt, some of the most interesting problems we have experienced aren't directly due to the model itself. Due to us producing thousands of models a year that get shipped worldwide our models often get paired with a bunch of different throttles. These throttles have often been the cause of some interesting issues. For instance, we have found some throttles emit track noise that is the same exact as some commands for a certain sound and address. This will cause an engine on that specific address to randomly play that command when that specific track noise is emanated.
Q: “Is there any way to know the number measurements of parts like in old BLI Blueline locos to copy?” - Daniel on Facebook
A: Hey Daniel! Unfortunately, For a lot of older Qsi and Blueline model we no longer have access to the tooling and have ran out of the parts a long time ago. We try to keep the tooling and parts the same as much as possible from run to run or series to series. However these parts sometimes change from run to run due to tooling changes out of our control. Due to this we cannot provide exact measurements if we no longer have that part. If our newer engine parts crossover we would be happy to help you by setting up a parts order.
Q: “What is the most common problem they face? What are the toughest problems they face?” - Jeff on Facebook
A: Hey Jeff! Due to every engine having its own mechanical design, every engine has its own individual common issues, however I would say that in Paragon 4 we haven't had one common theme yet. It has been more across the board. As for the toughest problems we face, I would say that has to be solving a hitch on an engine. This happens when an engine has too much tension at certain points in the linkage during the revolution of the drivers. This causes the engine to almost jolt forward once its fights through the hitch. The reason this can be so troublesome is because it can be one of multiple things or caused by a bunch of smaller things. Things that can cause hitches include (but aren't limited to) gears, linkage, quartering, etc.
Q: “How much weight can a traction tire wheel take before the pressure is an immediate damage risk to the tire?” - Tom on Facebook
A: Hey Tom, interesting question. Typically overloading an engine can result in a few different issues. 1. The engine will just stay in one spot with the wheels slipping. 2. The engine will sit still and slip, eventually stretching the traction tire and causing it to fall off. 3. The engine will grip, but damage the gears over time due to the engine being over loaded. As for the exact weight measurement that these might happen at, it will vary from engine to engine. My recommendation is to put a moderate amount of weight behind your model of choice and adjust the weight accordingly. If this engine begins to pause or click at any point during running I would lower the weight.
Thanks everyone for the great questions! I hope that you all learned something new about the BLI Service Department after reading this!
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!
Caleb, BLI Lead Service Technician. Curtis back to you!
Customer Q&A: Second Section!
Thank you Caleb! Now as promised here is the second part of our Q&A for this month. A lot of you continued to ask for questions regarding a variety of projects and I will answer some of those now.
Q: "Any plans for New York Central or Bessemer and lake Erie specific steam locomotives like NYC L2d or Bessemer h class 2-10-4s?" - Matthew B on Facebook
A: At this time we don't have any plans for the L2d or H class 2-10-4's. Both are candidates for models we would like to make at some point in the future.
Q: "When will you post your UP Business Cars on your Delivery Schedule? Will they be produced with other roadnames as well? Will there be a Christmas Business Car?" - Kalle on Facebook
A: We haven't posted the Business Cars because for several reasons. First, they are still being designed. Second, we haven't officially announced it yet. Yes, we are working on it but when we make the announcement to dealers, distributors and customers, then they will be on our website. As for the other questions, we are looking into other roadnames as a possibility. The Christmas scheme won't be on these cars but will be on other cars.
Q: "For your upcoming C&NW streamlined E class project would you consider doing the seaboard streamlined pacific as a fantasy scheme?" - John on Facebook
A: We're open to it! We haven't nailed down the details for that project yet, but it is an option!
Q: "Will there ever be future plans for a Baldwin decapod (Strasburg 90) for HO?" - Yuma on Facebook
A: We are interested in making the decapods but they are not in our immediate plans. We'd love to make them in the future!
Q: "Is there any plans to do the N scale Mikados in the stealth series?" - Brad on Facebook
A: We made our most recent run of Mikados in Stealth! You can find the full list of paint schemes and road numbers, here.
Q: "Will you be doing the 2-8-4 Berkshire type locomotives such as the ones NKP 765, PM 1225, and C&O 2716 are part of?" - Tony on Facebook
A: These are models we are very interested in making however we don't have a timeframe right now as to when we could start the process of researching the prototype and begin design work. They are definitely on our radar though!
Q: "Any plans for a Brass Hybrid Frisco T-54/1500 class Mountain?" - Zachary on Facebook
A: We would love to make the 1522! It's another model that is on our radar but don't have a timetable right now.
Q: "Would you be able to collaborate with Walthers on their colors for the Union Pacific Business cars you have mentioned are in the design phase? Would be nice for them all to match perfectly when they come out! I’ll be getting 3 of them!" - Chase on Facebook
A: Yes! We are going to try our best to match the color Walthers has done on their cars. We're glad to see customers like yourself excited for these cars!
Q: "Any chance for different classes of Southern pacific GS 4-8-4 locomotives that haven’t been done outside of brass like the GS-1 and GS-2?" - amtrak_andsp_railfan on Instagram
A: At this time we don't have any plans for the GS-1's or GS-2's. However both are candidates for models we would like to make at some point in the future. Same with the GS-6's!
Q: "Will the q2 have a proper whistle for the decoder?" - model.trainfan on Instagram
A: As with every project, we plan to make the Q2 sounds as accurate as possible. It's tough to have the exact sounds of a locomotive that doesn't exist anymore, but with the help of the Pennsylvania Railroad Historical Society, our library of books, and other research we are confident that our model will have all the features and sounds that the prototype had.
Thanks again to everyone who writes in questions and reads these every month! We look forward to the many models coming your way in 2024 and beyond! As always, we share the latest information on projects on our social media accounts. We are on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok and YouTube. Also please share this newsletter with your friends and tell them to sign up for our emails! Until next month, happy railroading!
-The BLI team