Thanks. You've convinced me. I'll get one and cross my fingers.
Any specific suggestions on how to "care" for these to make them last decades? TIA
Buy a maintenace kit similar to link below. Also wipe down the metal on the tracks before and after use each year. A very slight damp cloth should suffice for most years. Use track cleaner maybe every other year.
Got my $160 "Like New" set yesterday and it IS like new, other than it's missing the railing for the ass end of the caboose. I don't really want to send it back, so hopefully they can send just that part. While the train is attractive and heavy, it's definitely a crappy China build and nothing great. The bell from the less expensive plastic kit is a helluva lot nicer than the bell in the one, surprisingly.
There's a guy on eBay that sells LEDs for the set as well: Red/orange to simulate the fire at the boiler, a red LED taillight for the caboose, and an illuminated drum for the caboose. The drum isn't correct for the movie, but it's way cool nonetheless.
I'm in the same boat with my "like new" set. Mine has a broken wheel arm on the engine and one of the cars is missing end part with the doors. The rest of the set looks to be in good shape. My first mods are to change the smoke unit to a fan type and add the "ALL ABOARD POLAR EXPRESS" sound board to one of the passenger cars.
Spancontrol, does the front light on the engine come on when you try moving the train. Also try changing the position of the reverse switch. Amazon did drop the ball on saying these thing are like new. Mine had the return printout which stated that train stopped working after 2 day, which turned out to be false.
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