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Equipment Frustrations

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After a full two weeks, I have cancelled my original order for equipment from Tony's Train XChange. The cancellation policy unambiguously states "[o]rder cancellation requests must be submitted ... within 24 hours", which I have exceeded by at least 300 hours. Most of what I ordered was out of stock with an expected restocking time of 10 days, but I think it likely that the supply chain has been disrupted by the Wuhan virus.

I will not be receiving:
  • Kato N 106-6273 EMD F7 Freight Train Set, Std. DC, ATSF Bluebonnet
  • Digitrax DN163K0B Decoder for Kato N scale F3A & F3B
  • Digitrax DTXZEPE Zephyr Express Starter Set DCS52
  • Atlas #2092 N Scale Code 55 Terminal Joiners

I view this as a pass / fail customer service test for Tony's Train XChange. I might end up eating the cost of the $320 order but that is a small price to pay to learn what kind of culture they have at Tony's.

What am I doing instead?
  • I have ordered an in stock ScaleTrain GE DASH 9-44CW, Santa Fe/Warbonnet #680 with DCC & Sound Equipped to replace the Kato EMD F7 ATFS Loco and the DN163K0B decoder.
  • Instead of the Digitrax DCS52, I have ordered a Digitrax DCS240 with a PS2012E power supply.

The best I can ascertain is that Dash 9 Loco #680 was still in service with BNSF 2018, but I will not get the experience of dropping in a decoder. On the positive side, it will have LokSound and it will arrive in just a few days instead of at some undetermined date in the distant future. I already have a few cars for it to push around on a bit of track.

The DCS240 is far more capable then the DCS52 but I also had to purchase a separate power supply and it does not have a throttle. I will need to launch my model of a model railroad with JMRI to run even my first train #680 Loco back and forth on a bit of track. I also bought a Digitrax BXP88 LocoNet occupancy detector that arrived today and I have a few Smail switching machines on the way. I have spent a small fortune at Fast Tracks, awesome people, so that I can hand lay track and switches.

The short term plan for my model of a model railroad:
  • get a train moving on a bit of strait track.
    • atlas flex track
    • DCS240 and PS2012E
    • Connect laptop running JMRI to DCS240
    • run Loco #680 back and forth on the track.

  • Add power management and block occupancy detection, BXP88, and automatic train control to run Loco #680 back and forth on my bit of straight track.
  • build and add 4 turnouts and a siding with two interlocking plants controlled by JMRI using Smails.
  • add BNSF prototypical signaling for both ABS and the two interlocking plants.
  • add a second train to automatic control.
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'N' Scale Related , Prototype Related


  1. Marksomebody's Avatar
    I have had five orders with Tony’s and each was flawless. Yes I am waiting on a few back ordered items and they are working with a small crew Were you offered credit for the missed items or never charged..
    pits a small business so I vote give em a break. My $.02

    ps the prices on Kato track are outstanding.
  2. MoPac's Avatar
    I too have a backorder through Tony's Train exchange. I do know the reason why it is backordered. This is not their fault, it appears Atlas shipping has grinded to a halt due to the COVID-19. No, its not Atlas's fault this time either due to the usual slow order. I myself am patient. Because I couldn't pass up the deal they have for the new Atlas GE U23 gold series. After reviewing what you went through, I too agree with @Marksomebody . Tony's isn't a big hobby shop. Plus they bent over backwards by offering you credit. Backorders happen and life happens plus they stepped up to the plate to accommodate you. If this would have happen to me, I would be praising them for whats it worth.