At last, the Class 17 "Ribble Cement" that I purchased in April 2008 has finally arrived! I bought it from Rails of Sheffield and, of course, it turned out to be one of the batch that had been fitted with a dodgy motor.
So, in May, I returned it to Rails for a replacement to be fitted once Heljan had issued them and I waited .. and waited .. and waited until, eventually, I was informed by Rails that Heljan had said they would be issuing replacement chassis in November. Well, actually, they did not arrive until December but, no matter, I sat back and waited a bit longer for my loco to finally come back to me but, as Christmas came and went, it failed to materialize.
Upon contacting Rails to find out where my loco was I was told that, according to them, I had cancelled my order and had been given a refund. Er, no, I don't think so - but I did check my Paypal account anyway, just to make sure. No, there was no record of any refund and I had definitely never cancelled my order. Anyway, after several phone calls and quite a few e-mails, Rails eventually admitted their error but, by then, all the green chassis that are fitted to this loco had been used so would I mind a black one?!?!?! Well, yes I would mind to be honest but I simply could not face another interminable wait whilst Heljan delivered more chassis so I plumped for a black chassis and consoled myself with the thought that, well, at least ours will be different!
In fairness to Rails they did then fit the chassis immediately and sent it to Olivia's Trains, as requested by me, so that Neil and his team could fit a sound decoder. Usually I like to do this task myself but, in this instance, I thought it better to let the experts do it since the space in these locos is somewhat limited!
At this point I rather foolishly became quite excited at the thought that, at last, I would be receiving my loco within a couple of days. Fate, however, had other ideas because Olivia's were clean out of decoders suitable for this loco and were waiting for a new shipment. This meant a further wait of two weeks before my long lost loco arrived yesterday - hooray!!!!! Now I look forward to trying it out on Saturday - but not before I have fitted the headcode numbers to each end - which means I have the fiddly job of taking the loco apart - DAMN!!!!
I would be very interested to hear from anyone else out there who has had a dodgy Class 17 and what your experience was in getting it fixed. Please let me know!