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~ Updated Friday, February 06, 2009 ~

Click here if you want to forego reading the "whys and wherefores" of how we discovered the problem. . .

As most of you know, some years ago P-B-L "sort-of" inherited the Tomalco Track Product Line. . . Of course, seeing as how we've been the #1 source for "Sn3" Models and Equipment since 1978, it suited us to add this highly detailed, and immensely practical line to our "portfolio". It seemed like, how could we lose?

But most of us have come to appreciate, nothing is ever "free". . . Not that we'd ever had any trouble in the past with the Tomalco Track or Turnouts, ( or so we thought ), other than the occasional "somebody" at UPS mindlessly folding a bundle or two of track in half; And us being of the "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" mentality, when the Tomalco Track line was offered to us we thought: Wow! This is great!

That is, until our old friend Bill Black from across the pond in Australia called saying he was having a devil of a time getting his P-B-L Passenger Cars and his "K" Class Locos to run though his newly laid Tomalco Turnouts. Oops. . . What gives?

Since 'ol Bill had never been much of a complainer, we figured there was either a first time for everything, or we'd best have a look-see to figure out if there really was a problem, ( or if 'ol Bill was havin' pipe-dreams.); and if there was a problem, what was it, and what might "the fix" be. . .

Well, as you can see from the photo essay that follows, it turns out 'ol Bill was right. ( My apologies, mate. ) At least SOME of the earlier Tomalco turnouts had a problem. A REAL problem. So, referring back to paragraph 2, it quickly began to look like we'd inherited a "tar baby". . . ( If yer old enough to remember Brer' Rabbit's nemesis in Walt Disney's "Song of the South", this will take on added meaning. . . )

Obviously, not just a few of you, our loyal supporters, had bunches of these things, either already in use, or not. A recall was out of the question because, until we "inherited" the product line, we were only its' resellers, like any other dealer. How could we be expected to "recall" a product not our own, we thinks? But it warn't your problem neither, right? So what to do?

( In all fairness, when we made Micro Engineering, the manufacturer of the stuff, aware of the problem they were horrified. And they promised that future iterations of the things would be "right". . . No simple task since the tooling was made many years ago, and the toolmaker is long gone. But they pulled it off. And no turnouts since that time have evidenced the problem . . . )

Anyhow, after much grinding and gnashing of our collective teeth, we decided that the quick, prudent, and least painful thing to do, in order to get the things into a useable state, would be to 1.) Figure out a fix that the average modeler could implement on his own, then 2.) Photograph the steps required, and 3.) Put 'em on the web for all to see, then 4.) give said site a fancy computerese name like our "Support" page so you'd all be impressed. Such a deal !

So here 'tis guys. The real-deal P-B-L Support Pages on-line. If you follow the links, you'll see that the fix is neither difficult, nor time consuming. Provided you've got the tools we recommend you use when building our car kits. Which most of you own anyway. If you lack one of our PBL-528d, special non-glueable Celcon track gauges, we'll send you one for free with your next order. Just ask. [ They space those flangeways perfectly, as you'll see in the photos that follow, and it's the least we can do for your having to put up with this obvious screwup. Er, inconvenience. ]

That said, if yer ready, we are too ! Let's git it on !

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