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Model Railroading > Intermountain HO AC-12 Cab Forward Upgrade Program

Date: 05/16/13 05:12
Intermountain HO AC-12 Cab Forward Upgrade Program
Author: brfriedm

With IM's 3rd release of their HO AC SP steam locomotives, they have announced an upgrade program for the 1st 2 runs. Maybe the 3rd run is the charm! Bruce

The 3rd release of InterMountain’s HO Cab Forward steam locomotive (AC-12) is eminent. We expect to be shipping these locomotives in August or September. In the meantime, our upgrade program for the 1st and 2nd release HO AC-12 Cab Forward locomotives is now in place. For those of you who are interested in upgrading your 1st or 2nd release purchase we have enclosed an information sheet to be included with your locomotive when it is returned to us. Click here to view the information sheet.

During the evolution of this project we have determined that the NorthWest Short Line motor provides optimum performance for the operation of this locomotive. The upgrade program provides for the installation of the NWSL motor in each locomotive that is returned to us. In addition, the gearing ratio was increased from the 1st to the 2nd release, providing for increased operating speed. If you have a 1st release HO AC-12 you have the option of upgrading both the gearing and the motor. Details are included in the enclosed information sheet.

The upgrade process will be very labor intensive, therefore there may be some delays in returning your locomotive to you. We will try to keep you advised of the status of your locomotive on request. While we would like for you to submit your locomotive at your convenience, we will be able to do only limited upgrades for the next 60 to 90 days as we are waiting for some of the replacement parts that will be necessary.

Thank you for your support of InterMountain Railway Company. We obviously have no purpose other than serving you and your fellow modelers. Without you we would not exist. With you we will be able to continue to produce prototypically accurate, highly detailed models in HO, N, and Z scales for the discerning modeler.
HO AC-12 Cab Forward Upgrade Program

Upgrade your locomotive to match the upcoming 3rd release of the HO Cab Forward by enhancing your model with
one of the several options below.
● PAC12-01: Geared Axle Upgrade (1st Release Locomotive) – Replace the drive axles in your locomotive so
that it has the slotted axles for improved performance – Cost = FREE
● PAC12-02: Motor & Geared Axle Upgrade (1st Release Locomotive) – This upgrades the motor with a
NorthWest Short Line (NWSL) motor, and includes a Geared Axle Upgrade – Cost = $75
● PAC12-03: Motor, Gear Box (Transmission), & Full Axle Upgrade (1st Release Locomotive) – This
upgrades the motor with a NorthWest Short Line (NWSL) motor, along with all 8 drive axles, Worm Gears,
and the Gear Box. This upgrades your locomotive making it identical to the upcoming 3rd release. - Cost =
● PAC12-04: Motor Upgrade (2nd Release Locomotive) – This upgrades the motor with a NWSL motor
making it identical to the 3rd release. – Cost = $75
● PAC12-05: Install and/or Replace the existing sound decoder with a ESU LokSound decoder. (1st & 2nd
Release Locomotive) This will match the sound included in the 3rd release of Cab Forwards. - Cost = $85
Please complete the following information and include it with your locomotive when you send it to us for upgrade.
Send all upgrades to:
InterMountain Railway Company
ATTN: Service
1224 Boston Ave
Longmont, CO 80501
Full Name: __________________________________________________________________
Mailing / Shipping Street Address: _______________________________________________
City, State, Zip Code (or Country Information): _____________________________________
Telephone #: ______________________ eMail Address: ______________________________
Qty: Part # Description Cost Total
PAC12-01 Geared Axle Exchange Free Free
PAC12-02 Motor & Geared Axle Upgrade $75
PAC12-03 Motor, Gear Box (Transmission), & Full Axle Upgrade $100
PAC12-04 Motor Upgrade $75
PAC12-05 Sound Upgrade $85
(Send no money now, you will be contacted for payment at the completion of your upgrade.)
This is a first come, first served offering. Depending on demand there could be extended wait times. Please take
advantage of this offer soon for the most timely response but understand there could be a delay in processing your
locomotive(s). Thank you.
InterMountain Railway Company 800-472-2530 service@intermountain-railway.com

Date: 05/16/13 18:20
Re: Intermountain HO AC-12 Cab Forward Upgrade Program
Author: tomstp

May be a while in coming but it sounds like customer oriented service. My hat is off to them.

Date: 05/16/13 21:40
Re: Intermountain HO AC-12 Cab Forward Upgrade Program
Author: outpost

tomstp Wrote:
> May be a while in coming but it sounds like
> customer oriented service. My hat is off to them.

I'm sorry to disagree. For the price they charged us for the 1st run, they need to make it right for free. Frank initially DENIED there was a problem at the SP convention a few years ago right to my face. "We're not sure there's a problem because not everyone has complained". Then, later, lo and behold - yes there IS a problem but we will fix it for free. No, wait, we changed our mind - not free but we will fix our error for a charge. C'mon guys...the only "free" fix I see above isn't a complete fix, nor are they paying my shipping.

The model is absolutely beautiful (except for the VERY Gold/Amber LEDs). One day the manufacturers will figure out that "GOLD" LEDs are just as wrong as "blue" LEDs. Yellow-glow is the key here for anyone who cares. An incandescent bulb isn't blue, isn't white, and isn't FORT KNOX GOLD either. Yes, I did tell him this in person for future runs, but alas, second run was released again with "GOLD". Maybe the third time is the charm.

Date: 05/17/13 01:45
Re: Intermountain HO AC-12 Cab Forward Upgrade Program
Author: ajgreen

Customer service. Hmmmm. Like many I purchased this new locomotive when it first came out, one just wasn't enough, so I pre-order two of them. They arrived and granted, were stunning models in the box with some very good levels of detail. Sadly the attraction didn't last a whole lot longer. Out of the box they were slow, and noisy. I was glad I didn't spend the extra money on the sound equipped units, as one wouldn't have heard the sound over the gearbox whine.

Fast forward a couple of years, I finally found out about the upgraded transfer box (from the motor down to almost axle level for distribution to the front and rear engine). Intermountain kindly sent out two replacement transfer boxes (good service). What was shocking was the US$60 invoice in the box (not so good) for the supply of them, packaging and shipping. And to top it off, they had missed some parts out of the new parts (certainly not good service)!

After spending a good couple of hours installing the transfer boxes, I found all the universal joints were not free. It would appear that the diameter of the socket in the transfer box shafts was too small for the older universal shafts. Appart they came again to pry the sockets appart.

Finally they were running at last, and a respectable speed, and with very little noise.

In the event that the I had not done this, and would have waited another 3 - 4 years for this news, I would surely not be paying for the upgrade. Come on Intermountain, you stuffed up with the first batch! Given the cost of these models, the valued customers should not be having to put their hands in their pockets to pay for a fix to what was essentially a poorly performing model.

Many years on from buying these, I have invested in another Intermountain model in recent times, that of a ES44AC with sound. I am very impressed with this model, and will look to buy more in the future. However the scars of dealing with a less than ideal performance of a past Intermountain model still haunt me.

Come on Intermountain, step up to the mark.


New Zealand.

Date: 05/17/13 21:19
Re: Intermountain HO AC-12 Cab Forward Upgrade Program
Author: bnsfmodeler

Intermountain I think your doing a huge business mistake as my company did years ago and was never able to recover. People purchased a product that they believed to be the best as you advertised, now you expect them to pay for your mistake. With today's information and news traveling a million miles a seconded. this will only stop people from preordering from you so they can wait you see review on your products before they buy. This will present a cost and lost of sales that will cost you a decade to recover from.

You have been advised.

Date: 08/02/15 06:22
Re: Intermountain HO AC-12 Cab Forward Upgrade Program
Author: Badd455

Does anyone know if this upgrade program is still available? I'd like to hear from anyone that has had the work done and if they are happy with the locomotive now. Like many others I purchased the 1st run and was sorely disaapionted with it. Within a couple hours or run time the front drivers fell off the locomotive. It was sent back for repair and after it's return the rear drivers fell off. I went sefveral rounds with Intermountain about the poor qualities of the locomotive to no avail. Since then it has sat in the box.  I see this thread is old but  I do agree with the previous posts that charging us to "upgrade" is not right. It really isn't an upgrade. They are fixing problems that should be fixed for free.

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