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ExactRail Model Railroad Blog

June 1, 2013 10:17:07 AM MDT


Does this look familiar to you?

On May 29, 2013, CNW gondola #741011 was delivered to Pleasant Grove, Utah. This was of interest to us, because in December 2011, ExactRail released a model of this exact number, CNW 741011, when we released the Thrall 2244 Gondola!

Thrall’s heavy top-chord, 15-panel 2244 gondolas are a relatively unique prototype. Rock Island and Detroit, Toledo & Ironton were the only original owners of 2244 gondola with these unique variations.  These cars were later parted out to the CNW, Conrail, Union Pacific and South Shore railroads.  The CNW received these cars from the Rock, and they were repainted into the North Western’s Clinton Green scheme in 1987.

We photographed the interior of the car for those of you who would like a photo reference for weathering.  Have you ever seen a gondola with such a clean interior?


Blaine Hadfield Vice President, Product ExactRail

Posted in ExactRail Blog

May 23, 2013 12:22:47 PM MDT

Geneva Steel, UP

Geneva Steel was the largest steel mill west of the Mississippi, and one of the United States’ last integrated steel mills.

As a young boy who grew up in Orem, Utah, if I were willing to ride my BMX bike down the hill at 105 North street (notorious only for the fact that once down, one always had to ride back up again,) I could be long entertained.  There was always another train.  And of course, I was always willing to ride down that hill.

By 2004, Geneva Steel was hopelessly idle, and the project of permanently dismantling the complex begun.   Wanting to document the mill one last time, I rented a powered lift from the local construction equipment dealer.  However, I learned that the bucket of the lift rose so slowly that I could not possibly position myself in time to photograph any train.   So, I raised the bucket to full height, and I waited.

Of course, in 2004, traffic was not as it was in the early 1980s.  In twelve hours, I only came down twice: once for a quick lunch, and once to explain why I was hours in a raised bucket to a local farmer, who, by the way, left shaking his head.

In that time, I only saw two trains.

I suppose that there is equilibrium in nature.  Karma was going to have to pay for cheap thrills of times past.  That said, I value all of my time spent watching trains near Geneva Steel.  It was always worth it.


Blaine Hadfield Vice President, Product ExactRail

Posted in ExactRail Blog

May 17, 2013 12:25:42 PM MDT

Thrall 63' Center Beam Flat Car

The release of ExactRail’s Thrall 63’ Center-Beam Flat Car is anticipated for late summer. The center-beam project was moved to a new factory in March when the previous partner failed to meet ExactRail’s quality standards.

The factory used to for the finish-work on the Thrall 63’ Center-Beam Flat Car was struggling to meet ExactRail’s standards. After three iterations of deco samples were rejected, we determined that we needed to move the project to a new factory. This partner gave the project a diligent effort, and they are indeed talented model makers. Unfortunately, they weren’t able to meet our demands with this project. We moved the project to another factory to protect our customer’s interests to have an exceptionally fine product.

We have already received assembly samples from the new partner on this project, and these samples are right in line with our expectations (see picture above.)

For more information on the Thrall 63’ Center Beam Flat Car, visit our announcement page.

Blaine Hadfield Vice President, Product ExactRail

Posted in ExactRail Blog

May 6, 2013 3:53:00 PM MDT

NN 93 East Ely 3980 3 Web Ready]

The Nevada Northern Railway is a treasure.

On Memorial Day weekend 2012, I was traveling “The Loneliest Road in America” when I happened onto Nevada Northern’s Alco-built consolidation, #93. As the sun set, the ambient temperature immediately chilled. I photographed the locomotive in fading light and watched it steam away into the desert.

In Ely, Nevada, history lives. We applaud the Nevada Northern for operating in such a way that the authenticity of railroading’s past is so well preserved!

NN 93 East Ely 3966 4

Blaine Hadfield Vice President, Product ExactRail

Posted in ExactRail Blog

April 29, 2013 12:38:34 PM MDT

SP Caboose, Modena UT Drybrush

While returning from the Western Prototype Modelers Meet, we had the opportunity to visit various railroad locales along the way.

In the picture above, Southern Pacific C-50-9 caboose #4742 and a short cut of Maintenance of Way equipment occupy the wye at Modena, Utah on April 14, 2013. Isolated and remote, Modena is in the western reaches of the great Escalante desert. Few travel the bi-way that brings one to this desolate place, and very few call Modena home.

That said, Modena has a few, very attractive period structures; it also has a Harriman-style water tank—one of only two left on Union Pacific’s Los Angeles and Salt Lake system!

Blaine Hadfield Vice President, Product ExactRail

Posted in ExactRail Blog

April 17, 2013 12:13:53 PM MDT

Gold Kist 4427 ACI Label

ExactRail is pleased to have attended the Western Prototype Modelers (WPM) meet on April 13th in San Bernardino, CA!

Thank you to all those with whom we had the opportunity to visit. Also, we extend our genuine compliments to the show organizers—thank you for another successful event.

While at WPM, ExactRail debuted new paint schemes of our PS-2CD 4427 Covered Hopper. To highlight one of these replicas, we are pleased to give a preview of the all-new Gold Kist paint scheme!

Gold Kist leased PS-2CD 4427s from Pullman-Standard’s leasing division, TLDX. These cars were formally Southern States Cooperative cars, and with flair indicative of the times, the cars were repainted in an image-conscious yellow with an attractive placard at the center. Also, Gold Kist extended the ACI plate outboard of the ribs, which is a unique feature that we have only seen on Gold Kist prototypes. We are proud to accurately capture these features with our model! As always, the results of this kind of attention to detail are yours to enjoy.

For the upcoming announcement of our Gold Kist model and others, please watch our announcement page or follow us on Facebook!

PS-2CD 4427 Covered Hopper: Gold Kist

Blaine Hadfield Vice President, Product ExactRail

Posted in ExactRail Blog

March 13, 2013 4:53:51 PM MDT

 Conrail Historical Society reviews ExactRail’s Magor 4750 Covered Hopper]

Did you know that the Conrail Historical Society independently reviewed ExactRail’s Magor 4750 Covered Hoppers?

On the Conrail Modelers group page, Ed Marshall Lewis of the Conrail Historical Society wrote:

“This is the new standard! Overall I will say this car scoring a 14 out of 15 points possible is a great testament to the quality of products that has become expected of ExactRail. Starting with the already popular Magor 4750, this new round of paint schemes clearly shows ExactRail's commitment to setting the bar in detail and lettering…. Let this model be the Cadillac of your Conrail covered hopper fleet.”

Thank you Ed for reviewing our models, and thank you to everyone at the Conrail Historical Society. We look forward to supporting Conrail modelers well into the future!

Blaine Hadfield Vice President, Product ExactRail

Posted in ExactRail Blog

February 20, 2013 10:26:01 AM MST

Have you noticed reporting marks or other stencils on truck side frames?

CLSX #501 Magor 4750 Covered Hopper Truck Side Frames

Stencils of this kind are common to contemporary freight cars. ExactRail introduced stencils to truck side frames with our HO scale release of the Trinity 64’ TRINCool Reefer. With our Magor (pronounced MAY-gor) 4750 Covered Hopper, we have replicated these stencils anew on the contemporary repaint versions of this model.

Giving attention to the small lettering on truck side frames is another example of how ExactRail is closing the gap between the prototype and models. Of course, we do this to provide our customers with the most authentic models. We hope you enjoy the results.

CLSX Truck Reporting Mark Conrail Red Truck Reporting Marks BN truck reporting marks BN truck reporting marks

Blaine Hadfield Vice President, Product ExactRail

Posted in ExactRail Blog

December 22, 2012 8:02:55 AM MST

The Rising Popularity of Model Trains

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Mark Hill

Posted in ExactRail Blog

December 17, 2012 2:56:25 PM MST

With the release of the Thrall 63’ Center-beam Flat Car approaching, we wanted to give a status update of it and other ExactRail projects.

Our previously announced release date for the Thrall 63’ Center-Beam Flat Car requires amendment. We anticipate releasing this car in the first quarter of 2013. The combination of etched brass parts and molded plastic details make this car exceptionally complex to assemble and paint. We rejected the early painted samples of the model, and I traveled to our assembly partner to immediately oversee our benchmarks for quality. The result of this was that some of the assembly and painting fixtures were refitted entirely, and this translates into delays. That said, we have photographs from the second article samples, and they make us very excited. For those who eagerly awaited these models before the New Year, please accept my apologies. Our first objective is to bring quality products to market of the highest authenticity.

For N-scale modelers, the Pullman-Standard "Bow Tie" Roof is also upcoming. The roof profile of the first articles was thick by our standards, and we chose to make some tooling revisions. The result is that the roof features are exceptionally fine and push the boundaries of what is moldable. We plan to have these available very soon.

Finally, ExactRail is in full production of our all-new wheelsets. At this point, a release only awaits the delivery of packaging to our Orem, Utah facilities. Our intention is to release the HO-Scale Nickel-Silver Fine Scale Wheelsets as the first round of releases for this product. In the mean time, we are stockpiling wheel sets and looking forward to a release announcement near the New Year.

As far as future projects are concerned, I am pleased to mention that we have finished the engineering on three all-new models, and they are already being fed into our tooling department. As a hint, these particular projects will fill a needed gap for 1970’s to present era unit train modelers—and for us, they will be some of the most interesting announcements of 2013.

Best regards,

Blaine Hadfield Vice President, Product ExactRail

Posted in ExactRail Blog

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