The Best and the Worst from ExactRail

Have you ever wondered which paint schemes have performed the best for a particular model train company, and which paint schemes have performed the worst?

You may find the answer interesting. With this blog, ExactRail will disclose our best and the worst performing paint schemes of all-time.

A few caveats before getting started. 1) The list is not pro-rated. Early releases have a greater chance of doing well. 2) This blog only compares the sales of individual paint schemes.  Specific models or car types themselves are not compared.  And 3) this list only takes into account HO scale.

An additional note, one may be mislead if one assumes that there is a relationship between the time to sell-out of inventory and volume sold.  Models that sell-out the fastest are not always the ones to sell the most. ExactRail orders different quantities for every paint scheme based on our unique expectations.  In some cases, we have confidence in particular paint schemes to sell well over time. For these products, we may be comfortable carrying inventory for sometime. Other times, we have under-evaluated demand. It has happened that we have sold out of large inventories in mere hours. It has also happened that small quantities remain in inventory for a period well in excess of our target. The point is, there is no way to judge from the outside what volume of product is sold by looking only at the time to sell-out.

So, what paint schemes have been the best, and what have been the worst?

exactrail.com ps-2cd4427 covered hopper scoular

The worst: the Scoular PS-2CD 4427 Covered Hopper:

ExactRail has released over 100 different paint schemes of the PS-2CD 4427 Covered Hopper. It is one of our most successful cars to date, but from among some very successful paint schemes, one deserves the mantle for being a serious underperformer,
The Scoular PS-2CD 4427 Covered Hopper.

It’s our opinion that the Scoular paint scheme is great looking.  There are no graphics or paint errors that would disrupt sales.  The car is an accurate match for the prototype. And so, we are slightly perplexed. It just seems as though our quantities are a solid miss for demand. The Scoular car was released in Dec. 2010. And five years later, we have sold 33% of our inventory.

exactrail.com trinity trincool reefer armn/up

The Best: UP/ARMN Trinity TRINCool Reefer:

Based on the number of units sold for any one particular paint scheme, the UP/ARMN Trinity TRINCool Reefer has been outstanding! Over four releases, we have sold 48 times as many cars in this paint scheme as we have the Scoular PS-2CD 4427 Covered Hopper. It has been outstanding!

Happy Railroading!


Blaine Hadfield

22 Responses

Richard Coleman,Jr
Richard Coleman,Jr

April 28, 2016

There is a need for modern tank cars that carry sodium hydroxide,clorine and phosphorous acid. Also the larger cars that transport chemicals such as acrylic acid in twin dome units built by trinity and utlx and single domes for vinyl chloride and ethylene oxide would be nice. Maybe a modular kit of tank cars.

Patrick Harris
Patrick Harris

March 27, 2016

Despite being a Southeast modeler, I bought the Scoular car and like it very much. I model the 1970s, so this car is in the sweet spot for that era. Perhaps doing some research and sharing info about the most common routes these cars traveled and roads for which they make the most sense would be a spur for people to buy more. I checked FF and RRPA, and only one of the grey cars was shown, shot by Chris Butts in California. The 4-bay Scoular cars seemed to move through Montana, Idaho, and Texas based on the Fallen Flags site:
LO 1410 – Grand Island NE – 09/1979 – {Jim PArker Photo}
LO 1433 – FORT WORTH TX – 07/09/94 – {GARY STUEBBEN Photo}
LO 1491 – FT. WORTH TX – 09/00/1993 – {GARY STUEBBEN Photo}
LO 1528 – Blackfoot ID – 03/94 – {Dave Krumenacker Photo}
LO 1534 – Kansas City MO – Oct 87 – {Tony Moses Photo}
LO 1560 – Blackfoot ID – 07/05/97 – {Dave Krumenacker Photo}
LO 1670 – Helena MT – 04/28/00 – {Dave Krumenacker Photo}
LO 1681 – New Haven IN – 01/13/80 – {Alan Gaines Photo}
LO xxxx – Rockford ID – 06/21/98 – {Dave Krumenacker Photo}
As for the car not selling well because it’s plain-jane grey, I don’t think that’s relevant. Some years back one of your competitors sold a 4750cf PS2-CD in plain grey without reporting marks and it sold phenomenally. While there is a segment of the modeling world more concerned with ‘purty colors’ than prototype, not producing the free-runner cars (which often have even less lettering than the Scoular car) simply feeds into that. I commend Exactrail for making this car, and if I can find a legitimate reason to show more of them in the Southeast in the 1970s, I will add to the two that I have. I’ve got 85 Exactrail cars on my roster, so I clearly am happy with your products.

Rick Simpson
Rick Simpson

March 16, 2016

The hopper is a fine car.
I wish to hell you would offer the UP version in the later scheme with the UP shield and spaced reporting numbers. That would sell like Hell …I’m waiting for 12 numbers so get busy.

I have almost every number of the ARMN reefers – look great in unit service or mixed in consist.

My advice ??? GET BUSY with. New run of the TTX ‘forward thinking’ Trenton bulkhead flats at least 6 numbers, AND…
The Gunderson Hi Cube in the ‘forward thinking’ scheme in 12 numbers… The single number car you did was gone so fast I couldn’t get one ordered.
You guys are way overdue for something really new so I expect something great from the ‘quiet before the storm’…more Union Pacific please!

David Patch
David Patch

February 29, 2016

By my “era,” 1990, a lot of 4427s that I knew of had been relegated to secondary service, such as hauling salt. I’ve bought as many of them as I can find lettered for Cargill because many of its 4427 ended up hauling Cargill Salt out of the mine near Ithaca, N.Y.

One major exception I can think of continues to be The Andersons 4427’s, which into the early 1990s hauled feed grain to at least one destination I’m aware of: Franklin, Connecticut on the Central Vermont. I’m not sure if K&L Feed or Kofkoff Egg Farm, which had neighboring plants there, was the consignee but I do remember seeing those cars there. In more recent times. These were the cars The Andersons used for their own grain traffic long before they got into the railcar-leasing business. The Andersons’ 4427s continue to operate in local elevator shuttles here in Toledo, but no longer go out on the road that I know of.

Barry Miller
Barry Miller

February 29, 2016

Call me crazy but I kind of like the looks of it. I think it would look good in a mixed contest to have two or three oddball cars.
A.B. Dean
A.B. Dean

February 29, 2016

SCOULAR Well, a $6 Billion dollar a year company is nothing to sneeze at BUT they should have used the same logos on these cars as they did on their cylindrical hoppers…with the nifty “corn ears”. The “computer font” is also a bit unattractive. Nothing you guys can do anything about, and I’m not being ugly here, but that is one stodgy looking car. PUT ‘em on fire sale and I’ll try and do the right thing. While we are on it, were any of your 100 paint schemes big enough sellers to try another run?

Mike Kulak
Mike Kulak

February 29, 2016

I am sorry to see that your hopper while a great model has done poorly in sales, but as I have said many times before most manufacturers drop the ball on what modelers want. The current demand for most modern modelers are pretty much ignored we have asked for Carbon Black hoppers, epic trash cars and containers, PTTX modern pipe flats(BLMA did the early version), BNSF modern reefers, Trinity covered hoppers(not another 5161), Trinity 5850 Covered hopper(plenty of colorful roadnames for 90’s modelers plus the car is still running in second had service.)Also the multi-max autorack as well as the aluminum autoracks are needed. The popularity of your ARMN/UP Reefer shows you that modern sells well. While I love the new loco’s coming out from everyone there are too many coming out and I hope Exactrail never gets into making them and sticks to Freight cars and other accessories. Good Luck in the future and hopefully more unique items will sell better for you.

Fred Williams
Fred Williams

February 29, 2016

Among the best and the worst, you really need to do more of the Trinity 6275 Plug Door Boxcar in the TTX FBOX Scheme. It was one of the fastest to sell out, hands down. I totally missed out for taking one day to consider how many. Ended up with NONE. Thanks for great products!

Thomas Flemming
Thomas Flemming

February 29, 2016

I hope you are gonna do some more Thrall 2244 15 panel gondolas I feel if you did a Burlington Northern full lettering scheme with logo would do well green car, or gsc 53’ 6 flat cars with bulkheads would be nice to see.

Mark Wooten
Mark Wooten

February 29, 2016

With the UP refer being the best seller for you guys how about taking care of all us BNSF fans and come out with the BNSF refer like the one with the ice cycles on it. I find it interesting that Microscale makes the decals for the car but no one makes the car itself. If you guys did it you would beat many other companies to the punch. It’s a matter of time before Athearn, Walthers. Atlas or Intermountain comes out with it. I know it would be a hit. Just my thoughts guys I love Exact Rail!

Mark Wooten
Mark Wooten

February 29, 2016

With the UP refer being the best seller for you guys how about taking care of all us BNSF fans and come out with the BNSF refer like the one with the ice cycles on it. I find it interesting that Microscale makes the decals for the car but know one makes the car itself. If you guys did it you would beat many other companies to the punch. It’s a matter of time before Athearn, Walthers. MDC or Intermountain comes out with it. I know it would be a hit. Just my thoughts guys I love Exact Rail!

Henry H. Pinkham
Henry H. Pinkham

February 29, 2016

Suggestions:

1. In my opinion, the car is uninteresting in its grey color. Paint out the roadname and number in another (bright) color such as red, yellow or white, like the patch paint car you had before. You would probably need one or two printing pads only.

Regards

Henry H. Pinkham

Michael Tolich
Michael Tolich

February 29, 2016

Re: Scoular. Perhaps if you did them yellow with black ends, which I believe most of them were http://www.railcarphotos.com/Search.php?SearchReportingMark=SBGX&SearchCarTypeID=21&Search=Search they might sell better. In the meantime are you going to fire sale them?

Roger Beckett
Roger Beckett

February 29, 2016

Not a surprise as the reefer was a long awaited new model..at least in N.

James Seacat
James Seacat

February 29, 2016

I’d love to purchase several of the HO scaled TRINcool Reefers if only they’d stay in stock long enough for me to put in an order! They look outstanding! Used to see the real thing parked along the BNSF mainline not far from my home!

Rick Schonfelder
Rick Schonfelder

February 28, 2016

I am very surprised at this news on the Scoular. For some reason that car name has always appealed to me and is quite common in the 80ies and 90ies. Not common in terms of there being unit trains of them, but rather that they always seemed to appear in a train that I looked at during those times.

CJ Beyer
CJ Beyer

February 28, 2016

I can never purchase the UP/ARMN cool refer In HO because you are always out of stock, why?

Pariphan Chantasan
Pariphan Chantasan

February 28, 2016

All them of waffle box car underfloor detail was easiy to edamage such as brake wire or stair. And TTX Autorack car the emblem TTX was easier to detached I alway use cimedine to adhere it.

Ted Curphey
Ted Curphey

February 28, 2016

I wonder if the problem with the Scoular hopper was that most modelers are more familiar with the yellow cars, especially the cylindrical hoppers with the double corn cobs. In all my years of railfanning and working as a conductor and engineer, I’ve never seen a gray Scoular car, but plenty of the yellow cars.
Now the popularity of the UP reefer is easy to understand. Modelers were wanting to model the unit trains UP runs for RailEx from Wallula, WA and Delano, CA to Chicago and the east coast. The demand was such that not only was the Exact Rail car successful over several runs, the comparable BLMA car also sold well.

Steven Berg
Steven Berg

February 28, 2016

Well, I love the Wabash N-scale covered hoppers from you guys. Beautifully detailed, and painted. I trust these have been great sellers for you too!

David Payne
David Payne

February 28, 2016

I keep waiting for you to manufacture the Greenville Steel Car Company 70-ton wood chip hoppers which would serve sixties-era modelers of SAL, NS, GM&O, RI, L&N, CG, and perhaps others which you seemed interested in producing a few years ago. Better catch us older modelers while we’re still interested … and alive … just sayin’ …

Tom Savio
Tom Savio

February 28, 2016

I don’t think this is sound comparison. How many SCOULAA unit trains run normally? I don’t think many if any. On the other hand I often see unit trains and long blocks of ARMN cars. Hence a modeler would have more reason to buy more of the latter.

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