What's Happening at ExactRail?

October 08, 2021 53 Comments

It is time to have a little chat about ExactRail and what is going on.  So go grab a tasty beverage, pull up a cushion and let's make a circle on the floor because it’s time for show and tell.  Do they still do that in school?  If not, that’s too bad because I loved show and tell.  When I was in Kindergarten my Mom brought our cat Snowflake to class and it didn't go too well.  

The cat was not happy.

Let’s get to the point.  On the surface ExactRail has been very quiet for the last... let's just say far too long.  When I took over production about 4 years ago I heavily ramped up the rate we submitted productions to our factory.  9 months later, as many of you know, the factory we were at shut down.  In those 9 months I had submitted 9 different productions and only 2 were delivered before the shutdown happened.  3 years ago we started work at a new factory and began the process of transferring our tooling.  Fortunately, out of hundreds of molds that were moved, only 1 piece of a mold was lost.  I feel we were very lucky.  After the molds were transferred, the process of re-submitting the productions that were previously created began.  At the same time, I started working on new productions for the future.  

Progress at our new factory was painfully slow.  The first car they produced for us was the Berwick 7440 Boxcar.  I felt that this was completed in a relatively good amount of time but not long after things really started to slow down and the factory had more work then they could handle.  We originally planned to have shipments delivered to us about a month apart.  That never happened.  A few months later the Evans 5277 Boxcar was delivered, then then a few more here and there.  Then COVID hit China and everything shut down in January 2020.  More than a month later the factory reopened but with a reduced staff.  During 2020 we were only able to squeeze out 3 releases.  2021 so far has been ugly but things are about to change very quickly.  At the beginning of the year we had a release of our wheels & trucks and until September with the release of the Bethlehem 3737 Hoppers we had nothing… 

Like I said before, on the surface things have been quiet, but below the surface, it’s been very busy.  At the beginning of this year we started production at a second factory so we could start to receive shipments more regularly.

Before moving forward I would like to apologize.  ExactRail has a history of not talking about what we are working on and generally we try to not mention much until we release.  There have been times we have had to change this a little depending on the situation.  I have used this far too long as a bit of a security blanket and I don’t say much or be very active with blogs, forums, Facebook and Instagram.  I’m going to change things up a bit and start talking about projects that are in progress and reveal things sooner than we normally would.  If you like this, please let me know.  My email is at the bottom of this blog.

So, what is coming?  Well... here is a sample:

Milwaukee Road 3898 Ribside Boxcar

Production samples of this car were shown at the St. Louis RPM meet in August.  At that time they had just left the factory.  They sat at the Port of Hong Kong until September 20th.  As of writing this, the ship just arrived today at Long Beach and docked surprisingly quickly.  I had been told that ships have been waiting 1 to 2 weeks before the could dock but this one slipped right in with no wait.  Due to congestion at the port, I don’t know how long it will be before they arrive at our door.  I originally thought October was going to be the release date but now it looks to be early November.  More information on these cars can be found here.

The following projects are ones that have not yet been announced.  More information such as additional paint schemes, delivery dates and pricing will come soon.  At this time we are not accepting pre-orders. 

FMC 5327 Boxcar w/12’ Plug Door

These cars are on the water now, and should be released in December.  Strangely these left the factory a month after the Ribside Boxcars but the ship they are on is due to arrive in a few days.  For this release there will be 8 new paint schemes and more kits.  This will include more East Camden & Highland, Chattahoochee Industrial Railroad, Quebec Central and others.  More information is coming very soon.

Bethlehem 3483 Hoppers

Yes… more Rio Grande Hoppers are coming!!!  As well as Reading Blue Mountain & Northern and more.  This production is finished and leaves the factory any day now, only to get stuck in a port for who knows how long.

Gunderson 7466 Wood Chip Gondola

This production is wrapping up at our new second factory.  We have multiple Southern Pacific schemes as well as the return of Georgia Pacific.  These will be released early 2022. 

PS-2CD 4427 Covered Hopper

Like the Woodchip hoppers, this production of 17… yes, 17 all new schemes is wrapping up now and will be shipping this month as well.  Sorry, this production will be split up across a couple releases and more information on those will come soon.

PC&F 7633 Boxcar

This is an all new car for us.  We have had the tooling for this car for some time but it had some issues so it gathered dust for far too long.  Multiple improvements are currently being made to the body as well as a new roof mold that was recently finished.  In the photo is the first assembly of the test shots of the car.  There are missing details that still need to be added.  This will be arriving in mid to late 2022 in Western Pacific, Milwaukee Road, Missouri Pacific, Texas Pacific as well as other repaints and patched schemes.

GSI 53’-6” Bulkhead Flat Car

Design work is wrapping up on many new parts for this complicated car.  Items being added are multiple versions of A-End lockers, side troughs and more.  This will allow us to unlock Rio Grande, Illinois Central, multiple Great Northern deliveries, Southern, and others.  Tooling for the new parts will begin later this year.

Much More Coming

There is much more in progress right now.  On top of what I just showed are 15 more HO scale car types & 4 N scale cars in various stages of progress.  There are also multiple all new cars in both scales that are in progress as well.  

It feels odd to have so much finally coming our way.

Last of all I want to thank you all for the support & patience you have given ExactRail over the years.

Chris Brimley

cbrimley@exactrail.com





53 Responses

Kevin Pytlak
Kevin Pytlak

October 15, 2021

VERY happy to hear of the news of all the “Forward Motion” happening soon from Exactrail !! I also vote for more PS SOU Waffleside boxes(with pre-1976 build dates, pleeeez !), and my main product recommendation in general is for the PS 2929Cuft 3 bay covered hopper !!! This is a sorely needed car in HO.

Tommy Graham
Tommy Graham

October 12, 2021

What about doing the GSC bulkhead flat in GM&O? I have some photos, modeling info, and a car diagram I can send to you all. Thanks.

Allan D
Allan D

October 12, 2021

Chris,
Thanks for being so forthcoming about Exactrail… we modelers appreciate it! You have been very busy behind the scenes and we on the outside don’t always see and understand your efforts. In full agreement with Lonnie, looking forward to seeing anything in the IC production line. BTW, thanks for attending StL RPM earlier this year. Best wishes! Allan

KimchiHotrail
KimchiHotrail

October 12, 2021

We need a modern refrigerator car in 72 foot long versions.

Tim Keohane
Tim Keohane

October 11, 2021

ExactRail- thanks for the update. I appreciate seeing a little further upstream into the product pipeline, and am excited for what’s to come. You continue to maintain your reputation for producing top-notch scale equipment- thank you!

Rich Wilcox
Rich Wilcox

October 11, 2021

Chris,
Really appreciate the update! As far as the factory/shipping issues – your situation is understandable. I believe these are industry-wide problems and not unique to you. Glad to see you are still in the game given circumstances all of us have had to deal with over the last 2 years. My hope is that within the15 future models that that you will be producing – at least a couple may be 60ft and 86ft Autoparts boxcars from the 1960’s early 1970’s. Greatly needed for those of us who model the 1965-early 2000’s.

Andy Dickinson
Andy Dickinson

October 11, 2021

As an N scale modeller ExactRail has been off the radar for more years than you discuss😔. I have a number of your N scale models and was looking forward to more coming but they did not. I look forward to some NEW N scale models but I’m not getting excited. For what it’s worth would love to see the wood chip gon in N.

Curt Fortenberry
Curt Fortenberry

October 11, 2021

Glad to see an update. Here’s hoping for more Southern PS waffles.

Jim Fitch
Jim Fitch

October 10, 2021

Great to this update and what is coming soon and down the pike. I’m looking forward to D&RGW 3483 quad hoppers. I only got 7 of the first run and 23 of the 16xxx series so will be great to see more in new numbers, maybe 19xxx series and more 16xxxx numbers? The GSC 53’ bulkhead flat cars will be very welcome too. Much to look forward to!

Greg Dixon
Greg Dixon

October 10, 2021

Glad to hear thing are moving forward. Are going to rerelease the Vertipac anytime soon?

Steven R.
Steven R.

October 10, 2021

Yes, I really like this plan. The more information you can give us, the better off we’ll all be! Great idea/plan, keep up the good work!

Mark Hills
Mark Hills

October 10, 2021

Thank you for the update, we’ve been missing ExactRail so it’s good to hear and see new freight cars on the horizon from you. Here’s to your future success!

Dennis Mess
Dennis Mess

October 10, 2021

Best news I have heard all year! Chris anxiously awaiting 4427’s and GSC’s, need UPs!

Bob DeStefano/THOROUGHBRED RR MODELS
Bob DeStefano/THOROUGHBRED RR MODELS

October 10, 2021

Terrific news, Chris! It’s good to hear that some exciting new models are in the works. I can’t wait to hear more about their development. I’m most appreciate of the update on the whole picture of manufacturing and shipping difficulties that ExactRail has had to deal with.

TGX Leasing
TGX Leasing

October 10, 2021

Looking forward to the FMC 5327’s and that by kits, you meant undecorated. I’m hoping to add more to the lease fleet.

Lonnie Bathurst
Lonnie Bathurst

October 10, 2021

Hi Chris – Thank you for the update. It is nice to know and reassuring as well, that things are picking up for ExactRail. By that I mean, as you clearly stated, out in the public space. No doubt, behind the scenes, you and others are scrambling. The factory shutdown impacted the hobby, and as crazy as it is, while COVID continues to disrupt the supply chain, COVID ramped up buyers interest in the hobby. I hope you can ride this wave. Normally, when one prospers, ALL ride the waves of a rising tide. And of course, we IC fans await the arrival of anything. Lonnie Bathurst

Robin
Robin

October 10, 2021

Wow! Just amazing! First: YES, i do love the fact that some products are announced ’cause whenever i can i always prefer ER cars over others, so knowing that something comes allows me to wait for it and not buy somethong else, as said i prefer ER cars. And second: more woodchip cars! Thats amazing! You guys do an amazing job! Take care

L. G. Brandon
L. G. Brandon

October 10, 2021

Will the Ingalls 4-s finally be announced?

Joel Ashcroft
Joel Ashcroft

October 10, 2021

How bout more Vert-a-Pac cars!

Glad to see the updates.

Pat Moore
Pat Moore

October 10, 2021

Dear Exactrail,

We’ve missed you! Glad to hear you are coming back to life again!

Dennis Charles Roberts
Dennis Charles Roberts

October 10, 2021

Glad to hear your production is picking up. I would like to know what’s upcoming so I can plan accordingly..

Rick Simpson
Rick Simpson

October 10, 2021

Chris,
I’m very pleased and excited about your decision to become more transparent and it’s very good news.
I have quite a collection of your products and have been loyal customer we since your very first release.
I look forward to new product announcements coming and I’m sure I will be adding many more of your freight cars to the roster.
With all the choices out there in HO, I still find that EXACTRAIL cars are second to none.
Here’s wishing you and EXACTRAIL the best in 2022!

ruatrainman2
ruatrainman2

October 10, 2021

Hello Chris, thank you for this update. I’m very grateful that Exactrail is still going strong, and I look forward to not only seeing new products but buying them as well. You don’t have to stress yourself out but please do keep us abreast of your plans so we can better pre-order or save our $$ to purchase your products. I’d love to see more patched and faded freight cars from you in the future. Keep up the great work, Dave B. ruatrainman2

Mac Krauss
Mac Krauss

October 10, 2021

We are behind you as your models are always top notch, and quality seems to be the first thing to go in these crazy times! Look forward to the Milwaukee Road box car. Keep up the good work, things will turn around-sometimes it just takes awhile. Like my Grandad said; Keep the Faith!

Mike
Mike

October 10, 2021

I love your work. Are you planning on a 53’ well car in your platinum series?

Bob Miller
Bob Miller

October 10, 2021

I applaud your outreach to your customers, especially in light of the “quiet period” you note. The plans you laid out look exciting, can’t wait to see the results.

I have plenty of the UP, MP, AND CNW open hoppers, plus some PS2-CD 4427 covered hoppers, and am looking for more. I wish you would do another run of the Southern 50’ boxcars!

Kurt
Kurt

October 10, 2021

Excellent. Thanks for the update!!!

Steve Moore
Steve Moore

October 10, 2021

The waite is always worth it. Your products are beautiful, detailed, and just plain super. Keep up the fantasticlly good work.

Andy Crawford
Andy Crawford

October 10, 2021

Thank you so very much for the advanced notice of upcoming releases. Your products are superb, and exist in my fleet as one of only 5 or so manufacturers that I’m satisfied with.

My only complaint has been the lack of ability to budget and plan, and I have often missed out on releases due to not visiting your site frequent enough to insure I notice a new release. I’ve missed both runs of the Southern scheme auto parts boxcars. And I’ve occasionally had to pay scalpers prices on eBay…. Which I very much dislike, but like your products enough to justify it to myself.

I’m very excited for the release of the Southern bulkheads, and I would really love another run of hoppers in Chessie livery, or even better, a run of some of the livery’s like Family Lines, Seaboard, Clinchfield, etc. I hated that I missed out on those cars, and while I’ve found a few of them, I would loved to have purchased the full 24 number run or more, but I missed them.

Keep up the great work, you really are at the top of the game! And thanks so much (again) for the advanced notice and change in practice to pre-announce, it will help me considerably.

Jim Fitch
Jim Fitch

October 10, 2021

Chris, thank you for the update. Nice to have a look ahead!

Thomas E Austin
Thomas E Austin

October 08, 2021

As a longtime ExactRail fan and customer…I am very happy and grateful to see more new projects on the horizon…please keep us apprised! Great Blog!

RAYMOND W HAMM
RAYMOND W HAMM

October 08, 2021

The above announcement will be offered in N Scalle also?

Nigel Misso
Nigel Misso

October 08, 2021

Chris; thank you !! Keep up the good work. I model in HO scale, early 1950s era. I have only one ExactRail® car to date; a B&O M-53 wagon top box car (also have two of the model from Fox Valley Models). The Milwaukee box cars look like a great addition to my collection.

Matt Martin
Matt Martin

October 08, 2021

This is great news Chris! ExactRail has some of the best cars available. I am very excited about some of the cars listed that you have lined up for us.

Thank you.

In regards to the communication aspect, I think we all can appreciate this step you’ve taken and hope the frequency of it continues to increase.

Bobb Losse, Sr
Bobb Losse, Sr

October 08, 2021

I wrote the article in RMC about the RDG version of the Berwick car. It was written as a modeling article (to promote your car!) but was re-written as a prototype article. I tried. One of these days I’ll get around to doing the conversion. Keep the cars coming!

Fred Williams
Fred Williams

October 08, 2021

Glad to hear you’re able to ramp up once again. Like some of your other fans, I work in supply chain, and both domestic and international transportation has never been more problematic. Nevertheless, alerts and previews on what’s coming from ExactRail helps me budget for and prioritize purchases. Looking forward to your updates in the near future and beyond!

David Goodridge
David Goodridge

October 08, 2021

In response to Ian Wither, October 8: As far as I am aware they do ship to the UK. When I bought from them a few years ago they used DHL (unusual for a US company) who were very quick, and dealt with customs and taxes efficiently.

Just Checked: Exact Rail’s shipping info states…

OVERSEAS CUSTOMERS:
… Feel free to purchase items through our website (we ship ExactRail products all over the world) …

David Standen
David Standen

October 08, 2021

Wow , you certainly have alot of exciting products coming, and already have my eye on your unique Cars — especially in the Rio Grande schemes.
Something to look forward to in these strange times, and thanks so much for the glimpse into the Exactrail future 👍

Jason McClain
Jason McClain

October 08, 2021

Exactrail is one of my favorite brands of HO scale equipment. Detail and quality is second to none. My question is about the 64’ ARMN/UP reefers as well. Are there plans to re-release it again? Also look forward to future releases.

Rick Gonzalez
Rick Gonzalez

October 08, 2021

Thanks for the update, it has been quiet lately. Looking forward to more N scale releases from you guys. Hopefully everything works out with the whole shipping mess.

Tyrone Griffin
Tyrone Griffin

October 08, 2021

Hey I love your products and planning to buy many more. My question is are your refrigerator cars coming out for release again?

Thomas Ford
Thomas Ford

October 08, 2021

Thanks for the update. Hope to see theses new cars knowing they will be done right.

G. Anderson
G. Anderson

October 08, 2021

Glad to hear the good news and thanks for the update. Look forward to the new models.

Bill Phillips
Bill Phillips

October 08, 2021

Chris,

I feel your pain with the supply chain. I am in a totally different industry but the outcomes are similar. I think your products are worth the wait and I will continue to buy what fits my layout/era. I do like knowing a bit ahead of time what’s on tap. Keep up the good work and hang in there, things will shake out over time.

Larry Bender
Larry Bender

October 08, 2021

Are any of these new rail cars going to be availible in undecorated ?

Robin Gagnon
Robin Gagnon

October 08, 2021

Thanks a lot for letting us know what is coming down the pipeline, this way we can save money until they come out ;) you guys have great products, keep them coming!

Dan McHugh
Dan McHugh

October 08, 2021

Hi Chris,

Thanks, for the update. We know you had a problem with the factory closure. Glad to see you’re moving forward again. Having a good number of your cars, I’m encouraged that the pipeline is going again. I’m glad this email wasn’t a ‘death notice’ for Exactrail.
Looking forward to new updates and announcements soon.

All the best.
Dan McHugh

Joe Beckman
Joe Beckman

October 08, 2021

Thank you for the update on products. If you are looking at a way to get to people look at how Athearn holds a meeting with everyone live on Tuesdays and Fridays. Now I don’t expect you to do twice a week but maybe on a month or two and set a schedule. I have purchased Exactrail products since your first N scale release as I am now in Ho. Though I don’t buy one of everything released I do buy what is right for me. I have never had any issue with your products nor do I think I ever will. Keep up the good work and I can’t wait to see you all in Wisconsin again hopefully next year.

Steven
Steven

October 08, 2021

Cant wait for those Milwaukee Road box cars – need you guys to product a real good Milwaukee Road Bay side caboose with all lighting!

Thanks for the quality products
Steven

Ian Wither
Ian Wither

October 08, 2021

It would be good if you started to ship to the UK! Yes I know there will be custom charges, but that’s no excuse for not offering this service with your products.

Norm Glock
Norm Glock

October 08, 2021

Chris, I like the “transparency” of letting us know what is happening at ExactRail. Most of us can handle the good, the bad & the ugly. It’s the silence that drives us crazy. Thanks for sharing! Norm

Greg A Williams
Greg A Williams

October 08, 2021

Love all of your ho scale freight cars, I have a few. My comment has to do with one of your past run of the 64 foot ARMN/UP reefer car. Do you plane to re-release it anytime soon. That’s it.

Louie Cano
Louie Cano

October 08, 2021

SO AWESOME,I CANT WAIT FOR THESR TO COME OUT,DEFINITELY NEED TO GET SOME,EXACT RAIL IS ABOVE AND BEYOND THE REST,GREAT PRODUCTS👍💯👍

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