What's Happening at ExactRail?
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.
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