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Model Railroading > ScaleTrains HO 48' 2-Hood Coil Cars


Date: 02/03/23 16:32
ScaleTrains HO 48' 2-Hood Coil Cars
Author: atsf121

I was excited to see a new coil car option in HO announced by ScaleTrains, especially one that fits the era I model.  Now, I might have a few too many coil cars, but that's a debate for another day.  This car is different than the Rivet Counter 42' Thrall-Trinity car they made a few years ago.  I have one of the NS Protect III cars and it's fabulous.  I was curious about eras for some of the paint schemes on this new car, and I have to say I appreciate manufacturers putting the date ranges out there on their websites for the individual paint schemes or configurations of the model, not just a blanket range for the model itself.  It helps me decide which car - ok, let's be honest, cars - work for my circa 1995 layout.  I saw one scheme I'm getting for sure, and possibly two others that were of interest.  Some of the ones I liked might not work for my layout because of things like conspicuity striping.  So I appreciate the effort in not only building the models, but providing the amount of information that helps me make good descisions about what to acquire - after I deal with the budget hurdles!  :) 

Someone asked on the ScaleTrains announcement thread below if these were the same as the Walthers & Intermountain cars.  These aren't, but they are similar though.  Here's what I know about modeling coil cars, please fill in additions or make corrections: 
  • Walthers & Intermountain models are of the 50' Evans Products prototype coil car, coils are loaded in a trough that's parallel to the tracks.  Intermountain says these started in the last 60's, so these might be retired by now. 
  • ScaleTrains 42' Thrall-Trinity coil car, coils are in a trough as well.  These were a mid-90's car and should still be runing 
  • ScaleTrains 48' Thrall, coils are in a trough.  These were an 80's/90's built car, probably still running 
  • Tangent has a model of an older PRR prototype (late 60's) that loaded the coils perpendicular to the track.  That may not have made it out to the Pittsburg, CA steel mill, even though they lasted through the Conrail breakup.  Believe these are all gone now.  I might still have to scoop one up because it just looks different!   
  • Atlas has a model of the "fishbelly" coil cars, but those came out in the late 90's.  Coils load parallel to the track in a trough.  Little too late for my era, but an interesting design that I like. 
  • Exactrail has models of the Thrall 54' coil cars.  These have a very unique look, were built in the early to mid 90's.  Honestly not sure how the coils are loaded, I believe parallel, but the NS hood makes me think transverse.  I received both the NS and Conrail versions for my birthday last year and they are awesome! 
  • Athearn just announced Versacoil cars.  These are similar to the PRR cars in that they load the coils transverse, or perpendicular to the track.  They are an early 2000's or later prototype.  I see them on the UP trains through town fairly regularly, they are a unique car that sticks out. 
I know coils were loaded in gondolas, that seemed to be the setup for the steel that Union Pacific delivered to the Pittsburg steel mill in the 90's, while Santa Fe used the coil cars.  Not sure why the car choice by UP, but I'll have to model that as well eventually.  Are there any other prototypes for coil cars out there beside the ones I've mentioned? 

Happy modeling, 

Nathan



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/03/23 17:12 by atsf121.



Date: 02/04/23 14:10
Re: ScaleTrains HO 48' 2-Hood Coil Cars
Author: EricSP

USS-UPI (formerly USS-POSCO) regularly gets coils in GRW (formerly EJE) gondolas in addition to the BNSF coil cars (without hoods).



Date: 02/07/23 17:44
Re: ScaleTrains HO 48' 2-Hood Coil Cars
Author: tmotor

Greetings Nathan!
Very nice synopsis of the prototypes than have been offered as models.  :-D

> Are there any other prototypes for coil cars out there beside the ones I've mentioned? 


Another trough-style coil car are the COIL CARe cars.  Initially BN purchased relatively short 34' cars.  (The "length" is the measurement of the interior trough that can carry coils vs. the 42' between the coupler faces.)  After the BNSF merger, they ordered a stretched version that added about 10'.  The spotting feature between them is the spine on the longer car hangs-down much lower.

https://www.trainorders.com/discussion/read.php?3,5476227,5476227#msg-5476227


These are routinely seen on Tehachapi, at least once a week.  The Kaiser Steel Plant in Los Angeles uses them to haul product to manufacturing plants in the Richmond, CA area.  The problem (for railfans) is they tend to run at night, but if I'm lucky I can catch them during daylight hours.  Occasionally they run as a Unit Train, sometimes during the day.  I have only caught a Unit Train once during the day.  It is quite a sight.  REALLY heavy.  Usually lots of power on the head-end with a pusher or two.

Take care and God bless!
Dave

 



Date: 02/07/23 21:50
Re: ScaleTrains HO 48' 2-Hood Coil Cars
Author: atsf121

tmotor Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Greetings Nathan!
> Very nice synopsis of the prototypes than have
> been offered as models.  :-D
>
> Another trough-style coil car are the COIL CARe
> cars.  Initially BN purchased relatively short
> 34' cars.  (The "length" is the measurement of
> the interior trough that can carry coils vs. the
> 42' between the coupler faces.)  After the BNSF
> merger, they ordered a stretched version that
> added about 10'.  The spotting feature between
> them is the spine on the longer car hangs-down
> much lower.
>
> https://www.trainorders.com/discussion/read.php?3,
> 5476227,5476227#msg-5476227
>
> Take care and God bless!
> Dave

Thanks Dave, for some reason I was thinking your great series on the CARe cars were about the Evans version of the car, thanks for reminding me of the difference.  Would those 34' BN versions have roamed the country like other cars did, or were they in captive service?

Nathan  



Date: 02/08/23 09:15
Re: ScaleTrains HO 48' 2-Hood Coil Cars
Author: tmotor

Greetings Nathan!

> Thanks Dave, for some reason I was thinking your
> great series on the CARe cars were about the Evans
> version of the car, thanks for reminding me of the
> difference.  

The shorter version was built by NSC, and the longer version was built by Trinity.  I think the design is proprietary, since BN(SF) is the only Class 1 railroad to run them.  There are some of the longer version in the LW (Louisville & Wadley) black paint scheme, which I think are leased by BNSF since they run frequently on Tehachapi; and are certainly a long way from home rails.

> Would those 34' BN versions have
> roamed the country like other cars did, or were
> they in captive service?
 
They were seen nationwide, but mostly on BNSF rails.  However, I have occasionally seen them on UP trains.  
There are a group of about 100 of them that run between Kaiser Steel (in LA) and the Bay Area (of San Francisco).  A set of 50 empties will head South (technically East-bound) to Kaiser for a reload, while another set of loads heads North (technically West-bound).  About once a month they run a Unit Train of loads, but usually they are in smaller strings as part of a mixed freight.

Rumor has it that some of the manufacturing plants in the Bay Area will be closing, since their older equipment can't compete with the efficiency of modern plants.  However, the number of loads seems to be consistent.  I plan to get trackside to document them, before they go the way of the Oil Cans.

Take care and God bless!
Dave





Date: 02/08/23 10:23
Re: ScaleTrains HO 48' 2-Hood Coil Cars
Author: PHall

Kaiser Steel has been gone for a couple of decades. Are you talking about California Steel Industries in Fontana? They use the old Kaiser rolling and pipe mills using imported steel slabs that come from LA Harbor.



Date: 02/08/23 15:18
Re: ScaleTrains HO 48' 2-Hood Coil Cars
Author: tmotor

Greetings PHall:

> Kaiser Steel has been gone for a couple of
> decades. Are you talking about California Steel
> Industries in Fontana? 

Correct.
During WW II it was the largest steel mill in the world.  When you see those images of invasion fleets with ships as far as the eye can see, much of that steel came from the Kaiser Steel Mill. 
Even though it has changed hands, the former glory of the site has permanently labeled it.  Even Google Maps still labels the location as "Kaiser Steel Mill".


> They use the old Kaiser
> rolling and pipe mills using imported steel slabs
> that come from LA Harbor.

That makes sense. 
No way they could get away with all the pollution from a blast furnace in the LA area these days.  Plus, there weren't the usual parade of ore cars needed to feed a blast furnace.  I was wondering where all the raw steel came from to have a constant flow of loaded COIL CARe cars over Tehachapi.
Thanks for filling-in that piece of the puzzle.  ;-)

Take care and God bless!
Dave





Date: 02/10/23 00:12
Re: ScaleTrains HO 48' 2-Hood Coil Cars
Author: EricSP

tmotor Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> There are a group of about 100 of them that run
> between Kaiser Steel (in LA) and the Bay Area (of
> San Francisco).  A set of 50 empties will head
> South (technically East-bound) to Kaiser for a
> reload, while another set of loads heads North
> (technically West-bound).  About once a month
> they run a Unit Train of loads, but usually they
> are in smaller strings as part of a mixed
> freight.

Per previous posts on here they carry coils from USS-UPI in Pittsburg to Budway Enterprises in Fontana.



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