Subscriber & Member Login

Login, or register today to interact in our online community, comment on articles, receive our newsletter, manage your account online and more!

ExactRail HO scale HO scale Norfolk Southern Protector coil steel car

Read this review from Model Railroader magazine
ExactRail HO scale HO scale Norfolk Southern Protector coil steel car
Price: $46.95

251 W. River Park Drive, Suite 300
Provo, Utah 84604

Era: 1992 to present

Comments: This HO scale, ready-to-run model represents one of the 60 heavy-duty specialized coil steel cars built by Thrall Car Co. for the Norfolk Southern in 1992. Its “Protector” name stands for “PROtected TEmperature Coil Transport On Rail.” The prototypes for the ExactRail model have an insulated aluminum hood that prevents condensation to keep the steel or aluminum coil loads dry.

The NS Protector cars share the well-style carbody used on the Conrail 54’ Coil Shield car from ExactRail reviewed in the April 2014 Model Railroader. Each car can haul up to three 55,000-pound coils at a time, as long as the weight is spread over the length of the car and centered in the troughs. Locking crossbars prevent any lateral coil movement. The car has 15" cushioned draft gear at both ends.

The carbody has a flat deck with a heavy-duty well that carries the trans- verse coil troughs. The well is supported by a pair of reinforced side sills beneath the deck; a waterproof floor protects the coils from below.

The B end of the model includes a complete brake system with all necessary wire piping connecting the components. Wire uncoupling levers and molded corner steps complete the body detailing. The hood is a one-piece plastic casting with intricate framework and detailing.

Our sample rides on ExactRail’s equalized 100-ton ASF Ride Control roller-bearing trucks. These trucks have scale 36" RP-25 contour wheelsets that match the National Model Railroad Association’s standards gauge. The car weighs 4½ ounces, matching the specification in NMRA Recommended Practice RP-20.1.

Our sample came fitted with Kadee no. 156 scale couplers mounted at the proper height. It came neatly painted NS light gray with a simulated aluminum hood. Operating instructions and data are clearly printed on both sides and ends. A choice of 12 individual car numbers are offered.

Overall, this is a great looking model of a unique contemporary coil steel car.

Join the discussion

Read and share your comments on this article
Comment on this article
Want to leave a comment?
Only registered members of are allowed to comment on this article. Registration is FREE and only takes a couple minutes.

Login or Register now.


Two great beginner layouts.

Model Railroader Newsletter See all
Sign up for our FREE e-newsletter and get model railroad news in your inbox!
By signing up you may also receive occasional reader surveys and special offers from Model Railroader magazine. Please view our privacy policy