Model Railroader

Athearn announces new coil car in HO, N


During the Amherst Railroad Hobby Show in late January, Athearn Trains announced a new freight car that will be offered in its HO and N scale Genesis series. The FreightCar America Versa Coil will be the first offering of this coil car in either scale.

Produced by Johnstown America, which changed its name to FreightCar America in 2004, the VersaCoil design exhibits improvemen­ts in versatilit­y, efficiency, and safety in coil steel transporta­tion. These VersaCoils are specially designed to carry multiple coils of steel ranging from 30 to 72 feet in multiple trough configurat­ions. The transverse trough design allows for quick and easy loading and unloading. The trough design also mitigates forces from train movement and slack action, significan­tly decreasing the likelihood of load damage in transit.

The Athearn model will be modeled in four of the five phases of transverse­trough VersaCoil gondolas. Every model will feature a detailed underbody and separate, factory-applied details such as etched-metal platforms, rubber train line hoses, uncoupling levers, and wire grab irons. Removable coil loads will also be included.

The model will be decorated for Canadian Pacific (CP), Norfolk Southern (NS), Northweste­rn Oklahoma RR (NOKL), and Mitsui Rail Corp. (MBKX). Three single cars and one three-pack with differentl­y numbered cars will be offered for each paint scheme. The CP model features a phase 1 body and isn’t equipped with hoods. The NS, NOKL, and MBKX cars have phase 2 bodies and will include removable hoods.

The coil cars will ride on 100-ton roller-bearing trucks with rotating bearing caps and RP-25 contoured metal wheels. Athearn recommends a minimum radius of 22" for these cars.

Individual coil cars are priced at $64.99 and three-packs sell for $174.99. For more informatio­n, visit the manufactur­er’s website at

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