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Frequently Asked Questions

HO Scale-Ages 14 & Up

Frequently Asked Questions
Question Answer
What is Accurail's privacy policy regarding personal information? Accurail does not give your information to anyone.  Period.  If you provide your email address for an order, it will only be used for sending you a tracking number or answering possible order problems or questions.  We do not and will not send out unsolicited mail or email to you.
What wheels and couplers are included in Accurail kits? Accurail kits come equipped with Delrin (plastic) wheelsets and Accumate (magnetic, Kadee compatible) couplers.  Kits made before approximately 1997 came with plastic wheelsets and dummy/unit train couplers.
Why don't you have metal wheels in your kits?

Simply put: Cost.  Making the tooling for metal wheels in the US would be very expensive and we have no desire to send money or jobs to China.  We also want to keep the price of our kits as low as possible to make model railroading affordable.  Some modelers do not want to pay for metal wheels, and if we include them in our kits, then the price will have to be raised accordingly.  It's also assumed that modelers who do want metal wheels will likely have their favorite brand already and can equip them as desired.

I've been waiting for a certain car to come out for a long time.  When will it finally be released? New releases are added to the stock line all the time.  However, because we have to rotate through all of the different car styles, it can take months, or even years to get to any specific release.  We release them in the order that they're listed and any particular car style may have only 2 to 4 (on average) releases per year.  Some more than others, depending on popularity.  The next month's releases are announced around the middle of the month with a PDF flyer on the Catalog page.
I'd like to see this particular car in your line.  Can it be added? Possibly.  While we have a pretty good-size photo archive, we may not even have a photo of it.  We're always open to suggestions and if you'd like to send a photo, it's best to email a low resolution one (at least at first) to accurail@accurail.com.  We may or may not be able to add it, for various other reasons (see below).
Why wouldn't you be able to do a certain car? There can be a number of reasons.  Too limited or too regional to appeal for all of our distributors and hobby stores across the US, Canada, and abroad.  Or it could be too expensive to produce - Our cars are decorated one at a time, by hand on a pad printer, so a car with 15 printing colors just can't be affordably made in the US for $16.98.  Or it could require masked painting [example] which we unfortunately do not have the staff or resources to do.  Or we may already have a similar car in that particular line.
I missed out on getting a certain car the first time.  Will you be doing it again? Yes.  Maybe.  Or maybe not.  It's unfortunately difficult to know for sure.  Our restocks are largely decided upon based on the number of back orders from our distributors, but can also depend on how caught up or behind schedule we are.  If we're relatively caught up, we may be able to do more restocks.  But if we're running way behind, then restocks unfortunately have to wait.  At best, we may only be able to do 1 or 2 restocks in any month.  Somtimes none.  And with many hundreds of releases over the years that are now out of stock, it can take an incredibly long time to redo any certain one again.
I bought a kit and it has a broken or missing piece.  How do I get a replacement? Please email accurail@accurail.com with a good description of the part, whether it was broken or missing, its color, or even emailing an image if it would be easier.  Be sure to include a mailing address if a replacement part needs to be sent.  Please keep in mind that some parts are not always going to be available.  For example, a body shell or roofwalk for a boxcar released in 2003 is definitely not still going to be in stock.
I bought renumber decals but the paint color doesn't match exactly.  Why not?

1) Every new Accurail release has renumber decal sets made along with it.  The decal sheets are painted right along with the cars to get a good match.  However if 6 years passes and those decals have run out, then new ones will have to be made, using paint that is now a from a different batch, a different formulation, and possibly even from a different company than the previous decals.  We try to match them as closely as possible, but the longer it is after the initial release of the car, the greater the chance that the decals may be from a new batch, and an 'industrial match' is going to be the closest possible.

2) It could simply have been a mistake, especially if the color is drastically different.  You can always ask by emailing accurail@accurail.com and we will look into it.

If I purchase an Undecorated car and one of your Decal Renumber Sets, will I be able to make a complete car? No.  Accurail's Decal Renumber Sets do not have dimensional data, heralds, or other lettering.  They are essentially road numbers only, intended for covering up the existing road number (without having to remove it) and turning it into a differently-numbered car.  More information can be found on the Decal Page
I re-numbered a car using your decal set and the decals peeled right off.  Why? Once the decals have dried, it's important to 'seal' them onto the car, using a Dull Coat, Gloss Coat, or whatever you prefer.  We recommend a Dull Coat, as freight cars out in the real world rarely look new and shiny.
Are decal orders are taking longer than they used to? Yes they definitely are, due in part to the popularity of the renumber decal program itself.  When it first started, there were only a small number of decals available, which then turned into dozens, and has now turned into many hundreds of decals, all of which need to be printed, kept in stock, and packed and sent in the mail.  Sometimes this can even take 2-3 weeks, depending on the color(s) or complexity of a specific decal.  Also, an order for only 1 or 2 decals has less of a chance of taking longer than an order of (just for example) 15 decals.   If even two or three out of those 15 decals are out of stock, then the rest of the order might be delayed while the new batches are being printed.
I call on the phone to order or ask a question but there's no answer.  What's up with that? We try to answer the phone whenever possible, but because we're a factory and not a retail shop, there unfortunately is not always someone available to get the phone.  We may be in the warehouse packing orders, setting up a pad printer or molding machine, or mixing a batch of paint.  Also, banking, outgoing orders getting taken to the post office, and plain old going out to lunch typically occurs sometime between 11:30-12:45 central time.
Can I get a paint number to match a certain car? Unfortunately, not any more.  Quite a few years ago, we stopped using Testors paint and have switched to our own custom paint supplier, making the old Testors paint numbers no longer valid for our cars.  However there is a way to mix up a match for two of our most-requested paint colors.
Mineral Red [example] - Start with a pure red paint and then add some BN green to turn the red into brown.  Then add a little black to darken it, and then a little yellow or orange to give it that specific tone to match.  If you go too far in one direction, you can add more red to get back toward the starting point.
Oxide [example] - Same as above, only use slightly less green, but add more yellow or orange.
There's a problem or typo on the website and I can't order what I need.  Can you fix it? Absolutely.  Please email accurail@accurail.com and describe the problem and we can usually fix it immediately.
I've emailed about something and never got a reply.  Is there a problem? Possibly.  We always try to reply to emails in a timely fashion.  Some answers may require a little more time to dig up information than others, but we try not to take too long.  If it does seem like it's been a very long time, however, it's possible that your email may have inadvertantly gotten trapped by a spam filter in either of the two mail servers that all email has to go through in weeding out the hundreds of spam emails that flood in every day.  The spam filters aren't perfect, and they sometimes trap good emails.   First, try sending the email again, possibly with a different subject line to see if that will let it through, or if that doesn't work, please try calling and we'll do our best to help.  630-365-1173
You used to have a bridge/timber overpass in your line.  Where did it go? Rix Products now owns that tooling and the overpass is presumably still available from them.  Rural Timber Overpass 628-0200  http://www.rixproducts.com/rix_products_listing.htm
Are you able to give tours of the factory? Sadly, no.  There once was a time when it was possible, but now operating factory equipment in most areas and insurance liability do not mix well at all.