AAR FM class 50 Ton Flat Car Project Update

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Availability: This project is currently under development, reservations will be taken starting at a date to be announced. If you are a current customer you will automatically receive the announcement materials. If you are not a current customer and are interested in this project, please let us know so that we can forward material to you when available, get in touch with us using any means listed on our contact information.

Price: TBD

Versions Offered: TBD

Production Quantity: TBD

4/23/24 - If you are interested in the progress of this project, please see the latest comments posted on the General News page, they are applicable to several projects already in the works.

11/13/22 - It has been a number of months since the last update regarding this project was posted, but If you are interested in this project, I hope that you have followed my General News posts so you know the current status of my efforts to restart this and other projects. In particular, the post dated 10/23/22 offers great hope that our situation following the COVID experience is now headed in the right direction. With the travel restrictions for South Korea lifted, the ability to travel there and manage projects returns! Going forward, there will be new posts here as progress is made, but be certain to continue checking the General News posts, it can be time consuming to post the same information on multiple project sites, so the General News page is the go to place for the latest information.

4/19/21 - I have explained elsewhere on this website that the flat car project had moved ahead of other rolling stock projects to be used as a development tool for new processes absent my usual visits overseas. Being a less complicated project, it is an ideal subject to work out the necessary long-distance communication and trouble-shooting techniques. The design work for the project has been underway for several weeks and although it has been a slow go so far, the results are very encouraging. With over thirty years of experience, reputation and prior face to face contact to build on with my counterparts overseas, the direction given and requests made are a bit more palatable than they would otherwise be.

I would expect to be updating regarding the project more frequently here as progress continues.

1/16/21 - As we roll into the new year, I am happy and encouraged to report that I am beginning to move forward with this new project. Based on the eager and cooperative attitude of the builder, it seems that this project can be handled in a manner that will provide security for all involved, I'll explain more about this situation as we make serious progress. I will tell you right up front that there will be no compromise in my expectations for the quality and fidelity to detail that have been the hallmarks for our projects.

Stay tuned as I hope the situation will develop with some speed!

7/27/20 - I have written elsewhere on this website about the challenges currently being faced in arranging for and proceeding with new projects as well as finishing up an existing project. Most everything revolves around the COVID-19 situation internationally and also the deteriorating relationship between the United States and China. Despite these challenges, Kohs & Company has never failed to deliver a project once reservations have been accepted or even withdrawn an active project from moving forward with reservations/production and we are not about to do that now. Needless to say, it is a scary time for the hobby with a number of importers closing their doors or dropping projects for lack of support whether as a result of the virus or other reasons.

Having capable builders is not an issue thankfully, the hangup is more an issue of logistics. For more than thirty years my approach to the business has been literally eyes on the prize with frequent visits overseas to see first-hand how my projects are being handled. With the builders that I have worked with and am planning to work with it's not a matter of trust, but rather a difference in perception at times that can potentially lead to problems and ultimately unhappy customers if issues are not caught early on. As all involved jointly consider the alternatives for moving forward, we are getting closer to a workable resolution despite the prohibition on travel to both South Korea and China.

Aside from the virus situation, the relationship between the United States and China provides additional concern and situations to be considered. I have already written about the fact that some well known South Korean builders actually have their production operations established in China or are relying on a considerable amount of labor by Chinese sub-contractors and of course there are China based companies. The most obvious concerns are about potential tariff impositions or general trade blockades. As a result, I have to be mindful of where our resources are based and where the work is actually being done.

I make mention of these issues not to discourage anyone interested in my projects, but rather to explain what the current situation is and to reinforce the fact that a great deal of thought and preparation is going into my future projects, all with my customers in mind. If you are looking at multiple projects on the website, you are likely to see a similar status report for all my pending projects. The research and design materials for this project have been gathered and the builder has to consider all the factors that will go into the design and production so that a price can be established, his resources are somewhat changed at this point so the planning is more difficult than usual with the above factors considered. Together we'll work through it.

11/05/19 - The initial design work for the AAR flat car project has been completed and turned over to the builder for a review so we can begin to look at scheduling and pricing for the project. I anticipate initiating the reservation process shortly after the PFE reefer project gets under way. At the same time we are looking at this project, I have previous mentioned an interest in developing some unique loads that can be used for these flats specifically and perhaps any others that modelers already have on their rosters. A special page/pages will be created for the loads and perhaps a separate project site will be justified depending on the demand. The intent is to make the loads as authentic as possible while keeping the pricing realistic as well. The development work on this aspect of the project is already under way and the first phase is to research alternative means of production to keep the process as flexible as possible and the timing more in sync with immediate demand.

6/17/19 - The design work for this project that has been commissioned continues and all is going well thus far. We are working carefully to make sure that a proper understanding is achieved for the goals of this project so that future efforts will progress smoothly and with greater speed. If you haven't noticed, I recently added a listing of roads that utilized this class of flat cars on the Project Information page of this project site and I will be working to determine the best path forward for producing the number of variations this listing would require. To a great extent the roads that are included in the production and their order will depend on the level of interest expressed in particular roads. There has been a great deal of feedback already received and I encourage anyone with a serious interest in this project to let me know your thoughts in a non-binding manner at this point.

3/12/19 - This project will be the first of the new arrangement that I have described, an independent designer working with the builder of my choice and as planned will be the first of a series of rolling stock models developed at the most attractive price point possible as a result. For thirty years I have written about the problems associated with rolling stock projects and the lack of interest builders typically have in producing them due to the low profit margin, this hopefully will provide the stability for this type of production that I have long sought out. The work is more intense on my side of the ball so to speak with more management required for the independent operators involved.

The early exchanges with the designer have gone well and we are meeting the expectations for the project so far. The design is scheduled to be completed hopefully early in May, but I should have a firm quote from the builder before then so we can move ahead with the planning, promotion and reservations. Stay tuned as this new approach takes further shape!

12/19/18 - This project is now under active development, an independent designer has been enlisted to work in support of my other new build arrangements. As soon as the initial design work has been completed a quote will be forthcoming from the builder that has already been chosen to produce these models. With the variety of road variations that are available, I anticipate producing these models in groups rather than all at once in order to spread the 'pain'. Quite frankly, this process will be the gateway to more, faster and better production with careful coordination. More developments should be coming soon following the holidays.

7/08/18 - I have been contemplating the addition of a flat car project not only as a support car for the Bucyrus-Erie crane, but as a stand alone project as well. The initial planning was for General Steel Casting fifty foot cars, looking carefully at producing the models with cast frames, one of my new builders has special casting abilities. While that may be a future development, the focus now will be on the AAR 50 ton flats that were used by roughly two dozen railroads. I also plan to produce a variety of loads at intervals in the future along with prototypical loading features. The project information page will be updated near term as the project is further developed with the builder that has already been selected.