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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
From mid 1960's to date
Past and present roads.

I believe the Pennsy was the first to contract for them.
It can eliminate the need (but not the option) for placing coils in gondolas or on flats. They can easily co-exist.
I'm considering a 'steel drag' unit train of them, mixed with gons and flats (not terribly prototypical perhaps, but kinda' cool).

ScaleTrains, ExactRail, InterMountain, Atlas, and Walthers produce excellent highly detailed examples.
Mostly all-metal bodies, with removable plastic hoods... very easy to add weight.
These are InterMountains.
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Discussion Starter #3
The only ExactRail model I have is a bit more contemporary.
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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
For gons and flats, I've made coils with styrene rod and paper-covered wood dowels, but companies like Tangent offer excellent RTR coils.

Coils were rarely carried "holes-up" in gons, (and certainly not without shoring) but for modeling purposes it's common.

Coils were rarely carried in the center of gons, but it too is common on model railroads.
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Discussion Starter #5
Okay, now I'm confused...
Duh??

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Wiki know-it-all says...

The body of a coil car consists of a trough or series of troughs. Most commonly these run lengthwise, but there are transverse variants as well
And...

The hoods are largely interchangeable and it is common to see a car with mismatched hoods.
 

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Looking at that Conrail gondola....as a crane operator in a pipe mill, that is the way steel coils were delivered to us by rail. I must have unloaded a few thousand of those for sure. Lower an "L" hook down and grab hold of a coil. Different sized "L" hooks for different widths of coil. Those coils in that gondola look very realistic. Just need a bit of light rust. They never came to us in covered coil cars.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Looking at that Conrail gondola....as a crane operator in a pipe mill, that is the way steel coils were delivered to us by rail. I must have unloaded a few thousand of those for sure.
Excellent post.
I love hearing from pro's who did time 'on the job'.
 
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