There has been a lot posted concerning the Weaver/Lionel B60 baggage car, but it is scattered over several topics. Also, there is not a lot of discussion on baggage cars from other railroads. So, I thought it would be fun to have a topic just on baggage cars and available models of them. Since I know a (very) little about PRR’s baggage cars, I thought I’d start this topic with the B60. I’m working on B70 history now.
My research is primarily from Robert Liljestrand's and David Sweetland's book Pennsylvania Baggage and Mail Cars, Staufer’s Pennsy Power III, Sweetland and Yanosey’s PRR Color Guide to Freight and Passenger Equipment, and Fischer’s PRR Color Guide to Freight and Passenger Equipment, Vol 2. I would have liked a little more detail in these, but together they provided most of the needed data. Photos of Weaver models are mine.
Class B60 first appeared in 1906 and had the clerestory roof and square windows. 360 cars were built and weighted about 103,000 lbs. The B60/B60a had 8 total panels per side.
The B60 received round windows after WWII. It would have been nice if the books gave more detail on these cars. Apparently some B60 cars were rebuilt into B60b cars, but no details on how many or when.
Class B60a had the round roof and had large end doors for auto shipments. They gave the impression only 16 were built in 1916. I have not seen an O model of this one.
Class B60b first appeared in 1925 and had the round roof and square windows. 537 were built and weighted about 87,000 lbs. to 101,300 lbs. depending on the trucks used. The B60b had 11 panels per side.
Like the B60, the B60b received the round windows after WWII.
Two hundred B60b cars were converted to express messenger cars between the late ‘30s through the early ‘50s. These cars had 8 vents added to the roof for the messenger, plus a desk, lockers, wash room, water cooler, and a safe for the packages he/she was transporting. This is a Walthers HO model, but Weaver did a similar scheme (also, see photo above).
The Keystones were part of the last paint scheme for these cars. A paragraph stated 40 B60b cars were rebuilt in 1965 and got the Keystones, and these cars carried over to the Penn Central years. This is from Lionel's catalog.
All B60 cars had a 40,000 lb. load limit. Also, some square windows survived into the 50s.
How about some history of your favorite road’s baggage cars?
NOTE: Clerestory corrected.