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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.

PRR B60

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. 

PRR B60 modern

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.

PRR B60a

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.

PRR B60b

Like the B60, the B60b received the round windows after WWII.

PRR B60b modern

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).

B60b messenger

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.

PRR B60b late

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.

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Images (7)
  • PRR B60
  • PRR B60 modern
  • PRR B60a
  • PRR B60b
  • PRR B60b modern
  • PRR B60b late
  • B60b messenger
Last edited by CAPPilot
Original Post

Great thread Ron.  I developed an interest in mail trains watching youtube films of them. I have a train that has in this order an MTH RPO, a K-Line RPO, 2 Weaver B60s and a K-line B70. The extra RPO was rare but perhaps for drop of to be added to a different train scheduled for a different destination. I the pull the train with a K-line K4. One of my favorite trains to run. 

Steamer posted:

Great subject Ron. I picked this up at a recent show for a staggering $5 because the seller just wanted the trucks.Is a true model, or just a Lionel fantasy?

PTDC0001

Dave,

Went through my books and this car actually matches pretty close a B74a.  That was a horse express car which has the two different sized doors, larger one on the right like yours, clerestory roof, and no end doors like other B74s.  So run it as your horse express car.

colorado hirailer posted:

I have a fleet of prairie to Rockies roadname  RPO's, with a couple more 3rd Rail ones coming.. what do l need Pa. ones for? 

I started this topic to be about baggage cars in general (not RPOs, that is to be another topic someday).  I started with the PRR B60 because I have a lot of info on that car.  Let us see some of your railroad fleet's baggage cars that represent real cars.  Plus provide some history if you have it.  For example, I would like to know more about the history of Lionel's new NYC cars.

I was hoping some other forum members would talk about their road’s baggage cars, but so far this is a PRR topic.  Hopefully that will change.

NOTE: Post initially identified car as K-Line.  It is a Williams and post has been updated to correct to Williams.  

This time I’m looking at the B70 baggage car and what available models are out there.  I hope to cover the various B70a/B70b horse and scenery cars in the next installment.

The B70 is an easy car to discuss.  There were only 55 of them (one source shows 60), and all of them were converted from M70/BM70 baggage-mail cars in 1938.  All B70s had the clerestory roof, and like the B60 baggage cars, they all had slotted windows when first built and then got the round windows in the 1940s.  The only accurate model of a B70 that I know of is Golden Gate Depot’s plastic B70 with round windows.  There may be a brass model out there, but I have not seen one.

DSC_0164DSC_0165

The old Williams and MTH 70’ heavyweight baggage cars look like they used the same mold and are pretty close to a B70, just a bit short.  Unfortunately, the Williams does not come with lens in the portholes.  I would not run these cars with the GGD car because of the length difference, but by themselves they can easily pass as a B70.

Here is the MTH car

DSC_0152DSC_0153

Here is the Williams car.

DSC_0155

Here is a photo showing the length difference between the GGD car in back and the MTH car.

DSC_0150

The Williams (left) and MTH cars would go very good with 18" passenger cars.

DSC_0156

Here are all three cars with the GGD car in front and the MTH on the right.  Note the color differences.

DSC_0160

Lionel’s and K-Line's baggage cars are similar and may share the same mold.  However, their door placement, door size, and window arrangement are too different from a B70 to be acceptable.

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Images (8)
  • DSC_0164
  • DSC_0165
  • DSC_0152
  • DSC_0153
  • DSC_0155
  • DSC_0150
  • DSC_0160
  • DSC_0156
Last edited by CAPPilot

Ron,  I don't now the history of Santa Fe baggage cars but will share pictures of mine and a friend's in Colorado.  John in Lansing, ILL

GGD SF baggage car

GGD still in the box

K-Line 1821 baggage car

K-Line as it left the factory

K-Line hvywt messenger baggage 93

K-Line repainted with messenger window and light weathering

K-Line SF hvwt Terry #1

with lights on.

K-Line SF hvwt Terry #2

K-Line 1821 as it left the factory but after a messenger window had been cut.

MTH Pullman Baggage Car

MTH fantasy baggage car.

MTH Santa Fe baggage car 1725

MTH 1725

MTH Santa Fe baggage car 1812

MTH 1821

Williams hvywt baggage 4107

From Jerry Williams' first five car heavyweight Pullman set with added logos and interior crates.

Am Stan baggage exteriorAm Stan baggage int 2Am Stan baggage Interior 1

American Standard 60' kit assembled, painted and detailed by T. Nelms

Am Stan 60' SF baggage car

American Standard fish belly Santa Fe heavyweight baggage car

ATSF horse car photo

Santa Fe horse car, note full door end.

K-Line Pat's three heavyweight baggage cars

Repainted cars flank 1821 as it came from the factory.

DSCN1026

GGD Santa Fe 

DSCN1027

GGD T&P

DSCN1031

William 17" and GGD T&P

John

 

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Images (19)
  • GGD SF baggage car
  • K-Line 1821 baggage car
  • K-Line hvywt messenger baggage 93
  • K-Line SF hvwt Terry #1
  • K-Line SF hvwt Terry #2
  • K-Line SF hvywt 1821 baggage car
  • MTH Pullman Baggage Car
  • MTH Santa Fe baggage car 1725
  • MTH Santa Fe baggage car 1812
  • Williams hvywt baggage 4107
  • Am Stan baggage exterior
  • Am Stan baggage int 2
  • Am Stan baggage Interior 1
  • Am Stan 60' SF baggage car
  • ATSF horse car photo
  • K-Line Pat's three heavyweight baggage cars
  • DSCN1026
  • DSCN1027
  • DSCN1031
Last edited by rattler21

John,

Your Santa Fe cars look great.  I really like your messenger car and the other's you repainted.  Nice work.

The SF horse car looks very similar to one of Pennsy's horse cars; wonder if they were made in the same shop.

Seeing the photo of your K-Line car (and nicely detailed Williams) reminded me that the car in my post was a Williams, not K-Line.  Corrected it.

An interesting kitbashing award in this month's MRC is concerned with the lesser known PRR X42.  Basically it's a 60ft boxcar with it's 4 doors spaced like that of a common baggage car and used for transporting bags of mail.  Pennsy only built 10 of them in 1950.  I may just follow the authors lead and kitbash me one of these head end oddities out of 2 boxcars.

Bruce

brwebster posted:

An interesting kitbashing award in this month's MRC is concerned with the lesser known PRR X42.  Basically it's a 60ft boxcar with it's 4 doors spaced like that of a common baggage car and used for transporting bags of mail.  Pennsy only built 10 of them in 1950.  I may just follow the authors lead and kitbash me one of these head end oddities out of 2 boxcars.

Bruce

pics please! love to see your project when you start.

Great seeing it in O....and in brass no less!   Much easier to appreciate the details in O rather than N in the kitbash award. Thanks, Rattler

I have a few plastic boxcar bodies in the scraps drawer....even have a nice set of express trucks.  As with a million other model railroad brainstorms, it's finding the time to implement them .   Soon, I hope.

Bruce

 

My books show the B60b to be 63' long (not including couplers), or in O gauge 15.75"".  My Weaver B60b, which Lionel says it used this mold for their car, is 15.375".  From my data and rough measurement the Weaver car is a little over 1/4", or scale 1', short.  You may want to contact Lionel about their description of this car considering the other mistakes in the catalog.

@CAPPilot posted:

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 . . . . "

Last edited by pennsynut

Some how I did something wrong on my recent reply. This is better, I hope.

CAPPilot: I'm working on a 18 inch K-line baggage car and would like to modify the sides. As you know the K-line cars have rows of verticle rivets evry half inch or so. The actual 70 foot PRR baggage cars had borders of 3 row rivets that were separated by smooth areas. The distances appear to be the same for each space except for the spaces closest to the doors. The GGD cars in your posts appear to accurately model that detail. It would be helpful to know those distances so I can try to improve the look of my K-line experiment. Many thanks.  

 

@brwebster posted:

An interesting kitbashing award in this month's MRC is concerned with the lesser known PRR X42.  Basically it's a 60ft boxcar with it's 4 doors spaced like that of a common baggage car and used for transporting bags of mail.  Pennsy only built 10 of them in 1950.  I may just follow the authors lead and kitbash me one of these head end oddities out of 2 boxcars.

Bruce

X-42 brassX-42 side view 1X-42 Side View 2

X-42 as imported by Dick Breglar. If you can find one, the price is north of $400.DSCN8755Am Stan 60' baggage and X-42

Bashed X-42 (two Weaver box cars) along side an American Standard 60' baggage car.

John

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Images (5)
  • X-42 brass
  • X-42 side view 1
  • X-42 Side View 2
  • DSCN8755
  • Am Stan 60' baggage and X-42
Last edited by rattler21
@pennsynut posted:

Some how I did something wrong on my recent reply. This is better, I hope.

CAPPilot: I'm working on a 18 inch K-line baggage car and would like to modify the sides. As you know the K-line cars have rows of verticle rivets evry half inch or so. The actual 70 foot PRR baggage cars had borders of 3 row rivets that were separated by smooth areas. The distances appear to be the same for each space except for the spaces closest to the doors. The GGD cars in your posts appear to accurately model that detail. It would be helpful to know those distances so I can try to improve the look of my K-line experiment. Many thanks.  

 

I'll take some pictures of the GGD car with a ruler in front of it.  The MTH PRR baggage car is actually much closer to the prototype, especially if you can find the ones with the round windows.

@pennsynut posted:

CAPPilot: I'm working on a 18 inch K-line baggage car and would like to modify the sides. As you know the K-line cars have rows of verticle rivets evry half inch or so. The actual 70 foot PRR baggage cars had borders of 3 row rivets that were separated by smooth areas. The distances appear to be the same for each space except for the spaces closest to the doors. The GGD cars in your posts appear to accurately model that detail. It would be helpful to know those distances so I can try to improve the look of my K-line experiment. Many thanks.

Here are some pictures of my GGD baggage and my MTH baggage.  As stated above, the MTH car looks like it used the same mold as the Williams car.

The GGD and MTH/Willaims cars model the PRR B70, but the GGD car is a bit longer with better rivet detail.  The roof of the GGD car is smoother, which seems to be a better match for the real car.

Here are photos of the GGD car:

GGD_Bag_Lenght [1)GGD_Bag_Lenght [2)GGD_Bag_Lenght [4)

Here are photos of the MTH car:

DSC_0005DSC_0006DSC_0007

 

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Images (6)
  • GGD_Bag_Lenght (1)
  • GGD_Bag_Lenght (2)
  • GGD_Bag_Lenght (4)
  • DSC_0005
  • DSC_0006
  • DSC_0007

Pennsy baggage cars can be used for southeast modelers of the ACL, SAL and Southern as well. Pennsy (and New Haven) baggage cars were regularly used for express and other shipments from Boston and New York to points south, especially on the catch-all trains hitting most stops through VA, NC and SC. 

I like to model the ACL, SAL and Southern in O and HO, and finding correct baggage (or RPO) cars is just about non-existent. The Weaver molds that Lionel received and started using for baggage are all Pennsy based cars, from what I can tell. They all ride on 4-wheel trucks, which is not correct for many southeast roads which used 6-wheel trucks. Closest I can find and use as a starting point are the Atlas Trainman cars, but undecorated are hard to find. The ACL also rebuilt some cars in the 1940s/50s, replacing clerestory roofs with turtle-back style, making kitbashing a necessity. 

I do have some information on baggage cars I can share, but don't have the copyright requirements to post photos on this page of various cars. I can post images of models made recently and describe what is wrong and needs to be corrected. I can start with the recent Lionel ACL issues if anyone is interested. 

For those looking at specific roads to model, regardless of location, I would seriously invest in the Morning Sun series of Freight and Passenger images, since they are a good basic source to get started. 

If an RPO page gets started, I have some good information to place there as well for souteastern roads.

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