Vintage N Scale B&M Rolling Stock #2
Minitrix (Roco) PS-1 40’ Steel Box Car–
I should begin by making it clear that I am partial to 40 foot box cars. B&M owned plenty of 40’ box cars, in real life, and moved a lot more bearing the names of other roads. This model was made by Roco (of Austria) and marketed under Minitrix and several other names and it appears to be based on the PS-1 series of steel single door cars. The Pullman Standard PS-1 box car was relatively popular with over 76,000 being produced before production ended. Even better, B&M actually owned a lot of PS-1 box cars but not one with the road number 70056, that number actually appears to have belonged within a batch of ACF double sheathed USRA box cars built long before any PS-1 (1).
I bought this car around the same time as a much larger group of early B&M N scale equipment so I can’t really remember how much I paid but I would guess about $7.00 plus shipping. Of course, like all early B&M equipment in N scale, the car is “blue dipped” and, unlike the Arnold hopper I wrote about earlier, the B&M heralds and markings are done in white only. It is still an attractive scheme but isn’t as striking and certainly isn’t prototypical. Regardless, no North-Eastern railroad would be complete without 40’ box cars so this car would have provided much needed rolling stock for operations. I have found Minitrix cars to be fairly free rolling and of decent enough quality, this one is no exception and, for its time, was a fine car.
Overall, I am happy with the car and although it doesn’t look quite right next to more modern offerings, especially the Atlas and Micro-Trains McGinnis era cars, it still looks good on a manifest freight and is good for less than carload traffic when I run Rapido equipped consists.
This model appears to be a Pullman Standard PS-1 40’ box car. B&M owned a lot of PS-1 cars of slightly varied descriptions and they appear to have been built between 1947 and 1956, all had road numbers within the 74,000-77,999 range.
(1) This same road number (70056) appears on a Roco produced B&M single sheathed, outside braced, 40’ box car made during the same period. So, it has the same number as the PS-1 and neither has a number correct for their prototype.