Vintage N Scale B&M Rolling Stock #5
Minitrix (Roco) 40’ Double Sheathed Box Car–
I have already written about two N scale B&M box cars from Minitrix, one a PS-1 and the other a single sheathed, both represent 40 foot cars and both are numbered 70056. Well… here is the deal; I poke around on eBay from time to time to see if I can find any early B&M N scale that I didn’t know existed and absolutely cannot live without. One of those items that I stumbled across was yet another 40 foot box car from Minitrix numbered 70056, this time double sheathed. A quick check of B&M’s roster reveals that this is actually a legitimate road number for a double sheathed box car. Hurray!!! A little deductive reasoning might suggest that this double sheathed car was actually the first B&M box car Minitrix offered, thus the correct car number, and the other two 40 footers were simply a way to reuse the ink stamp. I can totally appreciate getting the extra mile out of tooling but the stamp used to “ink” these early N scale items is probably among the least expensive and most easily replaced items involved in the manufacturing process, especially when only one color is used. So what we have is Minitrix (actually Roco) using the same stamp to mark several different box cars, seems like it would have been cheaper to buy stamps for multiple road numbers and apply those to the same box car model… that’s what manufacturers would do these days. Can you say “Runner Pack”?
Considering condition alone, I paid too much for the example I obtained (along the lines of $15.00 delivered). Every corner stirrup step is broken off and the wheel sets appear to be replacements from a Bachmann car however, in my defense, this was the only example of this car I could find and I haven’t found another since. I don’t know how rare this one is but I did have to up my bid several times to win it… so someone else wanted this car too. Needless to say, I will keep my eyes peeled for a better example but it seems I may have to be willing to pay a mint for it.
Detailing is along the lines of other early Minitrix freight cars… good enough for the time but not up to today’s standards. If you can accept the white lettering on blue dip paint, then it will be at home displayed in any collection, or perhaps on a photo-freight.
B&M owned 500 double sheathed 50 ton USRA box cars, numbered 70000-70499, made by American Car Foundry in 1919. Apparently they would have been off the roster by the era I model, some lasted until around 1955, but I am not overly concerned… it looks good on a vintage manifest freight.