Vintage N Scale B&M Rolling Stock #9
Minitrix (Roco) 50 Foot (PS 2) Covered Hopper –
According to the sources I could find this car is most likely meant to represent a Pullman-Standard PS-2. I am really not sure what Minitrix marketed this car as because mine did not come with its jewel case. From what I can tell B&M did actually own around twenty 50 foot, 100 ton PS-2 covered hoppers, so good on Minitrix for slapping blue paint and a B&M logo on an appropriate car. I couldn’t find a photo of a B&M 50 foot covered hopper in blue dip but I did find an honest to goodness real life photograph of a blue dipped 30 foot, two bay B&M covered hopper, it seems blue dip could very well be prototypical for this car… but I doubt that. The road number “10056” is a complete fudge as B&M’s PS-2s were numbered 5700-5719 but Minitrix seems to have had a thing for ending B&M road numbers with “56”. In addition, the build date on the car is in the 1940s and the B&M cars would have been built in the 1960s but who are we to judge early N scale manufacturers?
These cars aren’t horribly rare and they were actually imported by a few companies so it is easy to find them on the auction sites, prices should probably be less than $10 USD delivered. Being Minitrix this car has the typical (for the era) white lettering and blue dip paint.
I am no expert on freight cars and I am certainly no rivet counter but I am led to believe that there are some detail issues on this model which hurt it prototypically. I am not overly concerned about that myself but someone looking for a more accurate model might was to look elsewhere. There are far better offerings on the market these days and I don’t think accuracy was a big deal in the early days of N scale, the pioneers were more interested in getting locomotives to run consistently. However, if you are like me and you run vintage N scale equipment, this car will add some variety to your consists.
As stated above, B&M owned around twenty Pullman-Standard 50 foot, 100 ton PS-2CD covered hoppers numbered 5700-5719. I am not sure why the railroad only purchased twenty or what commodities the cars were purchased to haul. These days, when entire mile long trains can be made up of only covered hoppers filled with grain, it seems a little odd to own so few… at least to me.