PRR B60B vs MS60 baggage cars?

Mr. Trainiac Jan 4, 2019

  1. Mr. Trainiac

    Mr. Trainiac TrainBoard Member

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    I am working on modeling the Gotham Limited in HO scale, mostly a side project, a few kits here and there, and the consist/timetable sheet has both MS60s and B60s listed. From my understanding they are the same car. I know there were messenger service B60Bs with ventilation on the roof, but did the MS60s have those vents too? The decal sheet that came with the Bethlehem Car Works kit has a “Railway Express Angency” decal. The diagram shows it going above the number on the middle of the car. Would that have gone on all of the cars or just the ones is mail service?
     
  2. Hardcoaler

    Hardcoaler TrainBoard Member

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    I can't help, but if by MS60 they mean Messenger Service 60, you'll know this class had vents. I seem to recall that a small painted star was applied one of these classes as well? I'm uncertain and wish I knew more.
     
  3. Mr. Trainiac

    Mr. Trainiac TrainBoard Member

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    On the passenger train makeup sheet it says MS60 stands for Mail Storage Car, but the Messenger Service Car could be the same one, the acronym is the same. That was the one with the star on it. I think the Penn Central cars had stars too.
     
  4. Hardcoaler

    Hardcoaler TrainBoard Member

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    I'm looking at my PRR Color Guide to Freight and Passenger Equipment by Sweetland & Yanosey and that the "cars with the stars" (actually a six inch gold star) were the B60B Messenger cars with the roof vents, toilet and locker. There's no mention of a Class MS60 in the book, just B60 and B60B.

    Hell Gate Models offers N Scale kits for these cars and I plan to buy some sometime. I think these are such cool looking cars and will be at home on my small road with sharper curves.

    I wonder if by Mail Storage, the consist sheet you have is indicating the car's use, not its type? Supporting this, a person mentions that a number of PRR classes could be called MS (for Mail Storage) such as the X42 boxcar in this forum exchange:

    https://www.tapatalk.com/groups/prrthsdiscussionweb30239/consists-of-mail-trains-t1306.html
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2019
  5. Mr. Trainiac

    Mr. Trainiac TrainBoard Member

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    Yeah, I think you are right that the MS60 is not a distinct class. I am just trying to figure out if the baggage or the messenger ones were used in mail service, or maybe both were. Does your book have any information on roster size? Were the messenger or the standard ones more common, or about the same? I usually go on RRPictureArchives to see what the roster looks like, but their older photos are pretty sparse. I might try the Passenger Car Photos site too.
     
  6. Lemosteam

    Lemosteam TrainBoard Member

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    There were three classes of B60, each with different accouterments for different needs. B60 was an early class of the car, with two axle trucks of varying truck classes. There were 360 B60 on the PRR. B60a was the next class of the same car with a unique auto loading end door on one end with an overhung roof. The B60a class also had multiple classes of two axle trucks used. There were 16 B60a. The B60b was the workhorse of them all, with over 500-700 (200 messenger) in this class. All of the classes were functional to carry just about anything, cars, horses, baggage, mail, with messenger having the ability to carry people.

    Note that they DID not ever have mail hooks, as the PRR had sever other classes for this task.

    Some were marked with REA (Railway Express Agency) and ARE (American Railway Express) and the messenger cars received the 6" star. It is held that they likely traveled on every road. These cars lasted well into the 60's. there are numeros photographs online and on Facebook PRR groups.

    The definitive book on the subject is PENNSYLVANIA Baggage & Mail Cars, by Robert J. Liljestrand and David R. Sweetland, also published by these same gents and I am paraphrasing their information.
     
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  7. Hardcoaler

    Hardcoaler TrainBoard Member

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    Excellent Lemo -- just what we needed! (y)
     
  8. Mr. Trainiac

    Mr. Trainiac TrainBoard Member

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    That is some good information. I decided to go with the messenger version. I saw a good amount of photos of the B60B on the Passenger Car Photo Index. They listed them as either “messenger” or “express.” The messenger version had the 2D-P5 truck and most had vents, and then there was the other “express” version with a short wheelbase, almost freight car looking truck. I wanted the 2D-P5 truck, so I added the vents to the roof. That leave the question of the REA decal. It will have the star, but is mail service independent of the REA logo?
     
  9. Lemosteam

    Lemosteam TrainBoard Member

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    The earlier truck was class 2DP3. The 2DP5 trucks had roller and friction bearing journals. I offer both trucks in N scale. at www.keystonedetails.com
     
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