Wheels of Time SP Class 66-B-1 Baggage Car

These kit cars were released in 2021. The kit includes a one-piece highly detailed thinned walled urethane resin body shell, separate under frame with brake details, 3D printed plastic SP-style diaphragms, 4-T-1 truck frames (pair), bolster pins (pair), brake wheel, and decals. Decals includes SPMW version. Made in U.S.A.

By the late 1950's, most of ESPEE's baggage cars were worn out. With a recession in 1958, SP was reluctant to reinvest their resources in the passenger business. However, the mail & express services still provided much needed revenues to float their passenger trains. In 1959 through 1960, St. Louis Car Co. (StLCC) built 100 baggage cars for SP as class 66-B-1 (66-ft over the end sills). Similar looking cars were also built for the Rock Island. Ninety cars were built without messenger service and numbered 6601 - 6640; 6651 - 6700. Cars 6641-6650 were messenger equipped. The non-messenger equipped cars weigh in at 82,000 lbs and had a load limit of 65,000 lbs. For contrast, their 60-B-x Common Standard baggage car built in the teens weighed in about 94,600 lbs - not much savings of weight! These StLCC were equipped with General Service Industries newly designed lightweight truck, ran on 33-in "freight car" wheels classified as by SP as 4-T-1 and have standard freight car braking system. They earned the reputation as rough riding by the train crews. Painted in solid dark Lark gray, they stuck out in the passenger train consist. However, it did the trick of allowing the elimination of older baggage cars and providing reliable service for the Espee remaining passenger trains. These cars earned their keep in sealed mail and express shipments and as well as in baggage services on all their named trains such as the Coast Daylight, the Lark, City of SF, Golden State etc. In September 1967, the Post Office ended their First Class Mail contract with the passenger railroads. Fifteen cars found their way in SPMW service receiving new numbers. Some of the MW cars were repainted in light gray paint. A few of them became buildings for storage and offices. At least, two cars 6652 and 6671 were leased by Amtrak.

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