P64/65

1:87 Scale

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Rating
8/10

P64 / P65 Class Boxcar

Bachmann China

Prototype Information

At the time the models were produced, the P64/65 box cars were the latest class of standard box car in China, having recently been superceded by the P70 class cars. The P64's were painted in brown or black livery and handled cargo that needed to remain dry (this sometimes includes military personnel!). While most countries have moved away from box cars in favour of containers, they remain a common sight in China. The P65's were painted dark green with yellow livery and used in 'Railway Express Luggage Service' (RELS).

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General Information

These box cars were the first mass produced HO scale Chinese freight car, although 'mass-produced' may be too strong a term. The first run sold out fairly quickly, considering that Chinese model railways was still in its infancy at this stage. A second run followed about a year later, although asides from the road numbers and repositioning of the description labels on the box, they were more or less the same. It appears the tooling was sold to CMR Line in the early 2020's.

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In late April 2011, Bachmann China announced a third run of these cars, with two new road numbers per livery. The new P64's are also lettered as 'P64AK' - the K denoting fast service type bogies (and, yes, they're equipped with said bogies). Unfortunately, they've also equipped the latter run with pizza cutter wheels.

Packaging

The P64's and P65's were sold in a thin cardboard box with display window, which had minor aesthetic changes between the different production runs. The model is supported by a foldable plastic clam shell with small pieces of foam to protect the edges of the model from paint damage while stored.

Details

The body is a one piece casting, with everything apart from end ladders/footsteps grab irons on the roof and brake gear, molded on to it. Unfortunately, the doors are also part of the body shell, so therefore can't be positioned in an open positon, unless you're up for some major kitbashing. Asides from this, the models are very well done. The undercarriage has separately applied braking gear, although most of this is lost when the car is on the rails. However, if you're one of those who experience frequent derailments, you should find this to be rather nice. The basic body style is very well reproduced and the paint is very evenly applied. Lettering is very sharp and clear. My main criticism is with the green color on the P65's which, for 99% of the P65's I've ever seen, is much too bright. The photo in the prototype above is by far the closest match I've found to date, but this is definitely an exception to the rule. 

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Performance

These cars are nicely weighted and roll very freely. The metal wheels are low profile (except third production run) and roll over just about any HO scale track you can throw at them. (Bachmann - we really, really miss these)

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Couplers

The Bachmann EZ-mate couplers can be replaced with Kadee #5/58/158 couplers.