P65 Class Boxcar
The P65 box car was based on the earlier P64 boxcars and were manufactured for the newly formed Railway Express Luggage Service (RELS) in the mid 1990's. They are sometimes pressed into military service and are designed to carry not only cargo, but troops as well. They have a cargo weight capacity of 60 tons and a volume capacity of 135 cubic meters. The bogies are rated for 120kph running speeds. Typically they work in dedicated courier service trains, often seen with a pair of passenger cars spliced in the middle of the train and can be seen around most areas of China. They are easily identifiable by their unusual green and yellow livery, although many cars are progressively being painted in standard black.
CMR Line released their P65 box cars at the same time as their P64AK and P64GK box cars (unreviewed, but listed here). Six road numbers for the P65's were released and they seem to be fairly hard to source, although some shops on TaoBao still list them as of February 2023. Prices were very good considering overall good quality of the wagon at 178rmb. They are a plastic model with metal wheels and have significantly heavier weights than most freight cars of this size.
The cars have very basic packaging, which I personally don't like but I guess it helps keeping the prices low. The model is wrapped in a thin plastic sheet and supported by a two piece clear plastic clam shell. A cardboard sleeve goes over this and all contents are wrapped in a sealed clear plastic bag. The cardboard sleeve has a basic label showing the product number. There are no spare parts included (strangely - see details) and no instruction sheet.
Separate;y applied details are a fairly even split of plastic and metal parts. End car platform, under carriage detail and ladders are all plastic, with end and center mounted footsteps a part of the main body mold. Roof handrails and uncoupling rods are very fine steel (probably too fine). I've noticed my example arrived with very loose roof grab irons which I have since glued into place from the inside of the body shell. The doors are non-functioning. I have noticed some minor imperfections in the main shell, notably in the roof portion on the car ends as seen in the photo below.
No add on parts are included which seems a bit odd as there are holes drilled out for air hoses. I'm not sure if they were just forgot to put them in mine or if they are indeed simply not a thing with these models. I will eventually get around to installing Kadee air hoses instead. Speaking of drilled holes, there are around a dozen inexplicable holes drilled into under frame. It is possible these are a shared part with other models and are there to accommodate different underframe components in an effort to reduce costs.
The base color is nice and most importantly we finally have a much more realistic shade of green than Bachmann's excessively bright P65. The yellow stripes are not overly sharp and look a little thin in places, but looking at some of the prototype photos of P65's, it seems they're not exactly perfect either! The lettering is extremely sharp and even the tiniest characters measuring no more than 1mm in height are perfectly legible.
The P65's are relatively heavy cars. They have chemically darkened metal wheel and all of my examples roll exceptionally well.
CMR have used metal Kadee #5 clone couplers which work quite well. I prefer scale head couplers on mine and have therefore replaced them with #153's as I prefer my cars to have short shank couplers. This required replacing the entire coupler box with a Kadee one as well as the stock coupler boxes come with an inbuilt spring system. Fortunately Kadee coupler boxes are a drop in fit. For those who would like to replace with Kadee couplers and wish to have slightly more clearance for sharper corners, try #58's (medium shank/scale heads), #158's with Kadee coupler boxes (medium shank/scale head/whisker springs) or #156's (long shank/scale heads) with Kadee coupler boxes. If you use Kadee #5's, I personally wouldn't bother replacing them at all as they look identical and function just as well. As these models have very few small parts, changing couplers is a breeze - please note all photos in this review show the replacement couplers installed with trip pins removed.