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Broadway Limited Imports HO scale P70

Read this review from the November 2017 Model Railroader
Broadway Limited Imports HO scale P70
Broadway Limited Imports HO scale P70
In addition other underframe detail, our P70R sample accurately model’s the prototype’s ice-air conditioning equipment, including the large ice bunker.

Like the K4s steam locomotive, GG1 electric, or X29 boxcar, the P70 coach is an icon of the Pennsylvania RR. Broadway Limited Imports has released a definitive HO scale plastic P70 model that’s available in two versions and paint schemes and multiple road numbers.

We reviewed a P70 from BLI’s first production run that’s in stores now. Another run has been announced and is listed on the firm’s website.

The prototype. Between 1907 and 1929, Pennsy’s car shops in Altoona and elsewhere built more than 1,000 steel P70 coaches to replace older wood cars. In PRR nomenclature, the “P” stood for “passenger,” and the “70” stood for “70 feet,” which was the length of the passenger compartment.

The earliest P70s had 88 seats. In 1926 the P70 floorplan was changed to 80 seats. In 1933, the railroad began adding ice-air-conditioning equipment to P70 cars, reclassing them P70R. Cars built after 1936 had 76 seats and the rightmost window removed on each side. There were several other variations made to the P70 fleet, including those with reclining seats and mechanical air conditioning.

By the end of World War II, as the PRR ordered new steel cars, most of the P70 cars were removed from Pennsy’s signature varnish. Many P70s finished their careers on commuter trains.

The model. Our review sample models a class P70R car built before 1936 with 80 seats and ice air conditioning. The dimensions of the model match an official PRR diagram.

The model’s plastic body features well-defined molded detail, including properly placed rivet seams. All handrails and roof vents are separately applied, as are the end diaphragms.

The model is smoothly painted with a Tuscan body and black roof and underbody. Our review sample is decorated as the prototype appeared from 1933 until the early 1950s, with gold lettering and striping. The fonts and lettering placement match prototype photos. After the early 1950s the lettering color was switched to a buff yellow.

The plastic underframe is accurately detailed for our P70R sample, with a large ice bunker and separately applied air-conditioning components. Metal weights are sandwiched between the underframe and the interior floor. The truck sideframes are molded in black plastic to match Pennsy class 2D-P5 roller-bearing trucks.

Locking tabs hold the body to the frame. By carefully spreading the car sides, I could lift off the plastic body.

Passenger figures aren’t included, but they would be easy to add. The floor and walls are painted in a green shade, while the seats are maroon. The interior arrangement matched a prototype floorplan. All the windows feature clear plastic glazing.

The car’s metal wheels feed track power to a lighting board in the center of the car’s roof. The board has two light- emitting diodes (LEDs): one facing each end of the car. Clear plastic inserts diffuse the light along the interior compartment. The board features a capacitor that keeps the lights from flickering during short power interruptions.

With its accurate detailing, this P70 coach from Broadway Limited Imports is a must-have car for an HO scale Pennsy roster.

Price: $89.99 (single car), $349.99 (four-car set)

Broadway Limited Imports LLC
9 East Tower Circle
Ormond Beach, FL 32174

Era: 1933 to early 1950s (as detailed and decorated)

Paint schemes (multiple numbers): Gold lettering and stripes or buff lettering and stripes. P70 (post 1926) or P70R versions available in both schemes. Painted but unlettered versions also available.

Detailed and painted interiors
Kadee operating knuckle couplers, at correct height
RP-25 contour metal wheels, in gauge
Minimum radius: 22"
Overhead interior lighting
Weight: 6 ounces (.5 ounce too light per National Model Railroad Association Recommended Practice 20.1)

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