Will Whittaker Photo
Between 1936 and 1937 the B&O rebuilt 1,290 of its aging M-15B box cars into M-15K box cars (370000-370989 & 371000-371249) and M-15L auto cars (379000-379049). These were new ‘Wagontop’ car bodies on top of the existing M-15 fishbelly center sill underframes.
From 1937-1938, the B&O also constructed 2,000 additional Wagontops, classed M-53, numbers 380000-381999. These cars were like the M-15K class except that they were built new from the rails up with Duryea underframes. In 1953 an additional 1,000 cars were built as class M-53A and numbered 385000-385999. Between 1941 and 1945, one hundred twenty-five cars were modified, reclassed as C-16, renumbered to 1875-1999 and assigned to express service. Starting in May 1947 they were returned to general service.
Starting in 1955, the M-15K box cars began to run afoul of the 40-year old underframe rule. Between 1955 and 1957 all but eighteen M-15Ks were rebuilt with entirely new underframes, thereby extending their service lives.
Both Sunshine and Central Hobby Supply (West Shore Line) offer resin kits to recreate these cars in HO scale.
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