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From the Archives of Dave's Trains, Inc.

Hammer & Sickle Image Soviet Passenger Car Hammer & Sickle Image

Row of Stars Image

About This Car

Every Stalin-era and Khrushchev-era train set produced by the Soviet Union in the 1950's and 1960's included two very attractive, lighted passenger cars. Most of these all-metal coaches came with the sides and roof painted green and with the visible part of the frame being painted black. (The bottom of the frame was left unpainted.) Silver trim around the windows plus three silver pin stripes along each side add additional color. The Soviet emblem and other identification markings heat-stamped in gold provide further decoration.

The coaches also came with swinging doors located on all four corners. Each of the doors has a T-shaped handle that can be used to latch and secure the door -- thus providing a little "play value." A simulated door (for an imaginary vestibule?) is located in the middle of each car end. In addition, two marker lights (plastic, see-through red lenses inside brass flanges) are on the top corners of each end. Frosted plastic inserts for the windows and doors provide a nice finished look to the overall appearance of the car. Illumination for the windows, doors and marker lights is provided by a 13.5-volt bulb energized by means of slider-type collector assemblies.

The car also came with nickel bumpers and nickel truck journals plus cast wheels. The car is 2 3/4 inches wide by 3 3/4 inches high and the overall length of the car (coupler to coupler) is 12 3/4 inches. The quarter and year of production were often stamped on the bottom of the car. Note that the coupler design was apparently copied from American Flyer! This Soviet item was first produced in 1951 and continued to be made as late as 1969. The basic design remained unchanged throughout that entire 19-year period.

Photos of Soviet Passenger Cars
Photo of Coach with MEP
ABOVE: Early (dark green) Coach with "MEP" marking
Photo of Coach without MEP
ABOVE: Later (light green) Coach without "MEP" marking
Photo of Rare Blue Coach
ABOVE: RARE blue-painted Coach (early version with "MEP")


--- Early Version with "MEP" (1951-1956?)

The early version of the Soviet passenger cars had the initials "MEP" (in Cyrillic for the Ministry of Electrotechnical Industries) stamped into the sides of the bodies. This marking was generally located on the lower right on each side. However a pair of the early version cars has been discovered with the "MEP" marking located on the lower left on each side! The early version was produced as late as the 4th quarter of 1956 but it is unclear if it was produced after that.

Most of the cars are painted green -- either dark (pea) green, medium green or light (yellowish) green. However a pair of very rare (early) blue cars has also surfaced. The blue cars have the same trim and other decorations, including the "MEP" marking in the lower right. Two minor differences as compared to all of the green cars that have been examined are as follows: the door handles on the blue cars are not T-shaped -- instead they have a single lever connected at the pivot point; and the entire frame (including the underside) is painted black.

Photos of the markings on Soviet Coaches
Photo of 'MEP' on Early Coaches Photo of USSR Logo on Coaches Photo of Soviet Marking on Coaches
Left: Early "MEP" Marking ~~~ Center: USSR Logo ~~~ Right: Soviet Marking

--- Later Version without "MEP" (1957?-1969)

The later version of the Soviet passenger cars came without the "MEP" marking but it is unclear as to when those initials were first omitted from the sides of the car bodies. The later version coaches were produced through 1969 and most of them were painted light green.

Row of Stars Image

This page is an information document only; nothing on this web page is being offered for sale. This page and all of the other pages from Our Soviet Archives were developed to assist you in understanding the components of the train sets produced in the Soviet Union during the 1950's and 1960's. These sets are known today as "Stalin-era" sets and "Khrushchev-era" sets. We have used pictures from our old files and personal collection to construct this area of our website. If you are interested in buying something, please view our inventory listings to see what we currently have for sale.

This web page was last updated on September 9, 2005. If you have suggestions for improving this page or if you see any errors, please contact us.

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