All About Aurora Postage Stamp Trains
Passenger car styles were often specific to the railroads on which they ran. For example, Trix's Vista-Dome (below) appears to be based on the Pleasure Dome, a car made by Pullman in 1950 for the Santa Fe (right). Also, dome cars were used on western lines almost exclusively; more information here. Making matters worse, Trix deliberately made all of their passenger cars as much as 15% shorter than their real-life counterparts in order to better navigate tight curves. (Arnold did the same thing with their passenger cars, while Röwa and Rivarossi chose to make correctly-proportioned models.)
Unfortunately, between their short length, generic styling and totally made-up paint schemes, Trix's cars were all pure fantasy, and in these days of prototypically accurate models, their only real value is nostalgia.
Unlike the freight cars, which were manufactured by Roco in Austria, the Postage Stamp passenger cars were manufactured by Trix in Western Germany, although Trix didn't brand them. Today, they may show signs of age: sometimes the aluminum paint may become slightly yellowed, as may the grey plastic trucks, especially if they've been exposed to sunlight. Curiously, although the 1967 passenger set packaging was made to accept Vista-Domes, the sets instead had coaches, suggesting perhaps there was a delay in their release. And for reasons unknown, Pennsylvania Vista Domes are the most rare.
In 1970, American Tortoise took over distribution of the Minitrix passenger car line. Subsequently the cars began appearing branded for Model Power, and they were released in many road names, including those originally sold by Aurora. These re-issues are often mistaken to be Postage Stamp cars; however, the big giveaway is that they have black trucks instead of light grey. Production of these cars presumably continued until the late 1990s, when Trix went bankrupt, and their new owner, Märklin, ended production of all North American models.
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Postage Stamp Trains is a Trademark of the Aurora Plastics Corporation.