Re: History of Bev-Bel

Charlie Vlk

Bev-Bel and Karline provided variety in freight car decoration back in the dark ages when manufacturers thought one paint job and roadnumber was sufficient per railroad and kept that same car in their line for decades.

Kar-Line had RTR Athearn and Roundhouse cars, pre-equipped with Kadee couplers, that were nicely painted and decaled.   BevBel made special runs of kits and some RTR cars using pad printing or possibly early on rubber stamping.

“Back in the Day” Athearn and MDC Roundhouse were the primary production lines in town, with minor support from AHM, Fleischmann, Lindberg, Revell, Mantua/Tyco, Lionel, and Crown (Chinese copies of Athearn some of which are still in the Bachmann lineup).

Renumbering freight cars was important because our HO Club (the Illinois Tech Model Railroaders) had a car registry and if you didn’t make an entry first you had to get out the decals if you wanted to operate the car on the club layout.

From my days at Con-Cor/JMC and Kato I have good impressions of my contacts with Bev at Bev-Bel….they ran a nice business.

Charlie Vlk


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