The message carrier has been a great mystery to me. Indeed the excellent website of Dave McCarthy shows a list of items that were produced but I have never seen one, not even a picture of it.
Pat Hammond also mentions this RV330 wagon in his book:
It was also planned to produce an operating mail van. The mail coach was to allow children to post letters in through a slot in the roof which would be ejected at a predetermined point on the track.
It was dropped from the 1971 programme for a short while because of some technical trouble in ejecting the pieces of paper but was reinstated in May 1970 after the design had changed so that the messages were put in a cylinder which was inserted into the roof of the caboose and ejected at the appropriate point along the track.
The model eventually used was the green caboose and then not until 1972. It is consequently a rare item. No solo models were sold.
From this text we learn that it has been produced and sold in two versions. We also learn that it has not been sold separately.
So that leaves us with some questions:
- If this was not sold seperately then in what set was this wagon sold?
- Was the intention to introduce this wagon in 1971 but was this postponed till 1972?
- It was sold for some two years. Why is it so rare?
- What triggered the ejection mechanism? That must have been some device clipped onto the track.
As you are I am very keen to find out more about this wagon but no fun without mysteries 🙂