Re: Erie Diamond Herald


Bill Welch wrote:

Could someone knowledgeable of the Erie freight cars elaborate a
little on their diamond heralds in terms of size and color when used
on boxcars? I know there were at least two sizes and were they always
black & white? I have it my head there was a yellow & black version.
Dates where relevant in terms of size would be helpful.

There are really four versions of the Erie "diamond" monogram (and a one-off or two). The monogram was created to be representative of "the four corners of the Earth", with the central ball the planet, and the outer diamond being the four corners.

In a nutshell,

1. The early 26" diamond (as measured across opposite corner to corner) was all white, and originally did not have a black center circle. I'm not sure of the exact date of inception, but the black circle was added sometime around 1930. The circle diameter on this style monogram was 17", and lettering was a condensed roman style with serifs.

2. In May of 1941 it was modified, with the diameter of the central circle being reduced to 15 3/16", and the lettering was changed to a compressed, elongated modern gothic w/o serifs, representing the "look" that we are all most familar with.

3. October of 1945, Erie started taking delivery of an order of 700 '44 Standard, 10-4 IH, 40' boxes, built by ACF. At that time, the diamond was again modified with all the white portions being painted in Erie's imitation gold, the same paint that was used on steam loco lettering. Those 700 cars came through with this "transition" herald, and some shop repaints also got the scheme, but it only lasted for a little over 18 months. A pic of this series car can be seen in R.P. Cyc. #3, page 43.

4. In July of 1947, the Erie's Dunmore shops started applying the last revision of the diamond, an enlarged version of the original black and white 1941, that measured 72" from tip to tip. Dunmore received a new order of '44 Standards in the 90XXX series from ACF in August of that year; the cars being received unpainted. ACF Berwick, PA plant was only an hour away from the Erie's Dunmore shops. That version of the monogram lasted until the EL merger in November of 1961.

One other variant was that used on reefers. Erie never owned many, but leased quite a few. In that case, the diamond and the lettering were the period-appropriate version, with the diamond and the lettering being all black. A reefer version has been printed as a decal in the past, but it's not correct, having a white circle background behind the lettering.

The Culotta set's not bad, but it has issues too. That set was made for '37 standards, but has the IH listed at 10-4, and not 10-0. Erie did roster two series of late '37's with a 10-4 IH (80XXX and 81XXX), but the bulk of their '37's were 10-0. Also, Ted did not reduce the diamter of the center circle on the 1941 white and yellow diamonds. He used the same size diamter for all three of the 26" monograms on his decal sheet, which is not correct.

Matt Forsyth

Modeling the D&H Penn Division
Erie Jefferson Divison
in P48, Summer of 1952

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