Re: Palace Poultry Car Color


The whole idea of color is very difficult. I doubt that these cars were in passenger trains (brakes, trucks, etc), so Pullman Green does not appeal to me. I do have photos of them in freight trains coupled next to ATSF stock cars, and the tones of the cars are the same.


I have photos of LPTCo 257, 409, 475, 507, 683, 866, 1023, 1241, 1642, and 2146 all in service, and they appear pretty uniform in tone throughout.

My factory publicity photos of LPTCo 666, 677, 732, 1181, and 1566 all appear to be two tone.

This leads me to conjecture that advertising photos show the cars painted in at least two colors to emphasize the intricacy of construction, which would be difficult to see without contrasting paint. This is the same reason we see other types of freight cars in publicity photos in what appears to be unusual or reverse paint schemes.


Another example is my publicity photo of PPKX 5065 which has dark ends and messenger compartment while the cages and trusses are very light. The publicity photo of 5131  is the opposite with light ends, roof, sill, and messenger compartment while the interior is dark.  The first has white lettering, the second has black lettering. My in service photos of PPKX 5195 and 5559 show them to be uniformly painted in a neutral color so that the sill lettering is white and the name over the messenger door is a bit darker and hard to read. Special painting for publicity photos would explain this variation.


Could the cars have simply been some shade of box car red with white lettering and golden name over the door? Maybe the folks in St. Louis can scratch through what little paint is left on the PPKX 5568 and discover an original paint color. Of course there is that photo which has been circulated of the Pacific Wholesale Poultry car from Petaluma, CA. It appears to be MOW silver in that photo.


J. Stephen Sandifer


From: [] On Behalf Of Douglas Harding
Sent: Tuesday, February 26, 2019 4:41 PM
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] Palace Poultry Car Color


Here is a screen capture from Kristen’s PowerPoint, which shows several variations in Poultry Car paint schemes.

The two Poultry Palace cars show a light colored body, one has dark entry and ends, the other has light entry and ends.


Like Kristen, I have nothing beyond the John White quote about color.


Doug  Harding


From: [] On Behalf Of Jake Schaible
Sent: Tuesday, February 26, 2019 9:41 AM
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] Palace Poultry Car Color


As you may know, no PPKX car is known to survive.  So there is a bit of debate on the exact color  (The sole cackle car existent is a Live Poultry Transport type at the StL MoT.)   

B&W images of PPKX cars (for example, google "PPKX 5065") show the scheme, but I'm not aware of any contemporaneous primary source that details the specific paint used on these cars.  "Home to Roost: The Story of Live Poultry Transit by Rail", by John H. White, Jr. ( mentions in passing the poultry cars being "yellow" but is unclear who's cars he was talking about and this comes after a passage about the LPT.  

So this may be a case where the best evidence may be old models.  

Ambroid introduced it's shake box kit of the PPKX car "Speedy" in 1961 and apprentice details that the "color scheme was white body, green ends, roof and doors, and black underframe." The car is reviewed in the September, 1961 issue of Model Railroader in the Trade Topics column (p 14) which added the lettering was also green for over the door, and white for the black side of the exposed underframe.  This car was later sold by Northeastern as kit #HS-4.  Some images on line suggest the modeler went with a kelly green, but I think this might be a mistake.  Remember these cars were often placed on express trains, so I have long had a hunch they were more an olive / harriman green to match the train.  

Having said that, I'm aware of an image at CSRM of a PPKX car ( where I would be hard pressed to prove the body was painted anything other than a single color, but does seem to confirm the lettering over the door is darker than the side and the lettering on the side frame is lighter.  

Sorry I could not be more helpful.  


Jake Schaible



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