Re: Gondola Load
Garth Groff <sarahsan@...>
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From my observation, the WP was very parsimonious about repainting older rolling stock, and some boxcars went right into MW service in the 1970s with their original white lettering. Remember, the WP flirted with bankruptcy during their whole long existence (some have said it was an "on-going affair"). Repainting a 1947 car to the 1949 aluminum scheme would have been rare, though I'm sure it did happen during major repairs. The aluminum scheme was discontinued in mid-1955 after just six years (50' single-door PS-1s 36001-36025 delivered in June 1955 where probably the last purchased with aluminum lettering). Repainting the 1947 cars in the 1955-1962 yellow "Feather River Route" lettering without a herald would have been more likely.
The switch to aluminum lettering apparently happened in 1949. In his book WESTERN PACIFIC COLOR GUIDE TO FREIGHT AND PASSENGER EQUIPMENT, Jim Eager says that gondolas 6300-6400 were the first cars to wear the aluminum lettering. Supposedly the change was themed to the inauguration of the California Zephyr.
As far as I can tell from color photographs, the 1951 PS-1s (20821-21400) were the first WP boxcars to be delivered with black ends. I could be wrong about this, but I think the 1947 cars were all-FCR and came with white lettering.
The black ends and roof were not painted. This was car cement, and was both difficult and expensive to remove. If it was in good condition, only the sides would have been repainted. Example: The original twenty silver PS-1 boxcars in series 19501-19520 built by Pullman in 1951 were silver on their ends and roofs. When it was decided in 1953 to expand the class by having Pullman add "compartmentizers" to 22 more cars from the main series (20821-21400), WP balked at the expense of having Pullman blast off the car cement, and the cars returned to the WP as 19521-19542 with their black ends and roofs. It appears that with the 1955 repaints, any remaining car cement was removed, as I have never seen a car (or photo) in this paint scheme with black ends. Ditto for DF/Compartmentizer/load restrainer boxcars that were repainted into the 1957/58 small orange feather and "Rides Like a Feather" paint scheme boxcars. All of these cars, including 19521-19542, received FCR ends and roofs. Apparently by then the WP had gotten over their cheapness regarding car cement, or it was in such bad condition the remainder had to be removed.
Keep in mind that consistency was never a strong suit on the WP. What the bean counters in San Francisco decided was sometimes ignored by the Jeffrey Shops crews in Sacramento. The WP was also a great experimenter (when they had the cash), always looking for some new technology or image that would give them an edge over the SP. Their boxcars were rolling billboards to these changes.
The WP wasn't particularly good about preserving their records either. The CSRM Library in Sacramento might have some painting standards. I obtained a detailed large scale drawing of the 16001 series boxcars from them, which was actually an early painting standards sheet.
On 4/2/19 12:26 AM, Ed Hawkins wrote: