NP Wood Reefer Paint

gary laakso

When W&R imported their Northern Pacific wood reefers, they came in wither orange or yellow.  Bill McKeown obtained side hardware for two reefers, and carefully sanded through the layers and here are his findings that include estimated shop dates:




Built  yellow

1922 yellow

1927 orange

1932 orange

1937 orange

1942 orange

1947 yellow

1952 yellow and retired the next year




Built yellow

1922 yellow

1929 orange

1936 orange

1948 yellow

1950 orange

Retired 1952


His color comments were that the yellow was very close to Floquil reefer yellow and the orange was lighter than the skin of a navel or Valencia orange.  “Photographic data shows that even the 50 foot steel ice reefers were retired in either yellow or orange.  My personal theory is that the paint colors differed by the shop location each time the car was rebuilt.”


Gary Laakso

Northwest of Mike Brock

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