Re: Swift paint scheme

Richard Townsend

Well that photo seems pretty definitive. Curiouser and curiouser. And another reason I wish I had gone to Chicagoland. Thanks for the info.

Richard Townsend
Lincoln City, OR

-----Original Message-----
From: Douglas Harding <doug.harding@...>
To: main <>
Sent: Tue, Oct 29, 2019 8:31 pm
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] Swift paint scheme

Richard a group of us gathered at Chicagoland last Friday to discuss the Swift reefer fleet. This included looking at photos both Steve Hile and I had collected. The photo you asked about is one that had us puzzled as it does not match any of known paint schemes. However I have seen one other photo that appears to have a Swift reefer with the same paint scheme.
Based on the Chevy billboard I would say the photo is circa 1952. Look at the reefer on the lower left. It appears to have the same paint scheme, dark color (red?) with while/light lettering. I can’t make out the number, but it is a four digit number and looks like it might begin with 4, which would put it in the largest block of Swift reefers in the early 50s, 3500-5199 with 1517 cars in the 1953 ORER.
The P/L schemes appears to be a solid red, with white lettering/font that matches the black lettering/font on yellow cars, right down to the word “refrigerator” on the right of the door. Which is odd as the word refrigerator is on the left side as well. The new 1950 P/L scheme was red cars with the white fascia board that had white lettering that with the word “Swift” in very large letters on the right side of the door, just like the red banner found on the 1948 paint scheme.
I going to guess that Swift experimented with their new red P/L scheme before settling on the final design. The car you asked about, SRLX 12624, has the small word refrigerator on the right side, not the large banner sized Swift. So this may have been a transition design that lost out to the large banner size “Swift”.
Doug  Harding
From: [] On Behalf Of Richard Townsend via Groups.Io
Sent: Tuesday, October 29, 2019 9:06 PM
Subject: [RealSTMFC] Swift paint scheme
I my on-going research into the Swift & Co. freight car fleet, I have found this photo:
I am in a quandary about its paint scheme. At first look the car appears to have dark sides with light lettering. Perhaps like the bright red cars with white lettering that included the large banner "Swift" to the right of the door. But the lettering on this car is the same style as used on Swift reefers two paint schemes before the all red sides.
On closer examination, I think there may be an optical illusion at work here. Notice the reporting marks and car number on the side. They appear to grade into a dark color. So I'm thinking the "lightness" of the lettering might just be an artifact of how the light is reflecting off the (glossy) paint used for the lettering. It might just be a yellow-sided car with black lettering.
What says the throbbing brain of the RealSTMFC group?
Richard Townsend
Lincoln City, OR

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