George Eichelberger wrote:
"I’ll skip the details but when I purchased and received one of the cars, I questioned the black ends. That led to a spirited series of emails with Kadee and who I consider to be the “most knowledgable” P-S freight car person.
The conclusion, I believe we all agreed to with the “evidence” available, was that the black paint on the Southern car was NOT specified by the SR. The SR cars were part of a lot of 500 produced by P-S that went to a number of railroads to introduce them to the new car based on P-S components. The P-S specification describes the black ends but the Southern spec for 40’ P-S box cars does not.
As the group of SR cars was very small, specific documentation is hard to find but without saying “never”, I think the odds are very high that ONLY the car produced by Kadee had black ends. Multiple photos in the SRHA files of other cars in the group show only FCR ends. While I realize paint could fade before the photos were taken as many as ten years later, no appreciable color difference can be seen between the car ends and sides. Before the remainder of the (25 car?) group left P-S, I expect they were painted in the Southern freight car brown standard. (I can send a copy of one of the photos if anyone would like to look for themselves.)"
PRR had a similar experience, with the 25 PRR Class X48 cars being delivered with black ends. Anecdotal evidence indicates that these cars were repainted very quickly, though I'm not sure of its validity.