Re: MDT Freight Car Brown

Nelson Moyer

Thanks for the feedback. I have your book. According to my 1953 ORER, there were 53 car still on the rails in series 43000-43999, so I can model at least one car without era creep. I haven’t seen Tru Color NYC Freight Car Brown (I just noticed my dyslexia popped up in the original post), so I’ll compare it with the alternatives and go with my overall impression of the photos.


Nelson Moyer


From: <> On Behalf Of ROGER HINMAN via
Sent: Saturday, May 8, 2021 3:28 PM
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] MDT Freight Car Brown


Be careful when looking at color photos and make sure you understand the date it was taken. MDT moved to a more brownish color in the late fifties just about the time NYC boxcars were going green. For the car you want to model, it wouldn’t have lasted that long. A good color reference for the period your car would operate in is the Jack Delano wartime photos.  I have seen no evidence of any color chips used by MDT and the few stencil drawings I have refer to freight car red as you stated. To my eye it appears more red when fresh and fades to brown on more weathered cars. Even though a subsidiary, MDT created its own specifications.


Roger Hinman



On May 8, 2021, at 2:02 PM, Nelson Moyer <npmoyer@...> wrote:


I’m ready to paint a wood MDT reefer originally series 19940-19999, renumbered in series 43000-43999 when converted to AB brakes. The few color photos I have of MDT reefers were taken in the orange scheme with freight car red ends and roofs, but the freight car red looks more like a freight car brown. I checked the  RPC Vol 3 freight car color mix table for Floquil, and the recommendation is 1 part D&H Caboose Red and 3 parts Southern Freight Car Brown. I can use the various conversion tables to get a close match to the Floquil colors, but I’d like to know if there is a better option.


Tru Color makes NCY Freight Car Brown, and since MDT was a subsidiary of NYC, wouldn’t they use the same boxcar color as NYC? If that’s a valid assumption, I’ll use Tru Color for the ends and roof. If not, what are modelers using today for MDT freight car brown?


Nelson Moyer


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