Re: [EXT] [RealSTMFC] caboose colors

Garth Groff and Sally Sanford <mallardlodge1000@...>


The Sacramento Northern did this with their cabooses from at least the late 1930s. The practice stopped on some repaints of cabooses obtained from the WP in the early 1950s as far as I can tell from photos. Some of their older cabooses were still painted this way until retired in the late 1950s. Attached is a Will Whittaker photo (poorly focused, one of his rare booboos) showing this paint scheme around 1948. I have seen this in color films as well, and I can also spot it in some well-balanced black-and-white photos.

The Southern Pacific painted caboose ends a bright orange, probably starting in the 1950s.

Yours Aye,

Garth Groff  🦆

On Sun, Jul 4, 2021 at 1:38 PM Dave Parker via <> wrote:
There is  a fascinating book called "The Painting of Railway Equipment" by B E Miller that dates to 1924:

He lists these red pigments:  vermilion (mercury sulfide), red lead, Venetian red, Indian red, and Tuscan red.  Based on the descriptions, I don't think there would have been any problem formulating a paint that would correspond to our current impression of "caboose red".  I think cadmium-based paints provided (and still do) the most vivid reds, but I'm guessing they were too pricey for use on rail cars.

In the FWIW department, at that time the B&M's cabooses had distinctly red ends, but freight-car color (i.e., oxide) sides.  I don't know if this practice was common on other roads.
Dave Parker
Swall Meadows, CA

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