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iirc the Nickel plate went over to some kind of bright red in 1948 or a bit later. In the UK some pre 1923 railway companies painted just the end of the guards vans (caboose equivalents) bright red to aid visibility. The post 1923 big four didn't perpetuate the idea.
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From: Jerry Michels <gjmichels53@...>
Date: Sun, 4 Jul 2021, 20:30
Subject: Re: [EXT] [RealSTMFC] caboose colors
Hi Jim, well to put in my comment, but for the MP not GN, the MP painted its cabooses 'caboose red' as did the Iron Mountain before the MP bought it in 1915. So caboose red was an early paint . We also have paper documents that say the IM used caboose red, At some time, probably the 1920s the railroad changed to 'boxcar red' which lasted until the 1970s when the MP went back to 'caboose red" but probably no the original 'caboose red' but more of a 'vermilion red.' There was a touch of orange in it. The story is complex some were freshly painted 'boxcar red' and some the newer 'vermillion red' and part of the story has to do with how the cabooses were repainted, and the fading of a brand of 'caboose red' to orange if it was washed with alkali rather than acid detergent. This led to the story that the MP painted cabooses orange, They didn't, it was faded vermillion. The final color was an Imron Bright caboose red. By the way, many years ago RMC had a misprint stating that the caboose they pictured was painted blue. Never happened. If anyone wants more details on caboose colors on the MoPac, I wrote a book on them. Probably still available somewhere.