Re: PRR Roof "colors"


You confirm what all the folks who I have talked to over the years that
worked for the PRR (and others) have said. Instructions are fine, but you
do what you can do.

That is also a great story about the SD45. You wouldn’t happen to know who
might have done that, would you?

Elden Gatwood

-----Original Message-----
From: Thomas Olsen [mailto:tmolsen@...]
Sent: Tuesday, November 18, 2003 10:38 PM
To: STMFC@...
Subject: Re: [STMFC] PRR Roof "colors"


This discussion of what was, what is and what it was supposed to be is
the reason that the PRR was the "Standard Non-Standard Railroad of the
World" after WWII.

Shop Formen, in many cases, made due with what was on hand when doing
repaints, regardless of what the painting specs said should be done. It
did not matter whether they were painting cars or engines! No matter
what the purists say, I have found after 38.5 years of working on the
PRR-PC-CR-AMT, that after WWII anything went, even up into the PC-CR

The best one was the SD45 that suddenly sported large PRR keystones in
the late PC period. You can't imagine the witch hunt that went on to
find out "WHO DID THAT" when that engine showed up on the road.

Tom Olsen
PRR&THS Member #168
7 Boundary Road, West Branch
Newark, Delaware, 19711-7479
PH: (302) 738-4292
E-mail: tmolsen@...


Some of us really do appreciate you pushing the envelope, so don't take
flak too seriously.

Jack Consoli recently found several of the paint instructions issued by
PRR in the State Archives at Harrisburg. The one I have in front of me is
dated 1 Dec 1955, and covers the "new" Shadow Key scheme, and thus, does
apply specifically to the X44 as-built. However, it is a good idea of
the PRR "intended" their freight cars to be "painted". If you are really
interested, copies of these instructions are posted on Rob Schoenburg's

The section specifically on roofs states that "Car roofs, except covered
hoppers and cars with galvanized roofs, must be painted.....freight car
enamel. In the case of a new galvanized roof, ....the top side shall be
painted with a coating of Asphaltum Compound (Car Cement)...After the new
galvanized roof sheets have been painted with the car cement, any future
painting of them shall be done with a specified freight car paint." I
added nothing to this, and have only passed over the irrelevant stuff.
Notice that they use "freight car enamel" and "freight car paint" pretty
much interchangeably. Just like DGLE and DGLP. So much for getting
heartburn over minutiae.

When you look at photos you get a slightly different read on this. It is
obvious that cars without galvanized roofs (X29, etc.) were getting car
cement coatings. Why? Maybe they leaked and a shop decided to re-seal
Maybe they didn't read the instructions and had always been doing it that
way? Who can tell?

It is also obvious in some cases that galvanized roofs didn't get the
cement, but got painted. Again, there may be a hundred reasons why.

And there may be other cars that got cement and then got paint over it.
There may also be many reasons why this occurred.

The point is, don't believe that everything you read is gospel. The
"Standard Railroad of the World" did not necessarily adhere to its own
directions. On a railroad that size, they were doing about all they could
to make things "standard".

Roofwalks can be even more fun, because they are not called out
in the instructions.

Go from the photos! If you doubt your eyes, ask someone else. And if
someone criticizes you for a choice, ask them for definitive evidence.
Chances are they are blowing smoke and don't have the goods.

And if you want some more "roof color" fun, open the Color Guides and
a look at the roof colors, where you can see them. Especially those pics
the X29 rebuilds. The word "uniform" does not come to mind!

Elden Gatwood

-----Original Message-----
From: bill schneider [mailto:branch@...]
Sent: Tuesday, November 18, 2003 11:13 AM
To: STMFC@...
Subject: Re: [STMFC] PRR X44 Boxcars

I'll toss my two cent's worth in here then run for cover....

It is my belief that these cars would have been delivered (like I believe
the X43's were) with asphaltum covered (black) roofs and frames with FC
sides and ends. This is based on painting specs for X43A's as well as
painting specs listed on PRR's own diagrams. These called for the roof to
covered in asphaltum and "sides and ends" to be painted FCR - no mention
roof. This was a common enough painting practice at the time (early
on other roads were roofs were either black or unpainted galvanized. In
fact, Ed Hawkins has turned up several ACF painting instructions that
this out and even specify that some overspray of the side color onto the
roof is to be expected and is acceptable. This is how I believe the X44's
would have been painted.

Here's the rub - although PRR diagrams spell out unpainted black roofs,
clear down-on shots of X43 or X44 or similar cars in the circle keystone
scheme that clearly show the roof color have not turned up. Certainly
are numerous photos of shadow keystone cars with just this sort of roof
painting - black with overspray - but no circle keystone versions yet. As
result some PRR experts have taken the approach that despite what the P&L
instructions are that this black roofs never happened. Some time ago we
released some X43 models that were painted FC red with black roofs. We
went to the extra effort and expense to replicate the overspray along the
roof edges and on the ends of the running boards where they overhang the
ends. For this effort we were taken to task on several groups and had to
field numerous customer service complaints about "incorrectly" painted
roofs. So much for pushing the envelope.... :>)

Bill Schneider
Branchline Trains

Yahoo! Groups Sponsor



ult?mqso=60178338&partid=4116730> click here



To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:

Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to the Yahoo!
< <> >
Terms of Service.

To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:

Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to

Yahoo! Groups Sponsor



To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:

Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to the Yahoo!
<> Terms of Service.

Join to automatically receive all group messages.