UP underframe painting

Mike Brock <brockm@...>

Regarding the color of underframes, trucks, wheels etc., the late Terry Metcalfe does, indeed, say in his UP frt car book that that UP box cars were painted with Synthetic Red throughout the Forties and Fifties. He also says that Flat cars were painted with Synthetic Red including underframe and trucks.

However, UP drawing 303-c-10782 [ 1-2-51 ] states that sides and ends of underframe of flat cars are to be painted with primer and 2 coats of "red freight car paint." "All other parts of the underframe are to be painted with primer and one coat of black car cement. Care should be taken in spraying AB Brake parts so that cement is not too heavily applied. Paint truck bolsters & side frames with primer and a light coat of red freight car paint. Do not paint wheels or axles". So, was the underframe red or black? Depends upon which part apparently. And, researching it might depend upon which drawing.

UP drawing 304-c-9358 [ A-50-18 class of auto car, 7-16-47 ] says for trucks, underframe, body and roof: Red synthetic freight car paint.

Color photos of UP box cars as shown in UP Color Guide to Freight and Passenger Equipment show in every case into the 70's red painted trucks.

Were all trucks of all UP box cars so painted? It will take me a bit longer to determine...have 26,560 to check just in 1946.

To add to that, just because a drawing calls for a specific paint to be applied in a specific place, that does not mean it always happened. Photos are very clear that UP painted steam locomotives in slightly different renditions of their greyhound paint scheme.

Mike Brock

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