Re: Rock Island aluminum box cars

Steve and Barb Hile

I have been away for a week or so. At one point, I was able to read some of
this discussion. Tim pulled up an old (2003) email from Doc Denny and I was
thinking he would find another in that stream from me noting that there was
a color photo in Don Ball's 1985 color photo book, RAILROADS, (page 47) that
shows a very oblique view of one of the RI aluminum express boxcars that
does seem to show a red colored medallion, probably solid, not outline. The
slogan to the left of the door seems to be black, but it would be difficult
to say for sure about a single word.

My contention in 2003 was that this could well have been a one of a kind
paint job because the builder's photos and others, including the one we used
in the Color Guide show black outline Medallion and Slogan, even 20 years

I do have black and white photos that show 20060 and 20063 in a dark color,
presumably "Pullman green," with light (dulux gold?) lettering. I pointed
out in 2003 that this was not unusual for the RI. They did try to match the
overall look of their trains, using silver express cars, both these and the
ex-troop sleepers in lightweight trains and green painted cars with gold
lettering in heavyweight trains. This also mitigates against red lettering
on the aluminum cars, since they were painted some of the ex-troop cars
silver with black lettering, like that used on the lightweight cars.

It has been interesting to see more emails on this topic than there were
cars (10) in the series.


Steve Hile


From: STMFC@... [mailto:STMFC@...] On Behalf Of Ed
Sent: Tuesday, July 06, 2010 11:07 PM
To: STMFC@...
Subject: Re: [STMFC] Re: Rock Island aluminum box cars

On Jul 6, 2010, at 10:29 PM, pullmanboss wrote:

There's an old Varney embossed paper sided kit (unbuilt) for this car
on eBay right now:

The herald and word "ROCKETS" are red; all other lettering is black.

Tom Madden
I personally wouldn't trust the Varney decal sheet to be a guide for
accurate colors for these cars because, at the very least, the red Rock
Island medallion was inaccurate for the 20060-series aluminum express
box cars. Varney may have produced the decals to embellish what would
have preferred the car to look like rather than how the prototype cars
were actually lettered.

The builder's photo and the in-service color photo in the RI color
guide book both show the road name and outline of the medallion in a
dark color (black or possibly red) with the aluminum sides as the
background. A red Rock Island medallion with white lettering and trim
was used on selected other pieces of RI equipment with several
illustrations of them in the color guide book.
Ed Hawkins

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