Topics

PFE reefer colour schemes


roblmclear <rob.mclear2@...>
 

Hi to all

I need some help, I am modelling the Cajon Pass region during the time period of 1947 to 1949 and I thought that I had the colour scheme for PFE reefers down pretty right, but I may have made some errors, I was assuming that the colour scheme should be reefer orange sides and boxcar red roofs and ends, with black hardware and underframe. But I have read somewhere now that the roof and ends should be black, somewhat like the SFRD cars, I don't know if this is correct or not, or did PFE change their colour scheme sometime during my time frame, or worse still for me just before it. I apologise if you have seen this on other groups I have cross posted it on a number of others.

Any help would be appreciated,
TIA

Rob McLear
Brisbane Australia.


Anthony Thompson <thompson@...>
 

Rob McLearr wrote:
I need some help, I am modelling the Cajon Pass region during the time period of 1947 to 1949 and I thought that I had the colour scheme for PFE reefers down pretty right, but I may have made some errors, I was assuming that the colour scheme should be reefer orange sides and boxcar red roofs and ends, with black hardware and underframe. But I have read somewhere now that the roof and ends should be black, somewhat like the SFRD cars, I don't know if this is correct or not, or did PFE change their colour scheme sometime during my time frame, or worse still for me just before it.
You had it right the first time, Rob. PFE cars did get black roofs and ends in the 1960s, but not in your time.

Tony Thompson Editor, Signature Press, Berkeley, CA
2906 Forest Ave., Berkeley, CA 94705 www.signaturepress.com
(510) 540-6538; fax, (510) 540-1937; e-mail, thompson@...
Publishers of books on railroad history


Dick Harley
 

On Tue Sep 22, 2009 Rob McLear asked about PFE reefer colors between 1947 and 1949, and whether there were black ends and roofs.

First a question: Rob, where did you read that?

I've spent well over two months during the past year reading PFE lettering drawings and looking at photographs to prepare a database for PFE paint & lettering schemes from 1925 to 1980. I know of Black metal roofs in the 1920s, but the ends were Metallic (freight car red). I know of Black ends during the 1960s and early 1970s, but the roofs were Light Gray, Aluminum or White. At no time between 1925 and 1980 am I aware of black roof AND ends at the same time on PFE reefers.

A couple additional points:
PFE reefers were painted something very close to what modelers call "Daylight Orange", and not "Reefer Orange".
The black-painted side hardware was removed from the PFE paint scheme in January 1949, though the side sills or tabs were still black. End hardware was always the same color as the end.

Clinics have been presented at the UPHS convention and WPM San Bernardino. Clinics will be presented at Naperville this year. The data will eventually get put on a website and/or published within the next year, I hope.

Cheers,
Dick Harley
Laguna Beach, CA


Anthony Thompson <thompson@...>
 

Dick Harley wrote:
A couple additional points:
PFE reefers were painted something very close to what modelers call "Daylight Orange", and not "Reefer Orange".
It wasn't "very close," it was the exact same color. PFE documents so state, and the PFE and SP color chips for this paint are identical.

Tony Thompson Editor, Signature Press, Berkeley, CA
2906 Forest Ave., Berkeley, CA 94705 www.signaturepress.com
(510) 540-6538; fax, (510) 540-1937; e-mail, thompson@...
Publishers of books on railroad history


Tim O'Connor
 

Dick, I direct your attention to the photo on page 78 of Morning
Sun's "Rock Island in Color Volume 1"... PFE 47036, which otherwise
has an ordinary dual b/w heralds paint scheme, definitely appears
(at least to me) to have black ends. The photo date is 1961 and the
car has a few years of weathering. It's possible that metallic red
paint morphed into a uniformly dark shade that starkly contrasts
with the car roof but.... I've long been intrigued by this photo.
In fact there are five PFE reefers in the shot, but only the 47036
shows an extremely dark end.

I do agree with you, I don't know of any black roofs in this era.
Unfortunately many vendors have painted PFE cars with black ends
and black roofs and that has created an impression on modelers
that is hard to fix.

Tim O'Connor

I've spent well over two months during the past year reading PFE
lettering drawings and looking at photographs to prepare a database
for PFE paint & lettering schemes from 1925 to 1980. I know of Black
metal roofs in the 1920s, but the ends were Metallic (freight car
red). I know of Black ends during the 1960s and early 1970s, but the
roofs were Light Gray, Aluminum or White. At no time between 1925
and 1980 am I aware of black roof AND ends at the same time on PFE
reefers.

Cheers,
Dick Harley


Tim O'Connor
 

Dick Harley wrote

I know of Black ends during the 1960s and early 1970s, but the
roofs were Light Gray, Aluminum or White.
One more item: Morning Sun PRR Color Guide, Volume 2, page 79 --
a shot of PFE 11559 (R-40-28) with glistening black ends, and a
red metallic roof.

Tim O'Connor


Anthony Thompson <thompson@...>
 

Tim O'Connor wrote:
One more item: Morning Sun PRR Color Guide, Volume 2, page 79 -- a shot of PFE 11559 (R-40-28) with glistening black ends, and a red metallic roof.
As Tim points out, there DO exist examples in photos of ice cars prior to the 1962 adoption of aluminum roofs and black ends for PFE ice cars, which have red roofs and black ends, or aluminum roofs and red ends, or red roofs and black ends. Earl Hopkins, retired CMO for PFE, told me in our interview that once the mechanical cars started getting black ends and aluminum roofs, the shops sometimes would squeeze in an ice car while they had the "wrong" paint in the spray gun. But it was NOT standard or even very common before 1962, and he stated that shops which did this would "get a memo" about it.

Tony Thompson Editor, Signature Press, Berkeley, CA
2906 Forest Ave., Berkeley, CA 94705 www.signaturepress.com
(510) 540-6538; fax, (510) 540-1937; e-mail, thompson@...
Publishers of books on railroad history


Dick Harley
 

On Tue Sep 22, 2009 Tim O'Connor pointed to some photos in Rock Island and PRR books.

Well geesh, the weird photos always show up in books I do not have and would not think to look in. Thanks very much for the references, Tim. I'll try to track them down. It will be interesting to see when and where those cars were painted. Other inputs are certainly welcome.

And as Tony wrote, there clearly are a few cars that get painted something other than what the plans say. I know it's true for UP and PFE, and likely for all other railroads too.

It's hard enough to sort out and document the "official" painting and lettering schemes that PFE created. These occasional 'errors' make the job interesting, but more time consuming and sometimes frustrating. My interest is in providing correct information to manufacturers and modelers so that they don't go and produce a dozen road numbers with a painting & lettering scheme that is at best one- of-a-kind - like maybe InterMountain does. There are so many prototype PFE painting & lettering schemes possible that it really frustrates me to see folks do bogus schemes.

Cheers,
Dick Harley
Laguna Beach, CA


Anthony Thompson <thompson@...>
 

Dick Harley wrote:
It's hard enough to sort out and document the "official" painting and lettering schemes that PFE created. These occasional 'errors' make the job interesting, but more time consuming and sometimes frustrating. My interest is in providing correct information to manufacturers and modelers . . .
Absolutely right. Modelers need to know the standard paint schemes. Oddball color combinations on a few PFE reefers is no more meaningful than those examples of various road names stenciled with the letters out of order.

Tony Thompson Editor, Signature Press, Berkeley, CA
2906 Forest Ave., Berkeley, CA 94705 www.signaturepress.com
(510) 540-6538; fax, (510) 540-1937; e-mail, thompson@...
Publishers of books on railroad history


michael bishop <goldrod_1@...>
 

I think (a dangerous thing for me do anymore) that I read somewhere that PFE had some silver or aluminum ice bunker reefers. Is this correct, or am I getting my facts mixed up. Thanks for any help.
 
Michael Bishop


Anthony Thompson <thompson@...>
 

michael bishop wrote:
I think (a dangerous thing for me do anymore) that I read somewhere that PFE had some silver or aluminum ice bunker reefers. Is this correct, or am I getting my facts mixed up. Thanks for any help.
Yessir. They built exactly two aluminum body cars at a time when the PFE car fleet was around 40,000 cars. Much as I like PFE and many PFE model cars as I have, I don't have one of them--they are just too rare. But hey, model them both if you like.

Tony Thompson Editor, Signature Press, Berkeley, CA
2906 Forest Ave., Berkeley, CA 94705 www.signaturepress.com
(510) 540-6538; fax, (510) 540-1937; e-mail, thompson@...
Publishers of books on railroad history


roblmclear <rob.mclear2@...>
 

Exactly right Tony, I have stayed away from them as well it's also why I haven't modelled or bought a car with the rounded painted sides or the car with the script lettering, I did falter in HO a few years ago when Intermountain offered the car with the boxcar red stripes on the sides but won't be going that route again. As you say just too rare and in some cases the paint didn't last all that long on the railroad.

Rob.

--- In STMFC@..., Anthony Thompson <thompson@...> wrote:

michael bishop wrote:
I think (a dangerous thing for me do anymore) that I read somewhere
that PFE had some silver or aluminum ice bunker reefers. Is this
correct, or am I getting my facts mixed up. Thanks for any help.
Yessir. They built exactly two aluminum body cars at a time
when the PFE car fleet was around 40,000 cars. Much as I like PFE and
many PFE model cars as I have, I don't have one of them--they are just
too rare. But hey, model them both if you like.

Tony Thompson Editor, Signature Press, Berkeley, CA
2906 Forest Ave., Berkeley, CA 94705 www.signaturepress.com
(510) 540-6538; fax, (510) 540-1937; e-mail, thompson@...
Publishers of books on railroad history


Anthony Thompson <thompson@...>
 

rob lmclear wrote:
Exactly right Tony, I have stayed away from them as well it's also why I haven't modelled or bought a car with the rounded painted sides or the car with the script lettering, I did falter in HO a few years ago when Intermountain offered the car with the boxcar red stripes on the sides but won't be going that route again. As you say just too rare and in some cases the paint didn't last all that long on the railroad.
Yes, the curved corner script is even worse--just ONE car--and like the stripe scheme, didn't last very long. But many modelers cannot resist this kind of stuff.

Tony Thompson Editor, Signature Press, Berkeley, CA
2906 Forest Ave., Berkeley, CA 94705 www.signaturepress.com
(510) 540-6538; fax, (510) 540-1937; e-mail, thompson@...
Publishers of books on railroad history


Jim & Lisa Hayes <jimandlisa97225@...>
 

I confess that I have one with the curved corners and script Pacific Fruit
Express. It's such a beautiful design. I knew when I bought it that it was a
one-off and only lasted a very, very short time and that was outside my era.
Out of 35 PFE reefers, it's the only oddball.

Jim Hayes
Portland Oregon
www.sunshinekits.com


Richard Townsend
 

I have one, too.? It sits in my display case with my out-of-era billboard reefers.? I suspect that my unbuilt PSC tank car will end up there as well, if it ever gets built.


Richard Townsend
Lincoln City, Oregon

-----Original Message-----
From: Jim & Lisa Hayes <jimandlisa97225@...>
To: STMFC@...
Sent: Wed, Sep 23, 2009 3:56 pm
Subject: RE: [STMFC] Re: PFE reefer colour schemes






I confess that I have one with the curved corners and script Pacific Fruit
Express. It's such a beautiful design. I knew when I bought it that it was a
one-off and only lasted a very, very short time and that was outside my era.
Out of 35 PFE reefers, it's the only oddball.

Jim Hayes
Portland Oregon
www.sunshinekits.com


pullmanboss <tgmadden@...>
 

I have one, too. It sits in my display case with my out-of-era billboard reefers. I suspect that my unbuilt PSC tank car will end up there as well, if it ever gets built.
Last week we toured the studio of the late artist Alan Houser outside of Santa Fe. On display is a large (7' high) block of unworked stone. The guide said words to the effect that "This block was standing in the artist's studio at the time of his death. Concealed within it remains the graceful and beautiful work of art the artist envisioned. We display it to honor that vision."

Both my wife (a weaver) and I had the same thought - what a great way to deal with our respective stashes of unfinished work. But we both thought we'd need much bigger burial plots.

Tom Madden


steve l <stevelucas3@...>
 

It appears that most major roads post-WWII had at least one experimental aluminum-bodied or aluminum-sided boxcar.

CN had only three out of a fleet of over 40,000 steel 40' boxcars. I need a lot of CN cars for a 1956 grain-hauling road, but one aluminum-sided car alone would stick out from all those CN Red #11 cars in a hurry.

Why is it that modellers seem to seek out the unusual to model? Oh, here comes that silver "Cookie Box" again...

Steve Lucas.

--- In STMFC@..., Anthony Thompson <thompson@...> wrote:

michael bishop wrote:
I think (a dangerous thing for me do anymore) that I read somewhere
that PFE had some silver or aluminum ice bunker reefers. Is this
correct, or am I getting my facts mixed up. Thanks for any help.
Yessir. They built exactly two aluminum body cars at a time
when the PFE car fleet was around 40,000 cars. Much as I like PFE and
many PFE model cars as I have, I don't have one of them--they are just
too rare. But hey, model them both if you like.

Tony Thompson Editor, Signature Press, Berkeley, CA
2906 Forest Ave., Berkeley, CA 94705 www.signaturepress.com
(510) 540-6538; fax, (510) 540-1937; e-mail, thompson@...
Publishers of books on railroad history