Topics

New York Central USRA 50-ton gondola paint color


Eric Hansmann
 

Here's a question that has bothered me for a while. I model 1926 and have built a few of the Intermountain USRA 50-ton gondolas. Long ago I bought a few for New York Central with as-delivered lettering. These are painted mineral brown. 

http://www.intermountain-railway.com/ho/html/46604.htm


The NYC paint and lettering detail on the Canada Southern site indicates all NYC gondolas were painted black, yet Intermountain has produced a couple of runs of these New York Central gondolas in original lettering using the mineral brown paint.


What is the correct paint for as-built New York Central USRA 50-ton gondolas? Black or brown?


Eric Hansmann

El Paso, TX


Charles Hladik
 

Eric,
    It depends on the time frame.
    The site states that up until 2/41 they were black, then they were red.
Chuck Hladik
 

In a message dated 1/13/2014 1:40:08 P.M. Eastern Standard Time, eric@... writes:
 

Here's a question that has bothered me for a while. I model 1926 and have built a few of the Intermountain USRA 50-ton gondolas. Long ago I bought a few for New York Central with as-delivered lettering. These are painted mineral brown. 

http://www.intermountain-railway.com/ho/html/46604.htm


The NYC paint and lettering detail on the Canada Southern site indicates all NYC gondolas were painted black, yet Intermountain has produced a couple of runs of these New York Central gondolas in original lettering using the mineral brown paint.


What is the correct paint for as-built New York Central USRA 50-ton gondolas? Black or brown?

< p style="color:rgb(0, 0, 0);font-size:13px;font-family:arial, helvetica, clean, sans-serif;background-color:transparent;font-style:normal;">

Eric Hansmann

El Paso, TX


Eric Hansmann
 

Thanks Chuck, I have noted that info, which has spurred my question on this model. If black is proper for NYC gondolas before 1941, then why has Intermountain done a few runs of these models with as-built lettering and brown/red paint? Is there something specific to the paint for this car design? Or has Intermountain chosen to paint these in the wrong color (a few times) for the as-built versions? 


Eric Hansmann

El Paso, TX


Charles Hladik
 

Eric,
    When you figure it out let me know. I'm still convinced that in 48 the panel side hoppers were still black, at least mine is.
Chuck Hladik
 

In a message dated 1/14/2014 11:28:51 A.M. Eastern Standard Time, eric@... writes:
 

Thanks Chuck, I have noted that info, which has spurred my question on this model. If black is proper for NYC gondolas before 1941, then why has Intermountain done a few runs of these models with as-built lettering and brown/red paint? Is there something specific to the paint for this car design? Or has Intermountain chosen to paint these in the wrong color (a few times) for the as-built versions? 


Eric Hansmann

El Paso, TX


Jeff Pellas <jppellas@...>
 

I once read an anecdotal account of how hoppers of the NYC first started being painted red. Take this with a grain of salt but what I read was that, when the NYC began rebuilding their vast USRA hopper fleet in the 1930s, the shops at Avis were where the first red ones originated. The reason for the color change was simply due to a surplus of red paint. Corporate  management had to approve the use of red before it was actually applied but once it was, it was then decided to adopt red as the color of all hoppers new or rebuilt going forward. Whether or not this account is factual, what it illustrates is an adaptive or flexible approach to car rebuilding that was probably necessitated by the greatly increased traffic loads as the US began exporting goods to Europe prior to America officially entering the War. I imagine railroads wouldn't hold up a rebuild program because they were out of a particular color of paint. It is also probable that similar cars (like the USRA gons) were being rebuilt at various locations around the vast NYC system resulting in paint variations.     
Jeff
jppellas@...


-----Original Message-----
From: RUTLANDRS
To: STMFC
Sent: Tue, Jan 14, 2014 11:44 am
Subject: Re: [STMFC] New York Central USRA 50-ton gondola paint color



Eric,
    When you figure it out let me know. I'm still convinced that in 48 the panel side hoppers were still black, at least mine is.
Chuck Hladik
 
In a message dated 1/14/2014 11:28:51 A.M. Eastern Standard Time, eric@... writes:
 
Thanks Chuck, I have noted that info, which has spurred my question on this model. If black is proper for NYC gondolas before 1941, then why has Intermountain done a few runs of these models with as-built lettering and brown/red paint? Is there something specific to the paint for this car design? Or has Intermountain chosen to paint these in the wrong color (a few times) for the as-built versions? 

Eric Hansmann
El Paso, TX



 

Re: NYC gon and hopper colors  It is best to rely on photographic evidence.  It is also important to understand that it was not mandatory to completely repaint a car every time it was in the shop.  And the NYC had thousands of gons and hoppers so it was logistically impossible to repaint all of the cars within a short period of time.  Several years ago the late Charlie Smith authored articles on hoppers for the NYCSHS Central Headlight.  Back issues are available on discs, I believe.  Hugh T. Guillaume


Ray Breyer
 

Re: NYC gon and hopper colors  It is best to rely on photographic evidence.
It is also important to understand that it was not mandatory to completely
repaint a car every time it was in the shop.  And the NYC had thousands of
gons and hoppers so it was logistically impossible to repaint all of the cars
within a short period of time.   
Hugh T. Guillaume


Hi Hugh,

The problem here is that Intermountain painted their NYC cars, in their original, 1919 delivery scheme, as brown cars. And while we all "know" that NYC gons were painted black during this time, can anyone PROVE that the USRA composite gons were actually black?

We just went around and around on this very topic in the NKPHTS, trying to figure out if the Wheeling's cars were delivered in black or brown paint. And we came up empty. B&W photos are no help at all, and the Wheeling wasn't what you would call a good bookkeeper. We do have evidence that their STEEL gondolas were always painted black, but we also have artifact evidence (recycled boards) that show that pre-1919 wood-sided gons were brown. What happened during 1919, government control, and changing standards is anyone's guess.

SO.......anyone got anything written from the NYC during WWI stating painting specs? Or USRA car orders and specifications?

Regards,
Ray Breyer
Elgin, IL

(PS: based on the photos that I have, I suspect that the NYC cars really WERE black, and that Intermountain just messed up)


Rupert & Maureen <gamlenz@...>
 

Ray

In the 1918 Railway Mechanical Engineer volume 92 on page 462
http://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=mdp.39015013032779#view=1up;seq=486 is
a photo of the first USRA 55 ton hopper to be completed. It appears to be
black and is lettered "USA 20000". The caption includes "These cars will be
lettered with the name of the railroad to which they are assigned". I
accept that the subject matter is gons as opposed to hoppers but the
earlier article starting on page 190 page that details the specs and
considerations for all the USRA equipment refers to standardisation
including paint specifications. I could not see specific colours for any
parts of the cars except for the trucks.

The volume covers USRA box cars, gons, hoppers, refers, baggage cars, trucks
and at least two types of USRA locos.

Rupert Gamlen
Auckland NZ

-----Original Message-----
From: STMFC@yahoogroups.com [mailto:STMFC@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Ray
Breyer
Sent: Wednesday, 15 January 2014 4:38 p.m.
To: STMFC@yahoogroups.com
Subject: Re: [STMFC] New York Central USRA 50-ton gondola paint color

....... can anyone PROVE that the USRA composite gons were actually black?

What happened during 1919, government control, and changing standards is
anyone's guess.

SO.......anyone got anything written from the NYC during WWI stating
painting specs? Or USRA car orders and specifications?

Regards,
Ray Breyer
Elgin, IL


Don <riverman_vt@...>
 

--- In STMFC@yahoogroups.com, Jeff Pellas <jppellas@...> wrote:

I once read an anecdotal account of how hoppers of the NYC first started being painted red. Take this with a grain of salt but what I read was that, when the NYC began rebuilding their vast USRA hopper fleet in the 1930s, the shops at Avis were where the first red ones originated. The reason for the color change was simply due to a surplus of red paint. Corporate management had to approve the use of red before it was actually applied but once it was, it was then decided to adopt red as the color of all hoppers new or rebuilt going forward. Whether or not this account is factual, what it illustrates is an adaptive or flexible approach to car rebuilding that was probably necessitated by the greatly increased traffic loads as the US began exporting goods to Europe prior to America officially entering the War. I imagine railroads wouldn't hold up a rebuild program because they were out of a particular color of paint. It is also probable that similar cars (like the USRA gons) were being rebuilt at various locations around the vast NYC system resulting in paint variations.

Jeff
jppellas@...

Could the fact that red paint would not show the results of initial rust have anything to do with the change from black? Did not a number of railraods change their hopper car color from black to read somewhere in the 1925 to 1945 time frame as well, i.e. Lehigh Valley, Pennsy, New Haven and Western Maryland as well as the NYC?

Cordially, Don Valentine


Benjamin Hom
 

Don Valentine wrote:
"Did not a number of railraods change their hopper car color from black to read somewhere in the 1925 to 1945 time frame as well, i.e. Lehigh Valley, Pennsy, New Haven and Western Maryland as well as the NYC?"
 
NOT TRUE for PRR.  The changeover to black happened after the transition to the Shadow Keystone/large "PENNSYLVANIA" scheme.  I'll look up the exact date tonight, but it was certainly NOT between 1925-1945.
 
 
Ben Hom


John Riba
 

Hello Everybody,

 The NYC USRA gondolas were rebuilt around 1938. They looked like all the other 40' gons with steel sides 4'10" high (no diagonal ribs). After rebuilding they did not look like USRA gondolas. They were lot # 379-G, 381-G,389-G,398-G,399-G,400-G,401-G,403-G. In 1940 they were still lettered for Michigan Central and NYC. This would mean they would be painted black when USRA style. The black paint was begun with new hoppers after 1940.

John

'



From: Jeff Pellas To: STMFC@...
Sent: Tuesday, January 14, 2014 6:02 PM
Subject: Re: [STMFC] New York Central USRA 50-ton gondola paint color

 
I once read an anecdotal account of how hoppers of the NYC first started being painted red. Take this with a grain of salt but what I read was that, when the NYC began rebuilding their vast USRA hopper fleet in the 1930s, the shops at Avis were where the first red ones originated. The reason for the color change was simply due to a surplus of red paint. Corporate  management had to approve the use of red before it was actually applied but once it was, it was then decided to adopt red as the color of all hoppers new or rebuilt going forward. Whether or not this account is factual, what it illustrates is an adaptive or flexible approach to car rebuilding that was probably necessitated by the greatly increased traffic loads as the US began exporting goods to Europe prior to America officially entering the War. I imagine railroads wouldn't hold up a rebuild program because they were out of a particular color of paint. It is also probable that similar cars (like the USRA gons) were being rebuilt at various locations around the vast NYC system resulting in paint variations.     
Jeff
jppellas@...


-----Original Message-----
From: RUTLANDRS
To: STMFC
Sent: Tue, Jan 14, 2014 11:44 am
Subject: Re: [STMFC] New York Central USRA 50-ton gondola paint color



Eric,
    When you figure it out let me know. I'm still convinced that in 48 the panel side hoppers were still black, at least mine is.
Chuck Hladik
 
In a message dated 1/14/2014 11:28:51 A.M. Eastern Standard Time, eric@... writes:
 
Thanks Chuck, I have noted that info, which has spurred my question on this model. If black is proper for NYC gondolas before 1941, then why has Intermountain done a few runs of these models with as-built lettering and brown/red paint? Is there something specific to the paint for this car design? Or has Intermountain chosen to paint these in the wrong color (a few times) for the as-built versions? 

Eric Hansmann
El Paso, TX





Walter Cox
 

It might have something to do with the formulation of the red paint. I can recall my Dad, who was in the Navy from around 1924 to 1945, mentioning a red lead type of paint primer used to inhibit rust. Also, add CN to the list of railroads making the switch during that period. 
 Walt
 
In a message dated 1/15/2014 11:46:24 A.M. Eastern Standard Time, riverman_vt@... write

Could the fact that red paint would not show the results of initial rust have anything to do with the change from black? Did not a number of railraods change their hopper car color from black to read somewhere in the 1925 to 1945 time frame as well, i.e. Lehigh Valley, Pennsy, New Haven and Western Maryland as well as the NYC?

Cordially, Don Valentine


 

NYCSHS has all of the painting and lettering drawings that belonged to the late Lans Vail.  Very possibly, maybe even probably, in that collection are copies of painting and lettering diagrams dating back to pre WWII days.  I remember looking through about a dozen boxes of Vail's drawings a few years ago.  Many times he had a complete series of diagrams for a particular lot of cars that showed changes in lettering and changes in painting specs along with exact dates on which the changes were made.  An inquiry could be made to the NYCSHS on this, probably best directed to Tom Gerbracht via the NYCSHS website.  Hugh T. Guillaume(former director NYCSHS)


caboose9792@aol.com <caboose9792@...>
 

Also the illinois central shifted from black to red and back to black in that time frame.

mark rickert
Sent with Verizon Mobile Email

---Original Message---
From: STMFC@yahoogroups.com
Sent: 1/15/2014 10:46 am
To: STMFC@yahoogroups.com
Subject: [STMFC] Re: New York Central USRA 50-ton gondola paint color

--- In STMFC@yahoogroups.com, Jeff Pellas <jppellas@...> wrote:>> I once read an anecdotal account of how hoppers of the NYC first started being painted red. Take this with a grain of salt but what I read was that, when the NYC began rebuilding their vast USRA hopper fleet in the 1930s, the shops at Avis were where the first red ones originated. The reason for the color change was simply due to a surplus of red paint. Corporate management had to approve the use of red before it was actually applied but once it was, it was then decided to adopt red as the color of all hoppers new or rebuilt going forward. Whether or not this account is factual, what it illustrates is an adaptive or flexible approach to car rebuilding that was probably necessitated by the greatly increased traffic loads as the US began exporting goods to Europe prior to America officially entering the War. I imagine railroads wouldn't hold up a rebuild program because they were out of a particular color of paint. It is also probable that similar cars (like the USRA gons) were being rebuilt at various locations around the vast NYC system resulting in paint variations. > > Jeff> jppellas@...> Could the fact that red paint would not show the results of initial rust have anything to do with the change from black? Did not a number of railraods change their hopper car color from black to read somewhere in the 1925 to 1945 time frame as well, i.e. Lehigh Valley, Pennsy, New Haven and Western Maryland as well as the NYC?Cordially, Don Valentine


Noel Widdifield
 

Hugh,
 We will see what Tom has to say, but the NYC Painting & Lettering DVD that I have does have lots of info about lettering but nothing about paint.
 Noel


Benjamin Hom
 

Jeff Pellas wrote:
"Whether or not this account is factual, what it illustrates is an adaptive or flexible approach to car rebuilding that was probably necessitated by the greatly increased traffic loads as the US began exporting goods to Europe prior to America officially entering the War."
 
A reasonable assumption, but in this case it's not supported by the timeline.  Major car rebuilding programs of the 1930s (including NYC starting in 1936) occurred well in advance of the beginning of WWII in Europe, and served just as much to keep shop workers employed as to modernize equipment.  The US experienced a recession in 1937 that set back the recovery from the depression, and it wasn't really until the fall of France in 1940 when the economy started taking off due to foreign wartime demands.
 
 
Ben Hom


ROGER HINMAN
 

I have a copy of NYC Spec P-5-A dated 1922 , spec P5 is dated 1916

Tile of the Spec is "Painting Open Top and Flat Cars"

Para 1 reads:

:Paint. Paint shall be to New York Ccntral Formula "A" for Standard Coal Car Black."

Roger Hinman

--- In STMFC@yahoogroups.com, <nycbigfour@...> wrote:

Hugh,
We will see what Tom has to say, but the NYC Painting & Lettering DVD that I have does have lots of info about lettering but nothing about paint.
Noel


Don <riverman_vt@...>
 

--- In STMFC@yahoogroups.com, Benjamin Hom <b.hom@...> wrote:

Jeff Pellas wrote:
"Whether or not this account is factual, what it illustrates is an adaptive or flexible approach to car rebuilding that was probably necessitated by the greatly increased traffic loads as the US began exporting goods to Europe prior to America officially entering the War."
 
A reasonable assumption, but in this case it's not supported by the timeline.  Major car rebuilding programs of the 1930s (including NYC starting in 1936) occurred well in advance of the beginning of WWII in Europe, and served just as much to keep shop workers employed as to modernize equipment.  The US experienced a recession in 1937 that set back the recovery from the depression, and it wasn't really until the fall of France in 1940 when the economy started taking off due to foreign wartime demands.
 
The NYC gon has been bashed (trashed?) so badly on this list of late that Factory Direct Trains is now selling them out at $12.74 each! This is the Walthers Mainline 910-5660 40' 50-Ton Drop-Bottom Gondola - Ready to Run, New York Central #349748 (black, Lines Logo), HO scale.

LOL, Don Valentine


Eric Neubauer <eaneubauer@...>
 

Some rebuilding programs around the mid 1930s were incentivized by the federal government. I believe the RDG conversion of USRA box cars to all steel auto cars were and the LV steel underframe box cars rebuilt with Duryea underframes are too. In both cases, an extensive reuse of original material was involved, like splicing extensions on the ends of the original carlines on the RDG cars.
 
Eric N.
 
A reasonable assumption, but in this case it's not supported by the timeline.  Major car rebuilding programs of the 1930s (including NYC starting in 1936) occurred well in advance of the beginning of WWII in Europe, and served just as much to keep shop workers employed as to modernize equipment.  The US experienced a recession in 1937 that set back the recovery from the depression, and it wasn't really until the fall of France in 1940 when the economy started taking off due to foreign wartime demands.
 
 
Ben Hom 


Benjamin Hom
 

I wrote:
"The US experienced a recession in 1937 that set back the recovery from the depression, and it wasn't really until the fall of France in 1940 when the economy started taking off due to foreign wartime demands."
 
I neglected to mention that 1940 also saw the passing of the Selective Training and Service Act  and Two-Ocean Navy Act to prepare for the coming war.  The Two-Ocean Navy Act was the largest naval procurement act in history, authorizing $8.55 billion (1940) dollars to modernize the Navy.  (It's also why we have a carrier named USS CARL VINSON, as he chaired the House Naval Committee.)
 
 
Ben Hom