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a little help from the ACL experts


Claus Schlund \(HGM\)
 

HI List Members,
 
I need a little help from the ACL experts that might be on this list.
 
The model of a USRA double sheathed boxcar shown in the link below has a round ACL herald of a form I have not ever seen on any ACL boxcars before. I also checked my photo archive (admittedly not that extensive for ACL) and did not find anything like it on any ACLboxcars. Is this an accurate paint and lettering scheme, or is this a manufacturer's fantasy?
 
 
Thanks in advance
 
Claus Schlund
 
 


Benjamin Hom
 

Claus Schlund asked:
"I need a little help from the ACL experts that might be on this list.

The model of a USRA double sheathed boxcar shown in the link below has a round ACL herald of a form I have not ever seen on any ACL boxcars before. I also checked my photo archive (admittedly not that extensive for ACL) and did not find anything like it on any ACL boxcars. Is this an accurate paint and lettering scheme, or is this a manufacturer's fantasy?"
https://www.ebay.com/itm/383664640942 

Richard Hendrickson once remarked that "The evil that men do lives after them; The good is oft interred with their bones" is certainly applicable to model railroading.  In this case, Bob Hundman ran a set of lettering diagrams with his USRA DS boxcar drawings in an early issue of Mainline Modeler, reprinted in one of the "The Best of Mainline Modeler" volumes.  The lettering diagrams are is full of errors, and cannot be trusted as a credible source.  Unfortunately, manufacturers (notably Ertl) followed these diagrams, and some schemes, including this ACL one, continue to persist.  At least one ACL expert swears this one is legit, but I've seen a lot of USRA boxcar photos, and haven't turned this one up. It's bogus until someone backs their talk.


Ben Hom




Dennis Storzek
 

On Tue, Aug 11, 2020 at 06:29 AM, Benjamin Hom wrote:
In this case, Bob Hundman ran a set of lettering diagrams with his USRA DS boxcar drawings in an early issue of Mainline Modeler...
Far, far in antiquity, before Photoshop, before scanners, heck, before digital imaging altogether good art for railroad heralds (logos, monograms) was really, really hard to come by. There was a printed sheet, much prized by decal makers and the like, that reproduced two or three dozen assorted railroad monograms put out by the AAR in some of their promotional literature. It was practically "camera ready art" as was the term in those days. The only problem was, they weren't the heralds used on the cars, but rather "cuts" of the art used on time tables. Some of them were quite close to the stencils used on various company's cars, while others were totally different. I recognize that ACL herald from that sheet, also ACL public time tables from the sixties.

Dennis Storzek


golden1014
 

Hi Claus, there is zero photographic evidence that any ACL USRA SS cars were painted with a monogram like that. The rest of the paint and lettering at first glance APO pears satisfactory. John Golden


David Wiggs
 

Agreed, on rolling stock I don't think the herald was ever used on any freight car or MOW equipment, but was used on observation car placards.  It was used on diesel engines from onset of cab units and on hood units starting with GP7s and also on TOFC trailers.  Letter coloring was either silver or purple and shifted to white when car bodies became black.  TOFC heralds were yellow with black lettering.  When used on their steamers, they used the ACL monogram on the tenders and occasionally on the engine front.  Way more info than needed, but hey....


Benjamin Scanlon
 

I have a fair number of ACL photos harvested from all over, tho not including this type of DS boxcar, but I can see no freight car with this version of ACL logo and it's just the thing a toy train company would put on a model. 
--
Ben Scanlon
Tottenham, England


Larry Goolsby
 

Confirming what others have said, the ACL "script" herald was not a rolling stock herald and in my many years of compiling photos and other research, I've never found any evidence it was used on boxcars or any other revenue freight car. Its main use was on steam locos starting with the R-1 4-8-4s of 1938, then applied to all steam shortly after, and of course on the nose of diesel cab units and the sides of diesel hood units (but......not on switchers except a few of the very earliest ones). If you want one more bit of trivia, the script herald was never used on ACL passenger equipment lettering except for the B&O domes leased for service on the Florida Special right before the 1967 merger. The script herald did appear on some MofW rolling stock, and of course was used extensively on public timetables, other publications, certain building signs, etc. etc. 

The USRA boxcars used just ACL initials from delivery into the mid-1920 or so, then had the road name (in Roman font) within a circle logo added at right. This lettering continued when these cars were rebuilt with steel sides in 1937. About 1947, the herald font was changed to sans-serif. If you're still reading, I'll add that 50 of the 1937 rebuilds were further rebuilt in 1942-43 into passenger box express cars and received Pullman green bodies with while lettering consisting of the spelled-out road name and Railway Express Agency. But in no instance was there ever a script herald. 

Larry Goolsby 
ACL & SAL HS