Topics

Truck Color

Nelson Moyer
 

About ten years ago I built a large number of assorted boxcars, hoppers, gondolas, and flat cars for many roads, all from Branchline, Intermountain, Red Caboose, and P2K kits. At the time, I was clueless about truck color, so all of the trucks are black. Now that I realize that one color doesn’t fit all roads, I need to know the truck color for all of these cars, i.e. black or boxcar red. Is there a table of roads and truck colors anywhere? I can only afford so many color books, and I can’t be an expert on multiple roads. After ten years, I’m just now getting comfortable with CB&Q practice. To simplify my question, which roads painted trucks boxcar red? I’m modeling 1953, so that limits the range to wood DS and SS boxcars, 1932, 1937, and PS-1 boxcars, and misc. hoppers, gondolas and flat cars appropriate for my era.

 

Nelson Moyer

Fred Jansz
 

UP painted them red. WP black underframe & trucks.
Fred Jansz

Nelson Moyer
 

Thanks, Fred. I’ll start a spreadsheet to document responses. Hopefully, yours won’t be the only one.

 

Nelson Moyer

 

From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io [mailto:main@RealSTMFC.groups.io] On Behalf Of Fred Jansz
Sent: Wednesday, November 20, 2019 1:28 AM
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] Truck Color

 

UP painted them red. WP black underframe & trucks.
Fred Jansz

O Fenton Wells
 

Nelson, most y'all roads trucks are body color, especially repaints.
Fenton

On Wed, Nov 20, 2019 at 9:28 AM Nelson Moyer <npmoyer@...> wrote:

Thanks, Fred. I’ll start a spreadsheet to document responses. Hopefully, yours won’t be the only one.

 

Nelson Moyer

 

From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io [mailto:main@RealSTMFC.groups.io] On Behalf Of Fred Jansz
Sent: Wednesday, November 20, 2019 1:28 AM
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] Truck Color

 

UP painted them red. WP black underframe & trucks.
Fred Jansz



--
Fenton Wells
250 Frye Rd
Pinehurst NC 28374
910-420-8106
srrfan1401@...

Nelson Moyer
 

What about roads that painted hoppers and gondolas red early and black later, or vice versa? Are the trucks always body color on those cars, or did some roads red cars have black trucks? I have information on RI, ATSF, and M&StL, but little information on other roads.

 

Nelson Moyer

 

From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io [mailto:main@RealSTMFC.groups.io] On Behalf Of O Fenton Wells
Sent: Wednesday, November 20, 2019 8:44 AM
To: main@realstmfc.groups.io
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] Truck Color

 

Nelson, most y'all roads trucks are body color, especially repaints.

Fenton

 

On Wed, Nov 20, 2019 at 9:28 AM Nelson Moyer <npmoyer@...> wrote:

Thanks, Fred. I’ll start a spreadsheet to document responses. Hopefully, yours won’t be the only one.

 

Nelson Moyer

 

From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io [mailto:main@RealSTMFC.groups.io] On Behalf Of Fred Jansz
Sent: Wednesday, November 20, 2019 1:28 AM
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] Truck Color

 

UP painted them red. WP black underframe & trucks.
Fred Jansz


 

--

Fenton Wells
250 Frye Rd

Pinehurst NC 28374
910-420-8106
srrfan1401@...

 

Most RRs DID/DO NOT paint truck side frames so defects could more easily be seen. Back in the grease bearing days the trucks would be "colored" in grease & dirt. In the current roller bearing days the truck side frames are unpainted so are a rust color. But UP does paint their truck side frames but in their gray color.
Andy Jackson
Santa Fe Springs CA


Jeffrey White
 

The IC painted trucks black.  However from 1947 through 1955 open top cars were painted brown and I've seen plenty of color photos that show brown hoppers and gons with brown trucks. I've never seen a photo of a brown flat car with brown trucks though. 

I honestly think it depended on what the guys in the paint shop felt like that day.

Jeff White

Alma IL

On 11/19/2019 9:54 PM, Nelson Moyer wrote:

About ten years ago I built a large number of assorted boxcars, hoppers, gondolas, and flat cars for many roads, all from Branchline, Intermountain, Red Caboose, and P2K kits. At the time, I was clueless about truck color, so all of the trucks are black. Now that I realize that one color doesn’t fit all roads, I need to know the truck color for all of these cars, i.e. black or boxcar red. Is there a table of roads and truck colors anywhere? I can only afford so many color books, and I can’t be an expert on multiple roads. After ten years, I’m just now getting comfortable with CB&Q practice. To simplify my question, which roads painted trucks boxcar red? I’m modeling 1953, so that limits the range to wood DS and SS boxcars, 1932, 1937, and PS-1 boxcars, and misc. hoppers, gondolas and flat cars appropriate for my era.

 

Nelson Moyer

Nelson Moyer
 

CB&Q painted trucks mineral red, and there are many others that painted trucks their boxcar color. Probably  not good to generalize too broadly, especially in ALL CAPS.

 

Nelson Moyer

 

From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io [mailto:main@RealSTMFC.groups.io] On Behalf Of Andy Jackson
Sent: Wednesday, November 20, 2019 10:23 AM
To: main@realstmfc.groups.io
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] Truck Color

 

Most RRs DID/DO NOT paint truck side frames so defects could more easily be seen. Back in the grease bearing days the trucks would be "colored" in grease & dirt. In the current roller bearing days the truck side frames are unpainted so are a rust color. But UP does paint their truck side frames but in their gray color.

Andy Jackson
Santa Fe Springs CA

 

Eric Hansmann
 

Consider the era modeled, too. Some companies may have painted the trucks the car color before WW2 or 1930. After that point in time, the railroad may have received freight cars only with black or unpainted trucks.

 

 

Eric Hansmann

Murfreesboro, TN

 

From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io> On Behalf Of Nelson Moyer
Sent: Wednesday, November 20, 2019 12:36 PM
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] Truck Color

 

CB&Q painted trucks mineral red, and there are many others that painted trucks their boxcar color. Probably  not good to generalize too broadly, especially in ALL CAPS.

 

Nelson Moyer

 

From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io [mailto:main@RealSTMFC.groups.io] On Behalf Of Andy Jackson
Sent: Wednesday, November 20, 2019 10:23 AM
To: main@realstmfc.groups.io
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] Truck Color

 

Most RRs DID/DO NOT paint truck side frames so defects could more easily be seen. Back in the grease bearing days the trucks would be "colored" in grease & dirt. In the current roller bearing days the truck side frames are unpainted so are a rust color. But UP does paint their truck side frames but in their gray color.

Andy Jackson
Santa Fe Springs CA

 

Bill Keene
 

The Santa Fe specified during the transition era that new cars from the manufacture had black painted trucks. Repaints received mineral brown painted trucks. This most likely because it was more convenient for the shop forces. 

Cheers,
Bill Keene
Irvine, CA



On Nov 19, 2019, at 7:54 PM, Nelson Moyer <npmoyer@...> wrote:

About ten years ago I built a large number of assorted boxcars, hoppers, gondolas, and flat cars for many roads, all from Branchline, Intermountain, Red Caboose, and P2K kits. At the time, I was clueless about truck color, so all of the trucks are black. Now that I realize that one color doesn’t fit all roads, I need to know the truck color for all of these cars, i.e. black or boxcar red. Is there a table of roads and truck colors anywhere? I can only afford so many color books, and I can’t be an expert on multiple roads. After ten years, I’m just now getting comfortable with CB&Q practice. To simplify my question, which roads painted trucks boxcar red? I’m modeling 1953, so that limits the range to wood DS and SS boxcars, 1932, 1937, and PS-1 boxcars, and misc. hoppers, gondolas and flat cars appropriate for my era.
 
Nelson Moyer

Dennis Storzek
 

I just looked through my copy of the Soo Line freightcar book, and it reinforced my impression that the proper color for steam era freightcar trucks is GRUNGE COLOR. Plain journal bearings were lubed with oil, not grease, and it was a total loss system; that is, the carmen added oil, but never drained any out. There was no seal around the axle at the back of the box, just a wooden dust guard to keep dirt out of the box. The oil that worked its way to the back of the bearing was slung off the axle onto the face of the wheel, where it attracted dirt. This mix was then slung off the wheel, where it got on everything in the vicinity. After cars were in service for a few years, it's pretty hard to tell what color they were originally.

I seem to recall that Pullman-Standard painted trucks with 'truck paint', a thin bodied black. unless instructed otherwise. Other builders were likely similar. Some railroads specified that the trucks be painted body color, others, such as the Soo, didn't care, and new cars came with black trucks. However, the railroad's own shops saw things differently, and painted the trucks on re-painted cars body color, because it required no masking. So, one railroad, two different standards. In service, they all quickly turned the same color anyway.

Dennis Storzek

Tony Thompson
 

     There are likely other roads like SP, that painted trucks and underframes black before WW II but after the war, painted all that body color.

Tony Thompson



Tony Thompson
 

Andy Jackson wrote:

Most RRs DID/DO NOT paint truck side frames so defects could more easily be seen. 

In the era of this list, I think this statement is incorrect. My impression is that most roads DID paint side frames. They were not routinely checked VISUALLY for defects.

Tony Thompson



charles slater
 

Santa Fe did, even in the 1953 painting book issued by Santa Fe they were painted with 1 coat of mineral brown.
Charlie Slater

Sent from Outlook



From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io> on behalf of Tony Thompson <tony@...>
Sent: Wednesday, November 20, 2019 11:36 AM
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] Truck Color
 
     There are likely other roads like SP, that painted trucks and underframes black before WW II but after the war, painted all that body color.

Tony Thompson



Nelson Moyer
 

Yes, lots of variables, that’s why I narrowed the range somewhat from 1940s to 1953. Most of the cars I need truck color on are 1932 and 1937 boxcars.

 

Nelson Moyer

 

From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io [mailto:main@RealSTMFC.groups.io] On Behalf Of Eric Hansmann
Sent: Wednesday, November 20, 2019 1:07 PM
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] Truck Color

 

Consider the era modeled, too. Some companies may have painted the trucks the car color before WW2 or 1930. After that point in time, the railroad may have received freight cars only with black or unpainted trucks.

 

 

Eric Hansmann

Murfreesboro, TN

 

Bill Lugg
 

I see a lot of folks tossing the words "mineral red" around on this list.  What color would that be in terms a modeler (like me) would understand?

Thanks
Bill Lugg

On 11/20/19 11:35 AM, Nelson Moyer wrote:

CB&Q painted trucks mineral red, and there are many others that painted trucks their boxcar color. Probably  not good to generalize too broadly, especially in ALL CAPS.

Nelson Moyer

s shaffer
 

Bill Lugg writes:

I see a lot of folks tossing the words "mineral red" around on this list.  What color would that be in terms a modeler (like me) would understand?
To my eyes Mineral Brown is closer to Boxcar Red than it is to Tuscan Red.

Steve Shaffer
Las Cruces, New Mexico USA

Nelson Moyer
 

ATSF and CB&Q are two roads that used the term 'mineral red'. It comes from the red iron oxide containing rock ground into powder and used as a red paint pigment. It was available and cheap, so that's why so many freight car and barns were painted red. One story I've heard about the Q paint shops is that they mixed the pigment into the base 'by the handfull', which would explain paint drift between paint batches and between paint shops. On the Q, the red pigment was from Wyoming mines, so at least it all come from the same general location. Mineral red is a reddish brown color. Floquil offered a mineral red paint, that was very close to the ATSF freight car color. The best Q freight car mineral red is produced by Tru Color as CB&Q Freight Car Red.

Nelson Moyer

-----Original Message-----
From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io [mailto:main@RealSTMFC.groups.io] On Behalf Of Bill Lugg
Sent: Wednesday, November 20, 2019 6:25 PM
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] Truck Color

I see a lot of folks tossing the words "mineral red" around on this list.  What color would that be in terms a modeler (like me) would understand?

Thanks
Bill Lugg

Bill Lugg
 

Then what I'm getting out of this is that, beyond color drift between batches, mineral red for one road is likely going to be different than mineral read for another, right?

Thanks for the responses, they help a bit with my flat car project.

Bill Lugg

On 11/20/19 6:39 PM, Nelson Moyer wrote:
ATSF and CB&Q are two roads that used the term 'mineral red'. It comes from the red iron oxide containing rock ground into powder and used as a red paint pigment. It was available and cheap, so that's why so many freight car and barns were painted red. One story I've heard about the Q paint shops is that they mixed the pigment into the base 'by the handfull', which would explain paint drift between paint batches and between paint shops. On the Q, the red pigment was from Wyoming mines, so at least it all come from the same general location. Mineral red is a reddish brown color. Floquil offered a mineral red paint, that was very close to the ATSF freight car color. The best Q freight car mineral red is produced by Tru Color as CB&Q Freight Car Red.

Nelson Moyer

-----Original Message-----
From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io [mailto:main@RealSTMFC.groups.io] On Behalf Of Bill Lugg
Sent: Wednesday, November 20, 2019 6:25 PM
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] Truck Color

I see a lot of folks tossing the words "mineral red" around on this list.  What color would that be in terms a modeler (like me) would understand?

Thanks
Bill Lugg


Daniel A. Mitchell
 

We’ve beat this dead horse into the ground here, and many other places, countless times.

“Mineral Red” pigment was from naturally occurring Iron Oxide deposits (rust). Iron oxide can range in color anywhere from yellow to orange to red, to purple, on to black, with most being some shade of reddish brown. So the exact color depends on which deposit of the mineral was mined for the pigment. Then add whatever mix was used to make the paint (concentration, vehicle, etc.). The color varied from place to place and from time to time. In olden times this was all quite local, with paint being mixed in the paint shop from raw material. In later times commercially prepared paint was purchased, and standardization efforts began. Much of this was, and still is “voodoo”. While a lot of progress has been made, exact matches between types of paint (chemistry), substrates, application methods, and between various manufacturers is still not possible.

Dan Mitchell
==========

On Nov 20, 2019, at 11:36 PM, Bill Lugg <luggw1@...> wrote:

Then what I'm getting out of this is that, beyond color drift between batches, mineral red for one road is likely going to be different than mineral read for another, right?

Thanks for the responses, they help a bit with my flat car project.

Bill Lugg


On 11/20/19 6:39 PM, Nelson Moyer wrote:
ATSF and CB&Q are two roads that used the term 'mineral red'. It comes from the red iron oxide containing rock ground into powder and used as a red paint pigment. It was available and cheap, so that's why so many freight car and barns were painted red. One story I've heard about the Q paint shops is that they mixed the pigment into the base 'by the handfull', which would explain paint drift between paint batches and between paint shops. On the Q, the red pigment was from Wyoming mines, so at least it all come from the same general location. Mineral red is a reddish brown color. Floquil offered a mineral red paint, that was very close to the ATSF freight car color. The best Q freight car mineral red is produced by Tru Color as CB&Q Freight Car Red.

Nelson Moyer

-----Original Message-----
From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io [mailto:main@RealSTMFC.groups.io] On Behalf Of Bill Lugg
Sent: Wednesday, November 20, 2019 6:25 PM
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] Truck Color

I see a lot of folks tossing the words "mineral red" around on this list.  What color would that be in terms a modeler (like me) would understand?

Thanks
Bill Lugg