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Author Topic: Paint schemes  (Read 4309 times)

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« on: May 07, 2010, 08:19:59 PM »

Can anyone tell me which D&RGW locomotives had there boilers painted green and why ?
Charlie Mutschler

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« Reply #1 on: May 08, 2010, 09:50:02 AM »

Oh. Boy.  Talk about opening a can of worms.  Green boiler jackets on D&RGW steam locomotives.  To make a long story short, there is a LOT of discussion about this subject, and very little agreement. 

There are very few color photographs which are universally agreed to be of D&RGW narrow gauge locos with green boiler jackets in regular service.  No. 489 was painted green for the Rocky Mountain Railroad Club trip in 1950, and remained that way for some time afterward.  However, there are a lot of references to different appearances of boiler jacket versus cab or tender in black and white photos and some color photos, both are equally fervently discussed. 

Some very careful research by several people has led them to conclude that the green boiler jackets were only found on standard gauge power, and a couple of narrow gauge locos repainted for fan trip purposes.  This draws from first person accounts by retired railroad employees who say that they do not remember any narrow gauge power with green boiler jackets, and the lack of accepted color photos with photographer's documentation from the time the photos were taken.  One researcher recalls having asked John W. Maxwell and Richard Kindig (who were seriously photographing the D&RGW in the 1930s and 1940s) about green boiler jackets on the narrow gauge, and that neither man remembered seeing them except on the two locos painted for the fantrips.   Both men are now deceased, and cannot revisit the matter.  Otto Perry, who was possibly the most prolific photographer documenting the D&RGW narrow gauge in the 1930s and 1940s,  died long before the question of boiler jacket paint became a common topic among narrow gauge modelers.  Color photography as a relatively easy technology, was available after 1936 when Kodachrome was offered to the consumer market.  Most photographers used black and white primarily at that time, and while there has been considerable discussion about some color photos from the 1937 - 1949 period, there has not been agreement about most of them.  Color dyes for film were not stable, and copies of slides made from original film or prints in books may have suffered color shifts with age and reproduction.  So there are those who see early color photos as proof of green boiler jackets, and those who see the color photos representing dirty, oxidized black paint on boiler jackets, but not proof of green paint. 

Lastly, it is worth offering the official company standard practice. 

D&RGW Standard Practice 57-L-179.
November 1, 1937.  Signed by W. H. Sagstetter, Chief Mechanical Officer
Painting Locomotives and Tenders

Smokebox - Staybrite Front End Paint
Firebox - Staybrite Front End Paint
Cylinders - Locomotive Black Enamel
Pilots - Locomotive Black Enamel
Running Gear - Locomotive Black Enamel
Jackets - Jacket Enamel (Dark Olive Green)
Cabs (Outside) - Black Duco
Tenders - Black Duco
Cylinder Heads (Small Power) - Aluminum Paint
Number Plate Bead - Aluminum Paint
Tire Rims - Aluminum Paint
Edge of Running Board - Aluminum Paint
Cab (Inside) - Cab Green, Medium

That's the text.  A JPEG image of the document is on the archives of the Narrow Gauge Discussion Forum.  I've spelled out repetitions instead of using ditto marks as on the original.  Also, the original is all capitals, common for mechanical drawing work. 

Conclusion:  The official standard practice called for dark olive green boiler jackets on all D&RGW locomotives after November 1, 1937.  Photographic evidence suggests that this standard practice may not have been followed on the narrow gauge.  There is a division of opinion on this matter. 

My advice - select the paint scheme that you like, and make your case to your friends using either the photos or the Standard Practice, and enjoy operating your mudhens.  Bachmann has provided a very attractive model of this loco. 

Charlie Mutschler
Kevin Strong

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« Reply #2 on: May 08, 2010, 11:12:37 AM »

I had heard that the green boiler jackets, as well as the variations in the silver trim on the locomotives, came about as the result of some friendly competition between the D&RGW's Burnham and Alamosa shops. From the tale, the Alamosa shop crews who did most of the narrow gauge heavy maintenance were a bit jealous of the standard gauge locos and did what they could to best them.

Now, I don't know how true any of that is--I've heard similar stories about the SP and the colored boiler jackets on some of their locos--but it does make for an interesting backstory surrounding the use of color in the first place.

One technical question--is there consensus on what the particular shade of green that was used would have been? Compare the green that Bachmann chose for their boiler to that which is on #346 at the Colorado RR museum, which is decidedly a few shades lighter. I'd be hesitant to describe that particular shade of green as "dark olive."




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« Reply #3 on: May 09, 2010, 05:59:42 AM »

was in durango couple of years ago
they were rebuilding  473 bumblebee, painting it black
museum director said engines should be black
i asked about green boilers
he said railroad didn't have extra money
used whatever paint they could come up with
happened to be green
if you saw the layout in "trains" mag awhile back
five narrow gauge engines under steam
that's "creative license"
was there in june, 2008
473 was all apart
"Trains" suggested in july, 2008 was under steam
no way

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« Reply #4 on: May 09, 2010, 04:15:40 PM »

Here's a thought, maybe relevant, maybe not.
PRR's Brunswick Green, And the supposed dark green used on KCS passenger cars in 1950s, were both pretty near black for all practical purposes.

Same case here?
« Last Edit: May 10, 2010, 02:23:48 AM by on30gn15 » Logged

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Screw the Rivets, I'm building for Atmosphere!
later, Forrest

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« Reply #5 on: May 09, 2010, 07:04:32 PM »

The   C&TSRR will run K-36 Locomotive #489 on May 25th 2010 with a green boiler. The excursion is in commemoration of the 16th Anniversary of the Rocky Mountain RR Club charter of 1950. The only occasion on which a D&RGW K-36 engine is KNOWN to have a Dark Olive Green Boiler jacket.
Hope this helps

F. Barnes
Kevin Strong

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« Reply #6 on: May 10, 2010, 01:35:36 PM »

PRR's Brunswick Green, And the supposed dark green used on KCS passenger cars in 1950s, were both pretty near black for all practical purposes.

Same case here?
Could very well be, it depends on whether there was consistency in the shade of green used. If all the greens were the same as the green now on #346, then there' no way that could be confused for black. If there was variation in the shades of green, it could very well be the case. Baldwin's standard finish on locomotives from about 1890s forward was not black, but "olive," which most accounts say is a very dark green similar to the PRR's Brunswick green.

A little dirt on a dark green boiler, and you'll be hard-pressed to tell the difference one way or the other.




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« Reply #7 on: May 10, 2010, 08:27:07 PM »

A goggle search came up with this.
See if this helps

« Last Edit: May 10, 2010, 08:30:32 PM by az2rail » Logged

If your parents never had children, chances are you won't either.
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