Santa Fe "Bluebonnet"

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Santa Fe "Bluebonnet"
Posted by Daniel1975 on Thursday, September 04, 2008 3:02 PM

Hi Everyone

I would like to know when the Santa Fe started with their Bluebonnet paint scheme on the F7's.

Does anyone know? I can't find any info on the net....

Thanks in advance

Danny

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Posted by Been Nothing Since Frisco (BNSF) on Thursday, September 04, 2008 7:49 PM
I have been wondering the same thing and wile you started it does any one know when they started the "yellow bonnet" scheem?
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Posted by erikem on Friday, September 05, 2008 12:00 AM
If it the freight scheme you're talking about (i.e. yellow nose and dark blue body), my recollection is that started with the FT ca 1941. I've seen many WWII era pictures of the FT with that paint scheme.
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Posted by Southwest Chief on Friday, September 05, 2008 1:06 AM

The Yellowbonnet and Bluebonnet came about after the Santa Fe joined Amtrak which was in 1971.  If I remember correctly the first Bluebonnet appeared in 1971 and the first Yellowbonnet came in 1972.

After joining Amtrak, even though Amtrak did lease out many of Santa Fe's passenger F units, there were still a lot of serviceable passenger F units available for freight service.  While photos do show that many passenger red warbonnet F units (mostly the dual geared versions) pulled freight trains; the Santa Fe did not like to mix and match red warbonnets with locomotives painted in the freight scheme, although even this happened from time to time.  But after getting out of the passenger business, the railroad had a paint decision to make on the many red warbonnet F's?

They couldn't simply be repainted into the standard freight scheme due to the stainless steel side panels.  So the Bluebonnets and Yellowbonnets were test paint schemes for them.  Keeping the stainless steel side panels, but eliminating the historically passenger only red warbonnet.  Eventually most were converted into CF7s, so the experimental paint schemes went away.

There were several different varieties within the Yellowbonnet scheme with the major differences in the nose emblem (cigar band).  Some nose emblems were solid blue, some were outlined in blue, some had a nose stripe, and some didn't.  Locos #304 and #315 were painted in a passenger variety with silver trucks, underframes, and pilots.  I recall reading that the entire Amtrak lease fleet were going to be painted in the Yellowbonnet scheme but that Amtrak preferred the red warbonnet.  So only 2 locos received Yellowbonnet passenger paint.

Hope this makes sense, sort of tired Zzz [zzz] so it might be hard to follow.

By the way, I have 2 Intermountain HO scale F7's in Yellowbonnet paint.  One is #304 in the passenger scheme.  Here's a photo:

Matt from Anaheim, CA and Bayfield, CO
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Posted by Daniel1975 on Friday, September 05, 2008 5:56 AM
Thanks a lot Matt for your Info & Help!
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Posted by SSW9389 on Friday, September 05, 2008 7:16 AM
The first yellowbonnet was April 1972 and the first bluebonnet would be after that. I will quote a source after I get my library unpacked.
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Posted by Been Nothing Since Frisco (BNSF) on Saturday, September 06, 2008 8:43 AM
Nice pic SW cheif, BTW do the the intermontains run yery good?
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Posted by Southwest Chief on Saturday, September 06, 2008 11:21 AM

do the the intermontains run yery good?

They sure do.

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Posted by J. Daddy on Thursday, September 11, 2008 10:03 AM
 Southwest Chief wrote:

The Yellowbonnet and Bluebonnet came about after the Santa Fe joined Amtrak which was in 1971.  If I remember correctly the first Bluebonnet appeared in 1971 and the first Yellowbonnet came in 1972.

After joining Amtrak, even though Amtrak did lease out many of Santa Fe's passenger F units, there were still a lot of serviceable passenger F units available for freight service.  While photos do show that many passenger red warbonnet F units (mostly the dual geared versions) pulled freight trains; the Santa Fe did not like to mix and match red warbonnets with locomotives painted in the freight scheme, although even this happened from time to time.  But after getting out of the passenger business, the railroad had a paint decision to make on the many red warbonnet F's?

They couldn't simply be repainted into the standard freight scheme due to the stainless steel side panels.  So the Bluebonnets and Yellowbonnets were test paint schemes for them.  Keeping the stainless steel side panels, but eliminating the historically passenger only red warbonnet.  Eventually most were converted into CF7s, so the experimental paint schemes went away.

There were several different varieties within the Yellowbonnet scheme with the major differences in the nose emblem (cigar band).  Some nose emblems were solid blue, some were outlined in blue, some had a nose stripe, and some didn't.  Locos #304 and #315 were painted in a passenger variety with silver trucks, underframes, and pilots.  I recall reading that the entire Amtrak lease fleet were going to be painted in the Yellowbonnet scheme but that Amtrak preferred the red warbonnet.  So only 2 locos received Yellowbonnet passenger paint.

Hope this makes sense, sort of tired Zzz [zzz] so it might be hard to follow.

By the way, I have 2 Intermountain HO scale F7's in Yellowbonnet paint.  One is #304 in the passenger scheme.  Here's a photo:

Now I am confused, then how did ealier versions from Lionel and American flyer produce blue bonnets from Sante Fe on their F7's and American Flyer "free lanced" PA's in 1958?

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Posted by wanswheel on Thursday, September 11, 2008 1:39 PM

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Posted by Southwest Chief on Thursday, September 11, 2008 3:14 PM

Nice photo of FT #103, but that's not a Bluebonnet.  103 is wearing the "Catwhisker" paint scheme.

There's a lot of confusion here so below are images from RailPictures.net showing what a Bluebonnet and Yellowbonnet look like:

Bluebonnet

Yellowbonnet

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Posted by Southwest Chief on Thursday, September 11, 2008 3:32 PM
 J. Daddy wrote:

Now I am confused, then how did ealier versions from Lionel and American flyer produce blue bonnets from Sante Fe on their F7's and American Flyer "free lanced" PA's in 1958?

Do you have a photo of the Lionel and American Flyer units?  I don't recall ever seeing a Bluebonnet on a Lionel or American Flyer loco.

I think you're confusing Santa Fe paint schemes.  The Blue and Yellow paint is typically referred to as the "Freight Scheme".  This freight scheme can be further broken down into two varieties:

The original Catwisker:

Or the newer Cigarband:

First introduced on the FT's, the paint colors were originally Blue & Cream with Red pin stripes.  Over the years the colors changed to Blue & Yellow, the Red pin stripes were dropped, and the original Catwisker nose logo was replaced by the more recognizable Cigarband nose logo.  This blue and yellow paint was the standard freight scheme and is not rare like the experimental Bluebonnets and Yellowbonnets.

This is the classic American Flyer PA I believe you're confusing as a Bluebonnet:

And the only "vintage" Lionel loco wearing the Santa Fe blue and yellow freight scheme that I know of would be the FAs:

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Posted by J. Daddy on Friday, September 12, 2008 10:13 AM
 Southwest Chief wrote:
 J. Daddy wrote:

Now I am confused, then how did ealier versions from Lionel and American flyer produce blue bonnets from Sante Fe on their F7's and American Flyer "free lanced" PA's in 1958?

Do you have a photo of the Lionel and American Flyer units?  I don't recall ever seeing a Bluebonnet on a Lionel or American Flyer loco.

I think you're confusing Santa Fe paint schemes.  The Blue and Yellow paint is typically referred to as the "Freight Scheme".  This freight scheme can be further broken down into two varieties:

The original Catwisker:

Or the newer Cigarband:

First introduced on the FT's, the paint colors were originally Blue & Cream with Red pin stripes.  Over the years the colors changed to Blue & Yellow, the Red pin stripes were dropped, and the original Catwisker nose logo was replaced by the more recognizable Cigarband nose logo.  This blue and yellow paint was the standard freight scheme and is not rare like the experimental Bluebonnets and Yellowbonnets.

This is the classic American Flyer PA I believe you're confusing as a Bluebonnet:

And the only "vintage" Lionel loco wearing the Santa Fe blue and yellow freight scheme that I know of would be the FAs:

yep, you are right... so then the freight paint scheme was never considered a "blue bonnet"

Thanks,

When the men get together its always done right! J. Daddy
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Posted by Southwest Chief on Friday, September 12, 2008 12:38 PM
 J. Daddy wrote:

yep, you are right... so then the freight paint scheme was never considered a "blue bonnet"

Thanks,

Glad to help.  I too thought it was called warbonnet and bluebonnet before I started reading in depth about the Santa Fe.

I guess it's not referred to as a bluebonnet since it doesn't have the curving back like the red warbonnet.  It lacks the bonnet.

Here's the classic warbonnet curve on a Santa Fe passenger F7:

The freight scheme lacks the curve, the "bonnet":

 

A true "Bluebonnet" retains the curve ("bonnet") since they were repaints of former red warbonnet locos:

 

Same goes for the Yellowbonnet:

 

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Posted by arkansasrailfan on Sunday, September 14, 2008 7:40 PM
But the bottom picture has the wrong color logo. It should be BLUE, not YELLOW.
There was an article about the yellowbonnet in one of the SFMHS Warbonnet issues.
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Posted by Southwest Chief on Monday, September 15, 2008 6:02 PM

 wyomingrailfan wrote:
But the bottom picture has the wrong color logo. It should be BLUE, not YELLOW.
There was an article about the yellowbonnet in one of the SFMHS Warbonnet issues.

Not exactly.  There were several variations of the yellowbonnet nose logo.  The one pictured is correct for that road number.  It is also considered a "freight" yellowbonnet due to the dark underframe.

I believe the article in the Warbonnet was about a Yellowbonnet in Texas.  Specifically #315.  This was one of the two "passenger" yellowbonnet A units (#304 was the other).  They had silver underframes and the solid blue nose logo like the version you mention.

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Posted by gblatham on Wednesday, January 03, 2018 11:17 AM

 

"Southwest Chief" said, "I recall reading that the entire Amtrak lease fleet were going to be painted in the Yellowbonnet scheme but that Amtrak preferred the red warbonnet.  So only 2 locos received Yellowbonnet passenger paint."

 

First of all, my sincere apologies for this question being almost an entire decade late!  Still, as the Yellowbonnet/Bluebonnet discussions continue throughout our fraternity, I'm hoping the original poster (and other interested parties) might see this and respond.

With no blatant disrespect toward Amtrak intended, what business would it have been of theirs if Santa Fe had covered the units in pink with purple polka dots?!  The logo on the unit's nose still proclaimed "Santa Fe" (not "Amtrak") and the engines were at least receiving fresh coats of paint! What was the 'trak going to do?  Hold their collective breaths 'til they turned bluer than a Bluebonnet or threaten to take their locomotive leasing business elsewhere?!

Maybe John Santa Fe was still holding out hope for an amiable relationship with the N.R.P.C. Otherwise, I'd have been tempted to tell 'em to go suck eggs!

Any thoughts? To me, this "Amtrak preferred" business just doesn't ring true.

Thanks in advance!

 

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Posted by gblatham on Wednesday, January 03, 2018 11:20 AM

While we're on the subject, might it be accurate to claim the "Yellowbonnet" scheme was the last new passenger livery developed by a class I railroad in U.S. history?

 

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Posted by BLS53 on Thursday, January 04, 2018 1:29 AM

Considering some of the clown show consists Amtrak assembled in the early years, I find it odd they would care what livery ATSF's diesels were painted.

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Posted by SSW9389 on Thursday, January 04, 2018 9:08 AM

Amtrak is a Class 1 railroad and has developed multiple passenger locomotive paint schemes since 1972. 

gblatham

While we're on the subject, might it be accurate to claim the "Yellowbonnet" scheme was the last new passenger livery developed by a class I railroad in U.S. history?

 

 

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