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GN 0-4-0 Colors

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  • Member since
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  • From: Tampa, Florida
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GN 0-4-0 Colors
Posted by cedarwoodron on Tuesday, December 18, 2018 7:12 AM

I'm pretty sure that GN never used an 0-4-0 yard switcher, although I believe I saw an 0-6-0 one in Google images. My question is- did GN ever paint the cab roof and window frame red ?

The black and white images online don't help and there are so few color ones. Or- is the red coloring of the model just manufacturers artistic license per se?

It would seen to me that a plain yard goat steam locomotive would NOT be decorated as it served a limited role in yard-only or short distance use that the public rarely saw and such painting was essentially superfluous if done at all.

Cedarwoodron

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Posted by 7j43k on Tuesday, December 18, 2018 9:01 AM

GN never used an 0-4-0 for a yard switcher.  

GN did not include one in their steam roster.  One MIGHT have snuck in somehow in the early days during track construction.  But it wasn't "official".  And it never would have been a "yard switcher".

My model of GN 393, a W&R GN A-9 0-6-0, came RTR with a red roof.

The red paint wasn't used as a decoration.  It was more a special preservative paint.  The window sashes (not frames) were generally wood.  The cab roofs MIGHT have been; I'm not at all sure on that one.

So it's use was based on utility, not aesthetics.  Generally.

 

Ed

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Posted by wjstix on Tuesday, December 18, 2018 9:16 AM

Great Northern had 10 0-4-0 steam engines, all of which were built between 1879 and 1882 for GN predecessor St.Paul, Minneapolis & Manitoba. I don't have the book I need right at hand, but I doubt any of them lasted until 1900.

http://www.gngoat.org/roster01.jpg

Red roofs would have been fairly common for any steam engine roof. Red windows would be less common, but not out of the realm of possibility for a 19th century engine. Although we tend to think of engines back then as being painted in gaudy colors, what would come to be the "generic" steam locomotive paint scheme of graphite smokebox and firebox, red cab roof and tender deck, with everything else black, was becomming the norm by the 1880's...once you switched from wood to coal burning, that bright paint job got dirty fast; easier to just 'paint it black'. 

Stix
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Posted by cedarwoodron on Tuesday, December 18, 2018 9:40 AM

I guess I'll skip the window frame paint- the cab roof would be easy to mask and paint with primer red- a duller tone- but if it soiled quickly from coall smoke exhaust flowing over it, just leaving it black might be more proto in the end. It would seem that Victorian preferences would not stand up to the rigors of the industrial age, particularly as coal quickly replaced wood fuel- and I know paint technology was not very advanced back then.

Cedarwoodron

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Posted by 7j43k on Tuesday, December 18, 2018 10:44 AM

It might look nice to feature a weathered red roof.  Essentially a reddish black, I guess.

I also have the book Stix is talking about (I'll wager):

Middleton and Priebe's "Steam Locomotives of the Great Northern Railway".

It does list 0-4-0's as being GN owned:

There were 10, with the last being sold in 1904.  All were built by Brooks.

How these very early locomotives were painted would depend on finding painting specs with either Brooks (Alco) or GN/BN/BNSF historical societies.

The book does mention that the cab roofs were painted black "in the original scheme".  The red roof apparently was later applied based on Divisions, with the west coast apparently staying black, but Mesabi going with the red.  Dates for these changes are not noted.  

Apparently the "green" boiler jacket started in 1891.  All the 0-4-0's were built after that.  But they MAY have been considered lowly, and not deserving.

 

 

It is interesting to me that SP&S had a bout of painting the tops of their diesels red. It's not been established why, nor exactly when.  It was VERY roughly in the fifties and early sixties.  I'd surely like to find more info on this subject.

None appear to have been delivered that way, so it was a home-done job.  My thought has been that it was to aid in rust prevention.

 

Ed

 

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Posted by wjstix on Tuesday, December 18, 2018 12:14 PM

Wink Yes Ed, that is the book I was thinking of.

One problem with GN is the various divisions seemed to have a lot of leeway on how they painted engines. The "glacier park" scheme (gray/green boiler, red cab roof and tender deck, graphite firebox and smokebox) was applied almost at random it sometimes seems. In later years, the graphite was replaced with silver, and the cylinder heads were painted silver...sometimes.

Apparently, some Mesabi division engines had their roofs painted bright red in the 1950's rather than the more common tuscan red. I've heard speculation that they may have run out of the old paint, so used the bright red that started to be used on boxcars around that time.

Anyway, I think an 0-4-0 with a tuscan red roof and a little weathering (I'd use powdered charcoal) would look good. Labor was cheap back then, and equipment would have been cleaned at least periodically, so it wouldn't have had like an inch of coal soot on the roof!

p.s. keep in mind, if these engines were retired by 1904, they wouldn't have ever had the "goat" herald on their tenders, as that came later. Most likely they would have just had the RR name (or the engine number on the side, with the RR name written above it along the top edge of the tender).

Stix
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Posted by cedarwoodron on Tuesday, December 18, 2018 1:42 PM

I did see a lot of the larger engines with the goat herald on the tender, but I'm placing my 0-4-0 in the early transition Era on my layout. Again, mostly black and white images on Google led me to use a simple B&W decal, not the one with red in it. I will give it a dark toned red roof and leave it at that. Think I'll check the used book boxes at the next swap meet for GN books- not every thing is online I guess!

Cedarwoodron

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Posted by 7j43k on Tuesday, December 18, 2018 2:28 PM

If you are serious about GN steam, you want THAT book.

It was published by the GN historical society.  It is now out of print.  I am sure another edition will be printed.  Someday.  That someday will happen sooner if they hear, in writing, that customers are banging down the door.

There are copies available from Amazon.

 

Ed

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Posted by 7j43k on Tuesday, December 18, 2018 2:43 PM

Most every railroad's steam locomotives had a "look".  And I pretty much like them all:  Santa Fe, UP, NYC, Pennsy........

 

What got me hooked on the GN, back in the day, was this model:

https://www.brasstrains.com/classic/Product/Detail/040736/HO-PFM-Tenshodo-137-GN-Great-Northern-4-8-4-S-1-2552

I loved the air pumps on the front, the outside bearing lead truck, the Belpaire firebox, and the Vanderbilt tender.  I see it still has the price on the end, the same as I paid.  A LONG time ago.

GN steam is a most excellent series to follow.

 

Ed

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Posted by wjstix on Tuesday, December 18, 2018 2:51 PM

I guess it's possible one or two of those 0-4-0 engines might have lasted long enough to get the black and white rectangular "Great Northern Railway" heralds. The original full-face goat herald was introduced more than a decade after these engines were retired I believe. The 'modern' side facing goat herald came along in 1936.

http://www.greatnorthernempire.net/index2.htm?GNEGNTimeline.htm

But more likely it would have been lettered like this:

http://www.gngoat.org/gn_steam_7.jpg

 

Stix
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Posted by 7j43k on Tuesday, December 18, 2018 3:54 PM

The OP said he's modeling in the early transition era.  I also suspect that his 0-4-0 does not look much like the GN's 0-4-0's.

So, since this loco is going to exist at a time when GN's 0-4-0's were long gone, I suggest painting it the same as the 0-6-0's of that time.  That way, as the fleet of GN steam expands, the little guy will be at home.

Which would pretty much be black.  The smokebox would be "graphite", as would the part of the firebox that was not lagged.  Roof color optional, I think.

The herald would be the last-but-one version, with a side-facing goat, a red background, and "Great Northern" (as opposed to "Great Northern Railway") around the edges.  In white, not aluminum.

Something like this:

https://www.brasstrains.com/BrassGuide/Pdg/Detail/22840/HO-Steam-W-R-Enterprises-VERSION-3-Great-Northern-0-6-0-A-9-SWITCHER

 

Ed

 

Edward Sutorik

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