Subscriber & Member Login

Login, or register today to interact in our online community, comment on articles, receive our newsletter, manage your account online and more!

Clarifying Pennsy PA diesel paint scheme

1223 views
13 replies
1 rating 2 rating 3 rating 4 rating 5 rating
  • Member since
    February, 2004
  • From: Central Ohio
  • 422 posts
Clarifying Pennsy PA diesel paint scheme
Posted by basementdweller on Wednesday, May 23, 2018 9:34 PM

i am starting a project of painting an HO Alco PA and PB for the PRR. Before I commit to a scheme I am wanting to make sure I am clear on my options. 

Here is what I understand, in 1947 when they were new and through the 1950's the PA locomotives were Tuscan Red with 5 stripes and in passenger service. Then around 1960 / 61 they were moved to freight and were painted DGLE with a single stripe (narrow strip for freight). 

So my question were the PA and PB locos in Tuscan Red with a single strip? I have also seen a photo of the PA in DGLE with 5 stripes, but unsure whether this was a one off or a scheme for a while? 

The PRR only had 10 PA-1's and 5 PB-1's so there could not have been too many variations. 

I read somewhere when the PA's were moved to freight they were specifically used for Tructrain service, is this accurate of were they in general freight service?

What are good books on Pennsy diesels?

Thanks.

  • Member since
    August, 2003
  • From: Collinwood, Ohio, USA
  • 5,936 posts
Posted by gmpullman on Thursday, May 24, 2018 12:34 AM

Delivered in October, through December, 1947. In late 1952, they were regeared to 80 MPH max ( 60:23 to 64:19 ) and reclassed AFP-20. As delivered they were Dark Green with gold leaf striping. They began to get Tuscan Red paint in 1952.

All were stored in early 1958, but began to return to service later that year. The AFP-20s remained in Tuscan Red until retirement except 5757-A and 5758-A which were placed in lease service to P.R.S.L. in Camden, NJ painted Dark Green with a single, narrow Dulux stripe. They were used in both passenger service and freight transfer runs.

In August 1960 four A units and 4 B units were sent to Shire Oaks, Pa. for coal train service from areas south of Pittsburgh to Altoona. They were run in MU with FA and FB Alcos, too. By June, 1961 about half the PAs & Bs were stored unserviceable at Altoona. The pair at Camden remained in service for a few more months and four were stored out of service at Shire Oaks. Scored crank shafts were a recurring problem.

By July, 1962 all were scrapped. Some were traded-in for credit on Alco RS-27 units.

I seem to recall seeing a photo of one B unit in Tuscan paint with a single Dulux stripe. I'll report back if I find it**.

Many good PRR diesel books are out there. The whole Morning Sun "Pennsy Diesel Years" series is good. Another one is Pennsy Diesels 1924 - 1968 A-6 to EF-36 by K.L. Douglas and P. C. Weiglin. Good roster information in this one.

Hope that helps, Ed

** Found it.

Page 70 and 71 in Pennsy Diesel Years No. 4 by R. J. Yanosey, Several photos of PB-1 No. 5758B in December '61 and Jan. '62 in Tuscan Red with single wide stripe, large keystone near the center door and large PENNSYLVANIA spelled out below the stripe extending between the truck center lines. Also a photo of A-B-B-A PAs on a coal drag in May of 1961. 

 

 

  • Member since
    February, 2004
  • From: Central Ohio
  • 422 posts
Posted by basementdweller on Thursday, May 24, 2018 7:10 AM

I really appreciate the detailed response. Thank you.

  • Member since
    September, 2003
  • 5,786 posts
Posted by Overmod on Thursday, May 24, 2018 5:12 PM

Something to remember is that PBs and BP-20 boosters saw relatively extensive use in consists with four-motor cabs (FAs and Sharks respectively).  This associated with lack of nose MU on passenger units... someone who knows might comment if the Amplidyne system did back transition better than the arrangement on PRR's Es.

  • Member since
    September, 2002
  • 6,770 posts
Posted by ndbprr on Friday, May 25, 2018 5:38 PM
The 5 PBs stayed in passenger service between e7s for some time. See Pennsy Power by Staufer for a picture. Some of the PAs wound up in Red Bank New Jersey where the handoff of commuter GG1 engines from New York took place
  • Member since
    February, 2004
  • From: Central Ohio
  • 422 posts
Posted by basementdweller on Friday, May 25, 2018 6:34 PM

I found a photo of PRR 5752 taken in 1952, dark green with 5 gold stripes. I think that is an attractive scheme, especially as all my E units are Tuscan Red. 

I also prefer the look of the smaller number boards on the side of the body rather than the larger 45 degree number boards. Does the smaller board have a light in the front of it? 

  • Member since
    November, 2015
  • 1,084 posts
Posted by ATSFGuy on Friday, May 25, 2018 6:56 PM

Weren't the Pennsy's PA's painted in both Tuscan Red and Brunswick Green like the F units?

  • Member since
    September, 2003
  • From: Omaha, NE
  • 9,217 posts
Posted by dehusman on Friday, May 25, 2018 7:39 PM

ATSFGuy

Weren't the Pennsy's PA's painted in both Tuscan Red and Brunswick Green like the F units? 

Actually read the thread.  The question was already answered in some detail.

Dave H. Painted side goes up.

  • Member since
    August, 2003
  • From: Collinwood, Ohio, USA
  • 5,936 posts
Posted by gmpullman on Friday, May 25, 2018 11:17 PM

basementdweller
Does the smaller board have a light in the front of it?

The small numberboard housing has a classification lens facing front and to the outside:

 ATSF_PA by Edmund, on Flickr

Alco Photo

The classification light would have a green, red or clear (none) roundel between the lamp and lens so the proper classification could be displayed.

Santa Fe was probably unique with the large (12" high?) illuminated numbers on the sides of the carbody and the smaller forward facing numberboard above the windshield center divider as can be seen in the photo..

I think many of the early diesels followed steam practice with small, side illuminated numberboards. After some input from crews and tower operators it seems the locomotive designers came up with larger, illuminated boards that became the norm. Many of the PRR E7s and PAs were retrofitted with illuminated numberboards on standoffs mounted to the nose at 45 ° angles such as the 5759 shows here:

http://www.railpictures.net/photo/424664/

Some railroads would supplement the small, side numberboards with reflective nose mounted engine numbers for better legibility. 

Regards, Ed

  • Member since
    February, 2004
  • From: Central Ohio
  • 422 posts
Posted by basementdweller on Saturday, May 26, 2018 4:48 PM
Thanks Ed.
  • Member since
    December, 2011
  • 386 posts
Posted by Uncle_Bob on Sunday, May 27, 2018 9:26 PM

I think most, if not all of the PRR's PA-1's got the larger 45 degrees number boards sometime in the mid-Fifties.  Also, 5756 and 5757 for a time were used as pushers out of Williamsport on the Elmira Branch (see "The Case of the I1 that Lost Her (Cylinder) Head" in an issue of Trains back in 1982).

  • Member since
    November, 2015
  • 1,084 posts
Posted by ATSFGuy on Wednesday, May 30, 2018 7:26 PM

I've always wondered why SF put that small numberboard above the windshield.

  • Member since
    August, 2013
  • 3,006 posts
Posted by ACY Tom on Friday, June 08, 2018 4:36 PM

The best source for info of this kind on PRR diesels is the Pennsylvania Railroad Diesel Locomotive Pictorial series by Paul Withers, published by Withers Publishing, 528 Dunkel School Road, Halifax, PA, 17032.  Volume 7, covering EMD E units and Alco PA's, is the one you want. 

Beginning with the delivery of PRR's first E7's in August of 1947, all PRR diesel passenger units were delivered in Dark Green Locomotive Enamel (DGLE), which was almost black, with gold leaf lettering and striping. DGLE is often called Brunswick Green. The PA's, like most PRR passenger orders of the late 1940's, were delivered in ABA sets. Soon after delivery (1948) PRR changed its policy and broke the ABA sets into AA and AB sets. As of August 11, 1952, PRR changed the base color to Tuscan Red, and the lettering and striping became a nonmetallic buff on passenger units of all classes. This is also when the small number boards were replaced with larger angled ones on PA's and E7's. As of June 18, 1953, the number inside the nose keystone was replaced by intertwined PRR letters.

In September and October of 1954, the PA's were regeared and assigned to freight service due to the increased numbers of more reliable EMD passenger units. Most continued to wear the five stripe DGLE scheme, but the single stripe DGLE scheme was applied to 5757-A and 5758-A. The B units were again regeared and returned to passenger service by 1957, and at least one B unit, 5758-B, sported Tuscan with the broad stripe, shadow Keystone scheme which had been adopted for paseenger units August 9, 1956. The B units were back in freight service by 1960, and all PRR PA and PB units were retired in 1962 and traded in on Alco DL-640's.

Withers gets credit for all of this info, and his book includes photos of most individual units over the years.  

Tom

  • Member since
    February, 2004
  • From: Central Ohio
  • 422 posts
Posted by basementdweller on Saturday, June 09, 2018 6:53 AM
Thanks Tom.

Subscriber & Member Login

Login, or register today to interact in our online community, comment on articles, receive our newsletter, manage your account online and more!

Users Online

There are no community member online

Search the Community

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
Model Railroader Newsletter See all
Sign up for our FREE e-newsletter and get model railroad news in your inbox!