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PRR colour scheme and logo change

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  • Member since
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  • From: United Kingdom
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PRR colour scheme and logo change
Posted by bsteel4065 on Sunday, February 12, 2006 11:25 AM
Please bear with me.... I'm from the UK and so I don't get first hand information about this stuff.

Can someone tell me the dates that Pensylvania changed it's logos and colours? I am very much aware of the keystone, the shadow keystone, the single lines and the triple lines. But what years did each of these happen? Also what was painted Brunswick green and what Tuscan red?

Hope this isn't too involved a question to answer.
Thanks in advance. [:)]
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Posted by balearic on Sunday, February 12, 2006 12:42 PM
Freight engines were painted Dark Green Locomotive Enamel (aka Brunswick Green), as were diesel passenger engines (E7, PA1, and I think E8 models) until about 1948 or '49. Most steamers were also painted green, the exceptions being certain K4's. There were also a few diesel switchers painted Tuscan for passenger switiching operations in Sunnyside Yard on Long Island. Pictures of these can be found in the various Morning Sun books. (I'd look up specific pics in the PDY and PSY books, but my PRR books are currently on loan to a friend.)

The change from small lettering (with no keystones on cabin cars, and "ball keystones" on freight cars) took place in 1954. Microscale makes sets for both schemes, as did Champ and Middle Division.

By single and triple lines, I presume you're talking about the stripes on passenger cars. I can't remember the exact year the Pennsy changed that, but I believe it was '48 or '49. Before that was the multiple-stripe, two-tone-red "Fleet of Modernism" scheme on some cars instead of the "normal" Pennsy scheme. Also, don't forget that Pennsy went from using gold leaf to Dulux gold lettering and stripes as a cost-cutting measure in approximately 1952.

The PRRH&TS used to put out an excellent book that was nothing but information about PRR passenger equipment, including cars that were used in joint service with other railroads. They also produced a wonderful volume that included line drawings for various freight and passenger schemes, including the dates they were used. I don't know if these books are still available. You may want to check their website to see.

I hope that helps you some.

Bob
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Posted by Anonymous on Sunday, February 12, 2006 7:56 PM
Okay, this partially answers a question I was going to raise.
Where can I look to see the color schemes for the PRR?
Where could I look to get the books you referenced?
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Posted by bsteel4065 on Monday, February 13, 2006 4:54 AM
Hi Bob (balearic)
Thanks for such a detailed reply.
One other question.... when did PRR end steamers and move totally to diesel and electric?
I assume you belong to the PRRH&TS. is it worth joining?
Thanks
Barry
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  • From: Pittsburgh, PA
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Posted by emdgp92 on Monday, February 13, 2006 10:36 AM
I think steam lasted until 1957 or '58. Here's a site with lots of photos: http://www.rr-fallenflags.org/prr/prr.html. You didn't ask, but some PRR engines were painted in a much-simplified scheme of Tuscan red (no stripes) and keystones:
http://www.rr-fallenflags.org/prr/prr4209g.jpg
http://www.rr-fallenflags.org/prr/prr4316.jpg

Some ran like this even after the 1968 Penn Central merger.

Keep in mind also, that Brunswick Green looks pretty close to black.
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Posted by bsteel4065 on Monday, February 13, 2006 2:28 PM
Hi emdgp92
Thanks for the links. Much obliged.
I visited the PRR museum in Strasburg about 12 years ago. (Before I got back into this hobby.) I remember a Tuscan red F7(?) out in the yard waiting to be re-furbished. I think they competed it recently.
Thanks again.
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Posted by emdgp92 on Monday, February 13, 2006 3:40 PM
You're quite welcome :)

That was their ex-PRR E7. I have before and after photos of it over here:

Before: http://www.geocities.com/su_carbs/trainpix/prre7a.jpg
After: http://www.geocities.com/su_carbs/trainpix/prr5901a.jpg

I took the "before" photo during the summer of 1992. It didn't look too bad, but the paint had turned nearly pink, and the engine was pretty rusty. It was restored and moved inside a few years ago. I don't know if it still runs, but the quality of the restoration is simply amazing :)

Speaking of Strasburg, here's their website: http://www.rrmuseumpa.org/

They might be able to help you out with books on the PRR.
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Posted by Anonymous on Monday, February 13, 2006 4:34 PM
QUOTE: Originally posted by emdgp92

I think steam lasted until 1957 or '58. Here's a site with lots of photos: http://www.rr-fallenflags.org/prr/prr.html. You didn't ask, but some PRR engines were painted in a much-simplified scheme of Tuscan red (no stripes) and keystones:
http://www.rr-fallenflags.org/prr/prr4209g.jpg
http://www.rr-fallenflags.org/prr/prr4316.jpg

Some ran like this even after the 1968 Penn Central merger.

Keep in mind also, that Brunswick Green looks pretty close to black.


I believe the date of November 1957 was the last month of steam on the PRR.
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Posted by bsteel4065 on Tuesday, February 14, 2006 4:00 AM
Hi emdgp92
Yes, it was the only and last remaining E7. When I saw it it looked sad but all there. From the photos of it's new and glorious restoration it looks astounding.
I think it probably looks better than when it was delivered new.
Cheers!
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Posted by balearic on Tuesday, February 14, 2006 11:56 AM
You're welcome, Bsteel! =)

I thought the last steam run on the PRR was in October 1957, but maybe it was in November. When you get right down to it, it's not really an important detail unless you plan to model the last steam-powered train or something.

BTW, what part of the Pennsy do you plan to model? As the PRR dieselized different parts of the system at different times -- and even bought diesels for specific duties in mind -- the "dieselization date" varied from the Middle Division to the Elmira Branch to the mains to Chicago and St. Louis.

I'm not currently a member of the PRRT&HS, but I've bought a couple of their publications. I also have several books about the Pennsy and modelled it for years. I think they're worth joining because The Keystone is a great resource.
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Posted by tgindy on Tuesday, February 14, 2006 7:15 PM
The Pennsy definitely ended steam in 1957.

The current "Diesel Victory" from Classic Trains Special Edition #4 (display until February 20, 2006) has a in-depth articles that list dieselization for all the major railroads including a year-by-year (pages 36-45) from 1905-1960.

Three Class 1 railroads declared themselves dieselized in 1957: New York Central, Pennsylvania, and Southern Pacific (page 45).

This "Diesel Victory" issue has over 170 photos and even profiles the history of all the diesel builders for $8.95 U.S.

While the few Pennsy photos are black & white in the opening article (circa 1948 E7s with five pinstripes); a color picture in the closing article (circa 1950 darkish gray Alco RS3s), and: the color pictures in the Baldwin article (circa 1948 sharknose & circa 1951 centepede) show five pinstripes, and; the Lima article (circa 1959 transfer diesel) shows darkish gray paint scheme on switchers with no stripes and yellow plain lettering and red PRR keystone logo.

This issue is a wonderful resource for the entire dieselization timeline in the United States let alone broad United States diesel prototype perspective.

Conemaugh Road & Traction circa 1956

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Posted by balearic on Wednesday, February 15, 2006 12:16 AM
I concur that "Diesel Victory" is a good resource. Hopefully it's readily available in the UK. However, to disagree with you, Tgindy, the dark gray isn't gray. It's just weathered, faded green enamel. Unstable paint pigments, combined with the weather and general wear and tear, caused PRR engines to look gray unless they were near a gray object that allowed you to distinguish between the colors.

One formula for making your own Dark Green Locomotive Enamel is to mix 15 parts black with 1 part yellow. Using that basic formula, you can experiment with shades of black, gray, and/or yellow to create your own blends of weathered green. That formula is almost an exact match for the color Broadway Limited used on the first round of M1a/b's a couple years ago.

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Posted by bsteel4065 on Sunday, March 05, 2006 3:27 PM
Hi guys
Sorry for the delay...... but thanks so much for all your invaluable input. The prototype threads are always the best. I'm looking at building PRR in c.1953. I've ripped out my previous layout and I'm now spending all my time planning my new HO. I have a very lmited loft space of 10 x 14 feet, and I'm designing a double decker with staging on the lower level and climbing around the walls to the upper level. It rises 0.77% over 184 feet. It's all coming together very well. Questions about the PRR? I wanted a year that would allow both steam and diesels so I could then start to make some real detail decisions. .
Thanks again you guys!
Cheers
Barry
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Posted by M636C on Sunday, March 05, 2006 6:08 PM
Barry,

If you are planning to model Pennsy pasenger trains in the 1950s, look at Kalmbach's "Pennsy Streamliners" by Joe Welsh. While it is largely in black and white, there are some colour photos of new cars at ACF and a photo of the observation of the "Trail Blazer", taken at the New York World's Fair station in 1939 in the pre WWII "Fleet of Modernism" colours. I bought it, anyway.

M636C
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Posted by balearic on Monday, March 06, 2006 12:14 AM
You could do the old Northern Central line between Baltimore and Harrisburg, the Harrisburg to Buffalo line, the Elmira branch between Williamsport and Sodus Point, or any number of other secondary PRR lines, unless you have to do the main line to Chicago or St. Louis. You'd be able to use Atlantics and Pacifics for passenger power (though the Buffalo line usually got diesels for the Buffalo Day Express), and L1's, I1's, and H-class consols for freights (and M1's if you're doing the Buffalo line).

Keep us posted on what you decide. Good luck!
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Posted by ndbprr on Monday, March 06, 2006 8:42 AM
Do you know John Wright? He is a fellow Brit who is modeling the PRR in HO fine scale and his work is phenomenal. A couple of more suggestions. Join PRR-talk where you can ask away and rarely stump someone. It is free and the exchange will astound you. Right now there is an ongoing discussion about foreign road hoppers and where blocks of them travelled and what roads that is very interesting. You subscribe by sending an e-mail to DSOP@prr-talk with the subject "subscribe". Also visit Keystone crossings website run by the same person. More information - all of it downloadable - then one can absorb in a lifetime. memebers will also firect you to other websites with lots of info. Also visit the PRRT&HS website and view the Keytsone Modeler collection. A FREE yes FREE publication put together by modelers that is in PDF format and can be downloaded and saved on various aspects of the equipment and modeleing. the current issue has an extensive article on modleing PRR bridge abutments. previous issues have been on gons, flats, X29 box cars and a host of other equipment.
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Posted by bsteel4065 on Monday, March 06, 2006 10:20 AM
You are all great guys.
Yes I've heard of John. I'll be on to the DSO now.
Thank you all dear friends!
Barry
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Posted by tgindy on Wednesday, March 22, 2006 11:56 PM
I just discovered this prototype website and have to get this out to you.....

http://www.northeast.railfan.net/

The website emphasis is a focus on Pennsylvania => "Railoading in the North East"

The photographs, maps, and aerial photographs are from the Pennsylvania to the successor railroads such as Penn Central, Conrail, etc. The posted PRR photos are quite good from a railfan perspective.

On the left of the home page are links to six PRR-oriented websites. The hidden gem is the North East Rail Site Links where you you will find PRR prototype website links to your heart's content!

The Horseshoe Curve and Gallitzin Tunnels links are in my geographic region and are inseparable in the Pennsy's history of Allegheny mountaintop operations.

There are at least twelve railroads outlined here to lend perspective of other rolling stock that would have traveled on PRR rails let alone "the flavor" of Northeastern railroading. There are only 15,000+ rail photos!

I have a feeling that you will find more of what you are looking for here. I certainly found it.

Conemaugh Road & Traction circa 1956

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Posted by emdgp92 on Thursday, March 23, 2006 7:42 AM
If you really want a challenge, how about the Waynesburg & Washington RR? This was a 3-foot gauge PRR-controlled branch in southwest PA that ran between those two towns. It lasted from the 1870s to about 1930, and later years simply on paper. The W&W was widened to standard gauge around WWII, leased out to the Monongahela RR, and later became part of Conrail. Most of the original W&W has been abandoned. What's left has been straightened. There are very few W&W models out there, so most things will have to be scratchbuilt.

More info is over here: http://www.narrowtracks.com/wwrr/

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