BNSF: It's time for heritage locomotives

Posted by tdanneman
on Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Since Norfolk Southern made a big splash with the announcement of heritage paint schemes, I thought it might be time for BNSF to do the same. Norfolk Southern joined the ranks of railroads like Union Pacific, Amtrak, Iowa Interstate, and others who are honoring their past by painting locomotives in either accurate representations, or splashy renditions of predecessor paint schemes. Does a locomotive with a fancy paint scheme move freight more efficiently? The answer is no, but what a wonderful way for the railroads to give a great big nod to their rich history.

If you think about it, BNSF could easily paint two locomotives for each representative predecessor. Starting with CB&Q, you could have the Chinese Red scheme, as well as the black and silver. Great Northern representatives could be orange and green, as well as Big Sky Blue. Or how about Northern Pacific's two-tone green, and the later yellow-and-black freight scheme? Of course, Santa Fe's Warbonnet red and silver would be a given, but how about one of the blue-and-yellow schemes as well? Don't forget about the Burlington Northern. The original BN stripe scheme, as well as the "whiteface" or "tiger stripe" scheme, would be just fine. Not to mention the Spokane, Portland & Seattle.

Graphic Designer Drew Halverson and I came up with several schemes that would look awesome on new BNSF locomotives. We "applied" these paint schemes on our own photos in Adobe PhotoShop. A few examples are shown here. Others in the series can be seen on the Trains Facebook page here:

Be sure you "like" the album and individual photos on our Facebook page if you agree that it would be great if BNSF would pay homage to its colorful past. Come on BNSF! You know you want to!

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Also see Editor Jim Wrinn's blog: Norfolk Southern's heritage units sure are gorgeous, but they need nicknames; also the story behind 8099's odd suffix

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