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Santa Fe Yellow/Blue Bonnet

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Santa Fe Yellow/Blue Bonnet
Posted by Santa Fe SDA on Wednesday, June 14, 2023 2:58 PM

My favorite locomotives are the Santa Fe frieght engines with the blue body, yellow cab and yellow "Santa Fe" on the sides. I can't seem to find pictures of this paint scheme whether I search "yellow bonnet" or "blue bonnet." What the magic keyword? Thank you. 

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Posted by rcdrye on Wednesday, June 14, 2023 5:48 PM

Try "freightbonnet" or "bluebonnet". Leave out the space.

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Posted by Overmod on Wednesday, June 14, 2023 5:49 PM

Try "modern ATSF [or Santa Fe] freight scheme" -- 'bluebonnet' and 'yellowbonnet' are just railfan slang, not really different from 'vomit bonnet' Smile  (And as rcdrye noted, the color names, like 'warbonnet', don't usually have a space ... but I wouldn't think that would trip up properly-programmed photo search engines.)

As I recall, the 'revived' blue and yellow scheme is from the Eighties (with the supergraphic-like "Santa Fe" in yellow) and was to distinguish freight power from the faster locomotives with the new-style warbonnet red and silver.  If you search photo sites for ATSF freight engines by date range, you should come across pictures in fairly short order...

(I also cheated and typed this into Google, with what appear to be a great number of 'desired' results... add specific locomotive types for a more specific return.)

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Posted by SSW9389 on Friday, June 16, 2023 6:06 AM

Overmod

As I recall, the 'revived' blue and yellow scheme is from the Eighties (with the supergraphic-like "Santa Fe" in yellow) and was to distinguish freight power from the faster locomotives with the new-style warbonnet red and silver.  If you search photo sites for ATSF freight engines by date range, you should come across pictures in fairly short order...

Not too sure about what "revived" is getting at. The first yellow warbonnet painted unit was in April 1972. 

Ed in Kentucky 

COTTON BELT: Runs like a Blue Streak!
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Posted by pennytrains on Friday, June 16, 2023 7:20 PM

They might be thinking of the blue and yellow freight scheme used on the covered wagons.

Big Smile  Same me, different spelling!  Big Smile

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Posted by Overmod on Saturday, June 17, 2023 1:15 PM

pennytrains
They might be thinking of the blue and yellow freight scheme used on the covered wagons.

I confess I sorta thought a 'bluebonnet' or 'yellowbonnet' was explicitly referring to an F-unit scheme.

What I remember from reading Trains was that a blue-and-yellow scheme was revived in (or by) the early Eighties -- say by about 1983 -- to allow distinguishing fast trains in the 'warbonnet passenger' colors from regular trains.  I assumed this was obviously before SLSF reared its head, and it is or was the scheme with the very large yellow "Santa Fe" on the hood sides.

That might well have been started earlier, and I haven't gone back to see when or if the Cleburne CF-7 program adopted it.  Ed might do that.  The question is then why the OP said he had such trouble finding pictures of 'bluebonnets' or 'yellowbonnets' in an image search -- and he hasn't to my knowledge said whether removing the space in the names produced more hits for him. 

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Posted by timz on Saturday, June 17, 2023 1:30 PM

Think these are the definitions.

"Yellowbonnet" means the standard SFe scheme starting in 1972. Billions of pics of units in that scheme, since all their new units came like that until ... dunno when.

The term "bluebonnet" originally just referred to a scheme used on some rebuilt (?) F-units. Don't think there was ever such a thing as a bluebonnet SD45-2 or C30-7 or whatever.

The pre-1972 freight scheme wasn't any sort of bonnet, of course. Someone decided SFe units should all look like they had hit a tank truck full of yellow paint, and fans naturally started calling the result "yellowbonnet".

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Posted by azrail on Monday, July 31, 2023 3:35 PM

From 1960 to the middle of 1972, ATSF hood units and switchers were painted in a solid dark blue with the ends of the locos painted yellow. There was a yellow pinstripe at the top of the loco sides, with "Santa Fe" in large Cooper font on the sides of the road switchers, and "SANTA FE" in a smaller Roman font used on the yard switchers (SWs, Alcos, etc). This is known by railfans as the "Bookends" scheme.

In the spring of 1972 the "Yellow Warbonnet" scheme on road units came out, with the same pattern as the red/silver passenger units, but with yellow replacing red and dark blue replacing silver (same Large Santa Fe lettering on the sides). It came out at the "suggestion" of the FRA as having trains being more "visible" at grade crossings. The "yellowbonnet" lasted up to the BNSF merger.

The return of the red/silver "warbonnet"..officially called the "Super Fleet" paint scheme.. began in 1989 when a pair of former FP45s were painted in the same red/silver colors as when they were acquired in 1968 for passenger service - but with the large Santa Fe lettering in red. Apparently SF management was impressed with the reborn colors to have their new wide-nose locomotives painted in the same color scheme, al the way up to the BNSF merger.

Other than the "Super Fleet" monicker, SF never had an offficial name for its various color schemes.

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