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Locomotive Paint Schemes

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Locomotive Paint Schemes
Posted by caldreamer on Sunday, October 11, 2020 7:02 PM

Do the railraods really care what paint scheme a locomotive currently has?  I have seen pictures of locomotives with some pretty ugly, filty or faded paint schemes.  Even some with burn marks on the sides.

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Sunday, October 11, 2020 8:20 PM

Depends on the railroad, but as a general rule I believe the 'roads only go for a repaint on the locomotives when they go in for a total overhaul.  Until then as long as they can pull a train they really don't care much what they look like. 

Even keeping them clean isn't as easy as it sounds, what with EPA regulations, or so I've been told.  Anyone feel free to correct me on this.

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Posted by DSchmitt on Monday, October 12, 2020 4:00 PM

I lived in Los Angeles in the mid 1980's

Locomotives

Southern Pacific clean but paint worn sometmes sorched around dynamic brakes.

Santa Fe  - clean good paint.

Union Pacific  looked good but painted over dirt, grease,and oil.

Track maintenance equipment

Southern Pacific - clean but repairs like glass replaced by plywood

Santa Fe - filthy, dirt,oil and grease

Union Pacific - good condition,clean, good paint

I tried to sell my two cents worth, but no one would give me a plug nickel for it.

I don't have a leg to stand on.

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Posted by daveklepper on Tuesday, October 13, 2020 7:26 AM

Of couse pre-Amtrak most railroads did keep their passenger diesel power clean and paint decent.  Still true today for BNSF and its contracted Chicago commuter trains.

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Posted by BaltACD on Tuesday, October 13, 2020 11:41 AM

daveklepper
Of couse pre-Amtrak most railroads did keep their passenger diesel power clean and paint decent.  Still true today for BNSF and its contracted Chicago commuter trains.

Passenger power is much easier to keep clean and maintained - the use of the locomotives is well defined by the schedules of the trains they operate and the layovers those schedules create.

Freight service on the other hand is predicated on keeping the locomotives pulling freight - as close to 24 hours a day as possible.  Locomotives in freight service are only making money when they are pulling freight.  The carriers only want to see their freight engines in the 'shop' every 92 days when they are due for their required Quarterly Inspections.  During the periods between Q's the only attention the locomotives should get is filling with fuel and sand, toping up lube oil and cooling water, emptying the toilets and changing brake shoes as necessary.

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Posted by MMLDelete on Tuesday, October 13, 2020 11:55 AM

Some years ago we spent a few days at the Isaak Walton Inn. I saw a LOT of trains, and at that time I was struck by how GOOD the BNSF engines looked. Quite spiffy.

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Tuesday, October 13, 2020 12:25 PM

I don't think I've ever seen either a photo of a BNSF locomotive, or one of the rare run-throughs we get around here, where the unit looked like a slum on wheels.  

But of course, it's Mr. Buffett's railroad, he doesn't answer to Wall Street bottom-liners.  Hey, he could have crews Simonizing his locomotives after runs and there's no-one to tell him he can't!  

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Posted by MMLDelete on Tuesday, October 13, 2020 1:39 PM

I should know this, but I don't.

Does Warren Buffett own the railroad, or does Berkshire Hathaway? If it's BH, do they own all the shares, or just a majority.

 

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Posted by caldreamer on Tuesday, October 13, 2020 2:32 PM

On the Illani rails forum a poster said that he saw a BNSF engine that was missing the N and S from the initials on the side of the unit.  So the logo was B  F.  There are also pictures of very BNSF locos. But as previously said,  engines only make money if the are hauling freight.  They can get painted later.

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Tuesday, October 13, 2020 3:14 PM

Lithonia Operator
Does Warren Buffett own the railroad, or does Berkshire Hathaway? If it's BH, do they own all the shares, or just a majority.

Folks can feel free to correct me on this, but it's my understanding Warren Buffett / Berkshire Hathaway (Pretty much one and the same.) own the railroad outright, there's no shareholders, it's a private entity.

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Posted by MMLDelete on Tuesday, October 13, 2020 3:41 PM

I believe Berkshire Hathaway is a public holding company. But a single share will run you over $300K at the moment, if you can find one. (I don't know how often anyone sells.) BH, I found, does own 100% of BNSF. And a ton of other companies!

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Posted by MMLDelete on Tuesday, October 13, 2020 3:55 PM

I just looked it up, and I found this:

According to an SEC filing from last year, Warren Buffet had the economic ownership of 16.45% of Berkshire Hathaway’s stock and the voting power of 30.71% of their stock. The difference between the two is due to stock he donated to charitable trusts but maintained the voting rights of ...

So now I know.

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Posted by BaltACD on Tuesday, October 13, 2020 4:49 PM

caldreamer
On the Illani rails forum a poster said that he saw a BNSF engine that was missing the N and S from the initials on the side of the unit.  So the logo was B  F.  There are also pictures of very BNSF locos. But as previously said,  engines only make money if the are hauling freight.  They can get painted later.

About 10 years ago or so - NS was purchasing new power and were so power short in the short term they had the manufacturer send the locomotives to the NS in primer so they could get them hauling freight and making money sooner.  Once the traffic crunch slowed down the NS covered the primer with their normal company paint job.

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Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Wednesday, October 14, 2020 10:05 AM

In around the same time frame, BNSF did something similar with locomotives in base colors only with the trim and lettering (other than the number) applied later.

The daily commute is part of everyday life but I get two rides a day out of it. Paul
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Posted by MMLDelete on Wednesday, October 14, 2020 11:36 PM

Then there were the units painted for the SFSP, the merger which never happened. I've seen pix from later where the SF and the SP just painted out the "other guy's" letters.

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Posted by kgbw49 on Thursday, October 15, 2020 6:38 AM

They actually painted them all new without the other railroad's letters. They just left the spaces blank for the other letters. When the merger was disapproved the units kept soldiering on with no trip back to the paint booth needed. Several hundred locomotives on both railroads received the yellow and red paint job. The ICC took a l-o-o-ong time to approve mergers in those days.

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Posted by MMLDelete on Saturday, October 17, 2020 12:03 AM

Thanks for that correction.

But didn't at least a few get the whole SFSP treatmeant?

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Posted by caldreamer on Saturday, October 17, 2020 7:49 AM

Some of the units lettered for the Santa FE (SF) actually made it to the BNSF before being repainted.

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Posted by Overmod on Saturday, October 17, 2020 8:11 AM

Lithonia Operator
 ...didn't at least a few get the whole SFSP treatment?

As far as I know there were just the two ATSF SD45s that were done to show off how the Kodachrome scheme would look.

The comment about some of Santa Fe's Kodachromes making it to BNSF is interesting.  As I recall the post-merger Santa Fe made a major point of repainting everything to the 'new' corporate schemes as a matter of policy, whether the units had new serviceable paint or not; I think no more than six old GEs were left 'unrepainted' by merger day.  On SP (which was the surviving railroad under SFSP Industries) the scheme survived much, much longer...  

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Posted by caldreamer on Saturday, October 17, 2020 10:01 AM

A number of the kodachrome painted engines of various manufacturers and models made it into BNSF. As an example here is a link to apicture of a lodachrome C30-7 patched BNSF.

http://www.trainpix.com/bnsf/GEORIG/C30-7/5182.HTM

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Posted by kgbw49 on Saturday, October 17, 2020 11:18 AM
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Posted by caldreamer on Saturday, October 17, 2020 11:28 AM

Thank you for linking it for me/

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Posted by Overmod on Saturday, October 17, 2020 12:03 PM

The six GEs I know of were C30-7s.  Who has pictures of locomotives other than those?

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Posted by radio ranch on Tuesday, October 27, 2020 12:53 AM

Berkshire-Hathaway owns every piece of BNSF, real property, locos, track, ballast and all...everything!

Warren Buffet is the largest shareholder of B-H and owns about 31% of B-H.  A Class "A" share of stock is going for about $313,000 a share.  You can buy a Class "B" share for about $208 a share.  Essentially the same, juat a smaller piece of the company.

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Posted by nsecbuengineer on Tuesday, October 27, 2020 7:15 AM

I don't know if you knew it, but the FRA changed the locomotive inspection interval a few years ago. Anything with electronic air brake systems, which are most of them now, can go 184 days between inspections instead of 92.

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Posted by jarodlan on Tuesday, October 27, 2020 8:13 AM

Lithonia Operator

I believe Berkshire Hathaway is a public holding company. But a single share will run you over $300K at the moment, if you can find one. (I don't know how often anyone sells.) BH, I found, does own 100% of BNSF. And a ton of other companies!

 

On October 26th, there were 307 shares of the $300k shares changing owner. BH also has B-shares that closed yesterday's sales at $208,49 and the volume changing owner was 4.474.497 shares. It's all in https://finance.yahoo.com/

 

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Posted by wjstix on Tuesday, October 27, 2020 4:31 PM

Some Soo Line engines made it at least to the last couple of years, there may still be a few out there. Whoever thought painting an engine white was a good idea didn't anticipate what the engine would look after a couple decades of use.

Stix
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Posted by kgbw49 on Thursday, October 29, 2020 12:38 PM

CN operates a lot of ex-Soo track.

It will be interesting to see if a Soo unit makes it in to their heritage-painted fleet. They already have done a Wisconsin Central locomotive.

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Posted by kgbw49 on Thursday, October 29, 2020 1:35 PM

CN operates a lot of ex-Soo track.

It will be interesting to see if a Soo unit makes it in to their heritage-painted fleet. They already have done a Wisconsin Central locomotive.

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Posted by wjstix on Friday, October 30, 2020 9:00 AM

kgbw49

CN operates a lot of ex-Soo track.

It will be interesting to see if a Soo unit makes it in to their heritage-painted fleet. They already have done a Wisconsin Central locomotive.

 
Probably not, since the Soo Line (and it's name, heralds, and other copyright stuff) is owned by rival Canadian Pacific. CN bought Wisconsin Central early in this century. WC had been spun off from Soo Line late in the 20th century and included a lot of trackage originally built by the old WC before they were bought by the Soo early in the 20th century.
Stix

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