N&W Blue

NW Mailing List nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org
Wed Mar 16 21:16:04 EDT 2011

But ... N&W Blue is not the same as C&O blue - is it? Not sure how this makes for a "unified" paint scheme. Pevlar came up through Wabash, so I always thought the blue was Wabash in origin.

If we have the paint code references for Pevlar blue, perhaps I'll ask a friend in the C&O society for the C&O paint codes and see if they match.

Certainly some renumbering took place around 1970 or so, but I was never under the impression that N&W blue = C&O (C&O/B&O) blue.

Mark Peele
Catonsville, MD

--- On Wed, 3/16/11, NW Mailing List <nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org> wrote:

From: NW Mailing List <nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org>
Subject: Re: N&W Blue
To: "NW Mailing List" <nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org>
Date: Wednesday, March 16, 2011, 11:28 AM

Bill is absolutely right. Since it all happened 45 years ago (and was little noted) a lot of fans are not aware of the unified paint scheme and numbering system that anticipated an N&W/C&O merger. The cabooses were the most complete example (stripes and all). I am sure that Pevler did not mind seeing blue replace black, but replacing red on cabooses was hardly a Wabash idea. One exception, however: before blue became the new standard, Roanoke was painting "Redbirds" blue for use on the ex-Wabash passenger trains. My (late) Uncle Campbell Scott reported seeing them go west by Tug Tower in the summer of 1965 (before blue became standard).
Jim Nichols

From: NW Mailing List <nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org>
To: nw-modeling-list at nwhs.org; nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org
Sent: Tue, March 15, 2011 5:58:18 PM
Subject: N&W Blue

While we have come to identify the transition to the blue paint scheme with the period of Herman Pevler's leadership, and hence have called it "Pevler Blue", with the implicit assumption that it came from the Wabash. I believe we give him too much credit.

When the C&O-B&O sought control of the Western Maryland in 1964, the N&W opposed the move and the lead N&W person was John Fishwick, then in N&W's law department. In "discussions" with C&O over the WM proposal, Mr. Fishwick proposed an alternative, that N&W and C&O-B&O combine (N&W would
have been the surviving entity). The N&W-C&O merger discussions began in early 1965 and the parties were so certain of approval that they adopted a common blue paint scheme (and numbering system), blue being the Chessie color, which first appeared on new N&W diesels later in 1965. Alas, the Penn-Central disaster scuttled any further discussion of two strong coal roads combining and merger discussions ended. The blue scheme remained until Mr. Fishwick changed it back to black in 1971 after he became CEO.

So perhaps in truth we have a "Fishwick Blue" and a "Fishwick Black". ;)

As a postscript, the Pevler years left N&W in very difficult financial straights, which Mr. Fishwick set about correcting when he became CEO.

Bill McClure

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