N&W Blue ad naseum

NW Mailing List nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org
Sat Mar 19 14:10:48 EDT 2011

My point is that I feel all this talk is at best conjecture. New C&O units were delivered with yellow ends until 1967 IIRC. N&W Blue and C&O blue are not the same shade, at least as I remember it (C&O acrylic blue was EMD # 8443315 according to a C&O SD40 paint diagram). N&W went back to black in early 1970, about a year before the talks were "officially" terminated.

I think the common scheme idea would have been more compelling if all three roads adopted identical schemes (including color!) with the same font on the hoods, logos and numbers on the cab sides, and logo/emblems on the ends. Instead C&O continued to paint the short hood yellow for a few years, and the lettering was not all a "common scheme". C&O units also had the sills painted yellow, as did the B&O units of the same era. We all know that N&W did not paint the sills yellow.

I never did mention cabooses, so I'll leave that for someone else ;-)

Now if someone could actually prove that the two blues are the same, I'd go for this idea!

Mark Peele

--- On Fri, 3/18/11, NW Mailing List <nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org> wrote:

From: NW Mailing List <nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org>
Subject: N&W Blue ad naseum
To: nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org
Date: Friday, March 18, 2011, 10:50 PM

Mark Peele commented:

"On the renumbering, N&W continued add new locomotives to the
existing number series through the end of the 1960s. In fact, the first
new locos to be delivered under the proposed new numbering scheme were
the second order of U30Bs delivered in the 8XXX number series ... in
BLACK hamburger, ;-)"

Mark, I'm not sure I get your point. If you are suggesting that that is evidence that theret a common scheme was NOT adopted in connection with the proposed N&W-C&O merger, I believe you are incorrect. The N&W continued adding locomotives to existing number series where there was no conflict with a C&O series. Where there would be such a conflict, they adopted a new series, hence 8XXX GEs to fit with existing C&O 8XXX series GE units. When the Penn-Central went under in 1970, the proposed merger was dropped and the common scheme was scrapped.

If you are suggesting that there was no common paint scheme adopted, there is ample evidence to the contrary, including the caboose scheme, for starters. Why would N&W go to blue and yellow when Wabash cabooses were red. And there is no evidence that has ever surfaced that Mr. Pevler ordered a "Wabash" scheme. There is ample evidence from the railfan and trade press of the period that a common merger scheme was adopted.

The statement attributed elsewhere to Mr. Fishwick, "get rid of the Wabash blue", does not mean that the N&W adopted a Wabash scheme. It might have had more to do with the financial condition Mr. Pevler left behind.

Anyway, I have probably beaten this horse to death. As I have said, it makes no difference to me what the blue is called or what the specs were, as long as we understand how it came about. It was a fascinating period (1959-1970) in the history of the N&W, one that changed the railroad forever.

Bill McClure

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