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Nostalgia & History > Twenty Four years ago.


Date: 11/28/12 18:59
Twenty Four years ago.
Author: SP2778

SP 7669 on a W.Colton to LA train around the balloon Nov. 28, 1988.

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Date: 11/28/12 21:07
Re: Twenty Four years ago.
Author: FiveChime

Great consist! A little carbon build up in the geep!

Regards, Jim Evans



Date: 11/28/12 23:11
Re: Twenty Four years ago.
Author: cates625

Good lord, did they expect half the power to break down on the trip to LA?



Date: 11/29/12 08:27
Re: Twenty Four years ago.
Author: ntharalson

Intersting video, thanks for posting. I'll bet the "smog police" could have written a
lot of tickets for this train.

Now, a question. I noticed the SW1500, "Crud" if you prefer, has red lettering. I had
always thought this lettering, which I had only seen before on the long hoods of road
units, was due to over heating, and "boiling" the white pigment out. However, not only
is the hood lettering red on this SW1500, but the cab lettering is too, which sort of
tanks my theory. So, did SP actually use red paint for a while? Or is there another
reason my weak brain can't think of?

Nick Tharalson,
Marion, IA



Date: 11/29/12 17:35
Re: Twenty Four years ago.
Author: mwbridgwater

Here is a revised essay I posted on Trainorders a few years ago that addresses this issue:

The appearance of red lettering and numbers on some Southern Pacific locomotives has been a controversial subject, due to the lack of solid facts. I’ve researched this and have some information to share which explains what we’ve seen.

Prior to making a close, personal examination, I was accepting the theory that Scotchlite lettering peeled off exposing primer underneath. It really bothered me though, that this "primer" appeared to be identical to the final scarlet trim color.

A few years ago, I had the opportunity to inspect and photograph UPY 1137, ex-SP 2553, an SW1500. Close examination, including sanding off paint down to bare metal in several locations provided the following evidence:

The unit was still in its original EMD-applied paint (1970), but with some later touch up of the scarlet (a slightly different shade) in some places. It was initially covered in a coat of yellow primer (A dark shade of yellow, which has been confirmed by an EMD design engineer as the color that EMD used.) The entire unit (frame side sills/pilots/hood/cab) was then painted a thick coat (or a couple of thinner coats) of SP scarlet. Following this, the Scotchlite (pre-cut reflective letters and numbers with an adhesive backing) lettering was applied. As per common painting practice, the areas to remain scarlet were also masked off, and the remainder painted a relatively thin coat of gray. Each Scotchlite stick-on letter/number had its own top layer of peel-off mask, at this point, covered with gray paint. All the masking was removed, including the Scotchlite masks,which revealed the white reflective characters underneath.

As seen on 1137/2553, the Scotchlite stickers eventually disintegrated, the material cracking into hundreds of tiny pieces which then began to separate and fall off, exposing the initial coat of scarlet. A fillet (ridge) of gray paint could still clearly be seen and felt around the outline of the scarlet areas that were masked, and remaining Scotchlite letters from build up against the mask that had been covering them.

It certainly seems odd that the entire unit was painted scarlet first, especially when red-pigmented paints generally cost more than others. What does make sense, is applying the lettering stickers over a coat of paint, rather than primer. Stickers on top of primer with paint only up to the edge of the sticker would not have been as "weather tight" and long-lasting. As I described above, the scarlet coat was thick, as if to be the main weather inhibitor. The gray coat was thin, as if only there for color. If the gray and scarlet were of equal or nearly the same cost to EMD, there would seem to be nothing questionable about this procedure.

The alternative would have been to paint scarlet on only the areas that needed it (plus a small margin), mask that, paint the gray and then apply the lettering over the gray (The mask that is supplied on the lettering would have been useless, in this case). The down side of this would be not having a seal of wet paint up against the edge of the Scotchlite stickers, possibly helping to preserve them. The procedure that was used, however, addresses this.

I have seen photos of several road units (SDs) that obviously received the entire scarlet base coat, as well. One place it frequently showed up was on the front of the fireman’s side battery box, where crew member’s shoes (the toe) would scuff the front of the box above the step mounted to it. The pattern is always the same: Oval shaped rings within each other (the shape of the scuffed area) with, of course, gray on the outer surface, followed by an obvious ring of scarlet within that, followed by the yellow primer, and in the center, bare steel. I’ve seen the same pattern on these units on the hood, etc., wherever the paint has become deteriorated enough to reveal the layers.

I’ve done a study of “rusty” lettering, as well, which is a different situation. Locomotives which did not have their lettering/numbers done in Scotchlite had them painted on. The units like this that I’ve examined were painted in this way: The areas that were to receive lettering were painted first with Lettering Gray (I am assuming just a patch where the actual lettering would be and not the entire unit, but I haven’t done any sanding of layers to know for sure.). Removable masks in the shapes of the letters and numbers were then applied to these areas and the top coat of dark gray sprayed over the locomotive. The masks were then removed to reveal the Lettering Gray character underneath. With age, the steel under the letters began to rust, as the paint was not as thick in those areas.


Nick,

To address your comment specifically, yes, the Scotchlite stickers deteriorated more rapidly with heat from the engine/exhaust manifold/dynamic brake resistors. Photos of some units show that, given enough time, the numerals on the cab eventually began to suffer the same fate. A few people are certain they saw some units in fresh paint with red lettering/numbers. If this is true, the paint shop crew involved must have either accidently peeled off the entire reflective character instead of just the mask, or did it intentionally, maybe with the plain masks intended for painted-on characters (?).

#2) Notice the "S" sticker was applied upside down (They were not quite symetrical top to bottom.)
#3) The yellow primer can be seen below the original scarlet (And a touch up coat of slightly different scarlet.).

Mark



Edited 6 time(s). Last edit at 11/30/12 07:50 by mwbridgwater.








Date: 11/30/12 07:28
Re: Twenty Four years ago.
Author: mwbridgwater

#4) The "FIC" has weathered away to bare metal, exposing just a hint of yellow primer between the rust and scarlet. The scarlet touch up (only on the frame) can be seen as a slightly darker, more "pinkish" hue, chipped away with the original underneath.

#5) Yellow primer showing where the red Gyralite was removed and plated over.

Sorry, didn't think to photograph the areas I sanded down, and I appologize for the thread highjack.

Mark



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/30/12 07:41 by mwbridgwater.






Date: 11/30/12 08:21
Re: Twenty Four years ago.
Author: ntharalson

Thank you so much for this very definitive answer!

Nick Tharalson,
Marion, IA


mwbridgwater Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Here is a revised essay I posted on Trainorders a
> few years ago that addresses this issue:
>
> The appearance of red lettering and numbers on
> some Southern Pacific locomotives has been a
> controversial subject, due to the lack of solid
> facts. I’ve researched this and have some
> information to share which explains what we’ve
> seen.
>
> Prior to making a close, personal examination, I
> was accepting the theory that Scotchlite lettering
> peeled off exposing primer underneath. It really
> bothered me though, that this "primer" appeared to
> be identical to the final scarlet trim color.
>
> A few years ago, I had the opportunity to inspect
> and photograph UPY 1137, ex-SP 2553, an SW1500.
> Close examination, including sanding off paint
> down to bare metal in several locations provided
> the following evidence:
>
> The unit was still in its original EMD-applied
> paint (1970), but with some later touch up of the
> scarlet (a slightly different shade) in some
> places. It was initially covered in a coat of
> yellow primer (A dark shade of yellow, which has
> been confirmed by an EMD design engineer as the
> color that EMD used.) The entire unit (frame side
> sills/pilots/hood/cab) was then painted a thick
> coat (or a couple of thinner coats) of SP scarlet.
> Following this, the Scotchlite (pre-cut reflective
> letters and numbers with an adhesive backing)
> lettering was applied. As per common painting
> practice, the areas to remain scarlet were also
> masked off, and the remainder painted a relatively
> thin coat of gray. Each Scotchlite stick-on
> letter/number had its own top layer of peel-off
> mask, at this point, covered with gray paint. All
> the masking was removed, including the Scotchlite
> masks,which revealed the white reflective
> characters underneath.
>
> As seen on 1137/2553, the Scotchlite stickers
> eventually disintegrated, the material cracking
> into hundreds of tiny pieces which then began to
> separate and fall off, exposing the initial coat
> of scarlet. A fillet (ridge) of gray paint could
> still clearly be seen and felt around the outline
> of the scarlet areas that were masked, and
> remaining Scotchlite letters from build up against
> the mask that had been covering them.
>
> It certainly seems odd that the entire unit was
> painted scarlet first, especially when
> red-pigmented paints generally cost more than
> others. What does make sense, is applying the
> lettering stickers over a coat of paint, rather
> than primer. Stickers on top of primer with paint
> only up to the edge of the sticker would not have
> been as "weather tight" and long-lasting. As I
> described above, the scarlet coat was thick, as if
> to be the main weather inhibitor. The gray coat
> was thin, as if only there for color. If the gray
> and scarlet were of equal or nearly the same cost
> to EMD, there would seem to be nothing
> questionable about this procedure.
>
> The alternative would have been to paint scarlet
> on only the areas that needed it (plus a small
> margin), mask that, paint the gray and then apply
> the lettering over the gray (The mask that is
> supplied on the lettering would have been useless,
> in this case). The down side of this would be not
> having a seal of wet paint up against the edge of
> the Scotchlite stickers, possibly helping to
> preserve them. The procedure that was used,
> however, addresses this.
>
> I have seen photos of several road units (SDs)
> that obviously received the entire scarlet base
> coat, as well. One place it frequently showed up
> was on the front of the fireman’s side battery
> box, where crew member’s shoes (the toe) would
> scuff the front of the box above the step mounted
> to it. The pattern is always the same: Oval shaped
> rings within each other (the shape of the scuffed
> area) with, of course, gray on the outer surface,
> followed by an obvious ring of scarlet within
> that, followed by the yellow primer, and in the
> center, bare steel. I’ve seen the same pattern
> on these units on the hood, etc., wherever the
> paint has become deteriorated enough to reveal the
> layers.
>
> I’ve done a study of “rusty” lettering, as
> well, which is a different situation. Locomotives
> which did not have their lettering/numbers done in
> Scotchlite had them painted on. The units like
> this that I’ve examined were painted in this
> way: The areas that were to receive lettering were
> painted first with Lettering Gray (I am assuming
> just a patch where the actual lettering would be
> and not the entire unit, but I haven’t done any
> sanding of layers to know for sure.). Removable
> masks in the shapes of the letters and numbers
> were then applied to these areas and the top coat
> of dark gray sprayed over the locomotive. The
> masks were then removed to reveal the Lettering
> Gray character underneath. With age, the steel
> under the letters began to rust, as the paint was
> not as thick in those areas.
>
>
> Nick,
>
> To address your comment specifically, yes, the
> Scotchlite stickers deteriorated more rapidly with
> heat from the engine/exhaust manifold/dynamic
> brake resistors. Photos of some units show that,
> given enough time, the numerals on the cab
> eventually began to suffer the same fate. A few
> people are certain they saw some units in fresh
> paint with red lettering/numbers. If this is
> true, the paint shop crew involved must have
> either accidently peeled off the entire reflective
> character instead of just the mask, or did it
> intentionally, maybe with the plain masks intended
> for painted-on characters (?).
>
> #2) Notice the "S" sticker was applied upside down
> (They were not quite symetrical top to bottom.)
> #3) The yellow primer can be seen below the
> original scarlet (And a touch up coat of slightly
> different scarlet.).
>
> Mark



Date: 11/30/12 11:39
Re: Twenty Four years ago.
Author: sp8192

If I have ever seen a video that sums up how I remember the SP, then there it is! All jumbled up consist just smoking like hell!! Love it!



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