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Date: 05/31/11 04:20
Rio Grande Scenic - Illinois Central scheme
Author: cozephyr

Rio Grande Scenic Railroad has a great new look for 2011. Five or six cars have been painted the classic Illinois Central paint scheme in recent months. Joining the fleet is a gem - the Mardi Gras - 3305. Illinois Central's Burnside Shops took heavy weight cars and outshopped Mardi Gras and Audubon Park in 1947. They were used on IC's City of New Orleans passenger train. The Mardi Gras - 3305 now carries City of New Orleans diamond style drumhead. The Roanoke Chapter - National Railway Historical Society owned and operated this car in Tuscan red with Norfolk & Western lettering between 1978 and 2010.

Rio Grande Scenic has refurbished (new windows, upholstery, carpet and repainted into Illinois Central paint scheme) club car Calumet Club - SLRG 3378. The old fogged windows are gone! The Sangre de Cristo Mountains can be viewed in their splendor from this wonderful car.

Trains operate from Alamosa, CO, the former Denver & Rio Grande Western RR depot - now used by Alamosa's Colorado Welcome Center and railroad's ticket office/gift shop. Trains depart 610 State Avenue on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays between May 27 and into October. Trains operate year round - check out www.coloradotrain.com. August 22 - 23, 2011 they will operate a Photographer's Spectacular run.

Trains can also be caught on the east end at La Veta, CO. A diesel powered passenger train is based there for day trips to Alamosa and back.








Date: 05/31/11 05:41
Re: Rio Grande Scenic - Illinois Central scheme
Author: andersonb109

The cars do look quite nice. And historically correct for at least the observation car. But who came up with the horrible new paint scheme for steam loco #18 with it's brown tender? I guess the idea was to match the passenger cars but this has already resulted in huge negative reaction including from many overseas. I guess you can say good by to any serious photo charters using that loco unless gallons of black paint are supplied!



Date: 05/31/11 06:16
Re: Rio Grande Scenic - Illinois Central scheme
Author: eee

Chip -

Great photos! Thanks!




Mr. Anderson - There will plenty of black paint (and brushes) available for photo charters.

"I don't care what the newspapers say about me as long as they spell my name right." -- P. T. Barnum (also attributed to Mark Twain and others...)

Come on down and see it for yourself! Must be seen to be believed!



andersonb109 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> The cars do look quite nice. And historically
> correct for at least the observation car. But who
> came up with the horrible new paint scheme for
> steam loco #18 with it's brown tender? I guess the
> idea was to match the passenger cars but this has
> already resulted in huge negative reaction
> including from many overseas. I guess you can say
> good by to any serious photo charters using that
> loco unless gallons of black paint are supplied!



Date: 05/31/11 13:21
Re: Rio Grande Scenic - Illinois Central scheme
Author: scottp

Looks just like the IC trains which ran through the _________________ mountain range in days of old.

(I can't think of anything to put in the blank!)



Date: 05/31/11 13:32
Re: Rio Grande Scenic - Illinois Central scheme
Author: OhioRails

scottp Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Looks just like the IC trains which ran through
> the _________________ mountain range in days of
> old.
>
> (I can't think of anything to put in the blank!)


Yeah I totally agree. Why would a Rio Grande line want to paint their equipment in IC paint?



Date: 05/31/11 13:42
Re: Rio Grande Scenic - Illinois Central scheme
Author: DavidP

OhioRails Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------

>
> Yeah I totally agree. Why would a Rio Grande line
> want to paint their equipment in IC paint?

Maybe the ownership likes it that way :-)

Dave



Date: 05/31/11 15:15
Re: Rio Grande Scenic - Illinois Central scheme
Author: Mgoldman

I like cheese steaks and I like ice cream but so far I have resisted the
temptation to combine them.

Still - it's a beautiful train, it's theirs to do what they please and it's
still steam. I might order steak and fries before I order steam and ice cream
but that's not to say I wouldn't order it. Might just have to push each off
to opposite sides of the plate.

/Mitch



Date: 05/31/11 15:33
Re: Rio Grande Scenic - Illinois Central scheme
Author: eee

Let me provide a thoughtful answer to your question below.

We own two railroads in the UK (Dartmoor and Weardale) and about 40 locomotives. I have learned that changing the paint scheme in the UK (new livery) is about as common as changing your oil in your car here... People find it interesting, and it draws lots of comments. Apparently, that works here in the US too.

We chose the IC scheme because of the two club cars, and because of our Mountain Rails Live music series. Many of the singers are moved by the fact that we have a club car, now two club cars, that probably inspired Steve Goodman to write "City of New Orleans," the best train song ever. There are several railroads in Colorado with Rio Grande heritage, but only one that has Rio Grande heritage, City of New Orleans heritage, AND a spectacular, standard gauge mountain pass.

Ed Ellis

OhioRails Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> scottp Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > Looks just like the IC trains which ran through
> > the _________________ mountain range in days of
> > old.
> >
> > (I can't think of anything to put in the
> blank!)
>
>
> Yeah I totally agree. Why would a Rio Grande line
> want to paint their equipment in IC paint?



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/31/11 16:32 by eee.



Date: 05/31/11 18:50
Re: Rio Grande Scenic - Illinois Central scheme
Author: SR_Krause

And why not IC colors? The Lake Superior and Ishpeming didn't have a terribly inspiring paint scheme...

Thank you!



Date: 05/31/11 19:35
Re: Rio Grande Scenic - Illinois Central scheme
Author: GreenRailNews

I might also add that the SL&RG isn't a Rio Grande line, it's a FORMER Rio Grande line, and that's a pretty solid distinction. While the IC lounges look classy, and are historically accurate, we've taken a bit of flak from the railfan population about repainting of some of the other cars, particularly ex-ATSF full dome 510 (even though the real damage paint-wise was done by Holland America 15 years prior...)

I won't even play the "aged, beat-up stainless steel can't be made to look good no matter how hard you try" card. I don't have to. Bottom line is, a matched paint-scheme train looks far better than a dog's breakfast consist of incongruous, mismatched cars - no matter how historically accurate they may or may not be.

In the interest of full disclosure, I'll say that I'm employed by "eee" above, and have worked on both the SL&RG and the AZER, and am headed for another assignment soon in New York. I can also say that I poured a lot of my own blood, sweat and tears (sometimes a bit too literally) over a number of cars in this thread, and in particular the Mardi Gras lounge. But I think my bias is tempered somewhat by the fact that a lot of what I am seeing now reinforces things that I've believed for much longer than I've been employed by Iowa Pacific. I'm just lucky enough right now to be sharing an environment with other like-minded people.

Four of the five repainted cars were done by the Arizona Eastern forces while the cars were wintering in Globe, AZ. And I can say beyond the shadow of a doubt that the reception from the general public was overwhelmingly positive. People were really excited to see the matched set, and it gave us a lot of opportunities to talk about the Mardi Gras lounge, and a lot of the general history of the industry. The last two months with a fully-painted consist were some of the most enjoyable I've spent as a railroader.

The general response was excitement over the new paint, liking the matched appearance of things, and an overall impression that the railroad took pride in its equipment. When the public is excited, it's easy to be excited too. That's pretty doggone important to me. Maybe even more so than the impression of a few railfans that can't handle the "impurity". Bottom line is, it's not a museum, and these aren't museum pieces. They're work a day relics. Frankly, I think that the SLRG, AZER, etc. are a heck of a lot more historically conscious than most railroads in that regard.

To reinforce my point, I submit the following exhibits. Exhibit "A" is a photo of the Copper Spike excursion train in Globe, AZ early in the 2010-2011 season, with the 510 still in Holland America paint and the Mardi Gras in N&W-inspired maroon. Exhibit "B" is a photo of the train after the Mardi Gras was painted in IC paint. It looks good, but the consist still appears no less cobbled together than it did in Exhibit A. Exhibit "C" is a special photo taken a few days after the end of the season with both cars in IC livery, joined by two more C1 commuter cars in IC paint. At this point, in my opinion, even the SP-painted E unit starts to look like it belongs...

Of course that's purely my own $0.02, cash value slightly lower.

Jody
AZER/SNCR Conductor








Date: 05/31/11 20:06
Re: Rio Grande Scenic - Illinois Central scheme
Author: SR_Krause

Purity would never have allowed me to have the experiences I've had. Of note, 2 years ago I got the opportunity to hear what the old stories talk about when a steam locomotive "cracks" in the exhaust - the particular trip with #18 used two domes and two coaches, and she fought with the East side HARD. They dropped two cars on the grade to make it over, but not before I got to hear a steam locomotive struggle and fight with the grade the way she was meant to, not talking loud for a runby. My son and I were in the vestibule. It's a June we won't forget.

We never would have had that opportunity if it was "pure" LS&I. She burned coal, she never left the Michigan iron range. But as a rebuilt oil burner she left us with permanent memories. (Some of the other patrons didn't exactly appreciate the lateness, but we didn't care!)



Date: 05/31/11 20:28
Re: Rio Grande Scenic - Illinois Central scheme
Author: frntinplate

I have to agree that a fully matched train looks much better (both photographically and to the general daisy picking public) than a hodge podge of different color schemes. Yes, most of us Rio Grande types would prefer an orange and silver scheme, but remember, none of these cars comes close to what the DRGW ever had. (except maybe the short lived ex NYC obs car on Ski Train?).

As Ed hints, paint may change with time, and a railfan charter could easily repaint the tender, this is done frequently on the CATS and less so on DSNG. However, an oil burning DRGW steam engine? What do the purists want, a fake coal load like some Tyco engines?

Seriously, the public patronage is what keeps passenger tourist runs like this in the black, and to the fare paying masses, a nice color scheme is a lot more attractive. So lets stop the complaining until after they run their Aug 22-23 railfan specials, lets see what happens with paint and lettering. And remember,Ed could have been a Chessie fan, remember the yellow tenders on those fan trips?



Date: 05/31/11 21:05
Re: Rio Grande Scenic - Illinois Central scheme
Author: davew833

I'm just excited to see fresh IC paint on passenger equipment, especially the 'Mardi Gras.' I think it's a beautiful, under-represented paint scheme. (And yes-- the Holland America paint on the ATSF domes was just awful...)



Date: 06/01/11 03:15
Re: Rio Grande Scenic - Illinois Central scheme
Author: loco4501

I am glad to see those ex-LIRR coaches get the treatment. I rode these in Lubbock last year on the SARM trips and they just looked, well, out of place. Good job gang!



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/05/11 20:45 by loco4501.



Date: 06/01/11 06:16
Re: Rio Grande Scenic - Illinois Central scheme
Author: joemvcnj

How do they un/load people from the ex-LIRR C-1 cars ?
Does that RR also have ex-LIRR P-72's ?

I think we find the shiny brown attractive as it reminds the inner psyche of chocolate, a known mental stimulant (& poison to a dog).



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/01/11 06:22 by joemvcnj.



Date: 06/01/11 06:49
Re: Rio Grande Scenic - Illinois Central scheme
Author: beachlerp

More photos of the Illinois Central scheme on Opening Weekend.








Date: 06/01/11 10:49
Re: Rio Grande Scenic - Illinois Central scheme
Author: mopac1978

Well, the IC did used to run through Mt. Olive, IL



Date: 06/01/11 13:10
Re: Rio Grande Scenic - Illinois Central scheme
Author: symph1

I'd like to thank Mr. Ellis and Ms. Moore for their informative and thoughtful responses (I didn't even know Ed Ellis was a member of TO!). And I couldn't agree with them more: a beautifully matched consist has it all over a historically accurate motley jumble.



Date: 06/01/11 17:25
Re: Rio Grande Scenic - Illinois Central scheme
Author: Abqfoamer

Matched cars look great, running on a great RR! Hope to ride July 2 Special.
Suggestion, for more of a local tie-in, replace Illinois Central lettering with Rio Grande Scenic.
There.
Now, as vaudevillian Ted Lewis used to ask, "Is everybody happy"?



Date: 06/01/11 20:34
Re: Rio Grande Scenic - Illinois Central scheme
Author: NdeM

These cars are damn beautiful - where ever they're running. I've always loved that paint scheme and thought it'd look good in the west.

Posted from iPhone



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