Box Car color question

Discussion in 'Boxcars' started by Mike.P, May 17, 2010.

  1. Mike.P

    Mike.P Member

    :confused: Since I'm kind of new to Frisco I have a few questions to ask.
    What is the significance to the different colors on some box cars?
    I've seen that some were blue, some orange, some tan.
    Were they used for a special customer? Were there any other colors?
    When were they built? Any photos on line?

    Sorry about all the questions.

  2. meteor910

    meteor910 2009 Engineer of the Year Staff Member Supporter

    The blue, tan, gray, etc colors applied to some Frisco box cars in the late 1960's-1970's were specific to some cars assigned to major on-line shippers, if I recall correctly. Somewhere (FMIG or Frisco Museum bulletins?) there is an article explaining all of this. I don't recall any details.

  3. Iantha_Branch

    Iantha_Branch Member

    I don't know what each color was for, but I will list the colors I have seen: yellow, "cotton candy blue", a whitish tan color, boxcar red, and some other purpleish red.
  4. frinyd

    frinyd Member

    Let's see tan was for beer, yellow was for insulated, or cushion under frame . Tuscan, or boxcar red meant regular use, or no unsulation. That's all I can remember right now.
  5. pensive

    pensive Member Supporter

    Using Nicholas John Molo's Frisco/Katy Color Guide to Freight Equipment as a reference, here's what I came up with:

    Boxcar red = general service, non-cushioned underframe
    Yellow = cushioned underframe
    Orange = food products, Kellogg's, Memphis TN
    Blue = food products, General Foods, Memphis TN
    Gray = paper products, James River Paper Co., Naheola AL
    Tan = beer, Schlitz Brewing Co., Memphis TN
    Pullman Green = express service for use in passenger trains
    Silver = maintenance of way service

    Some boxcar red cars did have cushioned underframes, however.

    Last edited by a moderator: May 21, 2010
  6. FriscoFriend (Bob Hoover RIP 4/12/2018)

    FriscoFriend (Bob Hoover RIP 4/12/2018) Passed Away April 12, 2018 Supporter

    And then there was (was not?) the infamous white mystery boxcar that a couple of manufacturers including Varney did for the Norge appliance factory in Ft. Smith, AR. Was there really a prototype white Norge boxcar? Mark Davidson did extensive research on the subject and has deducted in another thread that there wasn't.
  7. Mike.P

    Mike.P Member

    Thanks everyone.

    Now I have another question. Were these all plug doors and were they 40'ers, 50'ers or both.

  8. john

    john Supporter

    When I first went to work for Whirlpool in Fort Smith in 1969 (it was Norge from about 1961 until 1966) I saw several of the white (HO) cars sitting around on various desks. Perhaps they were originally designed as advertising/promo "handouts" for Norge? I don't believe I ever saw a "real" white car there and in a discussion a while back with Mike Condren I was told that he never saw one either. As someone already pointed out they sure went through a lot of red 40 foot cars in a week. Before rail operations ended we were loading a lot of yellow waffle 50 foot cars.

  9. FriscoFriend (Bob Hoover RIP 4/12/2018)

    FriscoFriend (Bob Hoover RIP 4/12/2018) Passed Away April 12, 2018 Supporter

    Bingo! I just think John may have solved the mystery as they could have been advertising cars that were possibly given to sales reps, sent to buyers, etc. If I remember correctly and someone please jump in here and verify this they had a slogan on them concerning the flame in the burner? That possibly was part of an advertising promotion.
  10. nvrr49

    nvrr49 Member

    Last edited by a moderator: May 19, 2010
  11. pensive

    pensive Member Supporter

    Bob, below is a picture of the Life-Like Norge boxcar. I think Varney originally produced this car, and when Life-Like bought them out in the early "70's, they sent the tooling to Hong Kong to continue making it. I've seen versions with red lettering as well as blue.

    "Frosty Flame" is an oxymoron that surely caught one's attention. The refrigerators must have been powered by natural gas rather than electricity. Obviously this technology did not catch on!


    Attached Files:

  12. meteor910

    meteor910 2009 Engineer of the Year Staff Member Supporter

    These "Norge" cars are frequently seen posted on eBay.

  13. TAG1014 (Tom Galbraith RIP 7/15/2020)

    TAG1014 (Tom Galbraith RIP 7/15/2020) Passed Away July 15, 2020 Supporter

    Natural gas refrigerators were fairly common in areas where the gas was cheap. We had relatives (Three families) in SE Kansas that had them right after WW II.

  14. treefrog

    treefrog Member Supporter

    My question is with regards to same topic as I am obtaining wide color range of box cars with my rolling stock. If anyone finds an answer to who goes with which color please pass it on please.

    Thanks so much!
  15. FriscoFriend (Bob Hoover RIP 4/12/2018)

    FriscoFriend (Bob Hoover RIP 4/12/2018) Passed Away April 12, 2018 Supporter


    Are you referring to all railroads color schemes, or just the Frisco's?
  16. treefrog

    treefrog Member Supporter

    Frisco only:confused:

  17. treefrog

    treefrog Member Supporter


  18. emtboo2

    emtboo2 Member

    Hello, This question is a little off topic but still deals with box car color. I was wondering if the Pullman Stadard 60ft double door autoparts cars that Athearn came out with in the yellow with block lettering were ever re-painted into a different color and/or recieved different lettering. I have looked on-line for a while for any photos of these cars period and have no luck. I don't have the Frisco/Katy frieght car book yet and was curious because I have an undecorated car that I would like to paint but would like to do a later verstion of the car. Thanks for any help. JOHN
  19. gstout

    gstout Member Supporter

    The Molo book is probably the best available resource if you are planning to model Frisco freight operations. This is particularly true if you are trying to match various shades of blue, yellow, etc. I used it when researching a recent writing project and found it to be invaluable.

  20. nickmolo

    nickmolo Member

    John, as GS mentioned get the book. Thye were re-painted only with a yellow scheme with differing stencilling. I believe the Athearn release only had the as delivered scheme, if I remember correctly.

    Nick Molo

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