Steam Locomotive Lettering

Discussion in 'General Steam' started by gbmott, Dec 25, 2009.

  1. gbmott

    gbmott Member

    Everyone knows that soon after his arrival from the Southern, Clark Hungerford decreed an end to the "decorative" paint schemes then in use on some steam locomotives. This included both the blue & white and the FFF on 4500's, the skirts and striping on the 4-6-4's, and the metallic gold with Doric striping on most passenger locomotives. So a few questions:

    1. Did a single order go out for all of this or, for example, were different classes dealt with separately and at significantly different dates?

    2. Here's the real question -- as a general statement, other than the coal-burning 4500's with the FFF logo, the locomotives affected were passenger locomotives and their new "austerity" lettering was done in DuPont's Dulux Imitation Gold rather than in white as on freight locomotives. So my question is whether this occurred with ALL locomotives that previously had a "decorative" paint scheme or whether some were actually repainted with white numbers/letters. It is very difficult to tell in b&w photos, and there is a very limited number of color photographs on which to rely. We know that 4500-4502 were in Dulux Gold, there are photos of 1500's that way, and I remember first-hand that 1040's were that way. But what about the 4400's that had been in passenger service, and especially what about the many 1015's that wound up in local freight service, especially on the A&A and working out of Enid?

    2a. As a subset of the above, is there any record, either official or photographic, of locomotives going from metallic gold to Dulux and then to white?

    3. Finally, did the three 1015's that were streamlined for the "Firefly" go to scrap with their streamlining intact?

    Thanks, and Merry Christmas

    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 25, 2009
  2. gbmott

    gbmott Member

    I have answered a little bit of my own question. A wonderful color shot in the possession of Don Wirth of 4500 in Meteor blue at the Monett roundhouse clearly shows what must be a 1500 behind it in "austerity" Dulux imitation gold. Also, Jim Ozment's photo in "Trackside in St. Louis" shows 1526-7 retired at Lindenwood in Dulux so we know they never were white.

    I'm still really curious about the 1015's in local freight service. On the other hand, there is a Charles Winters photo of a very dirty 1502 in Denison, Texas, on lease to the T&NO (with lighted train indicators) dated 11-4-48 that still has metallic gold Doric striping, though it has had a doghouse mounted on the tender and the cylinder head covers have been painted black while a similar shot of 1510 looking even worse (including a white smokebox door) taken ten days later appears to be in dirty Dulux.

    Maybe there wasn't any real plan and as locomotives just came due for painting in the 1948-9 period they got the simplified scheme. I have a print of 4502 in KC on 3-29-49 still in Meteor blue (presumably assigned to the KC-FLA Special) so there doesn't appear to have been any rush to erase the Meteor name after the diesels appeared.

    Anyway, I'd still appreciate any additional information that folks might have on this subject.

  3. yardmaster

    yardmaster Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporter

    Gordon, some very good questions...and ones for which I, too, hope to see answers.

    As it is, the information you've already laid out is helpful to me.

    Someday I will start digging deeper into the FMIG newsletters. I'm wondering if there might be some details in those?

    Best Regards,
  4. TAG1014 (Tom Galbraith RIP 7/15/2020)

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

    Gordon--Here's a "still" picture captured from "St. Louis Glory" DVD of 1523's tender and cab showing large yellow tender numerals and cab lettering from the Hungerford era. I always remembered "1523" from when I was a kid. In about 1949 or 1950, it was parked in a dead line with about five other engines, all with boarded up cabs, just east of the Jefferson foot bridge on the north side of the Springfield North Yards.


    Attached Files:

    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 30, 2009
  5. frisco1522

    frisco1522 Staff Member Staff Member

    My gosh, who would model Frisco steam in the Hungerford era? So drab without the plumage.
  6. gbmott

    gbmott Member

    Oh Don -- you just HAD to say it, didn't you? What came next was certainly more colorful, but do you think it was really an improvement????


  7. frisco1522

    frisco1522 Staff Member Staff Member

    My world ended on 2-29-52.
  8. Iantha_Branch

    Iantha_Branch Member

    For the rest of us, it's 11/21/80. :(
  9. TAG1014 (Tom Galbraith RIP 7/15/2020)

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

    12-9-67 was also a "Day Of Infamy" on the Frisco!

  10. Iantha_Branch

    Iantha_Branch Member

    explain please :confused::confused::confused:
  11. TAG1014 (Tom Galbraith RIP 7/15/2020)

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

    End of Frisco passenger train service!
  12. Iantha_Branch

    Iantha_Branch Member

    Oh, I thought that the TS ran till 69.
  13. gbmott

    gbmott Member


    I'll never be able to prove it, but I still feel certain that the shot of 1331 below was taken after 2-29-52. I remember how surprised my father and I were when we made our swing by the roundhouse after church one Sunday to find 1331 in steam, being used by the hostler. It had then been quite a while since we had seen anything live and it was definitely the last time I saw a live SLSF steam locomotive. Sure wish I had recorded the date and also that I had asked anyone there why she was live. Oh well. By the way, you will notice that she still looks pretty darn good even at the end of her life. That was how they did things in Fort Smith.


    Joe Lovett likes this.
  14. Sirfoldalot

    Sirfoldalot Supporter Supporter

    Gordon, That really is a nice shot. I know I have said it before, but, I will say it again - Springfield just really had a niche for erecting an absolutely beautiful locomotive.
  15. TAG1014 (Tom Galbraith RIP 7/15/2020)

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

    Ethan --The Frisco's section of Texas Special was taken off in January 1959. The M-K-T ran a Kansas City to Texas version of the Texas Special until 1965.


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