Saturday, March 22, 2014

Steam Locomotive Colors - 2

In a previous post (here) I offered an opinion that while steam locomotives can be all shades of black, "Grimy Black" - actually a dark gray - is not one of them. 
I got several email replies to that post claiming that the "shiny" engines were from an earlier era - by the late steam era the locomotives were allowed to get dirty and turn "Grimy Black" in color. Another claimed that since the engine I offered as an example was a passenger locomotive (4-8-2 no. 600) she would have been better maintained.
Such would not be true of, say a workaday 2-8-0 on a way freight. 
Here's a shot of M-3-a 2-8-0 no. 454 working the Southern Division local. This was taken in the fall of 1956 - and 454, and all other CV steamers, would be retired within a few months. Hardly something that would be pulling the pride of the line…and again she's weathered but certainly not Grimy Black. 


  1. Look at the shiny Illinois Central PS-1 and clean NYC gon!

  2. Good for you,Marty, as you are supporting something I have contended for years, much to the sometimes stated disgust of our late associate in New England modeling, John Pryke. John and I bantered on that subject for several years before John finally accepted the notion that not all railroads let their steam power get as dirty as both he and Bill Aldrich remember New Haven steam becoming. By the way, did you get either the NERS CV N-5-a or M-3-a that went on eBay over the past two weeks?

    My best, Don Valentine

    1. Don,
      Thanks for the comment. Got to know him pretty well when I was at MR - he was a real character and just a little bit different - must be an MIT thing....
      I missed out on the NERS engines on EBay - didn't see them - hope they went to one of the brethren and aren't going to end up lettered for something other than CV....