S-2 7919 (above) and 7918 (below) at White River Jct. Note the pinstripe wrapping around the hood - the "as-delivered" scheme.
Central Vermont received its first two diesels – a pair of Alco S-2s numbered 7918 and 7919 in December, 1941. They were delivered in a basic black paint scheme with large numbers centered on the long hood and a small pinstripe running the length of the hood from the front edge of the cab and wrapping around the nose. A square CV wafer, titled at a 7.5-degree angle, was centered below the cab windows. The engines wore this paint scheme, or a minor variation (early, or first repaintings saw the elimination of the pinstripe) until the mid-1950s when a large oval name board replacing the road number on the sides of the hood. A few years later the square herald gave way to a round CV maple leaf roundel, likely in conjunction with the introduction of the round maple leaf herald on CN family equipment coinciding with the introduction of the black/green “Super Continental” passenger equipment.
The background color square wafer on the side of the cabs of the S-2s has been the source of some discussion. Here’s what we know:
- The background of the herald on CV’s steam locomotives was green until 1943 when it was changed to the now familiar red.
- The S-2s were delivered in 1941, about 18 months before background color changed.
- There’s no doubt that by the late 1940s, when we have color photos of the S-2s with that the background of the wafer was red.
Now the supposition starts.
It’s evident that the wafers were not painted on the cabs, but were actually metal plates applied to the side of the units - I'm not sure they were delivered from Alco with the wafers or if these were added by the railroad. The latter seems most likely.
The late Dr. Alan Irwin theorized that it would have been entirely likely that the S-2s were delivered with green heralds on the cab sides, and that these would have been changed to red after they were repainted at some point after 1943. Of course, Alan was never able to prove this since no color photos of the engines in their first years of service have been uncovered. On my layout, the switchers painted in this scheme will have red wafers (or the maple leaf ones) but it would be neat to locate a color image confirming if Alan’s suspicions were correct. (For the record, I think they were).
CV 7919 without the pinstripe.
This shot confirms that as of 1951 the cab wafers were red. But were they originally green?