Penn Central locomotive paint schemes will be discussed in this blog. Penn Central had a standard paint scheme they applied to their locomotives. This general version was the road name (applied to the hood of the unit), nose logos, and side logos applied to the hood. However, they had many versions due to different shops using different methods, available paint/supplies at the time, and in order for the image of “red and green team” to be erased as much as possible.
This was a tactic brought on by ex-SOU RR President Bill Moore, who became President of the PC in the early 70s. After the bankruptcy in 1970, he and other officials did their best to reform their broken image to the public, and among fellow employees. He ordered all predecessor logos and road names of the NH, NYC, & PRR to be painted over in any means possible, especially on locomotives. This is why sometimes one would see a locomotive still in ex-NH orange or red paint, but with PC logos, etc. applied. The same for ex-Tuscan red PRR paint on E7s, etc.
PC also had partial schemes, where the locomotive may be painted in new paint, but only nose logos and cab numbers applied. Below is a list put together on variations of PC locomotive paint schemes, as seen in photos, books, etc.:
-FULL: road name, nose logos, cab numbers, large/mid-sized side logos, all logos & lettering were white
-FULL Red P: the same as Full, but with a red P inside the PC logos.
-FULL Orange C: the same as Full, but with an orange C inside the PC logos
-PARTIAL 1: road name, nose logos, cab numbers
-PARTIAL 2: road name, cab numbers
-PARTIAL 3: nose logos, cab numbers
-PARTIAL 4: nose logos, cab numbers, side logos
-PARTIAL 5: cab numbers
-PARTIAL 6: any versions of the partial variations, but using the red P or orange C logos.
The following is a list of color type variations:
-Ex-NEW HAVEN: orange or red body (McGinnis or Alpert Schemes) w/ PC markings (any variation). All NH engines had new numbers applied, since they were not previously numbered in preparation for the PC merger.
-Ex-PRR: Tuscan red (usually E-units), DGLE green. All PRR locomotives received similar roster numbers as did NYC units, to prepare for the PC merger before 1968. Therefore some units kept their original gold/yellow PRR cab numbers, with PC markings.
-Ex-New York Central: gray (E-units), black. All NYC locomotives received similar roster numbers as did PRR units, to prepare for the PC merger before 1968. Therefore some units kept their original white NYC style cab numbers, with PC markings.
-Ex-Lehigh Valley: PC applied their road name to the hood of an RS2 in order to use for scrap-trade material, while still in LV paint. They did the same to a few other types of locomotives.
-Ex-D&RGW: PC received F-units from the Rio Grande they were originally going to use as trade in bait. However they found a few of the As & Bs to be still functional. They put 2 As & 2 Bs in service, and they wore the original yellow, silver, & black paint, with PC numbers & logos applied for a few years before finally being painted in PC black.
Although the PC paint scheme was a great one, with a futuristic logo & lettering fonts, and a basic but great black scheme, to those who didn’t like the straight-forward scheme, a little variety of various colors could be found within the PC system. There are many books, publications, DVDs, & other sources available out there for those who would like to see actual pictures & more. We have even found even more variations never seen before during our research. With the PC, anything was possible, and new variations are found all the time!
What was your favorite PC paint scheme?
© Copyright 2015, 1-West Productions™/PJ. Duplication Prohibited. Sources used for this information were: Penn Central Power, Penn Central Power 1-4, Penn Central In Color 1-4- Yanosey; Penn Central System Bi-Annual- Reid; A Sampling of Penn Central- Taylor; The Wreck of the Penn Central- Daughen & Binzen; original Penn Central RR Posts employees magazines; various PC DVDs by Green Frog, Clear Block, Revelation Video, & other books & photographs with PC locomotives.