Tuesday, February 21, 2012

CPRR Passenger Cars - Color and Style

From: "Jim Ritter" jritter@riteboiler.com

I are trying to model a Central Pacific Railroad Diorama of the Golden Spike era. I are having trouble finding information as to the color that the passenger cars in that time were painted? Any particular style car or manufacturer's brand used by the CP?

Any help will be appreciated, especially colors.

—Jim Ritter


Blogger CPRR Discussion Group said...

From: "Kevin Bunker" mikadobear45@yahoo.com

The trouble is, we have only a few various personal historic commentaries on the color, ranging from "orange" to "yellow" as the principle body color for CP's passenger cars. No one really knows more than that. There are precious few surviving CPRR passenger cars, and none has its original carbody configuration or exterior cladding in fully intact condition. Most were re-sided at least once and most got major alterations in the 1870's and 1880's that further hid or eliminated earlier details, surfaces, etc.

I don't think you would be too far off in choosing to paint your cars any rich yellow (walls and maybe trucks sideframes) and then paint the corner posts, steps and end platforms in something approximating a milk-chocolate brown or even a very deep green. Both would be stylistically correct for the late 1860's and early 1870's. Trim – windows – might have been red or natural, stained and varnished hardwood or wood-grained to look like finer woods. The roofs? Who knows ... again, the brown for the platforms, etc., would look good, or even a deep gray ... I doubt seriously if the roofs were black. That wouldn't be in chartacter for those decades. There would also be some amount of contrasting red and maybe green and black pinstriping and "arabeske" scrolls and ornaments on the cars sides, corner posts and door posts, but once again we don't know how much. A view of one of the CPs Wason-built day coaches (from its end) taken at Oakland in about 1870 shows some of this ornamentation for those cars, but there's little better. You could also look at photos of CP's "Silver Palace" sleeping cars as built, but those would have been more exotic than coaches or head-end (baggage, etc.) cars.

—Kevin Bunker, Portland, OR

2/21/2012 11:12 PM  

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