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NOTES ON NYC PASSENGER CAR PAINTING

 

As with any large fleet of cars - repainting of equipment was a slow process that may take years for all cars to be repainted. In many cases - older cars were never repainted before being retired. Information contained here is subject to correction/change as new information and verification comes to light. Dates indicate the earliest application of a paint change and in most cases, reflect a company 'drawing date' - not the actual first application of the change. Different paint shops may interpret drawings differently, resulting in minor differences in the finished cars.

 

Heavyweight Cars:

* Prior to 1934 - Cars painted Pullman green - roof, underbody and trucks painted black. 5" Roman style gold leaf lettering ( headend cars used yellow lettering). Dining cars, coaches and headend cars lettered NEW YORK CENTRAL. Boston and Albany cars lettered BOSTON & ALBANY. MCRR and CCC&STL cars lettered NEW YORK CENTRAL LINES with 3" sublettering. P&LE and P&E cars lettered NEW YORK CENTRAL LINES with 3" sublettering. Car numbers centered over each truck.

* 1934 to 1937 - Cars painted Pullman green - roof, underbody and trucks painted black. 5" Roman style gold leaf lettering ( headend cars used yellow lettering). Dining cars, coaches and headend cars lettered NEW YORK CENTRAL. Car numbers moved to center of car. Cars shopped for Air Conditioning received a 2-1/2" 'C' under the car number. Boston and Albany cars lettered BOSTON & ALBANY. MCRR and CCC&STL cars lettered NEW YORK CENTRAL LINES with 3" sublettering. P&LE and P&E cars lettered NEW YORK CENTRAL LINES with 3" sublettering.

* 1937 to 1939 - Cars painted Pullman green - roof, underbody and trucks painted black. 5" Roman style gold leaf lettering ( headend cars used yellow lettering). Dining cars, coaches and headend cars lettered NEW YORK CENTRAL. Car numbers moved to center of car. Cars shopped for Air Conditioning received a 2-1/2" 'C' under the car number. Boston and Albany cars lettered BOSTON & ALBANY. MCRR and CCC&STL cars renumbered and lettered NEW YORK CENTRAL with no sublettering. P&LE and P&E cars lettered NEW YORK CENTRAL SYSTEM with sublettering above car number.

* Starting in 1939 - Cars painted Pullman green with Gothic style imitation gold ( yellow ) lettering. Dining cars, coaches and headend cars lettered NEW YORK CENTRAL. Cars shopped for Air Conditioning received a 2-1/2" 'C' under the car number. Boston and Albany cars lettered BOSTON & ALBANY. P&LE, PMcK&Y and P&E cars lettered NEW YORK CENTRAL SYSTEM with sublettering. Road initials 3" - car numbers 5"

* Starting in 1940 - Cars painted Pacemaker green ( similar to Pullman green - also called Dupont green #83-D39527 ) with Gothic style imitation gold ( yellow ) lettering. Dining cars, coaches and headend cars lettered NEW YORK CENTRAL. Cars shopped for Air Conditioning received a 2-1/2" 'C' under the car number. Boston and Albany cars lettered BOSTON & ALBANY. P&LE, PMcK&Y and P&E cars lettered NEW YORK CENTRAL SYSTEM with sublettering. Road initials 3" - car numbers 5"

* Before 1953 - Pullman cars assigned to the NYC were painted Pullman green and lettered PULLMAN. Cars remained lettered PULLMAN after purchased by NYC at the end of 1948.

* After March 6, 1953 - Cars equipped with air conditioning and some headend cars repainted into the post 1948 two-tone grey scheme - same colors and lettering as the lightweight cars, except roof and underframe is F-1 car cement ( black ). NYC owned former Pullman cars lettered PULLMAN. Dining cars, coaches and headend cars lettered NEW YORK CENTRAL. Only 83 of 379 former Pullman cars painted in this scheme

* After May 1954 - Cars equipped with air conditioning repainted into the post 1948 two-tone grey scheme - same colors and lettering as the lightweight cars, except roof and underframe is F-1 car cement ( black ). NYC owned former Pullman cars lettered NEW YORK CENTRAL and sublettered PULLMAN at the ends. Dining cars, coaches and headend cars lettered NEW YORK CENTRAL. Only 59 of 379 former Pullman cars painted in this scheme.

* Starting in 1957 Boston and Albany cars relettered NEW YORK CENTRAL. Cars with air conditioning painted two-tone grey - non air conditioned cars painted Pacemaker green.

* After May 1958 - Headend cars painted solid grey. Lettering remains aluminum gray.

Some cars received the following paint schemes between 1966 and 1968:

* After July 1966 - air conditioned coaches painted two-tone gray with top aluminum stripe removed.

* After October 1966 - air conditioned coaches painted Pacemaker green with imitation gold lettering and no stripes - though paint diagram instructions stated to use up grey paint first ( resulting in some cars painted solid grey ).

* After December 1966 - air conditioned coaches painted Pacemaker green with imitation gold lettering and stripes.

* Starting in January 1968 - air conditioned coaches painted dark grey with aluminum gray lettering and stripes.

 

Other paint schemes and notes:

* Pacemaker cars painted BROWN with yellow striping and red ovals above car numbers

* Motor Queen cars painted BROWN with FAWN window band.

* James Whitcomb Riley cars painted grey with ORANGE window band.

* Streamlined Mercury cars painted two-tone grey with silver accents.

* A 'C' located under the car number meant the car was equipped with air conditioning.

* An 'F' located under the car number meant the car was equipped with ceiling fans.

* A 1-1/2" diameter solid circle under the car number meant the car was equipped with bulkhead fans

* A 2" star above the car number meant the car was used as a crew coach with no change in car number.

* A '•' located under the car number meant the car was equipped with bulkhead fans.

 

 

Smoothside Lightweight Cars:

* 1938 20th Century scheme - Light grey car body with dark grey window band - 2-1/2" Blue opex stripes separating the greys. 3-3/4" Aluminum stripes through window panels. Pullman cars lettered PULLMAN. Dining cars, coaches and headend cars lettered NEW YORK CENTRAL.

* 1939 20th Century scheme - Light grey car body with dark grey window band. Blue opex stripes replaced with 1-3/4" alumin stripes. 3-3/4" Aluminum stripes changed to 3/4" Aluminum stripes through window panels. Pullman cars lettered PULLMAN. Dining cars, coaches and headend cars lettered NEW YORK CENTRAL.

* 1941/1942 delivered coaches - painted Pacemaker Green with yellow (imitation gold) Gothic lettering and stripes. Lettered NEW YORK CENTRAL.

* November 1942 - Aluminum stripes at the top and bottom of cars sides removed.

* 2 cars painted experimental two-tone GREEN - Cascade Vale and Imperial Palace.

* 1946/1947 delivered baggage cars - painted Pacemaker Green with yellow (imitation gold) Gothic lettering ( no stripes ). Lettered NEW YORK CENTRAL.

* November 1946 - First use of Dark grey body with light grey window band. Pullman cars lettered PULLMAN. Dining cars, coaches and headend cars lettered NEW YORK CENTRAL. Colors were darker than those used on the original 1938 scheme. Retained narrow window band stripes.

* January 1948 - Remove narrow window band stripes. Stripes and lettering changed from light gray to aluminum then to imitation silver #600-4. Pullman cars lettered PULLMAN with small NEW YORK CENTRAL at ends.

* April 1948 - Car names and numbers reduced in height from 5" to 4"

* 1948 - underbody and trucks painted "Plymouth Gunmetal"

* February 1949 - Dark grey color changed from #70-14 to #70-74 and light grey from #70-15 to #70-73.

* April 1953 - Black pinstripe around letters, numbers and stripes removed.

* After May 1954 - Pullman cars lettered NEW YORK CENTRAL with small PULLMAN at ends. Dining cars, coaches and headend cars lettered NEW YORK CENTRAL.

* Imitation silver #600-4 changed to #70-24.

* After April 1958 - underbody and trucks painted black.

* After April 10, 1958 - Pullman cars lettered NEW YORK CENTRAL. Dining cars, coaches and headend cars lettered NEW YORK CENTRAL. 4" car numbers added to sleeper car sides under car name.

* After May 1958 - Headend cars painted solid gray with aluminum gray lettering.

* 1960 - Dark gray changed to #83-67117.

 

 

 

Pullman and ACF Stainless steel cars:

* 20 ACF baggage-coaches delivered in stainless steel with Black Gothic lettering.

* 2 ACF baggage-coaches ( #344 and #345 ) delivered in post 1946 two-tone grey.

* PS coaches delivered in stainless steel with Black Gothic lettering.

* As car roofs began to leak - some cars had F-1 car cement applied to roof to seal leaks ( F-1 car cement is BLACK )

 

 

Budd Stainless steel cars:

* 1938 delivered cars - Black Roman style lettering - 2 cars only - #2560 and #2561 - both cars had window band painted orange in 1941 for service on James Whitcomb Riley.

* 1939 and 1941 delivered cars - Black Gothic style lettering - 2 cars - #2562 and #2563 - both cars had window band painted orange in 1941 for service on James Whitcomb Riley.

* Empire State Express cars - delivered November 1941 - RPO (2 cars), Baggage-Tavern-Lounge (2 cars), dining cars (4 cars) and tavern-obs (2 cars) lettered EMPIRE STATE EXPRESS. Coaches (16 cars) and Drawing Room-Parlor cars (6 cars) lettered NEW YORK CENTRAL

* 1946-1949 delivered cars - Black Gothic lettering. Pullman cars lettered PULLMAN in the center letterboard and NEW YORK CENTRAL at the ends.

* After April 1954 - underbody and trucks painted black.

* After May 1954 - Pullman cars lettered NEW YORK CENTRAL with small PULLMAN at ends. Dining cars, coaches and headend cars lettered NEW YORK CENTRAL

* After August 27, 1956 - Letterboard painted dark grey with light aluminum grey NEW YORK CENTRAL lettering.

* After April 10, 1958 - Pullman cars lettered NEW YORK CENTRAL. Dining cars, coaches and headend cars lettered NEW YORK CENTRAL. 4" car numbers added to sleeper car sides under car name.

* As car roofs began to leak - some cars had F-1 car cement applied to roof to seal leaks ( F-1 car cement is BLACK )

 

 

Express Reefer & Milk Cars:

* Prior to 1939 - Cars painted Pacemaker green including underframe and trucks.. 5" Roman style NEW YORK CENTRAL. 3" N.Y.C. above 5" car numbers centered above trucks. All lettering on exterior of car is yellow ( imitation gold ).

* After 1939 to June 1957 - Cars painted Pacemaker green including underframe and trucks. 5" Gothic style NEW YORK CENTRAL. 3" NYC above 5" car numbers centered above trucks. All lettering on exterior of car is yellow ( imitation gold )

* June 1957 to April 1958 - Cars painted Pacemaker green including underframe and trucks. 5" Gothic style NEW YORK CENTRAL. 5" NYC above 7" car numbers centered above trucks. All lettering on exterior of car is yellow ( imitation gold )

* April 1958 to July 1959 - Cars painted Pacemaker green. Roof and underframe painted black with F-1 car cement. Trucks painted with black enamel. 5" Gothic style NEW YORK CENTRAL. 5" NYC above 7" car numbers centered above trucks. All lettering on exterior of car is yellow ( imitation gold )

* After July 1959 - Cars painted Dupont green. Roof and underframe painted black with F-1 car cement. Trucks painted with black enamel. 5" Gothic style NEW YORK CENTRAL. 5" NYC above 7" car numbers centered above trucks. All lettering on exterior of car is yellow ( imitation gold )

 

 

Converted Troop Sleepers:

* Cars 9200-9499 - When rebuilt to express cars starting in December 1947 - painted Pacemaker Green with imitation gold lettering. When first rebuilt - all lettering 5" and no reporting marks ( N.Y. C. ) above car number. Around 1950 - 3" reporting marks ( N. Y. C. ) were added. Walthers 932-17283.

* Leased cars 9500-9599 were painted in 1948 two-tone grey passenger car paint when they arrived in 1953 from Chicago Freight Car Parts Company. All lettering aluminum grey. Lettering 5" except reporting marks ( N.Y.C.) which are 3". In June 1957 - car initials changed to 5" and car numbers changed to 7". These cars were leased from 1953 to late 1962. In HO scale - Walthers 932-17282.

* Some cars repainted into a two-tone grey paint scheme starting in December 1958 ( 2' wide light gray band - not quite the same scheme as the passenger cars ) - All lettering white - except black EXPRESS CAR lettering in middle of light gray band - left of door. Reporting marks and car number were 7". In HO scale - Walthers 932-17281.

* After September 1962 - cars painted solid dark grey with White lettering. Reporting marks on right side of door only.

 

 

MODEL DECALS & DRY TRANSFERS:

Decals and dry transfers may not accurately letter every piece of equipment and may require the use of portions of different sets to letter a specific piece of equipment.

 

Heavyweight cars

N SCALE

HO SCALE

S SCALE

O SCALE

CDS DRY TRANSFERS

650, 651, 667, 668, 669, 670, 671, 672, 673 and 674

650, 651, 667, 668, 669, 670, 671, 672, 673 and 674

650, 651, 667, 668, 669, 670, 671, 672, 673 and 674

650, 651, 667, 668, 669, 670, 671, 672, 673 and 674

CHAMP DECALS

 

BRH-232, BRH-236, PH-235 and PH-239

 

BRO-232, BRO-236, P-235 and P-239

 MICROSCALE DECALS

60-912

87-912

 

48-512

 

1938-1940 20th Century cars

N SCALE

HO SCALE

S SCALE

O SCALE

CHAMP DECALS

 

BRH-34

 

BRO-34

 

Two-Tone Grey cars

N SCALE

HO SCALE

S SCALE

O SCALE

CDS DRY TRANSFERS

790

790

790

790

CHAMP DECALS

 

PH-33, PH-33A, PH-81

 

P-33, P-33A, P-81

 MICROSCALE DECALS

60-932 and 60-933 (NON NAMED CARS ONLY)

87-932 and 87-933 (NON NAMED CARS ONLY)

 

48-513 (NON NAMED CARS ONLY)

 

Pre 1958 Stainless Steel cars

N SCALE

HO SCALE

S SCALE

O SCALE

CDS DRY TRANSFERS

788

788

788

788

CHAMP DECALS

 

PH-23

 

P-23

 RAILWAY CLASSICS

 

 DNYC48

 

 

MICROSCALE

60-1352 & 60-1353

( These are just sets 60-932 and 60-933 printed in black and most of the set is not usable for any accurate models )

87-1352 & 87-1353

( These are just sets 87-932 and 87-933 printed in black and most of the set is not usable for any accurate models )

 

 

 

Post 1958 Stainless Steel cars

N SCALE

HO SCALE

S SCALE

O SCALE

CDS DRY TRANSFERS

789

789

789

789

 RAILWAY CLASSICS

 

 DNYC58

 

 

 

Post 1941 Empire State Express

N SCALE

HO SCALE

S SCALE

O SCALE

CDS DRY TRANSFERS

792

792

792

792

CHAMP DECALS

 

SHS-432

 

SOS-432

 

 

THIS PAGE UPDATED MAY 16, 2014