This Space for Rent

Fun with more paint schemes


Template drawn by Jacques Belangér, via The Railroad Paint Shop

Why should the Great Northern have all the fun with orange & so-dark-it’s-almost-black green?

When the diesels started to arrive on the MTRR in the mid-1940s (LT&L & PV&T units for switching & yard service) the GN had already gotten their lovely orange+green+gold FTs and, in the grand tradition of railroads everywhere, the MTRR decided that imitation was the best form of flattery. Not an exact imitation – complex paint jobs cost money & time, so gold pinstriping and a fancy star design on the hood ends were right out, and too many stripes start to collide with the railroad name on the hoods – but the colors & top band height were copied directly over.

This RS-2 was originally LT&L 513, but was renumbered to 371 after the 1961 PV&T+LT&L+MTRR merger. The MTRR was very resistant to the idea of repainting in the PV&T’s blue+white scheme (the LT&L had adopted that scheme years before, so didn’t care) so this unit never got painted out of the MTRR name & colors before the great 244 purge of the late 1960s swept it out of the roster.

(Over the long term the MTRR’s insistence on retaining their own paint scheme won; by the late 1970s, it was official railroad policy that subsidiaries & divisions would be allowed to preserve their original paint schemes or simplifications thereof, and by the time the D&H was merged there were a dozen or so new MTRR diesels operating in the orange+green paint scheme.)