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 Post subject: Railroad Color Library
PostPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2018 5:39 pm 
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Location: Orrville, OH
Would there be any interest in an online color library of historic and current info? I get asked a fair amount of questions about historic colors and that sometimes evolves into chasing down current formulations. I probably have somewhere around 900 to 1,000 entries. If there was enough interest, I'd invest some time into putting something together that we can maybe all benefit from. I don't have a lot of current data so that would grow with user submissions.

Thoughts?

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Eric Schlentner
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Last edited by jayrod on Tue Jun 12, 2018 7:01 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Railroad Color Library?
PostPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2018 7:36 pm 

Joined: Thu Sep 22, 2011 4:29 pm
Posts: 1289
Location: Youngstown, OH
I think that is exactly the kind of thing that we preservationists should be doing, since almost all of us at one time or another have tried to match older colors and have had varying degrees of difficulty doing so. And it is a problem that is never going to end as long as there are people wishing to repaint historic equipment.

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Rick Rowlands
J&L Narrow Gauge Railroad
"The shortest and narrowest Railroad in Ohio"


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 Post subject: Re: Railroad Color Library?
PostPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2018 8:32 pm 
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The NMRA has had a similar information collection for many years. See the Bruce Meyer Collection:

https://www.nmra.org/library/kalmbach-l ... collection

PC

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 Post subject: Re: Railroad Color Library?
PostPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2018 9:11 pm 

Joined: Thu Sep 22, 2011 4:29 pm
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Location: Youngstown, OH
"The Kalmbach Memorial Library is in transition and is currently not open to members or the public."

They have been "transitioning" for years now. Anyone have an idea when the transition will be complete and the collection will once again be available for research purposes?

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Rick Rowlands
J&L Narrow Gauge Railroad
"The shortest and narrowest Railroad in Ohio"


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 Post subject: Re: Railroad Color Library?
PostPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2018 9:51 pm 
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Location: Orrville, OH
PCook wrote:
The NMRA has had a similar information collection for many years. See the Bruce Meyer Collection:

https://www.nmra.org/library/kalmbach-l ... collection

PC

For the most part, EMD used their own spec numbers for their standard colors. However, they are useful in a cross reference to the paint manufacturers codes if all you have is the EMD spec number. A lot of the same colors were used for different roads. Only the names of the colors changed.

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 Post subject: Re: Railroad Color Library?
PostPosted: Tue May 01, 2018 2:13 am 

Joined: Tue Aug 24, 2004 6:30 am
Posts: 564
There was a guy who worked at Dupont in Wilmington, Delaware (I'm sure somebody here remembers his name) who kept meticulous records of historical railroad paint colours. I dealt with him years ago, but I believe he retired and may have passed away. I do not know if Dupont still has those records or not. Anybody know?


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 Post subject: Re: Railroad Color Library?
PostPosted: Tue May 01, 2018 1:31 pm 

Joined: Wed Oct 13, 2004 12:56 am
Posts: 365
Location: Northern California
The gentleman you are referring to is George Rust. He passed away a few years ago before he had a chance to retire. Some of his database is is on line. There is a link at Railfonts.com. Old references to paint color numbers or formulas are of little use as paint systems are constantly being redesign to make them more environmentally friendly. Even in talking with George Rust many years ago, DuPont had lost most of the Duco colors because the color sample cards had not held up. The thing to do would be to collect Munsell color numbers. With a Munsell number anybody can get a fresh color card at any time. Now that would be useful.


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 Post subject: Re: Railroad Color Library?
PostPosted: Tue May 01, 2018 1:49 pm 
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Location: Orrville, OH
David,
That the old codes are not useful is not entirely true. PPG/Ditzler color codes are still valid though the pigment compositions have changed. There are still good painters and suppliers with the old DuPont data that can work magic with current materials. Always best to have a drift card for accuracy, though.

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 Post subject: Re: Railroad Color Library?
PostPosted: Tue May 01, 2018 1:59 pm 

Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2004 2:50 pm
Posts: 2260
Location: Northern Illinois
David Johnston wrote:
Old references to paint color numbers or formulas are of little use as paint systems are constantly being redesign to make them more environmentally friendly. Even in talking with George Rust many years ago, DuPont had lost most of the Duco colors because the color sample cards had not held up...


The one thing the old paint codes are still useful for is confirming that two roads used the exact same color. If, for instance, you need the lettering color for road A, and you determine it was also used by road B, and a search finds a preserved sample of road B's color, then you have a sample you can match to.

Other than that, I agree, most the world today operates on the "send us a sample and we'll match it" principle, and can't understand why, if you don't have a sample, does the color have to match.

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Dennis Storzek


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 Post subject: Re: Railroad Color Library?
PostPosted: Sun May 20, 2018 9:04 pm 
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Location: Orrville, OH
I've formatted and sorted my paint code list by railroad and generic color name. Included is the year(s) the color is known to be specified. So far, 907 entries, mostly historic but with some current colors. I'd like to add structure colors where standards existed as well. I considered making it a relational database but I think the search function would be too restrictive. Hence, it'll be offered in both Excel and PDF formats.

I'll write up an introduction of sorts and credit where some of the info was "borrowed" from where known. When that's done, I'll host it in my own web space and provide a links for the time being as that would be the easiest way for me to maintain it. Eventually, it would be nice to find a better home for it where the links won't get buried way down in the Interchange threads.

Any additions anyone would like to add, and I would encourage all to do so, whether historic or current codes, can be emailed to me an I'll periodically update the list and include a revision date. It should be online within a couple days.

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 Post subject: Re: Railroad Color Library?
PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2018 1:50 am 
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Location: Orrville, OH
The list is now available in PDF format. Here's the direct download link:

http://www.bigeprod.com/rypn/paintRef.pdf

Please contribute more info if you have any.

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Eric Schlentner
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Last edited by jayrod on Sat May 26, 2018 2:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Railroad Color Library?
PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2018 8:59 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 5:55 pm
Posts: 703
Location: Warren, PA
Ran across this the other day and chuckled that the 'standard railroad of the world' had such an imprecise method of establishing standard color on station signs. See the detail notes, basically dump some white in yellow for lettering until it looks like gold, and get the PRR Mars red medium from the Altoona shops....

http://prr.railfan.net/standards/standa ... &type=SIGN


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 Post subject: Re: Railroad Color Library?
PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2018 11:50 am 

Joined: Tue Mar 25, 2014 11:49 am
Posts: 48
I have an original 1897 copy of "The Murphy Colors for Coaches and Car Painting, Coach and Railway Varnishes and Colors".

Fred Heilich


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 Post subject: Re: Railroad Color Library?
PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2018 4:32 pm 

Joined: Sat Oct 17, 2015 5:55 pm
Posts: 541
Wouldn't RyPN be the perfect location for a library of this nature? In another thread RCD just posted a list of builder's manuals and maintenance updates for the major diesel builders in PDF, I was struck by how useful those could be. Would it be possible to add another page (perhaps "resources") on the main page, along with classifieds, interchange, etc.?


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 Post subject: Re: Railroad Color Library?
PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2018 5:27 pm 
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Joined: Thu Oct 08, 2015 11:54 am
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Location: Orrville, OH
Fred - If it's not too large and you can scan it, I'd love to add it.

PMC - I agree that a central repository would be nice. Access for maintenance and updates may be an issue, though. If this project expands greatly, I would consider adding a page to my website with separate lists for diesel locomotives/passenger cars, freight cars, structures, maybe steam, misc. or whatever else would be useful. I have something similar for samples of P&WV artwork I do for model manufacturers.

The Fallen Flags website has a lot of manuals that have proven to be useful.

For list submissions/corrections, I'd appreciate the years in use and some kind of provenance if possible. I'm missing a lot of that so the list is kinda like "use at your own risk". And I always appreciate current codes as well as historic.

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