MBTA's paint scheme

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MBTA's paint scheme

Postby MBTA F40PH-2C 1050 » Tue Nov 16, 2004 9:58 pm

Why is the MBTA's scheme purple and silver? Who decided on what color the commuter rail would be? the G.M.?
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Postby astrosa » Tue Nov 16, 2004 11:25 pm

Well, when the T first started painting equipment in appropriate colors - one source says green PCCs started appearing in 1971 - they used green, red, orange and blue. Buses started to sport yellow stripes not long after, so by the time they took over commuter rail operations from the B&M and PC, purple was pretty much the only major color left...

As for the silver, it's probably just because it was a common color for passenger equipment. The old RDCs were naturally stainless steel so I guess it only made sense to incorporate that color into the actual scheme.
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Postby Robert Paniagua » Wed Nov 17, 2004 6:18 am

It's been a color for many years like the previous author said. At first it was maroon and gold, but it's now purple and silver.
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Postby astrosa » Wed Nov 17, 2004 8:21 am

Robert Paniagua wrote:At first it was maroon and gold, but it's now purple and silver.


Maroon and gold? What are you referring to?
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Postby efin98 » Wed Nov 17, 2004 9:37 am

astrosa wrote:
Robert Paniagua wrote:At first it was maroon and gold, but it's now purple and silver.


Maroon and gold? What are you referring to?


He could be referring to the Boston and Maine's former scheme that may have been in use by the MBTA during the early years of MBTA owned commuter operations.
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Postby Robert Paniagua » Wed Nov 17, 2004 11:06 am

Yes, that's right, Ed. That was the old B/M colour scheme from the good ole days.
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Postby astrosa » Wed Nov 17, 2004 2:17 pm

OK, I gotcha, but the maroon and gold was never an MBTA scheme like the original poster asked. It would have simply been left over from the previous owner, in which case you also have to consider equipment from PC/NH, BN, SEMTA, and a few other miscellaneous ones.

I actually haven't seen any photos of commuter equipment in B&M colors, aside from the RDCs which were never maroon and gold. Before they even acquired the FP10s (which were delivered in the purple scheme) the MBTA used several ex-PC GP9s and E-units that were typically plain black with white lettering, except for one E-unit that was known as the "Gray Ghost." These locomotives often pulled trains of ex-NH coaches with either a vermillion or green window stripe. Eventually, one GP9 was painted in a trial version of the purple scheme.

One other note is that during the early 1980s, the MBTA painted several locomotives in experimental paint schemes. F40PH-2 #1013 and several FP10s received a scheme that was basically the inverse of the normal one, although the purple was replaced by a more maroon color. Also, a few yard locomotives (a GP9 and SW9, for instance) were painted maroon with yellow stripes.

Interesting, though, that in spite of all the experiments, the basic scheme remains the same today.
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Postby ST214 » Wed Nov 17, 2004 9:49 pm

There's still something i have always wanted to see. We have seen straight F40's and Lightning F40's, but we have only seen Lightning GP40MC's. What would a straight GP40MC look like????
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Postby octr202 » Thu Nov 18, 2004 8:02 am

ST214 wrote:There's still something i have always wanted to see. We have seen straight F40's and Lightning F40's, but we have only seen Lightning GP40MC's. What would a straight GP40MC look like????


Pretty boring, probably...
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Postby MBTA F40PH-2C 1050 » Thu Nov 18, 2004 2:26 pm

i think they should stay in the lightning scheme, i like the lightning scheme over the straight
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Postby ST214 » Thu Nov 18, 2004 9:38 pm

Oh i wish they'd be scrapped, but it would be interesting to see what one would look like in the straight scheme. Long live the F40PH!!!!!!!!!!
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Postby MBTA F40PH-2C 1050 » Thu Nov 18, 2004 10:14 pm

here here ST214 :-D F40's!!! :-D
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Postby RailBus63 » Mon Nov 22, 2004 11:52 pm

The commuter rail has been the 'purple line' ever since the T took over the operations in the mid-1970's. At first, a bunch of RDC's received a small purple band through the letterboard area above the windows. The current scheme of a purple band with yellow trim on a silver coach dates back to 1978, when some ex-New Haven streamlined coaches and a few RDC's received this scheme along with one of the ex-CR/PC/NH GP-9's. Shortly afterwards, the first of the new F40's arrived and were followed in 1979 by the F10's and the new Pullman-Standard push-pull cars.

When I first started railfanning in 1978, it was still common to find blue B&M GP-7's and RDC's with the B&M logo at North Station, and Penn Central black E8's and GP-9's and D&H PA's hauling mixed consists of NH Socony Red, PC jade green and T purple streamlined coaches and a few old heavyweight ex-Pennsy P70 coaches. The MBTA commuter rail sure has come a long way since then!

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Postby Robert Paniagua » Tue Nov 23, 2004 4:30 am

I'm fine with the lightning stripe in the engines myself, although as ST214 says, the GP40MC should rot into retirement..........
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Postby RailBus63 » Tue Nov 23, 2004 9:29 am

The MBTA should have followed the lead of Metro-North and CDOT and purchased the GE Genesis locomotives ... and they'd probably look pretty cool in MBTA colors.

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