PC color: jet black, or DGLE?

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PC color: jet black, or DGLE?

Postby TrainPhotos » Sun Mar 29, 2015 12:32 am

I have seen footage of freshly painted locomotives with the dark everything and "worm" PC logo. They seemed to have a green tint to it.... Did they use brunswick green, or was it really a jet black? Kinda hit me when I viewed some stuff on penn central on youtube, then looked at some early days PRR GG1 images. The color (through the grime) looks all most if not totally identical. Am i imagining things?
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Re: PC color: jet black, or DGLE?

Postby MACTRAXX » Sun Mar 29, 2015 12:36 pm

TP: As one that is old enough to remember Penn Central - I recall that some titled this color "Funeral Black"
and remembering that they used "Jade Green" on some equipment it was a dissapointment to see the lack
of color on their locomotives...Brunswick (or very dark) Green was a PRR color used on some equipment
such as the GG1s and some may have been carried over into PC in the early days...

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Re: PC color: jet black, or DGLE?

Postby scottychaos » Sun Mar 29, 2015 1:10 pm

There have been myths floating around for years that the very first, or perhaps the first few, locomotives painted for PC
were perhaps painted Brunswick Green..which is the very dark PRR green..People say its "almost black",
and that it's difficult to tell it apart from black..but that isnt really true..the green is in fact quite obvious and visible.
you know if its there or not:

http://www.railpictures.net/viewphoto.p ... 64&nseq=65

yes its a dark "olive green"..but you can see it.

but these PC green myths have been disproved again and again as unfounded myths and legends.
its very well known that the first, and all, PC locomotives were nothing but pure black.

viewtopic.php?f=95&t=77547

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Last edited by scottychaos on Sun Mar 29, 2015 1:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: PC color: jet black, or DGLE?

Postby scottychaos » Sun Mar 29, 2015 1:22 pm

There is also a persistent myth that NS painted their PC heritage unit in Brunswick Green..
but just like the earlier myth, there is no photographic evidence to back it up..
in fact, every photo proves the opposite..every photo ever taken of that unit shows it to be painted black..because it is.

compare it to "regular" NS units..it's the exact same color..because it's black: ;)

http://www.railpictures.net/viewphoto.p ... 744&nseq=1

http://www.railpictures.net/viewphoto.p ... 88&nseq=42

http://www.railpictures.net/viewphoto.p ... 83&nseq=68

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Re: PC color: jet black, or DGLE?

Postby Allen Hazen » Sun Mar 29, 2015 5:53 pm

Amazing! There seems to be a consensus as to what colour "that dress" (a.k.a. "the dress that broke the internet") is, but debate about Penn Central locomotives goes on and on.
The middle of the three photos of the NS "PC Heritage" unit that Scottychaos linked to in the previous post is pretty clearly the same black as the standard NS locomotive coupled behind it, but the first and third… At least with my computer and my eyes I can imagine a slight greenish tinge. This might just be my imagination, but it might also be that the locomotive is catching sunlight reflected off grass.
(Still, it is certainly blacker than relatively clean Pennsyvania Railroad units in good sunlight.)
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Re: PC color: jet black, or DGLE?

Postby TomNelligan » Sun Mar 29, 2015 8:45 pm

People can perceive colors differently, and you add another layer of ambiguity when you're looking at photos due to the color biases of the various films that were used in the pre-digital days of Penn Central, not that digital images can't have their own color quirks. PRR Brunswick green was very dark but distinctly non-black when you saw a clean unit in sunlight. PC diesels were just plain black. It's always possible that Altoona had some leftover PRR paint and applied it to a few units early on, but PC's official color was that cheerful black that sort of summed up the whole mood of that corporate and operational disaster.
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Re: PC color: jet black, or DGLE?

Postby Allen Hazen » Sun Mar 29, 2015 10:43 pm

So: Black for locomotive paint. They saved the colourful stuff-- red ink-- for the financial reports? (Grin!)
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Re: PC color: jet black, or DGLE?

Postby Backshophoss » Mon Mar 30, 2015 12:54 am

With the rare PC "worms" in green(P) and white(C)the semi-gloss Black DIP with white lettering was the "standard"
that weathered to Flat Black real quick,and PC power was rarely washed to boot. :(
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Re: PC color: jet black, or DGLE?

Postby kilroy » Tue Mar 31, 2015 11:30 am

Brunswick (or very dark) Green was a PRR color used on some equipment
such as the GG1s and some may have been carried over into PC in the early days...


On the G's, some of them stayed in Brunswick Green through PC, Amtrak and NJT. Here are some shots of G's with their PRR gold stripes still intact many years later.

http://www.rrpicturearchives.net/showPicture.aspx?id=422254
http://www.rrpicturearchives.net/showPicture.aspx?id=2439965 (even includes tuscan red coaches!)
http://www.rrpicturearchives.net/showPicture.aspx?id=2177577
http://www.rrpicturearchives.net/showPicture.aspx?id=940992
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Re: PC color: jet black, or DGLE?

Postby guilfordrailfan » Thu Apr 02, 2015 3:21 pm

Allen Hazen wrote:Amazing! There seems to be a consensus as to what colour "that dress" (a.k.a. "the dress that broke the internet") is, but debate about Penn Central locomotives goes on and on.
The middle of the three photos of the NS "PC Heritage" unit that Scottychaos linked to in the previous post is pretty clearly the same black as the standard NS locomotive coupled behind it, but the first and third… At least with my computer and my eyes I can imagine a slight greenish tinge. This might just be my imagination, but it might also be that the locomotive is catching sunlight reflected off grass.
(Still, it is certainly blacker than relatively clean Pennsyvania Railroad units in good sunlight.)


It's amazing how this subject keeps resurfacing and never gets resolved! I'll add some fuel to the fire. :-D I can't prove PC diesels where anything but black, although I have seen some pretty convincing evidence from old hands who were around at the time that at least early PC was specified to be DGLE. Keep in mind that late era PRR DGLE from the 1960's was also virtually black! Fast forward to NS's Penn Central SD70ACe. I was there in Salisbury, NC at the heritage unit festival when Andrew Fletcher, designer of the NS heritage schemes, told us that they had a difficult time coming up with the proper shade of DGLE. So obviously THEY thought it was the correct color! I can also attest that when the paint was fresh and in bright sunlight, you could tell a distinct difference between the DGLE body and the black underframe. In any other conditions it just looks black.
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Re: PC color: jet black, or DGLE?

Postby Bigt » Wed Apr 15, 2015 11:15 am

As I recall, I read once in a trade journal, then, was told by a PC employee, that the
locomotives were indeed painted black. The railroad even went so far as to designate
a "color code" to their paint scheme. The "code" was a letter (maybe two letters?) and the
number "13". I was told that this code was specifically referred to on the orders for the last
new "U boats", and, the GP38's.
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Re: PC color: jet black, or DGLE?

Postby RSD15 » Wed Apr 15, 2015 1:32 pm

I'm not sure this is the same thing, there was a code used by the magazine" X2200 south" and other fans used to describe Penn Centrals paint scheme known as 13D. The meaning was 13 words beginning with the letter D, dull,drab,dingy,dismal, dreary, etc. fill in your own.
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Re: PC color: jet black, or DGLE?

Postby Allen Hazen » Wed Apr 15, 2015 10:55 pm

Good old "Extra 2200 South" --the magazine that once ran an "actually published" date on their masthead blow the official publication date…
My recollection is that they used the term "13D" generically for dark and boring paint schemes, not just Penn Central's. Norfolk and Western Black, I think Southern black-with-one-white-stripe, maybe even (substituting dark blue for black but otherwise equally imaginative) pre-Chessie C&O/B&O….
There was a period in the 1960s and early 1970s when railroad management was desperately looking for ways to cut costs, and simplifying locomotive colour schemes was a common choice. Around the mid-1970s a reaction set in: Santa Fe's "yellow bonnet" (officially justified by the idea that more bright colour on the front of the train might help reduce grade crossing accidents), Chessie ("Oh! Those cats!" is what one EMD employee said recalling the first ones). The original Conrail scheme was about as simple as it could be (I guess the can-opener is a bit more complex visually than the mating worms, but in general the original Conrail locomotive scheme was about as SIMPLE as Penn Central's) -- it wasn't until the C40-8 order of 1989 or 1990 that they went so far as to put an extra white stripe on the frame -- and avoided being 13D only by using LIGHT blue.
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Re: PC color: jet black, or DGLE?

Postby Bigt » Thu Apr 16, 2015 8:24 am

Maybe it appeared in "Extra 2200 South", but, that is not where I read it.....I have never
seen an issue of that magazine. No, I read it in one of the industries trade magazines, an
issue that was given to me by a PC Trainmaster who worked here on the old Montreal Secondary.
Either way, any PC locomotive I ever saw was black.....no doubt about it.
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Re: PC color: jet black, or DGLE?

Postby scottychaos » Fri Apr 17, 2015 6:38 am

guilfordrailfan wrote:
It's amazing how this subject keeps resurfacing and never gets resolved!


Except it actually is totally resolved! ;)
there is no question that all PC locos were black.
there is no question that the NS PC heritage unit is black.
and its not true that you cant easily tell the difference between Brunswick Green and Black..
in reality the difference is quite obvious and apparent.. unless you are colorblind, you can see it clearly..
Photos prove all the above points again and again..

Heritage unit is black, compare it to the other NS units that are obviously black:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/99819826@N08/15836317920/

http://www.railpictures.net/viewphoto.p ... 88&nseq=42

and the green tint of PRR Brunswick green clearly shows as a green tint..
it can be distinguished from black:

scottychaos wrote:Its a myth that PC used Brunswick green for locomotives..they used plain old black..and I can prove it! :)
Some examples of genuine PRR Brusnwick green:

http://www.railpictures.net/viewphoto.p ... 4&nseq=160

http://www.railpictures.net/viewphoto.p ... 133&nseq=6

http://www.railpictures.net/viewphoto.p ... 89&nseq=47

http://www.railpictures.net/viewphoto.p ... 15&nseq=48

http://www.railpictures.net/viewphoto.p ... 64&nseq=65

Notice the actual visible green tint..yes, Brusnwick green is very dark, but it *is* visually distinguishable from black,
you can actually see the green in it..the green is there and visible..

Have you ever seen that green tint on a PC locomotive? no, you haven't..because they were black.

http://www.railpictures.net/viewphoto.p ... 36&nseq=95

http://www.railpictures.net/viewphoto.p ... 1&nseq=150

http://www.railpictures.net/viewphoto.p ... 1&nseq=162

http://www.railpictures.net/viewphoto.p ... 19&nseq=11

The myth probably started because there is a rumor that the *very first* locomotive painted for PC perhaps used Brunswick green,
but this has never been confirmed..
this one loco, perhaps mentioned in print at the time, might have started the rumor "PC is going to use Brunswick Green" that persists to this day..
but if the first PC loco did get green, it was the only one..
the rest are undeniably pure black..the entire photographic record proves it.

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