LIRR Orange And Grey Switcher Locomotives

Discussion of the past and present operations of the Long Island Rail Road.

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Re: LIRR Orange And Grey Switcher Locomotives

Postby Head-end View » Thu Dec 14, 2017 7:37 pm

The orange and gray goes back at least to the mid-1950's on locomotives. And I remember the fronts of the old MP-54's being bright orange in the early 1960's before the Worlds' Fair.
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Re: LIRR Orange And Grey Switcher Locomotives

Postby RGlueck » Fri Dec 15, 2017 10:37 am

Orange and gray, in some style or another, goes back to 1950, as the elegant but impractical Tichy scheme was introduced on FM C-Liners. The simplified gray/orange came around 1955, as ALCO RS3's replaced the last of steam. The World's Fair "swoop" was a cleaver reintroduction of the dark gray scheme, and lasted until around 1968, when the pastel "blue-birds" (L2's) came on line. The pastels went out in favor of darker blues, and the rest of the fleet started getting the blue/yellow "M" scheme. Thank God in heaven, I didn't have to see the desecration of the fleet in Milwaukee Road blue/white waves.

That being said, The heritage colors could be introduced on individual units today, and using some clever thinking and some printing, an excellent history program could be launched. Will it happen? NAW! Should it happen? YES! MTA officials have only to contact me for consultation.
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Re: LIRR Orange And Grey Switcher Locomotives

Postby R36 Combine Coach » Tue Dec 19, 2017 2:48 am

If the fleet was already in the grey/orange livery since the 1950s, why didn't the railroad consider a more attractive, vibrant livery for the World's Fair, such as the psychedelic turquoise "Blue Arrow" NYCTA IRT R33/R36 passenger equipment for the 7 (Flushing) Line's World's Fair service?
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Re: LIRR Orange And Grey Switcher Locomotives

Postby RGlueck » Tue Dec 19, 2017 10:18 am

Psychodelic patterns were not in fashion in 1964. Tom Goodfellow was still head of the company and he wanted to stick with gray/orange, so the modernistic "swoop" was born. New York was absolutely crazy about the opening of the World's Fair at that time. A little history here: Robert Moses wanted the Fair to be his crowning achievement in the east. He was a promoter who was as devious as he was brilliant. So much money was poured into the Fair by exhibitors, it would have been almost impossible to believe it would bust. By 1965, the Fair started to go broke, and all manner of exhibit wore down and were cut, poorly repaired, and starting to close. Still, the railroad had decorated the new cars and locomotives in what remained an eye-catching scheme, supporting the LIRR's colors since 1955. No need to change them, and if the "Unisphere" decals on the MU cars lasted, they were a reminder of history.

Blue and yellow paint didn't hit until 1968, with the arrival of the L2 C-420's. I think those of us who were true LIRR fans were sincerely upset by the migration to blue and yellow. When the FA's came on line, the M1 cars had been introduced, and painting everything to platinum and blue commenced. At least one MP54 got the treatment, too. Platinum/blue was supposed to show the fleet was modernized, which it really wasn't. New services and new methods of employing old equipment were coming online.

Had the ALCO fleet remained in service, the blue and white swoop might not have happened - period. I understand why the company phased out the ALCO's, but I've always felt they could have keep the C-420's rolling with parts still readily available.
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