• A&A coach paint schemes?

  • All about the Arcade & Attica Railroad
All about the Arcade & Attica Railroad

Moderator: Benjamin Maggi

  by howie729
I was wondering how many different schemes the coaches have had? I know they are currently Orange with Arcade and Attica on the side. I have also seen them in a yellow with a red boarder at the top and I have seen pictures of yellow without the boarder.

The reasons behind these questions is I would like to find HO scale coaches and paint them to the schemes. If anyone could also help me on what brand and type to look for in the models I would appreciate it.

Scott Howard

  by Benjamin Maggi
As for models for the coaches, you have a tough decision to make. The coaches are originally DL&W "Boonton" style coaches. They are unique because they are steel (as opposed to wood) construction, but they have open vestibules. The coaches were, if memory serves me, the very LAST order of coaches with open vestibules. After that, all steel coaches had closed ones with doors on the sides.

As for models, aside from brass you are out of luck. For HO Scale, Funaro and Camerlengo at one time offered resin kits for the coaches, as a one piece kit. They stopped producing them about 6 or 7 years ago, but a look in an old Walthers catalog from the mid to late 1990s will show them. F&C has told me over the years that the kits are being "retooled", and I have letters from them to the same effect, but every year when I talk to them I am always told "we are working on them." Maybe if more people ask them, they will put them as a priority. They never (as far as I know) made combine kits for them, but I suppose you could kitbash them if you find an old kit, or if they produce a new kit.

If you don't really care about being perfect, any model of an open vestibule coach would work. The A&A's old layout even used Bachmann old timer coaches. Another idea would be to models of steel closed-vestibule cars and cut up the ends to "open them up." I did this with some Athearn HO cars that I was working on. A link below shows how I started it. I gave up the project when I began building the train in large -scale.

http://rides.webshots.com/album/2262454 ... h?start=12

If you want to scratchbuild the cars, there are articles about the "boonton" style coaches in general in different magazines. I know Railroad Model Craftsmen did an article in the mid-1980's I think. I have it, and if you want to know more I can look up the issue date when I get home. It has some information about the cars (when they belonged to the DL&W, not the A&A) as well as a scale drawing of the coaches.

Finally, when it comes to the paint schemes, I asked this myself last year and never got anywhere. I don't know when or why they changed their paint scheme, but perhaps someone else can answer it. I want to know too!

  by BSOR Patarak
As for picking the actual color, this was a decision based on the community school colors, as far as the orange and black goes. I don't know if there was any other reason, but this seems logical. The actual shade? Perhaps it was something that GE offered as a generic paint when the railroad purchased engine 110. It did arrive in kind of a stock paint job for the center cabs. It was probably a form of safety orange.

When the passenger train started, it was felt that orange would help it stand out. I guess it sure did, as now, when one thinks of the A&A, it is "oh yeah, the steamer with the orange coaches!" Oh, and the orange building right in the middle of town!

Now, to try and speculate on the coach paint schemes, I'd offer this:

They started with the bright redish orange and the black roof, underside and lettering. This was the "circus" style 'Arcade and Attica'. When the DL&W coaches first arrived on the property they were in the standard pullman green. The A&A painted them before putting them in service. Though one or two trips were made with a green coach in the consist in the early days. This orange was purchased in quantity too. The A&A rostered a set of box cars (the ex B&O's, pictured elsewhere in the forum) that wore the same bright redish orange.

The latter more yellow orange came at the next major repaint I beleive. Late 1960's or more likely into the very early 1970's. I'll have to check photos to see what actually came first in the lettering and what years. This yellow-orange style appeared with the black circus style letters, and then later with the red letter board. When the red letter board was applied they also got smaller standard white letters on the red stripe. I've seen pictures with both style letters on the same coach. I think it was a quick paint job to try to keep them looking good. They ran this way quite some time in various schemes. Attempts were made to repaint all of the coaches in the late 80's because the orange had faded quite badly and the letter boards too. This added more variations in the shade of orange. Also keep in mind that the locomotives also changed some of their paint along with the coach paint. I'm sure the orange was bought in some kind of bulk, so everything got it...the depots, engines etc.

The next major paint job happened in the early 90's trying to correct all of the various shades that were on them. There was one that had nearly faded to a pink at one point. I believe the letters weren't applied to all coaches...but I can't remember for sure. Different paint companies were tried and hence different shades. All 6 got done. The last major paint job was done around the same time that 112 and 111 received their retro stripe scheme. All 6 coaches were painted and lettered with co-operation from the Corrections Department and the Friends of A&A. This is the paint that is on them now. Again, trying to stay with the historic first color, the brighter red orange.

A note about orange paint, the sun beats it up terribly. It fades to many strange colors. I'd say 7-10 years is max on the coach paint. We are going to be looking at another repaint soon I'd guess.

Hope this helps with your quest for color schemes. I think that era of the red letter boards into the mid 80's were the worst looking for the coaches. BTW, I have one of the F&C kit coaches. It was offered as a multiple piece mold first. I also have been told that they intend to make a one piece mold but have never seen it. They also mentioned that it might be available as a combine! I know on other kits that they produced, they were willing to take back the multiple piece kit in trade on the one piece. We all should contact them to urge that coach back into production. I could use a couple more. I'd like to model it in the first orange scheme and the Lackawanna green.


  by BSOR Patarak
Here are a couple of articles on the Boonton Coaches:

Railroad Model Craftsman, June 1969, pgs 25-27

Erie-Lackawanna HS Publication "The Diamond" Volume 5 #2, 1990 Part 1, pgs 18-20
'Lackawanna Boonton Cars, Part I: Combines" By Marty Obid

Erie-Lackawanna HS Publication "The Diamond" Volume 6 #2, 1990 Part 2, pgs 12-16
'Lackawanna Boonton Cars, Part I: Coaches" By Marty Obid

  by Benjamin Maggi
Thanks for all the great information. For a railroad that has had the same 2 or 3 diesel engines, 2 steamers, and 6 coaches for over 40 years (actually, #112 doesn't count), they sure have had a lot of different paint schemes! Someday, if a book ever comes out, color photographs will be necessary to document it all. I would buy it just for their section on the color schemes of #14!

  by howie729
Thanks for all the info. I am just a novice modeler whom loves the A&A. I have a one year old who loves trains as well (thanks to dad). I am not looking to make a perfect model I just want a 2-8-0 engine to pull some coaches that are in the same paint scheme as the A&A.

Again thanks for the info. See all of ya May 24th for the running of #18.

Scott Howard

  by BSOR Patarak
Just to add a better date to the repainting of the coaches, I offer the following:

The yellowish orange with red letter boards at the top came sometime between 1967 and 1970. The coaches appeared this way around the same time that Engines 110 and 111 first received their solid orange paint scheme.

  by BSOR Patarak
Here are a couple of pictures to show the different schemes

The is Combine #306 in 1969

This is Combine #309 in 1984. The age of the paint is showing badly.
Last edited by BSOR Patarak on Sun Dec 21, 2008 10:31 am, edited 3 times in total.

  by howie729
Thanks for the pictures. I always liked the red boarder scheme.

  by jgallaway81
Hey gang.

While NOT a paint scheme that impresses me personally, the red border was on at least four of five cars in 1988.

Jerry Sliker's "Arcade & Attica Railroad Excursions" includes video from 1988 of # 14 running with a 4-car train. Two cars have the red borders, on has what appears to be a black border (assuming the red had faded to dark red/black or a dark grey) and also a freshly painted car that has no red border, nor the large print on the sides. In the shots, the video includes a scene of the engine leaving the engine house, with a fifth car sitting on the interchange lead, next to the sand house.

It also includes a nice shot of 14 slipping her drivers while starting up.

Personally, if it was up to me, I'd unify the fonts... the font on the tender and on the coach sides would match, and I'd go with a commercially available font so vinyl decals and other items could be produced sans artwork fees.

Also, the font used now is commonly reffered to as "the circus font".

My personal favorite would be Copperplate Bold... but thats just my personal opinion.

Also, as a further point of curiosity, its interesting to note that 14 still had white walls on the lead and main drivers while the rear one stood out because of the lack of one.