• Going Green: Goodbye Orange & Black.

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

Moderator: Benjamin Maggi

  by Mountcastle
Last weekend I took my second (and most likely final) trip this season to Arcade to ride the train, and I couldn't help but notice a green coach in the yard in the distance.

I was told by one of the crew that all of the coaches are to be painted green, in fact, bringing an end to about 45 years of the excursion train's familiar orange and black color scheme. Incredible.

When the train returned from Curriers, I ventured back to the yard to take a close-up look at the green coach (actually one of the combines). It's green alright, and completely empty. All the seating has been removed. Evidence of the old orange remains, at the moment, around the window panes, which they obviously haven't gotten around to painting yet.

Regrettably, the old circus lettering is raised enough that it shows through the new paint job, making the job look rather unprofessional, in my opinion.

I know that, during the 90s, there was talk about painting the coaches green next time around, but I never thought they'd actually do it; the orange and black having become so iconic over the decades. But now the orange is faded once again, and it appears they've decided to go green rather than simply give them a fresh coat of orange.

While I'm sure I''ll miss the orange, I look forward to seeing the train in her new colors.
  by joesbag
Mountcastle - Don't know if I like the sound of this or not. I will miss the iconic orange and black which did set it apart from other excursions. How is the rehabbing of the track coming along and did you notice a difference during the excursion?
  by Mountcastle

The work on the tracks seems all but complete, to me, and the difference is quite remarkable, in fact. The "clickety-clack" of sectional track remains, but the lurching and swaying of yore is no more. The fact that I could stand in the middle of the gondola with both hands in my pockets and not lose my balance was illustrative of just how much of an improvement has been made.

With respect to the color scheme, I too, have mixed feelings. On the one hand, the green is a more traditional and more elegant treatment of the coaches. On the other hand, so what? The Arcade & Attica is orange and black! I am interested to see what the train will look like once the repainting is complete, but I know I'll always think of the A&A in her celebrated "Halloween" colors.
  by Benjamin Maggi
I had heard a rumor a couple of months ago that the railroad might be featured in a movie. Perhaps they were painting a coach or two for that, because surely there is very little scripts requiring an orange train! However, as much as I like the orange, the green might be nice too. It certaily won't stand out amonst the scneic background as much during pictures (con), but it might weather a bit better and not seem so garish (pro). However, if they repaint their diesels into something else after having struggled for 10 years to paint them I will be crushed!
  by thebigham
Thanks for the news.

I will miss the orange & black.
  by Mountcastle

You know, I had my camera with me that day, but it was in the trunk of my car, which was parked in the lot near the Cattaraugus Creek Bridge and I only brought it along to get a video clip of the train crossing the bridge.

I suppose I should have driven back to the yard and taken a picture of the green combine, but in it's partially-finished state, it just didn't seem like something I wanted a picture of. But it's there for the world to see for any other A&A devotees who might want to photograph it.

Ben, I don't think they would really need to change the colour scheme of the diesels; orange and green being compatible colors. I have an HO scale model of the orange and black excursion train, myself...which is about to be rendered passe on account of this blasted regentrification of the coaches!

What nerve these people have! ;-)
  by nessman
I'm not so sure they're going to throw decades of tradition out the door. I'm calling bravo-sierra on this one until we hear different from a credible source.

They just repainted the Curriers depot orange. They just repainted the front of the Arcade depot orange. The diesels all have recent black/orange paint jobs. From the perspective of the passengers - they're inside the coaches. Orange certainly stands out at grade crossings.
  by Benjamin Maggi
And, the Halloween season is approaching! :wink:
  by jgallaway81
Pat was on here this morning, he didn't comment.

Likely two possibilities... a couple cars being repainted for the movie crew to use, removing the trademark orange, OR one car is being done as a preliminary test. Either way, I wouldn't expect a confirmation for some time.
  by howie729
I talk with someone who works for the A&A tonight and Ben is right. They are going to paint all of the coaches green for the movie that is going to be shot. They will not be repainted orange after the movie, they will remain green. I did see the one which was started to be painted today on the train as they needed 5 cars for the excursion. Hopefully I can talk with him agian in a couple of weeks to find out more about the film itself and the progress on the painting.
  by Mountcastle

Why on earth would I or anyone else make this news up, do you suppose?

The green combine is out in public view for the world to see. The employee of the railroad (a conductor) with whom I spoke was authoritative in tenor about the plans to paint the remaining coaches green; I didn't gather that he was pointlessly spinning a yarn for entertainment purposes.

At any rate, since my first post, I have spoken with another employee of the railroad who has confirmed that the coaches are to be painted green. He is unsure of the scheduled completion date but hopes to get back to me on that, soon. If he permits me to reveal the content of his email, I will be happy to share that date with you.

As far as modelling goes, the irony is that the HO scale coaches I painted orange were originally green, making me doubly nonplussed by this unexpected turn of events! They've already outdated my locomotives with their white lettering and numbering (my models bear the old orange). Oh well, I suppose my models will just have to represent a 'period' (if you can call 1962-2009 a period).

  by pablo
It makes perfect sense for Nessman to be doubtful.

He has lots of experience here, knows a lot, and for someone not typically in the know to spill something like this is unusual. Take no offense.

  by nessman
I don't mean to come across as a doubting thomas... but there's been a bit of recent investment in "orange" - and the orange trains are very much a part of local heritage and community identity as it provides a significant level of tourism dollars to the town.

Also - rank and file RR employees aren't always "in the know" and have been known to spread rumors and misinformation, unintentionally or otherwise.
  by Mountcastle
Spread misinformation? Good lord, what are we dealing with here? Area 51?

Very well, I defer to your personal experiences in that respect. Who knows, perhaps the conductor was a hapless pawn of the A&A supreme command, spreading misinformation in order to deceive the public into a false sense of green amidst a sea of orange leaves. :wink:

I'm sorry, I'm just teasing you. Seriously, however, having, myself, worked for the A&A in the past (however briefly), I never experienced any such phenomenon among my co-workers. The crew were all remarkably well-informed about every and any aspect of the railroad, it's history, it's plans for the future and were always happy to answer patrons' questions at length and in detail.

Having discussed this now with two current employees of the railroad who know me to be a former employee, and after reading the posts concerning the movie scenario, and moreover having seen with my own two eyes a combine repainted green in the rail yard, I have to presume that the coaches are, in fact, being repainted in their original green.

I must also assume from everything I've read and heard that the new green scheme is not merely a temporary switch for the sake of the movie, but that it will last, at least until it becomes time for them to paint the coaches once more.

But by then the Mayan calendar will have ended, the Second Coming and the Apocalypse shall have occurred and we'll all be dead. What color scheme the Almighty has in mind for the coaches thereafter is anyone's guess.


One other point worth making, I think: yes, as has been pointed out, the railroad is, indeed, repainting the depot orange, but that ought not to be a factor we consider with respect to the train as the depot needn't match the coaches of the train for any reason. Buildings, of course, are painted and decorated irrespective of what trains may pass by them and of what colors may be seen on those trains.