• Gray RS-2s and RS-3s?

  • Discussion relating to the NYC and subsidiaries, up to 1968. Visit the NYCS Historical Society for more information.
Discussion relating to the NYC and subsidiaries, up to 1968. Visit the NYCS Historical Society for more information.

Moderator: Otto Vondrak

  by billd
Were any RS-2/3s painted passenger gray.....there are pictures in Sweetland's LS 1 and 2 (RS-2 8216 in LS1, pg 18, and RS-3 8319 in LS2, page 11) that make me ask.

Is this a combo of faded black paint, angle of the sun, shadows, etc, or were they gray to begin with?

There were gray RS-1s and Geeps, so why not RS-2s and -3s!

thanks in advance.

PS - and Kato added to my confusion when they came out with the gray RS-2s in N scale a few years back.

  by NYC-BKO
All my photos of steam generator equipped RS-2's and RS-3's including builders photos show them in Black. I have never seen a picture of a gray one although P&LE RS-3's were Pacemaker Green, this is not to say they didn't paint one that way, I just don't have photo evidence. :)
  by ChiefTroll
None of the 8100's, (RS-1), 8200's or 8300's (RS-2/3) were painted gray, except for the inside of the stripes. The basic body paint was black. It appeared gray when it was dirty, especially the top of the long hood.
  by billd
Chief Troll,

There's a picture of 8100 in LS1, and it looks gray, although the photo is from 1958 so the black paint sure has had enough time to fade. And for what it's worth, the caption says "8100 is still wearing the passenger gray colors on Nov 1, 1958"...

I've looked unsuccessfully (except for a fuzzy picture on the Elwood site)for other pictures of 8100 in its early years to see if it was gray. I always thought the caption in LS1 was accurate as it wouldn't seem unusual for NYC in 1948 to have Alco paint 8100 gray if it was being built for dedicated passenger service (it was the only RS-1 in the subclass DRSP-1a) and the 4200's were being built and painted gray in the same factory at virtually the same time.


  by ChiefTroll
Bill -

The 8100 was used in passenger service on the Catskill Mountain Branch from 1948 until just before the last run of 527/528 on March 31, 1954. It was the only 8100 up there with a steam generator, the other two being used on the B&A as best I can recall. When the 8100 was not available for service in the winter, they used an 8200 with a steam generator.

It was in general freight and passenger service in the summer, because they didn't need steam on the passenger train after April. I saw it many times in Stamford during that time, and it was painted black, the same as the others. It did get grimy, though.

  by billd
Thanks Gordon, I'll take an eye witness account over a sketchy photograph anyday.

So all RS's were painted black.....any rationale why none of the steam generator equipped Alco roadswtichers were painted gray, considering that some dual service Geep 7/9s were? And I think that the majority of RS-3s had steam generators, while most of the Geeps did not (I'm working from memory here, my books are at home) Did Alco run out of gray paint after the last 4200's were built!?!? :wink:
  by DocJohn
I have a picture in front of me that I probably took around 1958 or 1959 showing 8309 coming into Hawoth station with a 3-car southbound local. Engine has gray/white lightning stripes on black background. If some one wants to see, please tell me what I need to scan in and upload. I have 8 x 10 print. My HP scanner will handle.

Macon, GA

  by NYC Fan
Hi New on forum, I checked several photos that I have and none show a gray RS unit. That black is very decieving and often shows up gray. It is possible that you may be seeing a photo of a recently deliverd unit. As with any builder, mistakes are made from time to time. Example; NYC had an FA1 delieverd from Alco once and it was painted Gray on Gray instead of Gray on Black. Frateschi models of Brazil released this model many years ago, and it was questioned. The outcome was that Alco had indeed painted the loco Gray on Gray but shortly after arrival it was in-shopped and repainted to the standard Gray on Black. Whether or not the unit saw any service before repaint is anyones guess.

  by DocJohn
On #8309, gray and white stripes are on black background. Picture is on trainnet.org under US railroads and you can see w/o charge or registration (unless you want to post). I have other pictures from same era where the RS-3s are all black and do not have lightning stripe.

Macon, GA