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 Post subject: Re: Open House - Southern Railway No. 1200
PostPosted: Sat Nov 09, 2013 1:47 am 

Joined: Wed Feb 02, 2011 9:40 pm
Posts: 710
sou2404 wrote:
Thank you John for sharing this information with us. But aside from the paint color, my general question is, why is the number of the car placed at each end? Most of Southern Railway's heavyweight passenger cars had the number in the center, unless the car was named. And it shouldn't be because the coach has Jim Crow accommodations, look at SERM's SOU 1212.

I have a photograph of SOU 1200 when it was at TVRM and the number is correctly placed in the center of the car from when it was in excursion service with Southern. These are the types of details that should be taken into mind when restoring a historically significant passenger car.


The 1940-era photo of the 1200 that was printed in a Trains Newswire item when this project was announced a couple of years ago clearly shows the car with the numbers at each end, not in the center.

So, the question then would be whether or not the car is supposed to represent it's appearance when it was in excursion service in the 1970s and 1980s or when it was in actual everyday service in the 1940s and 1950s.

Am I the only one that doubts the Smithsonian is going to all this effort and expense just to represent a run-of-the-mill fan trip car, or to represent something with somewhat different implications?

Secondly, if SOU 1212 is lettered as the cars were when they were in excursion service, then why NOT have one lettered as it was when it was in real, daily service?

At least this way, both eras are represented.


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 Post subject: Re: Open House - Southern Railway No. 1200
PostPosted: Sat Nov 09, 2013 2:02 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 2:02 am
Posts: 620
Location: Albany, Georgia
Well, I tried. Being the first to post a comment in this thread I had hoped to stave off the expected comments about the color that ultimately showed up before John could post that most excellent reply explaining the facts behind the color selection. In any case, again, John, well done!

As for the number placement issue raised by sou2404, there are plenty of examples of SR heavy weight cars with number placement at both ends, as well as a single number placed at center of the car. For the SR baggage car I researched (SR 518, Bethlehem Steel Co., 1939), I found that the as built scheme had numbers placed centered above each truck, as is shown in the photo of the restored No. 1200. As donated to the museum in 1977 the car had a single number at the center of the car below the belt rail.

The lettering style also changed, from an expanded railroad Roman-type font to a plain Gothic font. (I use these font names only to get the general idea across, since I never found a specific font referenced, not that I really expected to!) There was also a change through the years from gold leaf to gold paint and ultimately to imitation gold.

Not intending to be negative toward anything TVRM or SERM has done, but just because it is, or was, painted a particular way at one of the museums doesn't necessarily mean that is the way the car was forever. You even commented that TVRM's rendition of No. 1200 had the number centered "from when it was in excursion service with Southern." HW cars used in the excursion fleet, as well as the railroad's business fleet, tended to get the RR Roman lettering in gold paint, so the lettering and numbering practices in that era would not necessarily have any relationship to how the cars appeared in revenue service in the 1940's - early 1960's.

These particular SR cars were modernized in 1940, being taken from the original 1600 series Pullman cars built around 1922 or so. They are noted in one source as having a "center men's lounge" which distinguishes them from a straight partitioned coach like the Central of Georgia's modernized partitioned coach No. 527, now at SERM. The 527 has only a partition dividing the compartments, with men's and women's toilets situated at the ends of the car. The unmodified CofGa partitioned coach example rusting away here in Albany has a center lounge area with a narrow hall and a door placed presumably at the "colored" end of the hall.

Now, the 1200, having been rebuilt in 1940 with the sealed windows and AC could certainly have run with several different paint schemes and lettering placements between then and when it was put into "excursion service" in the 1960's. In the meantime it would have served its intended purpose while operating in states where segregation was mandated by law.

I believe we should defer to the judgement of the Smithsonian researchers on this. My guess, based on my research for a car built new the year before the 1200 came into being, is that the interpretive objective is in the few years following the car's modernization. Lacking photographic evidence to the contrary, and recognizing the intent of interpreting the car for what it was intended (segregated passenger seating capacity), not for what what it was last used (excursion/museum service), I would bet that the Smithsonian's decision is as correct as it can possibly be.

Thanks, John, for that excellent explanation of the color selection.

And an edit to thank Lincoln Penn for noting that there is, in fact, photographic evidence from the 1940's showing the number placement used at that time.

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Stephen S. Syfrett
Albany, GA


Last edited by Stephen S. Syfrett on Sat Nov 09, 2013 2:07 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Open House - Southern Railway No. 1200
PostPosted: Sat Nov 09, 2013 2:03 am 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 10:49 am
Posts: 634
The car represents the Jim Crow era of railroads in the South. As such, she is being placed in the African-American museum now currently being built. Her excursion career is not part of the history she as restored to represent.


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 Post subject: Re: Open House - Southern Railway No. 1200
PostPosted: Sat Nov 09, 2013 12:18 pm 

Joined: Fri Aug 27, 2004 7:57 am
Posts: 2355
Location: Faulkland, Delaware
Great work! Thanks for sharing.

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Tom Gears
Wilmington, DE

If you can't fix it with a hammer, you've got an electrical problem.


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 Post subject: Re: Open House - Southern Railway No. 1200
PostPosted: Sat Nov 09, 2013 1:11 pm 

Joined: Thu Nov 22, 2007 5:46 am
Posts: 2447
Location: S.F. Bay Area
Why shouldn't he ask? Unlike my post, I saw less objection than question. And Mr. Rimmasch handled me with aplomb class, giving an answer worthy... of the Smithsonian. Yes, that was an apology.

Apparently the Smithsonian did work the same solution as me, they just did it backwards: pointing hte spectrometer at the car and tuning the paint until it gave the correct color. I would imagine that has been a gold standard in high preservation for many years. This trick with "adjust the lighting" is extremely new.


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 Post subject: Re: Open House - Southern Railway No. 1200
PostPosted: Sat Nov 09, 2013 2:04 pm 

Joined: Wed Jun 19, 2013 5:56 pm
Posts: 19
I can see I've hit a nerve with a few Smithsonian fans. But before anyone tries to further discredit TVRM or SERM, I never said they repainted the cars. For all we know, they didn't change the cars since Southern donated them to their museums. I also never said that SOU 1212 was in excursion service, since apparently that is what everyone latched onto in my original comment. So instead of trying to make the museums look incompetent, maybe your argument is that Southern inaccurately painted their own cars?

If Lincoln Penn would like to provide us with the photograph of 1200 in revenue service and the year taken, I would be more than happy to look at it.


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 Post subject: Re: Open House - Southern Railway No. 1200
PostPosted: Sat Nov 09, 2013 5:44 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 8:28 am
Posts: 2438
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
sou2404 wrote:
If Lincoln Penn would like to provide us with the photograph of 1200 in revenue service and the year taken, I would be more than happy to look at it.


Who do you think you are? You are not in a position to demand that Mr. Penn or anyone else answer to you. You are not some self-described arbiter of what is correct and what is not. You are just a person on a forum who doesn't even see fit to share his or her real name.

Mr. Rimmasch, however, is a real person, with a business and a reputation to uphold. If you think he did something wrong, why did you not try to contact him through the private message function to share your concerns? Instead, you attempt some sort of haphazard and apparently ill-informed shaming of him on this forum.

The two cars, at SERM and TVRM respectively, are not the "end all and be all" with regard to painting. They represent the cars as-retired by SOU (especially if they have not been repainted, as you allege), not how the cars were painted throughout their careers.

Therefore, the onus is on YOU, sou2404, to show that what was done is incorrect. To prove the point, I suggest you find and post the following:

1. ALL relevant SOU paint diagrams for this car throughout its service history from delivery to Southern to retirement.

2. Photographs of this car or a car of the same class throughout its service career.

Otherwise, if you cannot provide this information, then I suggest you quietly just give up.

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 Post subject: Re: Open House - Southern Railway No. 1200
PostPosted: Sat Nov 09, 2013 7:18 pm 

Joined: Wed Jun 19, 2013 5:56 pm
Posts: 19
Who do I think I am? Just a concerned railway preservationist using the forum to discuss related topics presented by the original post. I do not know why you have decided to level this unprovoked broadside against me, Mr. Wilkins, but I believe your accusations are unfounded.

No demands were ever made. I just thought it would be nice that if Mr. Penn had the photo, that everyone on the forum would benefit by seeing it. Not everyone is a subscriber of TRAINS, so I thought it would be helpful if we could see a juxtaposition of the two photos.

Mr. Rimmasch has done us all a favor for sharing this information with us, which I greatly appreciate. I am not trying to 'shame' him or his business. I am simply posting a concern I had on this public forum, which is what I was hoping could be answered. And I believe we've had a nice discussion.

I'm not sure who made you the watchdog for people who post concerns, Mr. Wilkins, but I do not think it is constructive to try to tear me apart, especially if you aren't offering any information to contradict my argument. I'm sure you'll take this post and chop it up into different quotations and respond as you like. But if you'd like to know my name, or any other personal information as you see fit, than I am more than welcome to receive a private message from you.

Once again, I'd like to thank Mr. Rimmasch for sharing this information with us. My concern for the placing of the numbers on 1200 should not take away from the fact that this car has been saved and will be preserved for many years to come thanks to the work done by Wasatch Railroad Contractors.


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 Post subject: Re: Open House - Southern Railway No. 1200
PostPosted: Sat Nov 09, 2013 8:49 pm 

Joined: Sun May 09, 2010 10:40 am
Posts: 119
Southern placed two numbers on each side, one on each end at the time the 1200 was modernized. It was several years later that the single centered number became the standard practice.


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 Post subject: Re: Open House - Southern Railway No. 1200
PostPosted: Sat Nov 09, 2013 10:31 pm 

Joined: Fri Feb 04, 2005 1:34 am
Posts: 62
Location: Auburn, GA
Body work looks great, but I do agree, the color looks awful. Did you try to contact SRHA (Southern Railway Historical Association)? They have the actual paint cards for Southern Coach green. They also just took many of the cards and DuPont created modern paint codes from them. The new cards from the new cards are dead on.
Available codes:
Coach Green
Southern Imitation Aluminum
MofW yellow
Box Brown
Steam Locomotive green

I think there were some others too.

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Jason Greene
Auburn, GA


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 Post subject: Re: Open House - Southern Railway No. 1200
PostPosted: Sat Nov 09, 2013 11:19 pm 

Joined: Wed Feb 02, 2011 9:40 pm
Posts: 710
sou2404 wrote:
If Lincoln Penn would like to provide us with the photograph of 1200 in revenue service and the year taken, I would be more than happy to look at it.


I'd love to, as it would put an immediate end to this. It was in the TRAINS Newswire in Mid-January, 2012. IIRC, the photo was taken in 1949.

I'm sure this will be covered further in other media as the project progresses, and I'm also sure that the 1949 photo and others will show up again.

I note some are still questioning the paint color. I'd advise them to look at previous posts and the scientific methods involved that resulted in the color choice made by the Smithsonian. What you see in the photos is not at all what the color will look like i9n the actual; lighting conditions that will be in the museum.

Unlike the display of SR 1401, which has windows and therefore natural light on at least one side of it, if you research the NMAAHC website you will find that not only will this car be displayed underground, with NO natural light, but that the car is not even the centerpiece of the exhibit.

IOW, this is not a railroad museum. I think a few of us may be obsessing over things that, while as accurate as can be, are not the centerpiece of the overall exhibit and museum experience.

As Hayneshopcat pointed out, the lettering is accurate for the time period it represents. Maybe not before, and maybe not after, but so what? I am told that the person who bought and donated the car and funded the work is very happy with it. Those who have no skin in the game have little to say of worth, IMO.


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 Post subject: Re: Open House - Southern Railway No. 1200
PostPosted: Sat Nov 09, 2013 11:38 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 8:35 pm
Posts: 374
Again, there is truth in all of the comments that have been posted.

No, the lettering is not correct for the car if you are looking at it post 1970. Indeed, post 1970 the car number was centered in the car and the letters were more of a block type letter/font.

The car was built in 1922. It had a major shopping in 1940, 18 years later. It was during this major shopping that it received AC and new windows as well as a new roof line. Smithsonian asked that the car be depicted between 1940 and 1950. For this ten year period, the lettering, as you see it today is correct in all aspects: Font, size, placement and color. However, there is a fascinating aspect of the lettering and fonts that are used on the car.

The car, during the period that it is being depicted had sign boards inside of the car that noted the "colored" and "white" sections of the car. However, as an interesting note, these words do not show up in the Southern stencil files.....anyplace. As such, Smithsonian has asked that we not apply these words to the interior until we can accurately conclude where the signs were located, what the size was and what font was used.

As I leave this post: Let's all work on being a little less offended and a little more polite. For those of us that have been on this page the longest (and I rank as one of those members) this page at one time was a very civil and kind board. Discussions were held as they would be held in person. Much of what is written (today) on this page would never be said face to face. I suggest that we all strive to bring a sense of civility back to the way we present our opinions, questions and responses. I don't mind the fact that some of you may not like the color. I don't mind the questions and comments. All of which can be presented in a civil manner at all times.

Very kindly submitted,

JohnE.

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John E. Rimmasch
Wasatch Railroad Contractors


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 Post subject: Re: Open House - Southern Railway No. 1200
PostPosted: Sat Nov 09, 2013 11:41 pm 

Joined: Thu Dec 15, 2005 3:06 pm
Posts: 72
Location: Wyoming
John E. Rimmasch wrote:
Yes, I will be happy to post pictures of the interior. I need to down load them and then I will be back to post them. I will also post a few pictures of the car in less light. You will see a dramatic difference.


On behalf of Mr. Rimmasch, here are a few additional pictures....

Attachment:
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20131108_163631_small.jpg [ 156.64 KiB | Viewed 1617 times ]

SR No. 1200 in direct, late-in-day sunlight. A few more detail items finished just prior to this weekend's open house event.

Attachment:
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SR No. 1200 in different lighting.

Attachment:
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20131104_182059_small.jpg [ 202.83 KiB | Viewed 1617 times ]

Interior of the car. Seats will be finished at a later time.

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Mike Lewis
Wasatch Railroad Contractors


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 Post subject: Re: Open House - Southern Railway No. 1200
PostPosted: Sun Nov 10, 2013 12:09 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 8:28 am
Posts: 2438
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
JG290 wrote:
Body work looks great, but I do agree, the color looks awful. Did you try to contact SRHA (Southern Railway Historical Association)? They have the actual paint cards for Southern Coach green. They also just took many of the cards and DuPont created modern paint codes from them. The new cards from the new cards are dead on.
Available codes:
Coach Green
Southern Imitation Aluminum
MofW yellow
Box Brown
Steam Locomotive green

I think there were some others too.


Please read above. John R discusses that the color had to be adjusted to fit the exhibit lighting.

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David M. Wilkins

"They Love Him for the Enemies He Has Made!"


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 Post subject: Re: Open House - Southern Railway No. 1200
PostPosted: Sun Nov 10, 2013 12:11 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 1:51 pm
Posts: 8354
Location: Baltimore, MD
My wife is a professional graphic artist.

Among the many things that we've learned the hard way, and which has to be pounded forcibly into the heads of many "newbies" and clients:

1) Computer monitors don't always show color accurately, even when high-priced and routinely "calibrated."

2) Garbage in, garbage out. Your digital camera, flatbed scanner, negative, or slide film may not render the colors perfectly.

As somebody who was one of those folks who could often, with stunning accuracy, tell you just by looking at a slide whether it was taken with Kodachrome, Ektachrome, or Fujichrome based on its color rendition alone, this entire argument on the accuracy or lack thereof of a car's paint job based on what we're seeing on Internet pictures is not only ridiculous, it's a [BLEEP]ing waste of time, pixels, and electrons.


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