Railway Preservation News

Railroad Color Library
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Author:  NVPete [ Fri Dec 20, 2019 11:24 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Railroad Color Library

HO, HO, HO!!!

The primary reason I picked RYPN to do this, Eric, is the fact you are the "Keeper of The List". LOL

Don't think for one second it hasn't been a very valuable resource during this little endeavor of mine, and in the case of this color, it was essential.

Look under "Packer Trucks", "green", and you'll find the codes. A common name for this color is apparently "Jewel Green" and would be my first choice for the Reading's 1973 "Green Machine" green. Here's another modern image of an excellent old example again complete with its original relatively unmolested paint job...

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Author:  NVPete [ Sat Dec 21, 2019 9:57 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Railroad Color Library

LOL While Eric's off madly screenshooting all those paint codes before time expires, I believe I will take my discussion of the suspected Reading codes and their alternate examples over to a new thread...


The 50's-era REA sign is a good one, though. Not only does it have the Jewel Green, there's scarlet, one of the maroons, and an imitation gold as well.

Scarlet was probably the Reading's old caboose color, a very bright and slightly orangish red...

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Author:  NVPete [ Fri Dec 27, 2019 1:41 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Railroad Color Library

Here are the index pages for DuPont's Bulletin 11, Eric. Hopefully, you'll see something that'll help you out. Not all are railroad colors but many are. Enjoy!!!

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Author:  NVPete [ Fri Dec 27, 2019 1:44 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Railroad Color Library

I had to split the page images in order to get them under the size limit.

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Author:  NVPete [ Fri Dec 27, 2019 1:46 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Railroad Color Library

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Author:  jayrod [ Mon Jan 20, 2020 7:39 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Railroad Color Library

The latest update now includes all remaining the PPG codes I didn't have for the NS Heritage Units: S&A, NYC, RDG, Erie, VGN, WAB, CNJ, IT, PC and DLW.


Author:  NVPete [ Sun Feb 09, 2020 12:42 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Railroad Color Library

Great addition, Eric!!! It's always good to get the codes now because in fifty years, you never know, someone else might be trying to restore those... LOL

Author:  CTA4453 [ Thu Jul 02, 2020 10:12 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Railroad Color Library

Eric, do you know if Sherwin-Williams is able to cross reference any old color codes? Any experience with Williams-Hayward products?

Author:  jayrod [ Fri Jul 03, 2020 6:34 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Railroad Color Library

Interesting timing. I’m current working with Sherwin-Williams on tracking down an old color code and it’s modern equivalent. What I know so far I would classify as a strong “maybe”. Some coatings fall under their industrial umbrella. The more colorful stuff would likely fall under their automotive line. I’m told that they should be able to get close to the colors of the old enamels and lacquers if you have an old number. They can adjust from there. I’ll get that verified for clarity. I know that some of old the fleet colors crossed over into the railroad world and those may have current equivalents if still in use.

So, I can’t give you a definitive answer yet but I think you have a pretty good shot with an old color code if you work through one of the SW company coatings representatives. If I get a more definitive answer, I’ll post back here.

I’m aware of Williams-Hayward but they haven’t figured into the historic end of things that I keep track of. They do have a range of standard colors over their product lines and will do custom colors with a minimum purchase if I recall correctly. Other than that, I don’t know much more about them or their products.

If you do come up with a modern equivalent for a historic color, please do let me know and I’ll add it to the list.

Author:  jayrod [ Mon Jul 06, 2020 3:40 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Railroad Color Library

The official answer from the SW rep: They can custom color just about anything - Automotive, Industrial and Marine & Protective. Can they use the old codes? Maybe. More likely in the Automotive line. If you have a color sample, then yep, they can match it.

Author:  jayrod [ Fri Sep 18, 2020 4:59 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Railroad Color Library

Updated the cross reference - added the remaining NS Heritage Units with DuPont and PPG colors so they're all there now. Also added EMD #103 demonstrator. Other minor edits. Accessible here:


Author:  Topfuel [ Sat Dec 12, 2020 5:35 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Railroad Color Library

Any chance of including Amtrak 1970's-era exterior paint colors on your list? The "Platinum Mist" exterior silver/grey color; the red and blue of the so-called "Phase One" pier panel stripes, and the red-orange used in the vestibules and on the end doors. I believe Amtrak used Sherwin Williams products back then, but don't know for sure. I am restoring a 12" to the foot scale passenger car to it's Amtrak mid-1970's appearance and would like to know exactly what colors to use if possible.

Author:  jayrod [ Sun Dec 13, 2020 10:18 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Railroad Color Library

I haven’t run across Amtrak colors yet but let me do some digging. I might be able to get the ‘70s SW color codes if that’s the paint they used but I can’t say how well the colors would translate into today’s formulations. I’ll ask that question. So far, my experience has been that you’ll need at least a sample to compare with or scanning by the lab will give the best result.

Might take a little time but I’ll see what I can find out.

Author:  jayrod [ Tue Jan 19, 2021 11:50 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Railroad Color Library

The SW Professional Coatings rep says that he can’t locate a national account for Amtrak. That doesn’t mean that they haven’t supplied paint via another division say like industrial & marine. He suggested contacting Amtrak. I’ve never had any luck contacting anyone in the Amtrak shops for needed technical data - nothing but crickets....

I’ve also scoured the web. Nothing there of use.

I can try PPG. They’re very responsive and helpful. I’ll post back if I hear anything anywhere.

Author:  jayrod [ Thu Jan 28, 2021 12:00 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Railroad Color Library

I was able to scrounge an earlier Amtrak brand management guide that has most of the Amtrak paint colors matched to the Pantone CMS system. The big one missing is their metallic “platinum Mist”. You’ll need to get the Pantone color cards for your supplier to have scanned. I’ll compile all of them and add them to the list and post the Phase I colors here.

I’m trying a different route than previous attempts to get Amtrak paint info. I requested data on the Platinum Mist, Heritage Blue, Amtrak Red and the orange used on the end doors. I think that covers it for Phase I. I’ll post if I get a response.

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