Sunday, July 19, 2015

Far from Home, but not Forgotten


In years past it was easy to spot the fading yellow hopper cars or boxcars that still proclaimed, "America's Resourceful Railroad" as they meandered North American rails.  Some were subject to the occasional over-painting that covered the slogan or even the name of the old railroad itself.  Still, to the careful observer, the Milwaukee cars were an interesting and notable addition to any train rolling by.

The yellow color selected by the Milwaukee was the same as that used by the Chessie Railroad, so-called  "Federal Yellow."  It was a significant departure from the boxcar reds or grays that the railroad had used so often before.  It was distinctive then, and remained so long after the railroad disappeared from its passes to the west coast.  

In the year 2015, the old yellow cars are harder and harder to spot.  In many cases, these cars have aged out of the expected 40 year life span, and are likely to be increasingly rare.  Many miles from home rails, one boxcar is now serving as the local tool shed on the Grapevine Hi-Railers layout in Grapevine, TX.  It still proudly flies the Milwaukee colors and gives a nod to the Resourceful Railroad even in this place far, far from home.  

3 comments:

Pat, Marcus & Alexis said...

Wow, I didn't realize they had a 40 year life span! Quite the service life.

jim, some guy in iowa said...

I saw a "Resourceful Road" hopper car near Marquette IA not long ago- of course it was a day where I had neither the camera or cell phone with me

apparently "Federal Yellow" must be a fairly widely-used industrial paint- the former International Harvester used it for their Cub Cadet garden tractor line as well as their construction equipment. Interesting how things tie together

LinesWest said...

That's really interesting Jim - I didn't know IH used it as well, Cub Cadet is a new one for me too. I believe there was another railroad use too but I can't think of it right now.

-Leland