Remembering the Rutland
Q. #31 (12/25/99) What color were the uniforms worn by the passenger trainmen in Rutland passenger service? A few years ago there was an advertisement for a company in Vermont that was selling reproductions of the uniforms, hats and badges. Do you know who they were and if they are still available?
-Thomas A. Matzell
A. (12/26/99)Niilo A Korpi
Depot Hobbies & Antiques
43 Hemlock Rd.
Milton, VT 05468
Sells or sold a Rutland conductor's hat reproduction. The hat is black with gold banding and a brass conductor's badge. Niilo is involved in the Rutland, VT railroad show.
A. (01/02/00) I have two Rutland caps in my collection. One is a
Trainman's cap and the other is a Conductor's cap. These are originals, not reproductions.
Both are made with black-colored fabric, with black patent leather visors. The cap style
is sometimes referred to as the "Pillbox" style. The conductor's cap has two
gold stripes - one just above the brim and the other about an inch and a half above that.
It also has a brass colored cap badge with black enameled letters and brass colored
buttons on either side (at the temples). The cap badge is marked RUTLAND RAILROAD over
CONDUCTOR. The other cap does not have the stripes and the cap badge is nickeled brass
with black enameled letters. The buttons on the side are silver colored and are
dome-shaped as opposed to flat. The cap badge is the same shape as the conductors badge
(both are a common shape for cap badges supplied by The American Railway Supply Company).
This badge is marked RUTLAND RAILROAD over TRAINMAN.
Q. #32 (12/27/99) What decal set is best for the Railworks Rutland marble-service flat? Were the cars solid black with a wood deck? Has anyone tried using the commercially-available "stick-on" wood decking? Were the cross-deck load supports wood, too?
A. (01/03/00) The #2700 series flat cars were black in color with a
wood deck. I painted mine using Floquil Engine Black for the steel areas
and using Floquil Earth to simulate the wood deck. The large timbers on
the marble service cars were also wood. I then used Floquil Driftwood and
Grimy Black to weather the wood areas.
Q. #33 (12/27/99) What decal set and paint combination is correct for the Railworks steam era #551 coach? Should it be the same light olive Railworks used on the painted milk cars?
A. (01/03/00) I used Champ Rutland Passenger set
which is made in Yellow or Dulux Gold. It is not exactly
the correct length but at the time the only game in town. I also used an olive-looking Pullman
Green from Floquil by adding a few drops of red
and a few drops of E-L Yellow until it looked O.K.
A. (01/15/00) A quick note about question 33 (passenger car paint colors): Testors Model Masters Custom Enamel "Olive Drab FS 34087" matches the current color used on 260 and 551 almost perfectly. The Model Master line of paints is readily available at hobby shops catering to military modelers, and a lot of the greens are worth considering for use on passenger cars. The color the Green Mountain used on 260 and 551 was chosen in consultation with Bob Adams, who was not unfamiliar with the doings of the paint shop during the days of the RUTLAND
Q. #34 (12/27/99) Regarding the Overland Models National Car milk flat with two "bell" tanks... has anyone tried to remove the tanks for painting, and if so, how? What decal sets exist for these cars? What are the proper bell tank lessee colors? I have heard Borden's used white, red, silver and light blue. Any good documentation? Was there more than one shape "bell" for different lessees?
A. (12/30/99) My tanks aren't soldered to the car body, so removing them for separate painting is easy. I was going to steal the decals out of an F&C kit to letter mine.
A. (12/30/99) Jim (answer above) is right. I suspect that the tanks may be "stuck" due to the heavy clear lacquer applied by the manufacturer that seems to be a common trait with this particular model. I suggest stripping this clear lacquer before painting them. I have one that is stripped and one that is not and the difference is quite noticeable.
The world desperately needs a proper HO set of decals for all the various lettering associated with the National Car container flat tanks.
The "legend of the tank colors" is as old as these cars and I am not going to declare what color you should paint them, although you could do worse than to copy Don Spiro's interpretation of the Borden's tanks in the Modeling the Milk Trains section. Click here for a look. (Don adds his own comments below). Companies known to have leased or owned tanks included Borden's, Hohneker's, Renkins, Dairymen's League, Sealtest and Sheffield Farms. There were at least three variations on the bell tank theme and it is not uncommon to see two different tanks on the same car. Click here for an example.
A. (12/31/99) I've never been 100% sure about how accurate the paint scheme I used on the NX flat car is. The flat car NX decals from F&C seem very close, the white Borden's tanks.......??? I had the decals so that's what I used. Light blue tanks I've never heard of but then again I always assumed all the Sheffield Farms "Sealect Milk" plaques were white, Bob Mohowski's original panel sez otherwise. In Paul Lubliner's color book on the O&W there is a photo of a green tank and a red tank on the same flat car. Unfortunately you don't see enough of the car to make any evaluaton as to what the lettering was.
There's a steam era photo in Bob Mohowski's Milk Train book of an Erie milk train entering Jersey City Terminal with a single Bordens tank on a flat car that is obviously red or green, even in a black and white photo. Although the logo is different, Champ's Borden's Butterdish car decals are available in yellow for the red car and could be used on the red and green tanks.
Packed in the parts bag that comes with the NX flat car is a brass plaque for "Renken's Dairy" in Brooklyn. What color were their tanks??? The Renken's tanks did travel on the Erie and I've heard from a few Erie modelers and historians that they were black???
Interesting information to track down for sure!
A. (01/02/00) I [have a] letter from Rusty Recordon [in which]
Rusty reviewed the F&C kit of the National Car, not the Overland Models version. At
any rate, in his letter he states that Bob Mohowski told him that the Abbott's tanks were
blue. Wayne Sittner told of seeing red unmarked tanks on the O&W.
Rusty states that the Pullman green tanks were lettered for Sheffield Farms. Rusty also
believes that the Borden's tanks were colored similar to the butterdish milk cars, i.e.
white with black letters, silver with black letters, and red with yellow letters. He
mentions that a photo of one of the cars with two different colored tanks appeared in the
milk car series that ran in the late 80's. My letter is dated June 23, 1989 so the series
ran before that.
A. (01/15/00) Don Spiro mentions the photo on page 19 of Paul Lubliner's Morning Sun NYO&W book. The red tank is definitely a Bordens tank. The other tank I'm not quite as sure about...I'm not even sure of the color. I have in my own collection a color photo of one of these cars in which the sides of the 2 (Borden's) tanks seem to be about the same color as the tank in this photo, but the ends seem to be buff colored. I suspect the most accurate description this color is heavily weathered. These were unlettered Pullman Green tanks, which I understand were the tanks N.X. kept available for short term use by anybody. One minor nit to pick -- the reporting marks on the cars were N.X. (for National Car Co., a susbsidiary of Fruit Growers Express), not NAHX (which are one of the reporting marks for North American Car Line).
A. (01/16/00) Chris Martin is right on the money, the shot in the O&W book does show the Borden's lettering. I was thinking of the photo on the next page, page twenty. In that photo behind a 44 tonner are two flats and the tanks look black with no lettering visible whatsoever. The lettering on the flat car appears to be separate metal numbers and reporting marks rather than being painted on. Chris is also correct on the 'N X" markings. The decal set from F&C has NAHX reporting marks if memory serves me correct and had it not been for using a photo in Bob Mohowski's milk book [page 109] of a National car to letter the model I might have just went ahead and used the NAHX. In that same photo the lettering on the tanks seem, like those on the flat car, to be separately applied sheet metal letters. [Precision Scale did raised photo etched lettering on their red models of the Borden's Butterdish car.]
The plot thickens!
A. (01/20/00) As many of you have probably already determined, good color photos
of the milk container flats are rare indeed. To date the best color photo I've found was
taken by RRHS member Bob McColloch of NX 1411 in the Rutland/B&A yard
in Chatham, NY in March 1956. The flat is loaded with two large "bell style"
tanks painted maroon. The maroon paint looks similar to that used by the B&M. I feel
pretty confident about the color as the car is well-lit and the tanks appear to have been
recently painted (a shop date of 1-56 can just be made out on one of the tanks). Block
lettering at the bottom corner of the container's sloped side skirt (on the valve end or
end opposite the end where the tank end sticks out beyond the side skirt) reads "MILK
AND MILK PRODUCTS". Just below the tank lettering are the tank numbers (somewhat hard
to read but appear to be nos. 152 and 153). The numbers and letters are either painted-on
or decals - definitely not placards. Just below the tank number, on the side of the tank's
square-sided base, is lettering for the tank's lessee. Unfortunately the lettering cannot
be read. If someone has access to switch lists or car reports for 1956 it may be possible
to determine what creameries NX1411 was visiting and, from there, the lessee.
A. (01/23/00) Red or maroon??? In Morning Sun's D&H in Color volume by David R. Sweetland there's a photo on page 46 of one-half of a Borden's Butterdish car behind an RS-2 at Whitehall, New York. That this particular car is heavily weathered is an understatement. The lighting is even and overall color in the photo seems to have held up well. So is the car red or is it maroon? In contrast to this photo, in Vintage Rails video on D&H steam there is a fleeting shot of a red Butterdish car passing under an overpass or signal bridge at Oneonta I believe. This car is pretty fresh paintwise and is a very bright red. The deck and a portion of the frame sill are red as well. Mark 1 Video has a new set on DL&W steam and there's yet another view of a red Butterdish car on the rear of a Hoboken-bound Sussex Branch train at Straeder's. This car is bright red as well and is the first time I've seen a Butterdish car literally bringing up the markers as there are marker lamps hung on the rear brackets. A killer image!
While these photos aren't of one of the tanks, it does illustrate the difficulties we have in determining the colors of these elusive tanks. It might be interesting a year or so from now, once all this new imformation has been collected, and provided we have photographic evidence, to present it in some concise form [if that is ever possible???!!!] to Microscale for a possible decal set.
Fascinating stuff, Industrial Archeology at its finest for sure.
A. (01/23/00) I would like to add the following to the prior answers:
A. (01/25/00) Some information on the Sealtest tanks:
Q. #35 (12/27/99) Of the steel 40' GPEX milk tank cars, which road number and dairy lettering was most common on the Rutland? Is the Microscale set accurate for cars that ran on the Rutland?
A. (01/09/00) Thanks to the Newsliner, Volume 2/Number 1, and John Nehrich's Milk Train Data Pack, I came up with a representative sample of correct 40' steel, (circa 1946 construction with rounded side bottoms), GPEX cars documented on the Rutland.
The following cars are from William Shakespeare's notes for Trains 83 and 88, (ca. 1947), and carried milk into New York City.
Sheffield Farms: 987, 988, 990, 991.
The following cars carried milk between Bennington County Co-op in Manchester and New York City, for Borden's (ca. 1951): 1000, 1001, 1004, 1005, 1006.
The following cars, circa 1960, are from Conductor McKean's notes, as well as waybills
from the Milton Co-op Creamery in Alburgh. All carried milk to Boston area processing
The Milton Co-op Creamery in Alburgh,VT on the Rutland
used GPEX 544 and 1034, [lettered] "Whiting" for many years. Three cars were
assigned to them and made the rounds between Alburgh and Somerville, Mass. I believe
the third car was 968(?). In 1960, they started using cars in the pool and the 544 and
1034 went away. I would say that this assignment lasted about 10 years.
I would like to add an indirect answer to this
question. I've recently been researching GPEX paint schemes for finishing some models
using Sunshine's fine resin kit of the GPEX 50' wood-side milk tank cars with the original
double doors. I model ca. 1953 but was surprised to find some subtle variations in
lettering placement that I had not fully noticed and appreciated before. Specifically, the
wealth of late 1940s builders photos of both wood- and steel- side cars indicates that the
favored placement of the reporting marks, car number and weights was in a stacked
arrangement with lines above the GPEX reporting marks and below the road number as was
required (I believe) at the time. In this configuration, the line over the GPEX almost
touches the lessee's name in many cases.
In any event, it seems that the alternative side by side layout eventually became the
new standard, but this time without the lines above and below the reporting marks and road
number (I believe they were dropped as an AAR requirement some time in the early 1950s
although some railroads and car owners were quicker to make use of this rule change than
others it seems). In any event, the placement of the reporting marks, car number and
weight data adds a new bit of complexity to our goals of accurate modeling.
anyone know how late the wooden Hood's milk cars ran with the colorful cow logo as seen on
the PSC models?
A. (01/15/00) This is guessing, but based on photographic evidence, all of the wooden 40' Pfaudler cars had been rebuilt to straight-bottomed steel cars or "butter dish" cars by WWII (Yes, Pfaudler did have 4 butter dish-type milk cars of a rather different design than the Borden's cars. Initially 2 of these cars were leased to H. P. Hood's, 2 to Borden's! They were all lettered with plain lettering). Hood does not seem to have been a big leaser of the 50' wooden cars until after WWII, and all of those cars got the plain Roman scheme of lettering. However, at least some of the rebuilt 40' cars did have enameled sign boards until well after WWII. A side note on 40' wooden cars: Sheffield Farms OWNED some 40' wooden milk tank cars of General American/Pfaudler design/construction. These cars ran under SFCX reporting marks, and had the rectangular enameled sign boards. I've been told they were Maroon with Dulux Gold lettering, but I've never seen any color photo or other hard evidence. These cars were never rebuilt as best I can tell.
A. (01/18/00) Some points regarding
the H. P. Hood 'Pfaudler' Cars.
A. (01/23/00) Vol. X of Nimke's series of books on Connecticut River RR shows what appears to be a steel-sheathed car (flat side, no bottom channel) with the "cow" plaque affixed ca. 1946.
-John S. Horvath
Q. #37 (01/08/00) When the Rutland repainted its cabooses in the yellow and green scheme with black canvas roofs, were the roofwalks and end ladders green or black? Likewise on the original cherry red cabooses were the roof walks red or black? Thanks.
A. (01/15/00) All of the photos that I have show the running boards and ladders on RUTLAND wooden cabooses to be black. There may have been exceptions, but...
Q. #38 Part 1 (01/09/00) Dr. Seward Webb donated most of the funds to buy the land for Fort Ethan Allen in 1892. This would seem to benefit the CVRR at the expense of the Rutland as the alternate site was the western side of the lake. Does anyone have any ideas why Webb would want to see the fort on the CVRR route?Q. #38 Part 2 (01/23/00) I am also trying to found out when Dr. Seward Webb, the Vanderbilt son-in-law, first got involved in the Rutland Railroad. As part of a larger work, I am interested in Webb's involvement in the establishment of Fort Ethan Allen in 1892. Webb joined the Board of the CV in 1892 and pushed to have the fort located on the CV line at the expense of the Rutland. I believe he also attempted to scuttle development of a street railroad from the fort to Burlington and the Rutland railhead - something the CV bitterly opposed and which, I assume, the Rutland would have supported. Do you know anyone with background in this era?
A. (01/13/00) This question piqued my curiosity, and after a little research, I do not
believe that there was a strong "Central Vermont versus Rutland" factor behind
Dr. Webb's donations to the Fort Ethan Allen Project.
(01/18/00) Not wanting to throw the
milk car discussion into a siding but here's a new modeling topic for the Q&A section.
While photographing Mike and Randy's layout I was impressed with all the little, often
overlooked lineside details they had included into each scene. They gave as much life and
sense of place to a scene as did their incredible structures. One such detail that
appeared everywhere on the railroad were yellow flanger warning signs. I know they warned
the flanger operator to raise the blades for obstructions such as bridge derails, turnouts
and grade crossings. I've been noticing a variety of styles in photos in the Nimke books
and other sources. Can someone explain the different styles and why and where they were
placed along the tracks? I'm particularly curious about ones that had two blades on the
right side of the post and a single one on the left. Does anyone know the dimensions of
these signs and did colors of the blades vary for different applications??? Let the games
A. (01/30/00) The ones with two arms forming a "V" tell the plow or flanger crew to bring in the wings due to a narrowing of the right away: a cut, a bridge, etc.
The ones with one arm on the right tell the crews to lift the flanger blades because of an obstruction in the roadbed: switches, diamonds, grade crossings, etc.
The signs with a combination of the two warn of both types of obstructions at the same time.
The signs are usually black - good contrast to the snow. Some had white or reflective edges.
Mike Sparks has the NYC specs.
I'm working on an article for the Newsliner for the future. I tried to photograph some during our last convention but they tended to blend in during summer weather.
Q. #40 (01/23/00) Does anyone have photographs or any other information on the Kilbourne's feed mill/plant located on the west side of the mainline between the creamery and the Rutland freight house at New Haven Junction, Vermont? I am also looking for information on the creamery in Brandon, Vermont. I want to model both of these structures, so I am mainly interested in photos, but I would be interested in anything related to these two shippers.
-Randy Laframboise (Rutland Car Shops)
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