Remembering the Rutland
Rutland Q&A

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Q. #51   (02/12/00)   I am looking to paint a New England Rail Service Rutland K-1 4-6-2 in the late 1940s scheme. Did the firebox get the gray graphite treatment as well as the smokebox? Was it a light gray or a deeper and more typical gray (I am doing #80)? Was the driver trim and running board striping silver or white? What color was the cab interior? Was the inside of the bell red? Thank you in advance for any assistance!

-Rob Davis


I would also append Rob's question to ask about painting the back of the coal bunker on the tender.  Although it is often stated that it was painted an oxide red by the Rutland shop forces, I am wondering if this application of red paint was restricted to the back of the coal bunker or did it extend to the deck or to any other places?

-Jim Dufour


What color were the cab window sashes on Rutland Steam?

-Tom Dressler


A (02/15/00)   By no means complete, but for what it's worth:

Firebox and Smokebox Paint: I'm not sure if the fireboxes on all of the engines with grey smokeboxes were the same, heat-resistant grey, but I wouldn't be surprised -- they sure seem to be a lighter shade of dirty than the rest of the engines. The 90's were delivered with grey fireboxes. The color was a light to medium grey, and was NOT a metallic paint.

Striping: White

Cab Interiors: I don't know for sure, but I've been told the cab walls were a green color, which was not uncommon.

Window Sashes: As best I know the window sashes were black except when the Green Hornets were green, and with the well known exception of #106 at Bellows Falls during its last year or so, when many color photos were taken. The paint job that #106 wore was a special job. Apparently all concerned were quite aware that this was going to be its final assignment, and wanted to make it look especially nice.

Tender Decks: I'll come clean on this one -- I don't know. But based on the few photos that show corners of the tender decks, I'd be inclined to bet against red decks. But then the back of a tender could be quite a filthy place, and the red could be merely hiding.

-Chris Martin


A (02/17/00)   I went through this same quandary when I painted my #31 and #81 models, and here is what I learned, (much of this is second-hand and anecdotal, so please correct me if I am messing anything up):

'Standard practice', (if such a term really existed on the Rutland), from the 1930s until the late 1940s, seemed to be to paint the entire engine black, including smoke boxes and firebox sides - no graphite/oil as was common elsewhere. High heat in these unjacketed areas would burn the paint off relatively quickly. This resulted in first a dull/flat black color to these areas, (in contrast to a shiny boiler, cab, and tender on a freshly shopped engine), and later to the 'dull gray' appearance of bare metal, when the paint had burned off. As these areas were not regularly wiped like the rest of the engine, they usually became covered with several layers of grime and cinders after the engine was in service for some time.

Around 1948-1949, the K-1 class, (during overhaul/shopping), started to have their smokeboxes and firebox sides painted with what appears to be the same Dupont heat-resistant gray paint that the L-1 class had on their smokeboxes and firebox sides.

Page 87 of  Trackside - East of the Hudson, 1941-1953 with William J. McChesney has an excellent color photo, dated 09/30/51, of #81, with her smokebox freshly painted in this gray color. My interpretation of this color resulted in a mixture of Accu-paint 'CP Grey' lightened with 'Stencil White', which looks good to my eye.

One note regarding The NERS K-1 model. The model represents a K-1 with the 'stock' cab roof. This class had their cab roof overhang, (above the tender deck), altered on each side, in the period between 1946-1947, (does anybody have exact dates for this modification, or even shopping dates for these engines?). I have not seen any photographs of these engines without this modification, having a painted gray smokebox, so you might want to model from a good photograph, (always a safe bet!). Since I model the 1947-1949 era, I made this modification on my #81, and it turned out to be fairly easy.

As far as the striping, I would go with white. Not only is this color easier to work with on the drivers, but I believe that the 'aluminum' paint referred to was nowhere near as metallic as modern model paints, and can more easily be approximated in 1:87 scale with white paint.

Other than #106, which as Chris points out, seemed to be an exception, I have never seen a photo of a Rutland engine with red cab window sashes. On many other railroads, however, on occasion, shop personnel or senior enginemen were given latitude to 'gussy up' favorite engines with these kind of details, and based on the premise that "unusual was commonplace on the Rutland" I would not say that it was never done there.

It was common practice for most railroads to paint cab interiors an 'apple green' color, (I have approximated this using Floquil 'BN Green' lightened with 'Reefer Yellow').

It was also common practice to coat the insides of bells with bright red paint, ( I like Floquil 'Caboose Red').

Like you and Chris, I cannot find any proof that the tender decks were painted oxide red, like the back of the coal bunkers.

-Bill Keay


A (02/17/00) When it comes time to add the white walkway striping, I would suggest using carefully cut-to-width strips of white decal paper.  It gives you a crisper edge than applying white paint with a bristle brush and is easier than masking and air brushing.

-Jim Dufour


A (02/24/00)    The Green Hornets had green sashes.  Basically, on most engines the sashes were the same color as the rest of the engine.

I've have seen photos from the rear showing oxide red coal sheets (the Bill McChesney book from Morning Sun has several shots showing #81 so painted on pages 80 and 81), but pictures from the [correct] angle are so rare that one can say nothing more than it was done that way at least some of the time.

-Chris Martin


NOTE: To view Rutland #82 with the rear of her coal sheet painted red, CLICK HERE.


A (03/10/00)    The only thing I would add is that Bob's Photos has a number of color prints available showing the backs of coal bunkers on the 90-series engines.  They also were painted in a dull oxide red color.

-Mark Rossiter


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Q. #52   (02/19/00)  I have read a few times that the reason the 90's were not repainted GREEN was that:

"When delivered in 1946 they (the L-1's) were painted green, and employees were soon calling them 'Green Hornets.' Later, practical considerations - two men needed two days to do the work - caused them to be painted in more conventional black in 1948."

Am I missing something here? Why would it take two men "two days" to paint an L-1 in green and less time to paint and L-1 in black? Didn't the green paint go on the same as black? The same areas - smokebox and firebox - had to be masked somewhat for the application of the graphited paints. The wheel rims and running boards edges were trimmed the same for green or black. Right?

Please let me know what is not registering in my poor little overworked mind.

-Tom Dressler


A (04/07/00)   They were repainted black for a couple of simple reasons: #1) The green did not hold up well. The [green] got dirty real fast and the black wouldn't show the grime as fast as the green did. #2) The Rutland had all kinds of black paint in inventory, so it was a cost factor. Remember the Rutland was not a rich road. They never owned any roller bearing trucks because it was cheaper to buy friction bearing trucks, most noticeable [on] the two new vans in 1959.

-Steve Mumley


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Q. #53   (02/22/00)  I am modeling Rutland wood vans in HO scale. Who makes the correct leaf spring trucks for them? What about the correct ladders?  Are there any other unique details that I should know about?

-Peter Berg


A (02/23/00)  To represent a Rutland caboose equipped with 'arch-bar' trucks, I used a set made by Central Valley, replacing the coil springs with Walthers leaf springs.

I am not sure of the availability of the Walthers leaf-springs, (I have seen the Central Valley trucks on occasion, and Kadee makes similar style trucks also), but you could also 'splice' leaf-springs from a set of Tichy caboose trucks as an alternative.

As for the ladders, I do not know of any commercial offerings that are close enough, (please prove me wrong, someone!), hence you may need to fabricate these.

-Bill Keay


A (02/23/00)  While I'm modeling a freelanced railroad I've built a trio of Rutland-style cabooses using the MDC three window wood caboose. For ladders I used Tichy freight car ladders cut to approximate height. I bent wire around a small jewelers screwdriver shaft to make the curved handholds. These were ACC'd in holes drilled into the end walkway and the legs were ACC'd to each side of the ladder. While not an exact duplicate of Rutland van ladders they look close enough at layout viewing distance.

For trucks I used Tichy on two of them and Eastern Car Works Birdsboro/Andrews on the other. The Andrews trucks are a kit and come with both a coil spring or leaf spring insert. Those leaf spring inserts might just work in the Kadee Arch Bar truck. The Eastern Car Works number for the trucks is 9055. Hope this helps.

-Don Spiro


A (03/06/00)  I've used the ladders by Taurus Products (page 897, 2000 Walthers catalog) on my Rutland four-window caboose. I have also used basic brass ladder stock and cut the rungs out of a few sections and curved the top over.

-Jim Otto


A (07/29/00) I too have used Walthers leaf springs to replace the coil springs. Many years ago (more than 15yrs) the Walthers leaf spring part number was 946-3005. I checked the web site and the part is no longer available. You might try some of the older hobby shops.

-Steve Coons


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Q. #54   (02/22/00)  Does anyone make accurate HO scale decals for Rutland passenger cars? Would you paint the passenger cars with Scalecoat Pullman Green?

-Peter Berg


A (02/23/00)   Question 33 posed a similar question and generated a couple of answers, but I would be interested in further discussion along the same lines. Anyone?

-Jim Dufour


A (02/24/00)  The decal made for us (Rutland Car Shops) by Microscale (from artwork supplied by John Sheridan) is available for $5.00 w/SSAE.  Comparison of our decals with the recently made available Rutland lettering diagram indicates that John's work is exceptionally accurate.

-Mike Sparks


A (02/29/00)  The decal sets for passenger and milk cars are available.  One set contains:

--Letterboard letters for 2 cars - good for passenger or milk.
--Letterboard letters for 2 cars - for 300 series milk, but ok for passenger.
--4 sets (2 sizes - 7ft & 9ft wide) of below-the-belt rail lettering.
--2 sets for milk cars with middle-of-the-side lettering
--3 sets of "MILK" - this will be the limiting factor for lettering milk cars.
--1 set of "Route of the Whippet" for milk cars 1 set of wt/capy for milk cars
--1 set of RPO lettering with distinct Rutland style.
--Selected car numbers for every class of car and 0-9 for creating numbers for other cars.

The decals come in either gold or dulux. Dulux is the color that was used after the mid 30's. It had been my belief that Dulux came in during WWII. The instructions for the Rutland Car Shops' baggage cars include shop maintenance cards for 128&9. The cards show that the cars were relettered using "imitation gold" in 1936. This is the first definitive evidence of when the color was first used. The instructions go on to say that NYC switched in 1936-39. Based on that I now would believe that the Whippet scheme (starting in 1939) would have been in Dulux.

One set is $5. Please add $1 to cover mailing. Profits will go to the equipment restoration fund. These decals were prepared as a joint effort of several members of the Rutland Railroad Historical Society using photos, tracings, and Rutland RR lettering diagrams, capturing the unique Rutland style of letters and numbers.

My address is: Ray Muntz, 339 Sylvan Lane, Westbury, NY 11590-1902

Best Regards,

-Ray Muntz


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Q. #55   (02/22/00)    Does anyone have any suggestions about substitute lettering and/or herald in place of the Herald King R-760 decals for the Rutland 350-series milk cars in HO?  I'm in the process of painting/lettering the Railworks release and I find myself with half a set of the old decals.  I've got the striping, one herald and one "Rutland," but for some long-forgotten reason the other herald and "Rutland" are missing.  Any help, suggestions etc. would be greatly appreciated.

-Woody Merriman


A (02/26/00)  Good news and bad news on this question:

The good news: Yes I do have a set I'm willing to let Woody have, because...

The bad news: The Herald King Decals are in fact not a good choice for the 350-series milk cars. The lettering on the 350 series cars was about 12" high for the road name, and about 9" high for the numbers. The herald was about the same size as the herald on the cabooses -- roughly 21" high and 30" wide overall (one note -- these heralds were apparently hand painted.  I've seen a photo of the herald partially painted, with just a couple of chalk lines to guide the painter). In the Herald King set the road name is 16" high (about right for the Rutland's 340-series milk cars), the numbers about 10.5" high (a little oversize), and the herald is way out of whack for any Rutland car (3-6" too tall, 18"-24" too wide).

-Chris Marin


A (02/26/00)  If it's any consolation to those of you who have "Diesel Era" Rutland models of passenger cars (including milk cars) and cabooses in need of proper lettering, I have heard of at least one source that is working towards an accurate set of decals for this type of equipment. Remember: patience is a virtue!

-Jim Dufour


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Q. #56   (03/19/00)    Does anyone have any information about the pre-Civil War rolling stock of the Rutland that was built by the Brandon Car Works?   In The Rutland Road author Shaughnessy says a few unkind words about the cars (e.g. "Herculean efforts [were needed] to keep the road's rolling stock, built by the amateurs at Brandon, from falling apart, ...") but is that all there is?

-Jerry Fox


A (08/01/00)  Years ago in Model Railroader and Railroad Model Craftsman magazines there were a number of articles (1976 to 1986) on mid-to-late 1800's railroad equipment. One in particular modeled the St.J&LC, but of course I do not remember the author...

-Rome Romano


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Q. #57   (05/15/00)    I'm modeling the Bellows Falls diamond and Rutland yard in HO, with the B&M's Fitchburg Yard (North Walpole) as off-scene staging. Reading Behind the Iron Horse by Giro Patalano and looking at the maps of Bellows Falls from Bob Nimke's book, it's apparent that the "Back Track" can only hold about 30 freight cars (40') and the two "Boston" tracks hold about 12 cars each, or 20 if other tracks are fouled. Does anyone know how a 50 or 60-car freight from Rutland could enter the Rutland yard without fouling the B&M Connecticutt River mainline for a considerable time? Or would a Rutland freight pull through the Rutland yard and into the B&M Fitchburg yard before being broken up? I wanted to model a real section of Rutland to see how they handled operations, and this looks like a doozy. Anyone know how this was done in the 40's and 50's?

-Larry Burch


A (05/15/00)  I did get some info from Steve Mumley: Pulling into the Island Yard from Rutland, a Rutland freight would pull right over the stone bridge into the B&M's Fitchburg Yard, usually "doubling back" onto another track as soon as they had cleared it. As Steve says, "There wasn't much room in North Walpole, either." I also re-checked Patalano: he did say the Rutland freights pulled into Fitchburg Yard. I knew the B&M used the Patch Track (along the river, north of the gauntlet-tracked canal bridge) as an interchange track with the Rutland, but I couldn't figure how you could possibly fit a train onto the Island. Now I know -- you can't!

-Larry Burch


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Q. #58   (05/16/00)   I am interested in modeling Vergennes, Vermont (c. 1950-1960). I would like to know what color the Rutland painted their freight houses during this time period. Does anyone know if they tried to paint them to match the passenger station adjacent to it? Additionally, at what point did the Vermont Railway paint the Vergennes station red? Thanks for the help!

-William Schultheiss


A (06/10/00)  I just read through the postings about the colors of the Rutland's depots and other buildings. It seems to me that the relatively new schemes were quite similar to those used by the Delaware & Hudson. This probably is a result of the aesthetic appeal of the colors rather than any deliberate attempt by one road to imitate the other -- or does anyone have more information on this?

My family rode the D&H each summer back in the Fifties, and I remember all passenger station signs as being green with either yellow or gold lettering. As late as the last year before Amtrak, the stations all had green trim. Wooden passenger stations had either yellow or white as their main color. Wooden buildings other than passenger stations were an olive-ish green with darker green trim. Those colors, as used on a structure in Cobleskill, NY, where Floquil originally had its factory, were the originals of the "depot olive" that's still available and the "depot green trim" that was dropped from the line years ago. It may be that the olive was used on the Cobleskill passenger depot; the trains we rode didn't travel over the Susquehanna Division.

-Steve Wagner


A(09/11/00)   Earlier this summer I sat down and reread the articles that Glenn Annis and I did on RUTLAND colors back in the Winter 1996 and Summer 1997 Newsliners. I have been doing some more reasearch on stations and I think it may be getting to be time for a Part 3. I also thought that there might be new information that would suggest corrections to our original articles. However, upon rereading them, I can't find anything that I would change. So I would suggest that anyone with color questions should start with those articles. I will try to put together some additional material on building colors, because that is the one area that could use more information.

-Bill Badger


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Q. #59  (05/16/00)   I've been trying to write up my report on the Rutland #129, and have stumbled across some contradictions in secondary sources, and was wondering if you know of a definitive article on the subject. The question I have is about the Panama Canal Act that affected the Rutland's shipping operations. When did it actually get passed? I've seen 1910, 1911, 1912 and 1915. Everyone seems to agree that is was interpreted by the ICC in 1915 contrary to Rutland's interest, but I just cannot find any reference to the Act itself (at least in our small library and on the internet). I might have to stumble over to the University library to get a definite answer.

Everywhere I seem to look regarding the Rutland, the Panama Canal Act is seen as the first nail in the coffin of the Rutland. I did find that this Act was supposedly combined with other Interstate Commerce laws into the Interstate Commerce Act in the 1930s. I found this act quoted as if it were the Panama Canal Act.

Just wondering if you, or anyone you know might have some quick insight on this subject.

-Pat McKnight, Historian, Steamtown National Historic Site


A (08/28/00)   The Panama Canal Act was passed on August 24, 1912. As other canals had been brought to ruin by unfair competition from railroads, the Act contained language meant to prevent ownership of shipping companies by railroad companies that were or could be in competition with the shipping company. As can be seen in the text of the act, this was primarily phrased in reference to the Panama Canal. The Rutland ran into trouble because of the "...or elsewhere..." clause.

"From and after the first day of July, nineteen hundred and fourteen, it shall be unlawful for any railroad company or other common carrier subject to the act to regulate commerce to own, lease, operate, control, or have any interest whatsoever (by stock ownership or otherwise, either directly, indirectly, through any holding company, or by stockholders or directors in common, or in any other manner) in any common carrier by water operated through the Panama Canal or elsewhere with which said railroad or other carrier aforesaid does or may compete for traffic; and in the case of the violation of this provision each day in which such violation continues shall be deemed a separate offense.

The act also confers upon the Interstate Commerce Commission jurisdiction to determine questions of fact as to the competition or possibility of competition, after full hearing, on the application of any railroad company or other carrier and that application may be filed for the purpose of determining whether any existing service is in violation of the section and for an order permitting the continuance of any vessels or barges already in operation. . . ."

An interesting article concerning efforts in New York State to pass similar legislation covering intrastate transportation can be found at:

http://www.history.rochester.edu/canal/bib/whitford/1921/CHAP17.html

-Michael Hobbs


   Care to comment?  Click here to email your response. Please refer to Q #59.



Q. #60  (05/22/00)   I'm detailing some Athearn flatcars to resemble the Rutland 40' 2700 series. Does anyont make decals or dry transfers, especially with the recent brass 2700's now available? My guess is that these could be 'bashed from CDS dry transfers for the 4100 series, for example. Any ideas?

-Larry Burch


A (08/01/00)   Larry, I am planning on using the CDS #431 Rutland wood/steel gon/flat dry transfer set for my Athearn flatcars "someday" when I'm done with the real one.  Since the Athearn flat car is a "close-enough" deal to begin with, I do not feel too guilty about not using the exact decals, for now. Of course, if someone (RAY?!) were to produce the correct decals, and if someone else were to produce an inexpensive "correct" flat...

-Rome Romano


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