So many UP paint schemes!!

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TommyBNSF

Illinois Railfan
Hello forums,

I've been working on a spreadsheet displaying what paint schemes are on each locomotive. I do this for pretty much every Class I railroad and I've noticed UP is very weird with their paint schemes. For example:

New engines: Flags, wings, and Z stripe
Repainted widecabs: Wings, Z stripes, and SOMETIMES flags.
Repainted standard cabs: Z stripes, no wings or flags. (some earlier repaints had mini-wings)

Another oddball is when newer engines in the flag scheme get wrecked and require repaints when rebuilt. These then sometimes get standard UP text, not flags, and yet some other recent repaints (like UP 6715 in 2008) get flags.

Why does UP not have a consistent paint scheme, in particular the UP text and flags ordeal, like all other Class I railroads do? (I know BNSF has slightly different colors for standard and wide cabs, but it's mostly the same paint scheme, unlike UP text and flags, which are completely different.)

Tommy McGowan (TommyBNSF)
 

brad_in_omaha

Active Member
Mu question. Does UP Locomotive Paint fade or just never get cleaned? I see the photos of the new GEVOs rolling out of the shop and they Yellow looks awesome. However you look at a lot of locomotives and the color is not even close to being the same. Is that dirt or did it fade?
 
R

RailfanRails

Guest
Mu question. Does UP Locomotive Paint fade or just never get cleaned? I see the photos of the new GEVOs rolling out of the shop and they Yellow looks awesome. However you look at a lot of locomotives and the color is not even close to being the same. Is that dirt or did it fade?
Yes its dirt and yes its fade.

Units do not get cleaned very often and when they do it takes some pretty caustic chemicals to get the grime off, this leads to fade. Also modern paints do not hold up well to the enviroment. If you get a close up look at the heritage units even they are starting to fade in places.
 

grizz1213

New Member
Yes its dirt and yes its fade.

Units do not get cleaned very often and when they do it takes some pretty caustic chemicals to get the grime off, this leads to fade. Also modern paints do not hold up well to the enviroment. If you get a close up look at the heritage units even they are starting to fade in places.
Yea, UP used to really beat the $h*t out of their power. CP is just as bad. But when u got several thousand engines running around out there its kinda hard to keep them looking nice.
 

5thGenRR

New Member
Yes its dirt and yes its fade.

Units do not get cleaned very often and when they do it takes some pretty caustic chemicals to get the grime off, this leads to fade. Also modern paints do not hold up well to the enviroment. If you get a close up look at the heritage units even they are starting to fade in places.
to elaborate on that. As RailfanRails said yes it does fade and we don't wash them but every once in a great while. The washing situation is modtly due to man power or the lack of it.



They are painted with Imron by DuPont which is a Polyurethane Enamel paint for trucks, commercial vehicles, airplanes, boats & industrial applications. This paint is some bad stuff in a couple senses. First it is very toxic when doing any cutting, welding or grinding. We are supposed to be using respirators and some say we really should be using fresh air masks at that. Yellow is a bad color for fading and this does fade well given locomotives 99% of the time sit in the sun. Second this paint is very hard. Nowhere near like powder coating but is EXTREMELY scratch and chip resistant. We joke that we should paint our vehicles this color. The units are slathered with clear coat so much so that there are huge runs and stalactites forming from the bottom of the hinge pins for the carbody doors. But that is normally in a repaint situation. When they roll off the line @ EMD or GE they don't have clear on them.



One area we have a problem with paint is keeping it clean especially for the units that go through tunnels. I'll give the Sierra DP units as an example. Some of them had plates put on the handrails on the conductors side more toward the cab that were test panels to purposely be sent out to see what kind of cleaners can be used on units during hand wash. The biggest problem with cleaners is environmental of course. Here in CA we are screwed because all of the soaps we have tried and can use suck. The particulates from the exhaust park themselves on the paint and refuse to leave like a barnacle on a ship. When we hand wash units we are supposed to use deck brushes. But some of the F&O's find that to be too labor intensive and because they don't care use scotch brite on them instead. Of course it puts deep scratches in the paint which in turn leaves more surface area for the particulates to call home. Then when someone comes back to wash it again in the future it never really comes clean.
 

April

Reality escapee
I have noticed quite a few early SD60M's (with a three window cab) where the unit is clean the paint can be very splotchy (as if they are clear coated and large areas have flaked off).

Reminds me of the paint on my 1997 Honda Accord. :rolleyes:

April
 

Abilene Ks Railfan

Active Member
I have noticed quite a few early SD60M's (with a three window cab) where the unit is clean the paint can be very splotchy (as if they are clear coated and large areas have flaked off).

Reminds me of the paint on my 1997 Honda Accord. :rolleyes:

April
I have seen several like that, also many of the BNSF warbonnets had the peeling, guess they bought paint from Acme :p
 

5thGenRR

New Member
Hello forums,

I've been working on a spreadsheet displaying what paint schemes are on each locomotive. I do this for pretty much every Class I railroad and I've noticed UP is very weird with their paint schemes. For example:

New engines: Flags, wings, and Z stripe
Repainted widecabs: Wings, Z stripes, and SOMETIMES flags.
Repainted standard cabs: Z stripes, no wings or flags. (some earlier repaints had mini-wings)

Another oddball is when newer engines in the flag scheme get wrecked and require repaints when rebuilt. These then sometimes get standard UP text, not flags, and yet some other recent repaints (like UP 6715 in 2008) get flags.

Why does UP not have a consistent paint scheme, in particular the UP text and flags ordeal, like all other Class I railroads do? (I know BNSF has slightly different colors for standard and wide cabs, but it's mostly the same paint scheme, unlike UP text and flags, which are completely different.)

Tommy McGowan (TommyBNSF)
Tommy,
They actually have guide lines as to what paint schemes or decals can go on which type of units. I just tried liiking up the guidelines but our employee site has so much information it can be hard to find some things twice. for example the small shield with wings was only to be used in high horsepower non wide bodies or maybe the opposite was true. But either way you see the small wings on both types of units. In my oppinion it is up to the person/people that are doing the repairs or mods. I do know that we have a guy who comes out to do the flag repairs instead of us doing it.
 

5thGenRR

New Member
I have noticed quite a few early SD60M's (with a three window cab) where the unit is clean the paint can be very splotchy (as if they are clear coated and large areas have flaked off).

Reminds me of the paint on my 1997 Honda Accord. :rolleyes:

April
Yes, that is the down side to clear coat. It does peel and look horrible
 

Abilene Ks Railfan

Active Member
Saw a C44AC this afternoon, had several hood doors fresh painted on the conductors side, but no letters, it read

UN IFIC. So this is another type of paint scheme you can sometimes see
 




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