I made so interesting, albeit probably already noted discoveries while researching the prototype NW-2 model that Lionel had on its showroom layout. There has long been speculation that this was actually a General Models Corp. NW2. It’s often described as having a “gray” color scheme. Interestingly, I think I have a good idea of what this looked like, including the lettering.
Comparing the locomotive on the layout with the ones in the 1949 catalog, we can see that the prototype was definitely a gray or white color, lettered with “L” red/orange, white, & blue logo above the number 622.
It doesn’t appear to have the lettering “Lionel Lines” along the long hood, nor is it black like the catalog which makes me wonder if there wasn’t a similar preproduction loco made as well in this scheme. But then again it could just be an artistic interpretation. Either way comparing it with the prototype on the layout gives I think a clearer picture of what the mysterious NW2 looked like.
I quite like the overall paint scheme, to be honest, and I sort of wonder why it has never been reproduced? Maybe they don’t want to remind anyone of the industrial espionage?