Santa Fe 2900 and 5011 class smokebox front color in service?

Does anyone happen to have a color picture of a Santa Fe 2900 class Northern or 5011 class Texas smokebox front in regular service? From the black and white photos I've seen it appears that both classes have a black smokebox front, in contrast with earlier 3776 class Northerns and the 3460 class Hudsons which clearly had gray smokebox fronts. I'm curious if they were painted black unlike prior late Santa Fe steam locomotives? 

Santa Fe, All the Way

Original Post
Lou1985 posted:

Does anyone happen to have a color picture of a Santa Fe 2900 class Northern or 5011 class Texas smokebox front in regular service? From the black and white photos I've seen it appears that both classes have a black smokebox front, in contrast with earlier 3776 class Northerns and the 3460 class Hudsons which clearly had gray smokebox fronts. I'm curious if they were painted black unlike prior late Santa Fe steam locomotives? 

You might want to contact the Santa Fe Historical Society, as I'm sure they have all such accurate information. I also seem to recall that a lot depends on the era/time frame you are attempting to model.

Big Jim posted:

Google them Lou. There are plenty of B&W photos there clearly showing a gray smokebox front.

I've seen several black and white as well as several color photos showing black smokebox fronts. The color photos are from the 1956-1957 timeframe. The black and white photos with the gray smokebox fronts I've seen date from the mid to late 1940s. I'm modeling about 1951. Would gray smokebox fronts on the 2900 and 5011 class still pre prevalent at that point or would the transition to black smokebox fronts be taking place?

Santa Fe, All the Way

Lou - The above cited book looks like it will fill the bill. But, based on your modeling era, I checked a couple of Robert P. Olmsted's photo books ("Railroad Pit Stops" and "A Long Look at Steam") which display photos of Santa Fe steam around the Lawrence, Ks and Kansas City area in the late '40's/early 50's. It would appear that the 4-6-4's, 4-8-4's, 4-6-2's and 2-10-2's pictured had a mix of black and graphite smoke box fronts. Black smoke box fronts could well be the product of reduced maintenance, as steam was nearing retirement.   Interestingly, Mr. Olmsted captured the Santa Fe's one streamlined steam locomotive, 4-6-4 #3460, the "Blue Goose" in regular service......fairly late for a fully streamlined steam locomotive and all the maintenance annoyances the shrouding caused.

Lou1985 posted:

So either color smokebox front would be appropriate in the 1951 time frame. I prefer the gray front, so I may change anything with a black front.

Hi Lou!

Great topic! Check out a great example of a dirty Santa Fe Boiler front, you can see how you can choose to go either way. This is a 5001 class in color.

atsf5007

 

And here is the 5011 herself with a clean Smoke Box Cover...

 

atsf 5011 class smokebox vront clean

Hope this helps!

 

David

Attachments

Photos (2)
VintageClassics posted:
Lou1985 posted:

So either color smokebox front would be appropriate in the 1951 time frame. I prefer the gray front, so I may change anything with a black front.

Hi Lou!

Great topic! Check out a great example of a dirty Santa Fe Boiler front, you can see how you can choose to go either way. This is a 5001 class in color.

atsf5007

 

And here is the 5011 herself with a clean Smoke Box Cover...

 

atsf 5011 class smokebox vront clean

Hope this helps!

 

David

For what it's worth, you can NOT go by the paint jobs on most of the steam locomotives that are on display around the U.S., as way too many liberties have been taken in order to make their display look "attractive". Rarely is there ANY attention paid to historic details. Some museums even fall into the same trap. Always refer to, and believe, photos of steam locomotives in actual revenue service, back in the days of steam.

This topic came up once before, a few years back.

I talked about it with Stan Kistler, who photographed Santa fe steam from the early 1940's until dieselization and saw a lot of it first-hand.  He agreed that some engines in the final years of steam (2-8-2's in particular) were given a black spray job on the smokebox front, and, in Texas, Cleburne sprayed some of them with aluminum paint.  However, he was certain that he never saw a 4-8-4 with a painted smokebox front.

However . . . these were oil fired locomotives.  There were two tunnels on a 2% ascending grade in Cajon Pass, among other conditions, and many Santa Fe locomotives did accumulate oily soot on the smokebox fronts. Stan says there were all shades of gray up to nearly black.  Santa Fe steam engines were washed more frequently than on some other railroads but the smokebox fronts were coated with a linseed oil solution, and not gray paint, so that part did not wash as well.  It was necessary to re-coat the smokebox front numerous times between paint jobs.  At Los Angeles, nearly every passenger steam locomotive was washed before going out. An apparent exception to this washing policy was the 2-10-4's, which ran back and forth between Wellington and Belen or Winslow, and ran hundreds of miles each trip in dusty conditions and with the sanders on, so they - both oil and coal-fired - usually appear quite dirty in photos taken during the 1950's.

Stan's expert opinion:  No black paint on the big engines' smokebox fronts.  And that's what the book says, too.  You can get the Santa Fe steam locomotive painting and lettering book from the Santa Fe Railway Technical and Modeling Society and support the Society's activities.

Tom

 

Superintendent, High Plains Division (O Gauge) 

The Panhandle & Santa Fe Railway Co.

Lone Star Hi-Railers

Santa Fe, All the Way

mark s posted:

Mention of Stan Kistler prompts a recommendation - - - check the newest/Spring 2019 
"Classic Trains", possibly the greatest photo of a Union Pacific  Big Boy is portrayed on pp 28-29, taken by Stan Kistler ! 

Great Heads up on that one Mark. Thanks! 

 

David

VintageClassics posted:
Lou1985 posted:

So either color smokebox front would be appropriate in the 1951 time frame. I prefer the gray front, so I may change anything with a black front.

Hi Lou!

Great topic! Check out a great example of a dirty Santa Fe Boiler front, you can see how you can choose to go either way. This is a 5001 class in color.

atsf5007

 

And here is the 5011 herself with a clean Smoke Box Cover...

 

atsf 5011 class smokebox vront clean

Hope this helps!

 

David

She looks like she ready to pull out.Love the blazing head light.

Add Reply

Likes (0)


OGR Publishing, Inc. PO Box 218, Hilliard, OH 43026 330-757-3020
www.ogaugerr.com
×
×
×
×
×