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Thanks to Dave at O Scale Custom Decals I have been able to do a credible job repainting a Weaver brass O scale Conrail GG-1 to the black Amtrak scheme. Dave's service is fantastic and I highly recommend him if you need decals. They are sharp, quick, and high quality items.

 

I am in the process of trying to keep the train hobby alive in our train room while we figure out what the next layout is going to be. I have set myself the task of collecting all of the different GG-1 schemes in O scale. Of course, I am going to have to paint some of them myself. I know this Amtrak black version was offered by MTH, but I missed one on Oy Vay when some wacko bid almost $1,000 for it. Yikes, where is my spray can?

 

It has been fascinating comparing the different O scale versions of the GG-1's from Lionel, MTH, Weaver, Williams, and Third Rail. The last three photos are of my recently acquired Third Rail "Rivets" version. What wonderful detail !!

 

My dad used to take me down to Penn Station when I was five years old and put me into the cabs of the GG-1's that rolled in. He worked for the New York City Transit Authority and never failed to get me into the GG-1's. I will never forget my experiences !

 

As I indicated, the new Amtrak black is a Weaver brass version. The Penn Central is a Lionel JLC. The Conrail is a Williams and the green five stripe is another Lionel JLC version. I was lucky enough to pick up three Williams when Trainworld was having its blow out sale.

 

 

 

 

G1

G2

G3

G4

G5

G6

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Last edited by Scrapiron Scher
Original Post

Thanks, Scotie. It is a bit confusing to know precisely how many schemes were worn by the GG-1's. As time passed and Penn Central morphed into Conrail, then Amtrak and New Jersey Transit, there were GG-1's that wore "One of" schemes or were half painted or had half painted new and the other half old. I would say there are approximately 21 paint schemes that I have been able to document as schemes worn by at least one GG-1 in regular service. I will need 8 more GG-1's. I will post the other GG-1's that were not shot for this thread.

Looking good!  The Lionel JLC one is a nice addition as it accurately reflects one of the various variations on the intake filters that were retrofitted to many GG1s in the 60's. I have the PRR version of that variation in single stripe DGLE.  Of course the 3rd Rail one is amazing, but I'm overly partial to that one.

Sam,

 

That's a great question and one, on which, I would have to differ to Jonathan. In my research so far I have not discovered any GG-1's that were painted black but, as we know, the green color used by the Pennsy would sometimes be "interpreted" as black because they were so dark. I would imagine a very shiny dark green would look black to some. I have discovered along the way that as the G's passed from one railroad to the next, there were occasionally "one of's" and so it is possible a black one had stripes added by folks who adored the G's. It is also possible that a GG-1 was restored in a very dark green or black and that I am unaware of.

Last edited by Scrapiron Scher

The whole question of PRR DGLE or "Brunswick Green" is one that will be debated to the end of time.  It is such a challenging question that the PRRT&HS has a committee just on colors and they are still discussing the correct drift cards for this color. 

 

While no PRR units were painted totally black, when fresh out of the shops they were nearly black.  I don't remember the formulas, but it was something like a few drops of green into gallons of black paint.  From what I understand the whole model version in pure black comes from the restoration of GG1 4935 in 1977 by "Friends of the GG1" and Amtrak.  That unit was regularly referred to as "Blackjack" due to how dark the DGLE was after a fresh repaint.  AHM did a commemorative version that was painted black in the 70s and built by Rivarossi.  I believe that is where Williams got the idea to paint theirs black. 

 

Overall, the Williams version while it doesn't have any green in it, may be more accurate then a lot of green PRR locomotives that have been produced over the years.

 

 

I believe the whole myth of the black GG1 has it's roots in the factory fail Lionel 2332 paint job rather than anything the PRR did. 

 

Nice to compare all those beautiful GG1's in one place.  It still begs the question though...why do they all have 2 horizontal bars on each cab window?  Any real GG1 I've seen only has one bar per.

 

Bruce

Eloit, do you have this??

 

PRR HeraldGG1 Paint Schemes


These paint schemes represent the major variations of the locomotive's appearance over the course of it's operational life. Colors are approximate. Greens are lighter than the acutual colors to contrast from the black units. Numbers on pictured units are not necessarily approprate.

paint scheme
Early Prototype Scheme
1934 PRR: Dark Green, block pinstriping, small number keystone

1934: 4899/4800 only. (unit changed numbers in this scheme)

Developed by the PRR, this scheme predates the Loewy design. A similar design was used on the R1 experimental.

paint scheme
Late Prototype Scheme
1935 PRR: Dark Green, Wide 5 gold pinstripes and gold sans-serif Futura lettering, small number keystone

4800 only, through at least 1937

First to be based on the Loewy design, but would later be refined on production units.

paint scheme
Loewy Scheme
1935 PRR: Dark Green, 5 gold pinstripes and gold sans-serif Futura lettering, small number keystone

All units at production except 4800, 4800 sometime after 1937.

The scheme as Loewy envisioned it.

paint scheme
Feathered Scheme
1937 PRR: Dark Green, 5 gold pinstripes feathered together and gold sans-serif Futura lettering, small number keystone

4829 is only confirmed unit.

This may have been and experimental variation to try to avoid the problems of painting over the intake vents on the locomotive's sides.

paint scheme
Modified Loewy Scheme
1941 PRR: Dark Green, 5 gold pinstripes and gold serif Clarendon lettering, small PRR keystone

Most units

Most fans consider this an improvement on Loewy's conception. Why Pennsy decided to change is unclear. Most other locomotive types did wear serif lettering.

paint scheme
Modified Loewy Scheme in Red
1952 PRR: Tuscan Red, 5 gold pinstripes and gold serif Clarendon lettering, small PRR keystone

1952: 4908-4913
1953: 4876, 4856, 4857 and 4929

These few units were painted to match special red coach consists.

paint scheme
Broadband Scheme
1955 PRR: Dark Green, thick yellow stripe and larger yellow serif Roman lettering, large PRR keystone

4885 followed by most units, including some single stripe tuscan and all single stipe silver.

This was the defacto GG1 scheme for the late 50's and early 60's.

paint scheme
Broadband Scheme in Red

1955 PRR: Tuscan Red, thick yellow stripe and larger yellow serif Roman lettering, large PRR keystone
1955: 4907 and 4916

As before, a few units were repainted to match special red coach consists.

paint scheme
Broadband Scheme - Congressional
1955 PRR: Silver, thick red stripe and larger black serif Roman lettering, large PRR keystone

1955: 4866, 4872 and 4880

A few units were repainted to match the coaches on the Congresional train. This and the green and tuscan broadband schemes used plates to cover over part of the radiatior on the side above the numbers. Three years later some units began to recieve new intakes behind the classification lights and most of those had their old intakes welded over.

paint scheme
Modified Loewy Scheme Holdover
1968 PC: Dark Green, 5 gold pinstripes and gold serif Clarendon lettering, small white PC herald

4801 is only confirmed unit

PC, without money, usually just blanked out the previous owner and painted PC herald on instead. This only surviving five striper was painted over in PC black.

paint scheme
Broadband Scheme Holdover
1968 PC: Dark Green, thick yellow stripe and larger yellow serif Roman lettering, small white PC herald

4840, 4883, 927 (PRR 4934) and presumably 4844 and 929 (PRR 3938) retained this scheme at least into their PC days

Another PC holdover. A few of these units may have also received white numbering as well.

paint scheme
Broadband Scheme Holdover in Red
1968 PC: Tuscan Red, thick yellow stripe and larger yellow serif Roman lettering, small white PC herald

It is doubtful that any Tuscan reds made it into the PC era.

Another PC holdover.

paint scheme
American Railroads Centenial Scheme
1969 PC: Blue, low yellow stripe yellow serif lettering, no herald

4902 only.

This one of a kind scheme celebrates the centenial of the driving of the golden spike in 1869.

paint scheme
Midnight Scheme
ca. 1970 PC: Black, white block or serif lettering and large PC herald

Most units, except those left in dark green

PC's defacto scheme was about as coloful and appealing as the company itself.

paint scheme
Broadband Scheme Holdover
1976 Conrail: Dark Green, single yellow stripe with CR instead of the keystone
4844 is the only unit known to have retained this scheme under Conrail
Conrail's turn to paint over someone else's herald.

paint scheme
Midnight Scheme Holdover
1976 Conrail: Black, white block lettering

Most units as inherited from PC

Another conrail paintover.

paint scheme
Bicentenial Scheme
1976 Conrail: Red sides, blue hoods and Bicentenial markings

4800 only

Another one of kind scheme, this time for the US Bicentenial in 1976.

paint scheme
Conrail Blue Scheme
ca. 1978 Conrail: blue, white curved block text, large CR herald

4800 only known unit

Conrail's defacto scheme, applied to very few locos.

paint scheme
Broadband Scheme Holdover
1971 Amtrak: Dark Green, thick yellow stripe white block lettering

929 at least retained thie PRR scheme into its Amtrak days

Amtrak's turn to paint over a herald.

paint scheme
Midnight Scheme Holdover
1971 Amtrak: Black, white block lettering
Most Amtrak units retained thier PC black
Another Amtrak paintover.

paint scheme
Savings Bond Scheme
?? Amtrak: Black, white block lettering, no Amtrak lettering
Most units retained thier PC black
Yet another one of a kind. Amtrak gets to be a governmental billboard.

paint scheme
Amtrak 1 stripe Scheme
ca. 1975 Amtrak: Silver with red hoods, thick blue stripe, black block lettering

902, 905 (4905), 906 (4906), 909 (4909), 924 (4924), 926 (4926) and 927 (4927)

Amtrak's defacto scheme.

paint scheme
Broadband Scheme Holdover
1981 NJT: Dark Green, thick yellow stripe

4880 and 4883 at least retained this PRR scheme into thier NJT days

NJT had no defacto scheme for the GG1s, but ran them longer than Amtrak or Conrail. They blanked the prior owner and only added some text under the number.

paint scheme
Midnight Scheme Holdover
1981 NJT: Black, white block lettering

4875, 4879, 4881, 4882 and presumably the rest of the NJT units wore PC black

Another NJT repaint.


 

Back to the GG1 Homepage

Here's an extremely rare variation of the GG1 very few people are aware of. It's the pair of GG1s rebuilt by Amtrak on an experimental basis with diesel prime movers. Well, not really. Before someone contacts Lionel asking them to make a Vision Line version of the diesel powered GG1, it's just an early Amtrak brochure with doctored images of pantograph-less GG1s at the head end of a passenger train away from electrified territory. We all got a good laugh out of this one when it was issued.

 

Bob 

     

AMTK1

AMTK2

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  • AMTK2

Marty,

Thanks for posting the GG-1 paint schemes from that website. I have used that website quite a lot in categorizing and planning for my GG-1 schemes. It is very helpful to have the chronological information, too. All of that contributes to the story. MTH has made a great contribution to the group by producing some of the more unusual variations. I don't think Imwould be able to paint the blue American Railroads version. Luckily, MTH produced that, too.

 

Eliot

Last edited by Scrapiron Scher

4800 "Rivets" is scheduled to go through the restoration shop after the "Lindberg" E6 #460 is completed. 

 

In general I don't normally criticize how a professional museum of the quality of the Pennsylvania Railroad Museum makes their decisions.  They are always in a tough position in determining how they tell a story about railroading history and work with less than adequate resources.  As many will recall, the indoor collection has seen many changes of what has been inside and outside over the years.  With the addition of the round house, much more of the collection will be indoors.

 

The collection should grow too once they get a hold of an F40PH and AEM7 to show the continuous history of railroading in Pennsylvania.

As posted by Jonathan, the 4800 is in line for restoration, I believe to its original PRR scheme, after the 460 is done. The locomotive is not in peril of deteriorating beyond restoration.  Overall, the RRMPA is a well run institution featuring an impressive roster of equipment, all of which is historically important in its own way; therefore, it's very challenging to prioritize restoration efforts and allocate what is a limited amount of indoor display space. Once the new roundhouse is built, most everything will be under cover. All it takes is money and time. The 4800 will be fine.

 

Bob

Originally Posted by brwebster:

I believe the whole myth of the black GG1 has it's roots in the factory fail Lionel 2332 paint job rather than anything the PRR did. 

 

 

Bruce

The Black GG1 myth may have started back in the 1950's when Bill Vagel, a large Lionel dealer at the time (and a friend of Josh Cowan) brought five GG1s to the factory and had them repainted black and re-striped. Those GG1's have to be out there somewhere in an extensive Lionel collection.

Originally Posted by Dennis LaGrua:
Originally Posted by brwebster:

I believe the whole myth of the black GG1 has it's roots in the factory fail Lionel 2332 paint job rather than anything the PRR did. 

 

 

Bruce

The Black GG1 myth may have started back in the 1950's when Bill Vagel, a large Lionel dealer at the time (and a friend of Josh Cowan) brought five GG1s to the factory and had them repainted black and re-striped. Those GG1's have to be out there somewhere in an extensive Lionel collection.

Probably known examples exist, since Greenberg's lists a black 2332 in their price guide. 

 

Bruce

Originally Posted by brwebster:
Originally Posted by Dennis LaGrua:
Originally Posted by brwebster:

I believe the whole myth of the black GG1 has it's roots in the factory fail Lionel 2332 paint job rather than anything the PRR did. 

 

 

Bruce

The Black GG1 myth may have started back in the 1950's when Bill Vagel, a large Lionel dealer at the time (and a friend of Josh Cowan) brought five GG1s to the factory and had them repainted black and re-striped. Those GG1's have to be out there somewhere in an extensive Lionel collection.

Probably known examples exist, since Greenberg's lists a black 2332 in their price guide. 

 

Bruce

I never take credence in anything put out by Greenberg's.  Their price guides have been so far off the mark that its like fiction writing. IMO, they are a self styled authority out to sell books and nothing more.  If you want good historical info the McComas Tuhoy Lionel books are well researched publications.

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