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I have the following cars; 4 R12s, 4 R26s and 4 R17s. I am looking to create two mixed 6 car trains with varying liveries for around 1969 or just prior to the start of the silver/blue period. I know R17s started off in maroon, and most were repainted red, however I have a picture of a green R17 car (6749) see below, and I know the R26s were delivered in green, and then later I think some were repainted red. The R12s I have I want to be painted in red, although I have seen a picture of two R12/14s in green sandwiched between a pair of R26 cars, see picture, which poses another question; R26s are "married pairs", but in the picture it seems the pair are "divorced". I think I'll keep mine happily married... for now.

Were cars repainted depending on what colour paint was available or was there a regime of painting certain liveries at a particular time? I have seen pictures of trains in the late 60s consisting of cars in maroon, red and green all in the same train (excluding the "black" i.e. dirty cars). I have tried to find details of when certain types of car were painted and in what colour scheme after initial delivery but to no avail.





Images (2)
  • R26
  • R17
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Chris, here is a resource you can use (if you don't already use it):

It is loaded with information and pictures.  As far as I can see all 3 series you mentioned came in dark green, red and blue/gray.  As far as planned paint schemes, I believe there were units in some colors but the majority of the fleet seems to have been dark green.  Maybe some of the more informed forum members will chime in on this.

The first planned scheme I noticed was the R-33, Worlds Fair cars.  I rode the 7 train to work in the late 60's, in these cars.  Prior to that I rode the IND Jamaica line which was all R1-9 cars.  Maintenance cuts in the 50's and 60's allowed most of the subway to get pretty dirty.  Even though I was into trains, I thought they were a rusty brown color, I never would have guessed there was green under all that dirt.  I think the only time they were washed was when they were at an outside yard and it rained.

I don't know about "divorcing" mated pairs.  Without controls in the "mated" end I would think making them independent units would have no added value and could create problems when making up trains.

Thanks for your reply Dan. I have, and do use, but a similar enquiry about livery gained no replies, and the R26 question was answered by one chap who suggested that the R12s were supplying the necessary equipment that the R26s needed to operate correctly. It's the only picture I've seen of green R12/14s too. Perhaps they were a "one off" or they made up a 4car unit for whatever reason. As for the R33s, I always liked their striking livery. Can't afford to buy them now though, and they don't come up for sale here in the UK.

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