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The Rio Grande had LH/RH stencil sets for their tenders. The logo was always supposed to lean forward regardless of what side of the tender it was on.
Occasionally you’ll see photos of tenders that got relettered using only one of the stencils so the logo leans backward on one side. A couple of the narrow gauge K-36’s were lettered like this in the late 50s. Story I heard was that Alamosa lost one of the stencils in the set.

Looks like Lionel decided to follow this lettering error that the Grande made at one point in time.

OTOH, could be their way of saving $$$ on the pad printing?...same printing head both sides.  Less factory confucius confusion. 

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There's another theory I heard re the lettering slant...  After 'speed lettering' became the standard throughout the system, it's application to railroad cars rendered moot the issue of slant-right vs. slant-left.  After all, railroad cars (freight and passenger) were bi-directional.  It was deemed more aesthetically appropriate to standardize on slant-right.  Eventually this became a de facto standard throughout the locomotive paint shops, too.  Whether the slant-left stencils were 'lost' or merely set aside forever is unknown...the stuff of Grande lore, perhaps.

Regardless, I just paged through 3 publications with copious images of Rio Grande steam.  LOTS of photos showing both slants on the left side of tenders.  OTOH, I can assuredly say that I've never seen a slant-left version of "Rio Grande" on a freight car or silver/gold passenger car paint job.  Anyone?

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Besides, one would question Jonathan's due diligence on this sort of issue????  Surely you jest!  Sacré Bleu!!

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Meanwhile...back to the discussions du jour around the pot-bellied stove..

KD

Last edited by dkdkrd
@dkdkrd posted:


Besides, one would question Jonathan's due diligence on this sort of issue????  Surely you jest!  Sacré Bleu!!



As much as I'd like to take credit for such a fine locomotive, I was not involved in this project.  I occasionally do graphics for steam, but the last steam I did graphics for were the N&W "Mollies" and the PRR L1s.

There is plenty else on my plate though at the moment!

Even though Weaver did them, I’d love to see either an M-64 or M-68 Northern from 3rd Rail. I had one of the Weaver models and while it looked very nice, it didn’t track worth a **** thanks to how the pilot truck was mounted. At the time my layout was all tubular O-72 track and I was short sighted so I sold it. Wish I had kept it since my someday layout will be Gargraves with wider curves.

Even though Weaver did them, I’d love to see either an M-64 or M-68 Northern from 3rd Rail. I had one of the Weaver models and while it looked very nice, it didn’t track worth a **** thanks to how the pilot truck was mounted. At the time my layout was all tubular O-72 track and I was short sighted so I sold it. Wish I had kept it since my someday layout will be Gargraves with wider curves.

PSC Boo Rim did the Westerns exceptionally well in 2005 and Theo Berlyn did the 64s in 2001 pretty nicely. L77 be nice or L95 even both have been done but not in a practical form.

One of mine at East Portal, literally.

Screenshot_20210805-061656_Chrome

https://www.flickr.com/photos/...486@N07/51357794181/

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Last edited by Erik C Lindgren

For the record:

https://ngdiscussion.net/phorum/read.php?1,115657

Courtesy: Wade Hall "Several asked about historical standards on the "flying Rio Grande" herald. Here is some of what I know from historical research. Much of this is "old news" to Rio Grande historians, but I'll repeat.

The "flying Rio Grande" herald was designed by a secretary in Denver offices of the D&RGW and submitted as part of an employee contest. This was well-covered in an issue of the "Green Light," the employee magazine of the D&RGW, a number of years ago. I don't have a copy of that so I'm going by memory here. I believe the lady got a $100 bonus for having the winning design--equivalent to about a month's salary for an office job in the late 1930's.

The D&RGW did not start actually applying the herald to steam locomotives until sometime in 1940, from what I have been able to ascertain from photographs. Some early efforts were obviously "hand drawn" affairs, including one done on one of the Salida standard-gauge switch engines. Early on, though, it appears that a standard set of stencils was produced. These were of a standard dimension--applied to all locomotives. The herald was the same size, whether applied to a C-19 narrow gauge Consolidation, or to an L-131 standard gauge articulated. It is also clear from photographs that the D&RGW instituted policy that all tenders on active locomotives would be repainted with the new herald as soon as they were cylced through the shops. I do not recall seeing any photo dated after 1941showing the old Royal Gorge/Moffat Tunnel herald on an in-service locomotive.

The obvious standard was that the "Rio Grande" would "fly," or slant, toward the front of the locomotive. Thus, the left and right side stencils were born. Largely, this convention was followed over the years, with some notable exceptions. Most usually, the exceptions involved the use of the "left-side" stencil on the engineer's side of the tender. These included, at various times, the 487 and 497 on the narrow gauge. Much less common was the use of the "right side" stencil on the fireman's side of the tender. A strange circumstance involved the tender apparently interchanged a couple of times between the 340 and 318 in Montrose. On this particular tender (seen with both locomotives at various times), the herald flew the wrong way on both sides of the locomotive. Another notable exception was the use of the right-side stencil on the fireman's side of the last operating standard-guage steam locomotive, D&RGW 1151. On its last runs in 1956, the herald on the fireman's side was flying "wrong-way." Finally, the "right-side" herald was used on the fireman's side of the tender on at least of a couple of the K-28's in Durango during the late 1970's. Undoubtedly, there were other incorrect applications of the herald, in violation of the standards, but there is no doubt what the standard was.

I was told by an old Grande employee, but I was never able to confirm, that the "wrong side" application on 487 and 497 was caused when the Durango shop lost/destroyed its "right-side" stencil and the right-side stencil was sent from Alamosa to replace it. That left the Alamosa shop without a right-side stencil--presumably during the period when the 487 and 497 got their tenders painted. I'm suspicious of this explanation because, at about that time, 497 was in Alamosa, but 487 was working out of Salida. It also appears that 487 had "wrong-side" lettering much earlier (1951) than 497 did. Someday, I'm really going to have compare photographs to trace this out. The same employee told me that when the shops in Alamosa were closed, and shop equipment was moved to Durango, the left-side stencils were lost--thus the re-painting of the K-28's with "wrong-side" lettering on the fireman's side during the 1970's. I find this a little more plausible.

The re-lettering of freight equipment was much more "leisurely" in time frame, though--on the narrow-gauge especially--it seemed common to paint out the old Royal Gorge/Moffat Tunnel herald even if the flying Rio Grande was not applied. Of course, in later years, quite often only the car number was re-stencilled on narrow-gauge freight equipment. There was not the obvious standardization of herald size on freight equipment, either. One thing that never appeared on the narrow gauge was the Rio Grande "Action Road" herald that sported the smaller "Rio" and larger "Grande." This herald was introduced around 1966.

As I have posted before, the amazing thing about the Rio Grande herald is that it still looks modern today--nearly 70 years after it was designed. Few trademarks can claim that. In fact, I've had several tourists ask why such a "modern" lettering design is used on the C&TS locomotives. They were amazed when I told them that the basic design of the herald was applied to those locomotives when they were only 16 years old! All the more reasons that I think that both the Rio Grande and Cumbres & Toltec heralds need to be applied dimensionally and aesthetically correctly--period."

Wow, I am a little late to this forum, and that is a nice engine! I take it that 3rd Rail's green is accurate hue, whereas Lionel's more recent attempts at the D&RGW green was more lighter - more Christmasy? It's hard to believe they could've got it that wrong - it is no where near the dark shade of the L-131; or were there shade variations among the prototypes?

@Paul Kallus posted:

Wow, I am a little late to this forum, and that is a nice engine! I take it that 3rd Rail's green is accurate hue, whereas Lionel's more recent attempts at the D&RGW green was more lighter - more Christmasy? It's hard to believe they could've got it that wrong - it is no where near the dark shade of the L-131; or were there shade variations among the prototypes?

You’ve touched on one of the most highly contested subjects of D&RGW lore: the debate over green boiler locomotives. There is much debate over whether or not the Rio Grande officially painted any of their boiler jackets green. Most believe that some engines did have green jackets which leads to the next debate, what shade of green is actually correct? I think many would agree that a dark olive green is closest to what would have been. I don’t think anyone would argue the case for a light green so Lionel definitely would have screwed up here.

I wonder if any of the L’s could have had a green jacket? Black was the predominant color for Rio Grande engines, especially freight engines. The prevalence of green boiler models has really skewed reality for modeling the Grande.

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