Monday, June 21, 2010
Historic Photo! Western Pacific Railroad EMD SW-1 # 503. Sacramento California, 1969. From the internet.
I found this photo on the internet recently.
The Western Pacific Railroad was a west coast regional railroad that existed from 1910 until the merger with the Union Pacific Railroad in 1982.
From the late 1940's until the mid 1960's, the Western Pacific diesel locomotives wore this unique and very eye catching silver and orange paint scheme honoring their flagship streamliner passenger train known as The California Zephyr.
Although this was a very striking and colorful paint scheme when introduced, it eventually proved itself to be impractical in the long run, as it was difficult and expensive to maintain. The constant exposure to the elements, mainly the blistering hot California sunshine, was very prone to fading and extreme weathering. By the year of 1966, the Western Pacific began experimenting with solid orange and solid orange and black "Dip Job" paint schemes to cut back on some of the maintenance costs. By the early 1970's, the Western Pacific settled on a dark green and orange paint scheme.
This photo of Western Pacific EMD SW-1 yard switcher # 503 taken way back in the year of 1969, shows the effects what the constant weather extremes can do to an eleborate paint job after awhile.