Atlanta and West Point paint scheme : LUSENET : ACL and SAL Railroads Historical Society : One Thread

First, I'm modeling ACL from Talladega, AL to LaGrange, GA. and so any help with this area would be appreciated.

I want to include interchange with the A&WP in LaGrange. Did the A&WP have any GP18's? Also, could someone describe to me or point me to a picture of the A&WP paint scheme. From what I remember, it is a basic black engine w/ white lettering.

Any info on the A&WP in general, especially operations and motive power, would be very helpful. I'm new to prototype modeling and just starting a new N scale layout.

Thanks, Brian E. Bingham

-- Brian E. Bingham (, March 20, 1998


The Atlanta & West Point/Western of Alabama RR's diesels are also covered in the following magazines: PROTOTYPE MODELER Sept.-Oct. 1987 and Nov.-Dec. 1987, MODEL RAILROADING May 2001(A&WP GP-40) and DIESEL ERA vol.9 no.4(July-Aug.'98??) "Post-1960 & 2nd Generation". The MOD.RRing may still be available in some hobby shops. The others are available from Paul Gibson, e-mail, as back issues.

-- Tom Underwood (, July 18, 2001.

Bud: You are indeed forgiven. We 'Red Diamond' enthusiast are a forgiving lot.

-- Greg Hodges (, July 18, 2001.

I stand corrected! And by no less than the author of the upcoming West Point book himself! Bless your heart(or 'diamond'-I think the 'heart' belonged to another railroad), Mr. Hanson-you are a loyal Ga. Group man, through and through. The story about all the engines going out on train 211 was related to Richard Stewart by former West Point engineer George Harwood. Richard Stewart's son David told me about it first. If I misrepresented the West Point's housekeeping skills, I stand corrected, too. I was relying on second-hand information that gets distorted over time, related to me by folks who probably "got distorted" a lot on the job. So if there are any indignant WofA fans who got offended by my post, please forgive. You all hereby have the invitation to come down to Albany and flog me with a red diamond anytime you like!

-- Bud Leggett (, July 17, 2001.

I've not had the same experience that Bud relates in his posting. I do know that in 1974, I saw 210 (MTGY-ATL thru freight) pass Ormewood Station with one GP-9, three GP-7's and 100+ cars. None of the units was under 20 years old, all units were running, all were loading, and the train was making about 30 MPH (about normal for the Belt Line).

I can also recite a case where I saw Georgia Road 103 (not West Point Route, but same mechanical forces) pass Madison, GA, in October, 1971, running hard, fast, and close to time with one GP-40, two GP- 7's, about 60 cars, the coach and the cab. Running hard, fast and most importantly, close to time, despite a message thrown off by the conductor stating that one of the trailing units would not consistantly load.

As to the shops, the West Point Route used the WofA's Montgomery Shop until it was closed in 1970. While the diesel shop in Atlanta that replaced it (and the Georgia Road's Augusta shop, closed in 1969) may have been lacking. the Montgomery Shop was extremely well equipped and was capable of performing any operation that South Louisville or Waycross could perform, albeit on a smaller scale (one or two units at a time vs. dozens.)

As to the clutter, I've been up and down the WPR many times as traveling auditor, and while it would not win any housekeeping awards, I did not feel it any worse than Southern Railway, for example, another line that I with which I had hands-on experience.

A dissenting view.

Bob Hanson

-- Robert H. Hanson (, June 25, 2001.

Yeah, and not only that, there should have been a law that every West Point freight leaving Atlanta carry with it most of the railroad's locomotive roster. Why? Richard Stewart's son David told me that in the 1950s, their GPs and other units ran pretty well, but after the late 60s, they could hardly keep the old stuff going. Apparently, the shops at Hulsey Yard weren't really set up for the kind of repairs the West Point's older power needed. David said he heard that many a freight would leave ATL with a half dozen or more old GP7s/9s led by one of the West Point's newer GP40s. One by one, the neglected old soldiers would konk out en route so that, by the time the train arrived at Montgomery, the lone GP40 would be in run-8, straining at 10mph to pull the entire train. The West Point, from what I hear, were really bad housekeepers around the right of way, too. Be sure to include plenty of broken ties, trash, oil spills and other ugliness- I "model" the West Point myself. You ought to see how trashy it looks (my layout, I mean!!)

-- Bud Leggett (leggettd@dartnet.peachnet), June 09, 2001.


Above all, remember that all West Point geeps were required by state law to be filthy. I've painted many models of them, and they never look quite right without extreme weathering. That's one quirk that makes the Georgia/WPR group such a fun line to model.

-- Rob Richardson (, April 06, 2001.

Brian - I followed the Lineville Sub on a trip last week and of course had to see the new wye at LaGrange letting trains from Manchester get on the A&WP northbound to access the new pig yard at Fairburn. I got as good photos as I could of the track from the highway bridge, although (just like most places) the vegetation prevented a really good clear shot. Anyway, I can use a good photo of a southbound train on the new wye if you can catch one in good light. Thanks Larry Goolsby

-- Larry Goolsby (, June 12, 1999.

Brian, Microscale Decal Number 87-889 (Georgia Group Locomotives, Georgia, Atlanta and West Point, Western Railway of Alabama) recommends Badger AccuFlex Mopac Blue. They don't recommend a silver. Hope this helps. Richard

-- Richard Rawls (, June 10, 1999.

I guess the first question that needs to be answered is, "What is your time frame?" The A&WP had at least three paint schemes (More if you count minor lettering variations).

The first was a dark blue with silver band scheme of the 1950's. In late 1959, this scheme began to give way to a solid blue with silver lettering. Around 1967 the solid blue was replaced by a solid black with white lettering. All schemes had red logos.

I did an article - in two parts - about the paint schemes for Lines South a year or so ago. Should be still available.

The A&WP had no GP-18's. Only GP-7's. The Western Railway of Alabama, which operated with the West Point as one railroad, did own two GP-9's (530-531), but no 18's.

Hope this helps.

Bob Hanson

-- Robert H. Hanson (, March 23, 1998.

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