CofG Blimp Cars : LUSENET : Central of Georgia Railway Historical Soc : One Thread

I have two old HO scale cars painted in the Blimp Scheme. I believe they are Bachman 40'cars. What type of service were they used in? Did the Silver Blimp contain shadow striping to simulate corrugated stainless steel? Based on the information already on this site the 40' cars are not prototypical. Did these cars wander onto other railroads? What type of loads?

-- Steve Kitchen (, September 20, 2000


-- sam roberts (, October 28, 2002.

I stand corrected - blimps were 50' XM general service cars. Steve Kitchens orignial question threw my memory off. Statements on reasons for novel blimp design came from memory of correspondence in Mechanical DepartmentI had occasion to review in the 1950's. I was searching for other information, and happened on this particular set of memos.

-- D. H. Noble (, October 21, 2001.

We have never seen any information regarding aluminum paint being applied to 40' boxcars. Do you remember a specific car number series or builder for the 40' aluminum cars that you describe??

The first 50' CofGa blimp cars were delivered in late 1954 (cars 5500- 5999). The only 40' boxcars delivered to the CofGa in the early 1950s prior to that date were: 7000-7299 (delivered in 1952 in Money Saver scheme) and 7300-8299 (delivered in late 1953 in the small monogram only scheme.) Builder's photos for these two groups of cars exist, showing examples of the paint schemes as described. Builder's photos also exist for virtually all of the lots of Pullman-Standard cars that the CofGa received and none show a blimp scheme other than the 50' PS1 box cars.

I do not think that any lots of cars were delivered to the Central in the aluminum scheme that you described. It is possible, however, that a few cars from the above-mentioned lots (or perhaps other lots) may have received this "pre-blimp" paint scheme as a test.

One of our members has several O scale models which were produced by Pullman Standard for the CofGa in the early 1950s (the shipping crate still has a Pullman Standard return address label). These models wear variations of the proposed blimp scheme. Some of these "sample" cars do not have the blimp design, just a full aluminum car with various colors of roadname and monogram (including black and orange!!).

There is a large collection of CofGa correspondence files (several thousand) at the Georgia Historical Society. In my years of research there, I have not come across any information regarding 40' aluminum- painted cars.

I would certainly like to locate some definitive confirmation for your information (i.e. diagrams, photos, correspondence file.)

Allen Tuten

-- Allen Tuten (, October 17, 2001.

Original "Blimp Cars" were 40 ft XM box cars, built in the early or mid 1950's. They were in general, unrestricted interchange service througout the country. Paint scheme was to appease Reynolds Metals, an influential customer who encouraged CGa to build aluminum cars, an expensive proposition for a cash strapped railroad. The "blimps" used aluminum paint, and Reynolds settled for the compromise! Actual paint scheme was one of several submitted to the railroad by Reynolds. The aluminum background was solid - no shadow striping. They were built just as 40 ft box cars were being replaced by 50 ft cars. I learned of the Reynolds-CGa discussions from correspondence files I ran into when working for the Central in the 1950's.

-- D.H.Noble (, October 17, 2001.

Bev-Bel did a limited run of 40-ft. "Money-Saver" cars sometime in the 1980s. (I know that because I've got one of them). Seems like I remember seeing pictures of a Lionel O27 scale blimp car from the 50s, too. Like most other Southeastern railroads, I suppose the Central was just located too far away from "the only 2 railroads in America" (Pennsy and Santa Fe) to arouse much interest from model makers.

-- Bud Leggett (, August 13, 2001.

Steve, In case you, or anyone else, are interested to know, there are at least 13 manufacturers (in G,O,HO,S,N) that my research has determined manufactured the Blimp/Oval scheme over the years. I am a model collector of CofG models (yes, I'm looking for all of them, scale, near-scale and even the historically "way-gross ones") and presently have 17 different cars (diff. road numbers & scales) from 10 manufacturers of the Blimp/Oval scheme catalogued in my collection. There are at least 5 other manufacturers that either have produced this scheme, some with multiple road numbers.

Steve, I assume you're looking for HO since you mentioned Bachman. Todd is correct, most of these cars are pretty grossly prototypically incorrect in that many are 40'. If you are looking for near-super- scale models, the Des Plaines is probably about the best. I can't say for sure since I do not have it in my collection yet, but Todd should know. If you are looking for resonable facsimiles of the 50' car, you might check out Bev/Bel (Mainline Models, web site www.bev- They have produced several with multiple road numbers using Athearn kits. You might also keep your eye on Ebay as these come up for sale there from time to time.

If you are interested in N scale, Micro-Trains has produced a nice version of this car that is currently out of production, but may be available in some shops. I also recently heard that they are possibly coming out with this one again soon.

For the record, Model Power produced the purple 40' version that Todd refers to, in both HO and N. The color is somewhat like ACL purple, but a bit more vibrant!

I would be interested in any information that anyone else has to offer about any and all CofG model cars ever manufactured. I am collecting "all-time" information on models manufactured in the Central of Georgia road name, including all road numbers, schemes, etc., in hopes of developing an all-time list someday. It is my hope that this could be made available through the Society, dispite the fact that it would contain prototypically incorrect schemes. Todd, if this would be appropriate, I will post a question in the Q&A Forum in the next couple of weeks requesting this information, and at least list the manufacturers that I am aware of. I could note whether the model was prototypical or not.

On a personal note, while my first love is scale models, as I have become older I have come to appreciate many (not all) non- prototypical versions of cars such as the Blimp/Oval scheme, dispite their inaccuracy, if for no other reason than the fact that they have certainly popularized the scheme, if not Central of Georgia railroading in general. I am thankful for their immediate-playvalue for children and us older child-adults who do not have much time to build many scale models. As new generations come of age that were not able to see the Central, these types of models will likely (and hopefully) at least continue to popularize interest in the Central of Georgia. Nonetheless, I do too wish that manufacturers would take more care in getting closer to the real thing.

-- Randy Young (, September 24, 2000.

Steve, there have been so many mistakes made with this classic C of Ga paint scheme that it boggles the mind. Lionel did a red/silver combo that is totally wrong. Several HO mfgs. have done the black/silver paint scheme on 40' cars which is also wrong. And the worst example is the HO version by a mfg who name escapes me in purple and silver!!!! This paint scheme only appeared on 50' PS-1's with a 9' door. The best model to date of this car is available from Des Plaines Hobbies. Rumor also has it that Kadee will soon be releasing this wonderful paint scheme on their new cars. Todd Horton

-- Todd Horton (, September 23, 2000.

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