Southern Freight Steam Locomotive Colors : LUSENET : Southern Railway : One Thread

I'm planning on starting a small model RR and incorporating some Southern steam locomotives (2-8-0's, ect.). Many of the model RR dealers offer Southern Steam locos in the popular green color. Were freight steam locos actually that color, or were they black?

Can you recommend any good books currently available focusing on the Southern RR's steam era. I love pictures! Especially color pics where I can get more accurate data for modeling. Many Thanks.

-- John Bynum Hill (, January 05, 2001


John--no, Southern freight locos were black with a graphite smokebox and firebox and bright red on the underside of the coal bunker slope sheet to serve as a warning to approaching locos. Some may have had red tender decks however we can find no evidence that Southern locos ever had red cab roofs other than the excursion locos. I have heard/seen reports of a couple Ks 2-8-0s that were used on mixed trains or primarily on local passenger trains being painted green but have never been able to confirm it. By the way none of the passenger locos had red roofs either other than the excursion locos. Even PS4 1401 in the Smithsonian has a black or green (can't remember which) roof not red. One recent book that has a lot of color steam shots is the Southern in Color vol 2 by Alton Lanier from Morning Sun books. Most of the shots are towards the end of steam but there are quite a number of them. Ron's Books shold have a copy (see their ad in Trains).

-- Larry (, January 05, 2001.

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