SAL Passenger Cars - Interior Colors : LUSENET : ACL and SAL Railroads Historical Society : One Thread

What were the "typical" colors for Seaboard heavyweight passenger car interiors during the 50's - especially heavyweight diners and the modernized coaches. I'm not looking for the ultimate in detail - just trying to get colors that look "right"...


-- Paul Bizier (, July 07, 2001


Well, by the time I was riding the cars in the early 1960's, they appeared to be starting to fade-so I wouldn't be surprised if the cars in the early 1960's had the same paint as the late 1950's-or for that matter, the early 1950's. By this time, I do not think that the heavyweights were much of a priority in terms of repainting interiors. The cars were clean-very clean compared to several other roads, but the paint was starting to fade and any repainting was probably limited to touch up.

I am looking at a Paul Coe photograph of the interior of combine 277 taken in 1969. The walls,ceiling, baggage racks, etc. are the beige tinted orange referred to by Buck Dean. The seats are a blue-green- badly faded by the sun-you can see the outline where the headrest covers were. The floor is an alternating pattern of dark and light square linoleum tiles. Armrests and seat bases are tan. Very neat-but one jarring note-the car number was written on the partition in black magic marker.

-- Michael W. Savchak (Savchak, July 10, 2001.


Good question - I'm not sure, but would guess there probably wasn't much change from the 1950s to the 1960s for heavyweight cars at least. We need to hear from someone who rode the trains back then and can remember.

-- Larry Goolsby (, July 10, 2001.


I know about the reprint - the only question I have is whether 1966 color schemes would be valid for an early 1950's modeling period... Warren's research has showed significant changes in exterior painting practices over periods as short as five-ten years. Did interior color changes occur over as short a time period?


-- Paul Bizier (, July 10, 2001.

The Society sells a reprint, "SAL standard color schemes for passenger car interiors," 1966, that describes all passenger car interior colors. We don't have any paint chips but the descriptions should be helpful. It's $10 plus shipping from our catalog.

-- Larry Goolsby (, July 10, 2001.

We used to call this Mens Room Toilet Partition tan (or green). It's actually a Ditzler color (a Detroit company who made many oil based enamels for industrial uses). Not knowing how you are going to try and match the color or what paint supplier is your favorite, the color is a definite beige - but with more of a "yellow" base than the normal "pink" one.

In the past I have used Floquil Santa Fe depot "buff" with a drop or two of reefer orange. It's more or less "tint" to taste.


-- Buck Dean (, July 10, 2001.

From my memory, the interiors were mostly beige, except some cars were painted a light green, especially the coach-grill cars on the Palmland(1964).

-- Michael W. Savchak (Savchak, July 09, 2001.

Paul I have no positive answer for your question, however, if you can find a copy of "The Official Pullman Standard Library - Selected Heavyweight Cars" there are interior builders photos of SAL heavyweight interiors. There is diner interiors and one Combine car. It appears to me that the colors are medium pastels with highlighted trim. I would guess that the colors were beise(tan)or greens or maybe mixed colors. When the light weights came onto the scene they were light pastels. I would assume the RR would have painted all there cars to match the lighter pastels to have a more modern look. Lots of words to tell you I don't reaaly know nut that is my guess. Ron Dettmer

-- Ron Dettmer (, July 09, 2001.

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