Colour of GE 44ton locos in 1948. : LUSENET : Southern Railway : One Thread

Does anyone have the colour scheme and diagram for one of SR's GE 44 ton diesels ion the year 1948. I have a Bachmann Ho model that i wish to detail as a SR version. What colour would the logo have been on this engine. My model is an undecorated one so I'm starting from scratch and don't have any idea what they would have loked like. Thank you

-- Ian Venables (, July 26, 2001


Microscale decal kit for "early southern railway deseils" has instructions for painting and includes the decals for your 44 tonner.

-- Evan Whatley (, July 31, 2001.

I have two photographs of a Southern Railway GE 44-ton locomotive that shows the early paint scheme. One is a b/w 8x10 photo by J. M. Gruber that was taken of #6840 at Laurel MS in June 1950. The second is a color photo (made from a slide) of #1953 at Huntsville AL in June 1949. Both are adaptations of the typical early Southern black / white paint scheme. The overall color is black. There are two narrow white stripes extending the length of the sides and continuing around the end. One is at the top of the frame; the second is high on the body running just underneath the headlight. The lower end (frame only) is zebra striped, with the diagonals running from the center top down and out to the sides.

The lettering has the engine number on the cab and on the headlight visor in railroad gothic (I think.) The SOUTHERN is on the left side in small (6-8"?) capital letters. The herald in on the right side... lettering is "The Southern Serves the South."

-- Tom Warne (, September 14, 2001.

Ooops... left out some "extras."

Since you're detailing the Bachmann model. The photos show the bell mounted atop the center cab. They also have a large canvas awning added.

The 44-tonners appeared to have been assigned widely. Notes I have with the photos indicate Decatur AL and Dalton GA as two locations. #1951 was photographed at Atlanta in 1975 (in the later black with wide white stripe scheme) and Birmingham in a 1976 photo. #1953 was assigned to Hayne in 1945; it went to Huntsville in 1946 and was located at Dalton from 1951-1958.

-- Tom Warne (, September 14, 2001.

I have seen pictures of Southern's green and gold 44 tonners. I found them on a web site somewhere. And the color is GREEN, not black.

-- Evan Whatley (, November 11, 2001.

Mr. Whatley--the green paint scheme was not introduced on freight and switch diesels until the spring of 1949 so what you say is impossible. All switchers, including RS2s, were deliverd in a black paint scheme with white stripes and lettering. I have one B&W and one color photo of 44 tonners in that paint scheme but have not hava a chance to add them to this site but I will send you copies in a separate email. For decals in the black and white scheme, Walthers has a set that I have used. I'll try to find the number--Larry Puckett

-- Larry Puckett (, November 11, 2001.

I realize I may be wrong, but please consiter this. I believe the reason for the black or green question can be answered by this: The 44 tonners where delivered in the black scheme with the one silver stripe and a large silver herald. The dead give away is that the SOUTHERN lettering on the side is of the style used on the steam locomotives. (Like the 44 tonners depicted in the photos) Because these are small industrial locomotives I can only imagine that the crews of the places they worked modified them to suit their needs (including painting?). The F7 units where the first locomotives to sport the green paint. Some 44 tonners probably received this paint, if not all (like the decal sets show). By the reintroduction of the black paint scheme the 44 tonner life on the southern where probably over. Perhaps some where painted in the new black paint (like Bachmann's 44 tonner), however I would guess that the 44 tonners would keep their green coat till they where sold off. Thats my 10 cents worth, thanks.

-- Evan Whatley (, January 07, 2002.

Evan--you need to get a copy of the Withers book "Diesels of the Southern Railway 1939-1982". FIrst, I'm glad you havve finally admitted to yourself that the 44 tonners were delivered in the black scheme--ALL Southern switchers from the first SW1s delivered in 1940 up to the second order of ALCO RS2s (2119-2126)in September 1949 were delived in that scheme. Beginning in late 1949 the change was made to the green scheme for ALL Southern freight and passenger locos. Now as to whether the 44 tonners were ever painted in the post 1958 black scheme, you are incorrect again. Almost all of them were on the roster well into the 1960s and 1970s and they all were repainted into that paint scheme. There are plently of photos in the Withers book-- Larry Puckett

-- Larry Puckett (, January 07, 2002.

Evan--First, these locos were purchased for use in yards and on very light trackage and that's why they stayed in use so long. Because of their low weight (44 tons) they were exempt from Federal regulations requiring a fireman on locos of 90 tons or more so this reduced the operating cost. Second, crews were not allowed to paint their engines. In the early steam days engineers were allowed to put candlesticks, antlers, etc., on locos regularly assigned to them but even then they didn't paint them. Just think what that much paint would have cost a man--Larry Puckett

-- Larry Puckett (, January 07, 2002.

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