ACL Steam Locos Lettering Color : LUSENET : ACL and SAL Railroads Historical Society : One Thread

I would like to know which ACL steam locos (tenders) had white letters and which had silver (aluminum?) letters, if any. I can see from the pictures in Prince's book that the tender scheme changed, sometime between 1937 and 1940, from just the words, "ATLANTIC COAST LINE", to an ACL herald and straight horizontal line. Was there a color change at the same time? Would appreciate any help. (I have the ACL/SAL HS article about the R-1's) --Jim Smith

-- Jim Smith (, December 17, 2001


Thanks Larry and Buddy for your info. So the real question is whether the steamers before 1940 were painted with gold or white lettering. All of the manufacturers of model ACL steamers, as far as I know, have used white lettering--of course that is not any kind of definitive evidence since they use white on just about all of them. Is there any other source of info about the pre-1940 color that could be checked? Thanks for your help.

-- Jim Smith (, December 20, 2001.

Steam engines lettered "Atlantic Coast Line" could still be seen as late as @ 1942. After 1940, the numbers of engines painted in the old scheme steadily decreased as the locomotives were cycled through the shops for their extensive, federally-mandated boiler inspections and/or major repairs. Good question.

-- Buddy Hill (, December 19, 2001.

Jim, The best I've been able to tell from photos and what little painting documentation we have, other ACL steam locos besides the R-1s changed the tender lettering scheme around 1940. Before that engines had "Atlantic Coast Line" spelled out on the tender, in imitation gold I believe. After the change, they had the herald and stripe in white. The aluminum lettering color was unique to the R-1s; it was part of the special two-tone paint scheme applied to them when built in 1938 and used for about a decade thereafter. It appears from photos that when some of the R-1s were demoted to freight service after WWII, that these engines too got the regular solid black paint scheme with white lettering.

-- Larry Goolsby (, December 18, 2001.

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