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Edition #138, November 15, 2010

Dip Job

Photographer: George W. Hamlin

                                                                                 Photo by George W. Hamlin

Dip Job

When railroads made the change from steam to diesel many of them adopted colorful paint schemes to show off their new equipment.  This was particularly true with respect to passenger units, especially when they were combined with new streamlined cars.

By the 1960s however, most railroads faced difficult economic times with passenger trains often being a good part of the problem.  Accordingly, many roads looked for ways to save money on non-essentials and fancy liveries on passenger diesels were an obvious place to start.

Thus when repainting was required, a coat of solid blue was applied to the L&N E-6 shown here at Cincinnati Union Terminal in April 1965.  Apparently even more money was saved by not stripping off the original paint.  Fans began to refer to this sort of repaint as a “dip job” as in a model locomotive shell dunked into a container of blue paint, and you have an idea of the procedure, although it’s likely that number 756 was in fact sprayed.  Think of this one as a dip job gone bad; it appears that as much thinner as paint was applied over the 756's earlier livery.

Evidence of a cure in this case is to the left.  While not returning to the stylish (and complex) blue and cream “wings” scheme, the Old Reliable did adopt a gray/yellow nose scheme for its remaining passenger units which was both reasonably dignified and held up better than the blue wash effort shown here.

George W. Hamlin

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