The Alphabet Route

                    

Western Maryland Railway


Prototype Painting Information


The WM did not repaint all equipment at once.
Rather, it was painted when shopped for repairs.
Therefore, it was common to see multiple paint schemes, even on the same class of equipment.
In addition, not all units of a given class were given any specific scheme (especially with diesels).
So, in the year or two following a scheme change, both schemes were very common.
New equipment was always painted in the current scheme.

Steam Locomotives

Early Passenger pre-1940
Late Passenger adopted in 1940
Early Freight WM dates unknown -- pre-1933
          Early Freight Number and Name dates unknown -- pre-1933
          Early Freight Circle WM dates unknown -- pre-1933
Late Freight adopted around 1933 to 1940
          Fireball (Late) Freight adopted in 1940 (first on Challengers)
          J-1 Lettering & Painting Memo from Baldwin


Diesel Locomotives

Fireball 1941-April 1954
Speed Lettering April 1954 - June 1969
Circus June 1969 - 1973
Stencilling Diagrams for all paint schemes

Passenger Equipment

Passenger Equipment was painted Pullman Green with gold lettering.
Stencilling Diagrams for all paint schemes

Note: The following is from the "best recollection" of people.  It is NOT from an official document or photo.  However, this is one of the most asked questions, so I am including the information here.  It is simply the "best information currently available".  WM coaches had blue seat covers with white head protectors.  The car walls and window shades were light gray.  They had a cream colored ceiling. 

Freight Equipment

Stencilling Diagrams for all paint schemes
Around 1903 freight cars had white circle with "W.M." on left.  Car number in white circle was on the right.

Pre-1906 freight cars had "Western Maryland" with a large number under it on left.  Interlaced WM herald ("Circle WM" from steam locomotives above) on right hand side.
1906-1912 freight cars had Interlaced WM herald removed from 1906 scheme.
Around 1912 freight cars had "Western Maryland" with "W.M." and a small number under it.  Boxcars and gondolas painted "box car red" and open hoppers were painted black.
Around 1920 freight cars had the "Western Maryland" removed.  50500-50649 series gondolas were an exception.
Around 1934 freight cars had a round herald with "Western Maryland" added.
In 1937 freight cars had "fast freight line" added to the center of the round herald.
Early 1940's open hoppers were changed from black to box car red.
About 1943 freight cars had the periods removed from WM reporting marks.
April 1952 box car 29140 experimentally painted with large herald and color fireball.
March 3, 1952 "speed lettering" scheme introduced.  Hopper car 16274 was first painted with 5 stripes.  All cars were box car red with white lettering except covered hoppers and open hoppers 85001-85200 and 63700-63899 (limestone cars) which were grey with black lettering.
December 1952 to March 1953 Hopper cars 13401-14400 built with speed lettering and 4 stripes.
July 1953 freight car reporting marks changed to sans serif style "block lettering".

Cabooses

Stencilling Diagrams
for all paint schemes

ITEM 1936 wood 1936 Steel about 1945 1957 1969 (circus)
Body bright red bright red bright red freight car red
bright red/white
Grabirons black black signal yellow signal yellow signal yellow
Trucks black black black freight car red black
Underframe black black black freight car red black
Lettering white white white white white/black
Smokestack unknown unknown black freight car red black
End platform black black black freight car red bright red
Roof brown bright red black freight car red bright red
Steps unknown black black freight car red bright red
Front edge of step treads unknown black signal yellow signal yellow signal yellow
                           


Bulidings

Most WM buildings were painted medium grey with crimson red trim.  There were exceptions to this.
One notable exception was that brick buildings were not painted.  The exact colors also differed by era.
An example of this paint scheme (the Spring Grove, PA, freight station can be found here (photo by
Ivan Frantz, Jr.)

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Last modified: March 11 2013.

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