Monday, May 1, 2017

New paint for antique locomotives

The Northwest Railway Museum interprets the role railroads played in the development and settlement of the Pacific Northwest, but it also provides the public with an opportunity to experience the excitement of a working railroad.  

Sister Air Force locomotive 4010,
Circa 1955.
The mainstays of the operating railroad are two 1953-built Baldwin locomotives that were formerly owned by the US Army. Their black paint scheme was oh so appropriate for their roles in the aftermath of the Six Day War, training soldiers in Virginia, provisioning bases in West Germany, or warehousing weapons at the chemical munitions depot in Oregon.  However, black is a difficult color to use in marketing the Museum.  Dark colors such as maroon are only a slight improvement.

A few years ago, the Museum initiated a branding effort and engaged Eye of Eye in Everett, WA to develop a new image. Later, a Board of Trustees-led effort developed a locomotive painting scheme in support of that image.  Earlier this year, the first locomotive entered the Conservation and Restoration Center for a general clean up, then preparation and priming to receive the new paint.  Former US Army 4024 was the first to receive the new livery; 4012 will follow later this year. 

Special thanks go out to Ronald Macdonald at Wesco for his help in matching paint samples, and to the great team at Fast Signs for their efforts in developing the paint masks for lettering the locomotive.

Cleaning and sanding.  A vacuum sanding system did wonders
for keeping dust under control.

Imron 2.8 polyester primer was used to seal the surface and
help make the locomotive's sheeting more rust resistant.

Imron 3.5 HG was used for the color coats.  Orange is a
particularly difficult color to apply so multiple coats were
required.  Numbering and chevron striping will be added later.

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