BALTIMORE & OHIO RAILROAD COMPANY
BALTIMORE, MD

Connects with
175 Miles from to , AL.

B & O ALL TIME DIESEL ROSTER

MODELING DETAILS-BALTIMORE & OHIO
PASSENGER CAR PAINT SCHEMES

A heavyweight diner was shown in the '31 Cyc. with the roadname, with "And", in an extended Roman, was centered in the letter board, with the car number centered over each truck bolster, below the belt rail.

During the 1890's, the B&O painted their train, Royal Blue, the color known as (guess what?) royal blue. This color disappeared sometime by 1918 (perhaps under the USRA control). Otto Kuhler reintroduced the color into the new cars he was designed for the new streamlined Royal Blue, but this was a darker shade, known as "bando blue". The train went into service in June '35.

There was a contest announced in the July '36 (R)MC on building a model of the train, with a cash prize offered by the magazine and B&O (thus the information is "official". The cars were described as dark blue all over, including trucks and underbody details, with a "light battleship gray" roof and gold lettering. The photo showed a gold strip along the top and bottom of the windows, and another one along the roof.

Jim Mischke said these lightweight sets proved unsatisfactory, and sloughed off on then-subsidiary Alton in '36. According to Arthur Dubin (Pullman Paint & Lettering Notebook), the curves were too sharp on the B&O's mountainous sections.

I believe that Kuhler redesigned the color scheme for heavyweights to be added to the Royal Blue, which included a gray window band. Dubin said the blue and gray scheme honored the many Civil War battles fought in B&O territory - after all, it had been the same railroad company back then. Also Gone With The Wind had rekindled a frenzy of interest in the War Between The States, particularly with a more sympathic Confederate viewpoint, so I guess the gray became more "politically correct". The heavyweights so painted were just a handful of head-end cars assigned to special trains, while the rest of the heavyweight fleet remained green.

Dubin included the Pullman notes on the scheme. The gray window band was 40 inches high. The 3/4 inch imitation gold pinstripe was four inches below the border between gray and blue and 2-1/2 inches above the border. The roof was gray for 15 inches above the eave, but black on top. (None of the photos in the B&O Color Guide show anything other than all black roofs, although the earliest photo was '55.) There was a "semi-oval" end to the window band in the first and last car of the train. "The Capitol Limited" was in five inch high gold leaf Roman lettering.

According to the "Color Chart" in the Aug. '46 MR, their conventional equipment was Pullman green on the coach body, trucks, steps, water pressure tank, and the front of the battery and equipment boxes. The roof, ventilators and underframe was black.

The streamlined equipment in '46 was blue on the top and bottom of the body, while the window band was gray. The roof, ventilators, underframe, trucks, and steps were black. The hand-holds were stainless steel. The lettering and striping were gold.

However, the officials were bothered by the occasional mix of blue and green. In Feb. '47, they decreed all B&O equipment would be blue and gray. It took awhile for them to get around to this.

Iain Gardener pointed out that actually the decision was to either use the blue and gray scheme OR all-over blue. Suggestions have been made that it was decided that non-air-conditioned cars would be all-over blue and air conditioned cars blue and gray, however Gardener has seen photographic evidence that suggests that many heavyweight cars fitted with air conditioning, thermoplane windows, etc. during the late 1940s WERE painted all-over blue. Basically there does seem to be some confusion over this issue, and repainting took some time, a report he has seen dated Dec. 1, '49 suggests that over two-thirds of the fleet were in blue or green, with a minority painted blue/gray, and even then only a bare majority of Pullman sleeper's were blue/gray. Photographic evidence suggests that other then the streamstyled/streamlined cars blue/gray was a distinct minority until the early 1950's, with green finally disappearing about 1951. All-over blue cars seem to have lasted considerably longer, until the late 1950's at least.

According to Andy Sperandeo (Oct. '87 MR), the B&O's Ambassador in 1953 was a mix of heavyweight and streamlined cars, all painted in the blue and gray scheme.
Author unknown

S.A. McCall