Paint schemes as defined by Withers and Bowers in their book "N&W DIESELS-SECOND GENERATION" Keep in mind that when units began being repainted no exact dates can be determined except the starting dates. Some units remained in the older paint scheme for some time before being repainted whereas some were repainted right away. As always, when custom painting a model, refer to good pictures of the unit for placement of roadname, road numbers, heralds and other lettering details. Pictures also reveal minor variations in paint schemes due to being done in different repair shops. Pictures also reveal minor variations in the placement of horns, bells, lights and other appliances. FREIGHT UNIT SCHEMES: The N&W dodn't buy it's first diesels till 1955, beginning with Alco RS-3's. F-1 1955-58 ALL BLACK WITH GOTHIC GOLD LETTERING "NORFOLK & WESTERN" ON HOOD SIDES, MATCHING THAT USED ON STEAM LOCOMOTIVES. F-2 1958-63 SAME AS F-1 WITH A GOTHIC MEDALLION ADDED ON CAB SIDES AND HOOD ENDS. F-3 1963-66 ALL BLACK WITH BLOCK STYLE GOLD LETTERING "NORFOLK & WESTERN" AND HALF-MOON(HAMBURGER)HERALD ON CAB SIDES AND HOOD ENDS. F-4 1966-70 BLUE BODY WITH BLOCK STYLE GOLD LETTERING "NORFOLK & WESTERN" AND HALF-MOON(HAMBURGER)HERALD ON CAB SIDES AND HOOD ENDS. F-5 1970-71 ALL BLACK WITH SERIF GOLD "NW" ON HOOD AND HALF-MOON(HAMBURGER)HERALD ON CAB SIDES AND HOOD ENDS. F-6a 1971-81 ALL BLACK WITH BLOCK "NW" ON HOOD AND SMALLER BLOCK N&W ON HOOD ENDS. F-6b 1978-81 TUSCAN BODY WITH LETTERING AS ABOVE. USED ON SD-40-2 #6175 AND C-30-7's #8010, 8076 THRU #8080. F-7 1981-84 BLACK BODY, WHITE BAND WITH BLOCK "NORFOLK & WESTERN" ON HOOD SIDES AND SMALLER BLOCK NW ON HOOD ENDS, ROAD NUMBER ON WHITE BAND. USED ON UNITS #4104, 4107 AND 4129 ONLY. F-8 1984-?? ALL BLACK, "THOROUGHBRED" SCHEME AFTER MERGER WITH SOUTHERN. PASSENGER UNIT SCHEMES: The first passenger diesels were EMD GP-9's #762-767 purchased in 1955, These were delivered in Scheme P-1. These were repainted in Scheme P-2 aand renumbered #500-505 in 1958. P-1 1951-58 ALL BLACK WITH GOTHIC GOLD LETTERING "NORFOLK & WESTERN" ON HOOD SIDES, MATCHING THAT USED ON STEAM LOCOMOTIVES. P-2 1958-63 TUSCAN RED BODY WITH BLOCK STYLE GOLD LETTERING "NORFOLK & WESTERN" ON HOOD SIDES AND GOTHIC HERALD ON CAB SIDES AND MOUNTED ON A ROUND PLATE ON THE HOOD ENDS. KNOWN AS "REDBIRDS" BY MODELERS. P-3 1963-66 TUSCAN RED BODY WITH BLOCK STYLE GOLD LETTERING "NORFOLK & WESTERN" ON HOOD SIDES AND HALF-MOON(HAMB)HERALD ON CAB SIDES AND HOOD ENDS. P-4 1965-82 BLUE BODY WITH BLOCK STYLE GOLD LETTERING "NORFOLK & WESTERN" ON HOOD SIDES AND HALF-MOON(HAMB)HERALD ON CAB SIDES AND HOOD ENDS. SWITCHER UNIT SCHEMES: A note here, the Alco T-6 was the only switchers purchased new(1959)by the N&W. All other switchers came on the roster during mergers with other roads. S-1 1959-63 ALL BLACK WITH GOTHIC GOLD LETTERING "NORFOLK & WESTERN" ON HOOD SIDES, MATCHING THAT USED ON STEAM LOCOMOTIVES, WITH A GOTHIC MEDALLION ADDED ON CAB SIDES AND HOOD ENDS. S-2 1963-66 ALL BLACK WITH BLOCK STYLE GOLD LETTERING "NORFOLK & WESTERN" AND HALF-MOON(HAMBURGER)HERALD ON CAB SIDES AND HOOD ENDS. S-3 1966-70 BLUE BODY WITH BLOCK STYLE GOLD LETTERING "NORFOLK & WESTERN" AND HALF-MOON(HAMBURGER)HERALD ON CAB SIDES AND HOOD ENDS. S-4 1970-71 ALL BLACK WITH SERIF GOLD "NW" ON HOOD AND HALF-MOON(HAMBURGER)HERALD ON CAB SIDES AND HOOD ENDS. S-5 1971-81 ALL BLACK WITH BLOCK "NW" ON HOOD AND SMALLER BLOCK N&W ON HOOD ENDS. S-6 1981-82 ALL BLACK WITH "NORFOLK & WESTERN" IN WHITE LETTERS ON LONG HOOD. NO MEDALLIONS ON END OF HOODS. S-7 1982-?? ALL BLACK, "THOROUGHBRED" SCHEME AFTER MERGER WITH SOUTHERN All color mixes are based on PollyScale Acrylics paint numbers. All bottle sizes are 1 fluid ounce size. Capful refers to the cap on the bottle. HK=Herald King decals for reference only these are no longer available. MS=Microscale Decals C=Custom made on Alps Printer NORFOLK & WESTERN Black or BlUE Black-engine black # 414110 for new units. for faded units use #414140 Tarnished black. Blue-B&O blue #414296 for new units. for a faded look add 1/4 capful white 414113. decals-All Microscale #87-22(hood units 1950-70) #87-554(1982) NORFOLK & WESTERN Maroon units Maroon EL maroon #414242 decals-MC-4017(GP9 units)


For those who are interested in the Norfolk area, I have several neat
things to share.  The Pennsy and predecessor ( in the Delmarva and
Norfolk area ) New York, Philadelphia,& Norfolk (ol' Nippin' N) moved
freight by barge across the Chesapeake Bay to warehouses in the Norfolk
area.  In 1929 trackage rights over the Norfolk Southern Railway's
Virginia Beach route were acquired to reach a new freight house at St.
Julian Avenue.  At this location the PRR exchanged with the N&W.  New
track from Little Creek, VA through Camden Heights was built to Coleman
Place on the Virginian, where interchange took place there as well. 
Along this Virginian track the Norfolk & Portsmouth Belt Line performed
local switch duties in Norfolk and the Portsmouth area, including
Seawells Point.  This little road also interchanged with the Pennsy at
the Little Creek car float yard.

Depending on the era you model, you can have the PRR crossing the
Virginian's double main line with 2-8-8-2's pulling battleship gons; or
crossing the N&W with their big steamers pulling "black diamonds".  Both
lines carried passengers trains past the PRR's exchange points.  Modern
era would contain big 6 axal N&W or NS Corp. diesels with coal, or 4
axles with freight or intermodal traffic.

If you are interested in the Norfolk & Portsmouth Belt Line, the PRR
shared ownership of the road with the N&W, ACL, SAL, Southern, Norfolk
Southern Railway, and the C&O (info from Kurt Reisweber's VIRGINIAN
RAILS, 1995 Old Line Graphics).  The summer 1998 issue of Locomotive
Quarterly has a feature on their steam engines, up through 1954.  Several
of former Vadalia Lines engines purged by the PRR (MDC 0-6-0's can be
used for fairly close replicas with some work) and a couple of H-6 & H-9
PRR consolidations are included.  One H-6 is former #3 NYP&N.
Two or three issues ago, the PRRT&HS quarterly publication also showed
N&PBL engines--all early 1950s purchases from the PRR.  

For diesels, one can use Proto 2K sw 1200 engines, with undec or any road
using yellow grab irons if you are using the plastic ones included.  
Decals from Micro Scale MC 4068 for the EMD switcher Demo stripes, along
with decals from Historic Concepts, 104 Beaton Dr., Portsmouth, VA 23701.
 Decals are $5 and include postage, prototype photo, and history.  One
set does two locos--one as delivered (circa 1955) and one modern (1960s
until 1987).  I spent 2 years looking for these decals, and almost had
them made!!

The line used 3 PRR NDA cabooses, acquired in 1929.  They are former PRR
#'s 479809, 479810, and 479811.  479809 became N&PBL # 310 (others #311 &
312).  The #310 burned in 1947, and was rebuilt into non PRR caboose
#314.  I'm not sure what happened to them.  The new Railworks brass DL&W
caboose makes N&PBL 400 &401 with passenger trucks; 402-404 for cast
trucks.  I bought one with passenger trucks--my first new brass purchase!
 (Cigar, anyone?)

So--not only did Pennsy have an influence on the N&W, but also the N&PBL.
 Just wanted to share some PRR related history for those interested (if
not, hit delete!).

Anyone know where I can get track plans for the area circa 1954?


David W. "SSGT" York


What was the original paint colors on the 1949 Powhatan Arrow passenger
The O Scale cars being produced by Overland Models, Inc has been told that
the black roofs and trucks are incorrect. The so called N&W expert says they
should have chocolate brown roof and green trucks. I don't think this is
correct for the new 1949 cars. The color pictures I have seen looks like the
roofs and trucks were black. The N&W passenger car book by Warden & Miller
has a color picture on the last page showing these cars only one month old,
and they certainly look black to me. I believe that the rebuilt cars of 1946
were painted with the brown roofs and green trucks but later were changes to 
black, but I could be wrong.

Jim Williams

This is a subject that is hard to prove either way 50 years after the fact,
but I do believe the Powhatan Arrow cars were delivered in 1949 with brown
roofs and Pullman green trucks.  The Kalmbach Pullman paint book lists
these colors for N&W.  The Vanishing Vistas series of color "postcards" has
several scenes of the Arrow using N&W official company photos. These were
really large format transparancies made when the train was brand spanking
new. The roofs looked  to be brown.  I also have a photo of the Arrow I
bought from Bob's Photos and the roofs look dark brown.  This picture was
shot in morning sun in Cincinnati.  I have studied photos in Trains
magazine from 1950 when a feature was done on the new train, and the
lettering and striping appears to be gold leaf outlined in 1/8 or 1/4
inch black.  This detailing really showed up in the Powhatan logo on the car

I would guess, however, that in service behind steam power, and after a few 
trips through tunnels, the roofs and trucks would have looked grimy black. 
Remember also that car washers only contact the car sides and the edge of 
the roof . I have painted several N&W HO models over the years, and I have 
used  black for the roofs and trucks because that is the way I remember the 
cars in service.  When I repainted my Powhatan Arrow (Sunset Models) I 
used  weathered black for the roofs.  I also prefer dulux lettering.  The 
lettering shows up better, and I have found the imitation gold used in some 
decals fades out eventually.  I do not remember gold leaf lettering from my 
personal observations in the late 1950's and 1960's.  The N&W business car 
fleet did use it, with black outlining, prior to the NS merger in 1982.

Rick Morrison

How many different people have to tell you that the "so called N&W expert" 
is correct before you will believe it?  These cars originally had brown 
roofs and green trucks just as you were told.  This was later changed to 
black roofs, underframes and trucks.

Chris Toth

As an aside to the above:

  The N&W streamlined/lightweight trains were originally painted as follows:

		Sides, Ends and Skirts-"Tuscan Red"
		Roof-"Dark Brown"
		Trucks-"Pullman Green"
		Lettering/Striping-Gold leaf

  Around the early 50's the lettering/striping was changed to imitation
gold.  The roofs when repainted in the 50's changed to Black as were the
  The Heavyweights were painted the same but did not carry train name logos
or striping.

hosam (S.A. McCall)

In the '31 Cyc., there was a steel coach shown, with the roadname, with ampersand,
in a squarish extended Roman, centered in the letter board. The car number was
centered below the windows. I think there was a thin stripe along the bottom of 
the car and also under the windows. (The stripes might be an optical illusion.) 

As the N&W was under PRR control during the steam-era, I imagine they used the 
Pennsy tuscan red scheme. However, I do know that in 1941, according to the 
Nov. 1, '41 RA, they bought 15 streamlined cars for the Pocohontas and Cavilier,
which were painted "bright tuscan red" with gold line striping. In the Walthers
1942 decal catalog, the cars were said to be painted tuscan red with aluminum  
window sash, with Pullman green trucks (?), dark brown roof, and underframe,
and gold lettering. 

For what it's worth, in the Nov. '79 RMC "Ready Track", they announced that AHM
was offering their smooth-side cars in the "traditional" N&W colors. 
(I don't know what era that would mean.) The roof was described as brown with a 
deep wine red side and gold lettering. The model showed the roadname, with "And",
in an extended Roman centered on the letter board, with the Powhatan Arrow ornate
script logo under the windows. 



Consist of No. 45 from Roanoke 03/21/45- Eng unknown
SOU 1701  Grand Junction Baggage-Mail
SOU 1750  Decatur        Storage mail
SOU  705  Bedford        Baggage-Dorm-Coach
N&W 1705                 Coach
N&W 1704                 Coach
SOU  905  Morristown     Coach
SOU 3304  Alexandria     Diner
SOU  806  Huntsville     Coach
SOU  813  Lynchburg      Coach
SOU 1150  Washington     Tavern-Observation
Villa Nova               Sleeper (NW 10)
Brentwood                Sleeper (S66)
                     --12 Cars--
The letters and numbers in parenthesis are the
line numbers.  Consist of No. 45 from "Passenger
Train Consists of the 1940's".

Harry Bundy


Per the October 1964 N&W Locomotive Equipment Book from the Office of the
General Manager Motive Power and Equipment, Roanoke, VA

           Road #                    Horn(s) Type

N&W        500-521:                  Leslie S-5-TR
N&W        620-914:                  Leslie S-5-TR
                                     or Nathan P-135-R-24
ex-NKP    2448-2534 & 2800-2814:     Leslie S-2-M, S-25
ex-Wab    3484-3495                  Nathan M-3 -R1

Ed Painter Jr


>To "properly" paint the N&W blue - what suggestions do the rest of you 
>have for choice of paint?
>I prefer to use either scalecoat II, or Testors Enamels
>I don't really care much for floquil paint (fumes)

I have been using Scalecoat II B&O Royal Blue recently.  I have used about

>>I was looking at George Elwood's site, and can't determine if the 
>>Hamburger lettered units are BLUE or BLACK.
>(I was told by another that they were Blue)

They are both.  Weathered it is often VERY difficult to tell, and the blue
is not that dark.  Normally on a blue unit you can see a patch of color
somewhere to be sure.  Here is a general guideline:

High nose GP30's, GP35's were delivered in black script Scheme.
The first order of C628's were delivered in black hamburger scheme, 
The second order was delivered in blue hamburger scheme.  
All C-630's were  delivered in blue hamburger scheme.  The C425's
were inherited from the Wabash and were painted in blue hamburger scheme.
The SD35's were delivered in black hamburger scheme.  

High nose GP40's, SD40's 1580-1609, all SD45's, U28B's, phase I U30B's were
delivered in BLUE hamburger.

Most of the fleet inherited from NKP and Wabash was repainted to blue

Older units such as the GP9's and RS11's were delivered in black script
herald, and it seems most of them had the hamburger heralds applied without
being repainted.  It's unusual to see one of these in blue, but they did

Anything post-1971 of course never saw blue.

There were no phase II U30B's in blue.  Just before switching to the 13D
black, N&W ordered a batch of U30B's and switched back to black hamburger.

The optical illusion caused by the yellow lettering and heralds is
astonishing. I've told this story before but it's worth repeating: I took a
pair of Kato GP35's and high nosed them.  I painted them both and lettered
only one side - one in yellow hamburger heralds and the other in 13d NW
white logos.  I showed both locos to a number of people, many of whom were
not railfans or modelers.  Every single person said the base color of the
two locos was not the same, that the hamburger unit "looked blue".  Then I
would turn the locos around to the unlettered side, and you couldn't tell
them apart.  Both painted with Scalecoat II black.

Add to that the various effects added by transparency films- the bluish
look of Ektachromes, the sometimes Magenta cast of Kodachrome, and the
oxidation of the black paint... I've got slides of GP30's that I swear are
purple.  I've even considered using Floquil "weathered black" to get this

The actual blue used by N&W is very dark but has a metallic element.  Under
low lighting it appears nearly black, but in full sun it has almost a faded
blue-jean look to it.  I've always seen NW blue lighter than most, so I
tend to use a lighter shade and weather it down.  I also believe N&W wound
up using several variations over the years.  Tom Dressler painted a number
of his locos using actual N&W blue from the Portsmouth shops... they looked
dead black on the shelves in his basement, but I'd imagine with the sun
shining on them they'd look right.  

I did an SD45 a few years back, using B&O Royal Blue (Scalecoat II).  I
weathered it quite a bit, to get the right look.  It looks fairly dark
under flourescent or other indoor lighting, which is what I was going for.
It looks pretty decent under full sun, showing obvious blue... but when
photographed in full sun, or with a flash, it almost GLOWS blue.   Very
weird.  I could show you several different photos of it and you'd swear
they were not the same loco, or that there were different levels of
weathering applied.

>Also - what is the proper horn, and nose bell to use for these units?
>DA or DW pn# would be helpful.

The DW bell (sorry don't know the number) is proportioned decently, but a
bit crude and solid on top.  The Overland part is better looking (brass)
but grossly oversized and the bell is the wrong shape.  Atlas' part looks
ok, something of a clone of the DW part - but the bell is only half-round
and it's really not that hot.  Somebody needs to do this part up right, but
I doubt if it's really high on anyone's list.  I have used mostly the DW
bell over the years... I stick with it just for consistency.

Andy Harman


How many units wore the experimental scheme consisting of the big white band
encircling the center of the engine? Wasn't it just a couple of GP-38's?
Also, was this band  a true white?  Thanks!!  


The N&W painted three GP38AC units, nos. 4104, 4107 and 4129, in the
experimental "skunk" paint scheme.  It was a true white paint, not gray or
"imitation aluminum" as used on the southern diesels.

Chris Toth


From: Ronald Herfurth

I wound up with some N&W painting drawings which have the following dates:

The drawing that shows the blue scheme with hamburger is dated 1-26-66. It
shows hamburgers on the side of the cab and both ends.
(btw it's called "blue acrylic enamel  N&W color no. 23" )

The drawing that shows the black scheme with the large N & W is dated
8-19-70. Hamburgers are only shown on the sides of the cabs, none are shown
on the ends.

The drawing that shows the black scheme with the large NW (the "Now What" or
"No Where" scheme) is dated Sept 17, 1971.

(So that means that the best N&W paint scheme only lasted 13 months but it's
well represented on my layout)

All the drawings are for Alcos, the dates for EMDs may be different.

The black half-moon herald was adopted in 1963, and then replaced by the blue
in 1966.  In 1970, an order of U30Bs were delivered in the black half-moon
herald.  The rare black scheme with gold "N&W" was used in 1970, only to be
replaced by the large "NW" in 1971.  The white "NORFOLK AND WESTERN" was
applied in 1981 until the merger.  Three GP38ACs were given the unique skunk
scheme in 1981.  To figure out which engines were delivered in which scheme,
just find a roster that includes built dates.  Most of the N&W and NS diesel
books will work, as will even a generic diesel guide.

Marty Flick

I have the correct duPont number in a file here and will look it up after


DuPont Imitation Deluxe Gold Enamel # 95-056.

I am sure you can have it cross-referenced at one of the local paint stores.
Locally, the Martin-Senoiur shop is very helpful in matching said mixes.

Tom "N&W" Dressler


According to my sources:   6 new SD-45s  @ 3600 hp 
                           3 in the lead 1737, 1740, 1726
                           300 coal cars
                           3 helpers 1738, 1761, 1759 
                           200 coal cars
                           caboose 518263
                           Nov 15, 1967
                           total length 21,424 feet 9 inches
                           total coal load 48,584 tons
Copied from a newsgroup message by Bob Loehne Aug 13, 1996; he cites
"Norfolk Southern World" 11/87, "Railway Age" 11/67, "NRHS News" 11/89, and
private conversation with Clyde Tayler, retired NW/NS General Foreman

[Moderators comments also from 1996 message:]
Thanks Gerhard for the answer. And credits and references too!! Wow!!

You also confirmed my other recollection, that it was a LOADED coal train
too.  Which begs the question, if you are trying to break the record for the
world's longest train, why burden yourself with 48,584 tons of coal too? Do
loaded hopper cars ride that much better? It seems to me that any
improvement you would achieve in ride would be offset by the increased
pulling forces through the train.


S.A. McCall