SAL Station Colors : LUSENET : ACL and SAL Railroads Historical Society : One Thread

I would like to know what standard colors were used on the SEABOARD AIR LINE wooden stations. What was the basic building color and the trim color around the doors, windows, facia and facings? Thanks for any infomation.

Larry Platt

-- Larry Platt (, March 14, 1998


This past summer I was able to locate an old SAL structure still painted in the brown and tan(buff?) scheme, albeit somewhat weathered. I managed to collect paint scrapings of not only the brown and tan (buff?), but also the underlying gray and green paint. The samples were given to the society to be analyzed so a formula could be determined for each color. Hope to share the data as soon as it comes in.

-- Buddy Hill (, February 12, 2000.

As I recall the colors of the SAL depots were the tan/beige with a medium brown on the trim. Believe SAL changed to the white with green trim sometime in the 50's. I was rather young back then so not sure of a year. There is a SAL depot now being used as a library or town hall at Clarkton, NC, which has been moved away from the rail about a block. Assume it is still there as I have not been there for several years. Only the passenger portion was moved and the freight portion was torn down although believe the platform is still there.

-- david w rogers (, February 11, 2000.

The following answer is provided by Buddy Hill, who currently does not have e mail access (but hopes to again soon).

The earliest color scheme on record for SAL wood depots was gray with green trim. The exact shades of gray and green specified are unknown. This information was obtained from a late-80s issue of Railroad Model Craftsman which contained drawings for an SAL standard No. 4 depot. As I recall the Julian Cavalier drawings appeared in a section of the magazine entitled "N Scale Niche." Mr. Cavalier stated that his drawing was based on SAL blueprints dating to 1938 or 1939, and that the blueprints specified the depot was to be painted gray with green trim. The date of the switch from gray/green to the later paint scheme is not currently known, but based on the above information, it very likely occurred sometime during the 1940s.

Warren Calloway's reply states the main color used in the later scheme was tan/beige. However, based on color photos of the exterior and interior of the ex-SAL depot at Meggetts, SC, the exterior color appeared to be more of a depot buff (light yellow). The tan/beige color mentioned by Warren may be due to the bleaching and chalking of the paint with exposure to the elements. The brown trim paint (it appears to be a medium brown) was applied to the facia boards, window trim, corner trim, and warehouse doors and trim. The same buff/brown colors were used on the interior. The portion of the wall below and including the chair rail, floor, door, window, and ticket windows, and miscellaneous trim work, was painted brown.

If someone could obtain actual samples in question from a structure still standing, this would help the Society establish the true colors. We ideally need a small section of wood rather than scrapings, if possible.

Incidentally, SAL structure aficioanados will be pleased to know the Society is actively working with American Model Builders to produce a kit for SAL's standard wood combination depot. The model should be released sometime in 1999. The Society was fortunate to have come into possession of blueprints for a short version (one freight door per side) of the SAL's standard wood depot, but we still need members' help with some key dimensions for the larger version (two freight doors per side).

The dimensions needed are overall length of the freight room, measured from the bay window to the end of the freight section; the distance between the two freight doors; and distance from the 2nd freight door to the end of the building. An example fo the larger version of this depot can be found in Estill, SC.

Please send any dimensional data to Buddy Hill, 245 Congaree Rd., Apt. 213, Greenville, SC 29607. Your help would be greatly appreciated and will surely speed up delivery of this much-needed model.

-- Larry Goolsby (, April 07, 1998.

Old colors were tan/beige with brown trim. Late 1950s to merger, white with dark green trim.

-- Warren Calloway (, March 15, 1998.

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