Streamliner roof colours : LUSENET : ACL and SAL Railroads Historical Society : One Thread

Hi All,

I'm in the process of building a purple ACL train of HO Walthers Budd passenger cars. I know that not all of them are prototypically correct for ACL, but I like the looks of them anyway ;-)

Anyway, I just got two Slumber Coaches, and I immediately noticed that they have black roofs & frames (compared to silver ones on my 10-6 Sleepers and Diner). The baggage car (coming shortly) also has a black roof.

This seems odd. Is this black roof & frame (somewhat) correct, or did Walthers completely goof up and do I have to get the silver paint out?

Any help much appreciated!


-- Vince Wehnes (, December 29, 2001


Right you are Mr. Goolsby regarding the SS baggage cars of ACL. Thanks for catching my misinforrmation.

-- Mark Hennaman (, December 30, 2002.

I've never come across a definitive answer, but from what I have been able to gather, the black paint apparently was an easier solution to keeping a neat appearance on the roofs rather than continually cleaning off road grime and engine exhaust. (The same principle quickly led ACL to paint diesel roofs black rather than purple.) Regarding the stainless steel baggage cars, ACL had 2 of these that it bought new (well, 3 if you count #152 bought to replace the wrecked and destroyed #151). It was SAL that bought the s-s baggage car in 1965 from FEC.

-- Larry Goolsby (, December 22, 2002.

I always thought the black roofs against the stainless sides looked cool. But, what was the point? Was there a good business reason ACL went to the expense of painting the stainless roofs black?

-- Jim Coviello (, December 22, 2002.

The slumbercoaches are incorrect for ACL anyway so what difference does it make about the roof color? They are good looking models. Most ACL cars were delivered with silver roofs and trucks, however in later years, ACF delivered to the ACL some sleepers (in 1949) with factory applied black paint to roofs and trucks. The Walthers Budd Baggage car is essentially correct as it came from the FEC in 1965 to the ACL and came without purple letterboard with black roof and trucks. Regarding the purple letterboard, in early years it ran the length of the car. Later it ran only the required length of the roadname.

-- Mark Hennaman (, December 21, 2002.

I have the same problem. I too have the walthers passenger cars. I guess it is up to us and what time frame we are looking to model. Larry mentioned the cars were painted with black roofs later on. Depending, maybe you should get out your black paint instead of silver. I guess there were trains that pulled both kind of cars. The black and the silver roofs do look a little odd together but in looking at many books, many ACL trains had an assortment of passenger cars from the Pennsylvania RR to the Illinois Central. ACL didn't seem to mind nor it's passengers why should we. Happy modeling.

-- Jim Simoncelli (, January 01, 2002.

ACL Budd cars were delivered with unpainted roofs, but ACL painted them black later.

-- Larry Goolsby (, December 29, 2001.

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