Santa Fe color schemes (you know, trains...)

Ok, why did the old Santa Fe railroad have two color schemes simultaneously? There was the red, yellow and silver “warbonnet”, and then the blue and yellow.

Now, I only saw the blue and yellow on freights, but the red & yellows seemed to go both ways (passenger & freight).

Finally, what gives with this awful brown & orange since the merger with Burlington Northern? Those are “sleeping bag from the '70s” colors, not railroad locomotive hues!


Apparently the Santa Fe RR has been less than consistent with their color schemes over the years. I went to this site and saw pictures of dozens of different schemes.

The Burlington Northern colors are typical southwestern colors reflective of the desert at sunset and several Navajo and Hopi motifs.

Railroads have always changed their paint schemes from time to time. When they do so, they don’t go right out and repaint every engine immediately. They repaint when the engines need repainting. Same thing when railroads merge or are bought out. It’s quite common to see motive power with paint scemes that were changed years ago, because they haven’t needed repainting yet. Here in Michigan, you still see plenty of Chessie System engines, although I think they merged into CSX years ago.

–It was recently discovered that research causes cancer in rats.

Right, but these two schemes existed concurrently for many, many years, and there were new engines with one, and other new engines with the other.

This isn’t a case like United Airlines, where they change their scheme and slowly convert the entire fleet over.