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All Change Isn’t Bad

September 7, 2014

There’s a strong sentiment among railfans, especially after a certain age, that change is bad. I’m no exception.

Consider just a few of the changes from the last 25 years or so. Cabooses were eliminated. Setting foot on railroad property is now a serious crime. Merger mania led to the disappearance of so many favorite railroad identities. And so forth…

Change is a constant in the railroad business, as it is in any human endeavour. And I’m against most change. I bet you are too. But I’m in favor of some changes that have occurred.

One that comes to mind is when KCS adopted its current locomotive color scheme. Another positive change took place in May, 1959 when the Santa Fe abandoned the black & silver “zebra stripe” scheme for its switchers and road-switchers, opting for the blue & yellow “bookend” paint scheme.

Of course I didn’t have an opinion about this when it occurred. My interests back then were limited to feeding times and diaper changes.

Let’s look at ATSF’s one and only ALCO RS2 2099 before and after.

ATSF ALCO RS2 at San Bernardino in the early 1960's

ATSF RS2 working the San Bernardino, CA depot in the early 1960’s.

Santa Fe 2099 carrying out its switching chores in the Barstow bowl in 1968

You know what my opinion is between these 2 ATSF paint schemes. What’s yours?

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