LIRR Passenger Car Lettering Schemes

Except for special name trains, steam locomotives only had “ LONG ISLAND ” on their tenders. Heralds really came into use with the arrival of diesel locomotives. 

When the first diesels arrived, they only had “ LONG ISLAND ” in gold lettering, a practice most likely used as on the steamers. The first herald for diesels appeared in November 1949 when Alco RS-1 #465 wore the new Tichy herald along with the Tichy paint scheme. This was applied to passenger locomotives only. The FM C-Liners arrived in 1950 with this paint scheme already applied, as did the H16-44s upon their delivery. 

The Tichy colors were applied to passenger cars as well, with MP54 electric coach #1901 being the first to wear them. According to the December 1949 issue of the employee magazine, Long Island Railroader, these colors consisted of a bright aluminum color roof, slate gray body, and dark green underbody. “Lettering is in aluminum, and numerals are in red against an aluminum background.”   

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LIRR Passenger Paint Schemes 1900-1970 Author/Archive: Michael V. Boland

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Delux gold font lettering used for DULUX gold lettering in Penn Roman font with the Tuscan Red color scheme. Photo courtesy from Art Huneke's website
which shows the color scheme in question on an MP41 car.

While it's not an MP54 car, the color scheme was identical:  While the paint has been faded and, perhaps, the color dies as well, you can see the Penn Roman lettering and car numbers on the side were DULUX gold lettering and the car numbers stenciled in the end windows were white. This was for the Tuscan Red scheme only.  Info: Dave Keller

Dulux Gold was a DuPont color that simulated real gold for lettering. The Tuscan Red cars used that after real gold, or gilt, lettering got too costly. The letter style (or typeface, as we usually speak today), was a PRR design known today as Penn Roman - not sure what its original name was. Tichy and Goodfellow used Futura, which is a very famous design - it is the letter design chosen for the cornerstone of the new Freedom Tower at WTC.




MU-1495_Brooklyn_1956_Tichy-white-numbers- underlined-red-windows.jpg (30177 bytes)
Tichy had white numbers underlined in red in the windows, white lettering and perhaps red or gray (can't determine from this photo) numbers on the car sides. Info: Dave Keller.

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MU20 #4147 Jamaica 06/69 Goodfellow era paint scheme had white letters and red side numbers and RED car numbers stenciled in the end windows.

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MU20 #4920 Jamaica 10/1969 Goodfellow era paint scheme had white letters and red side numbers and RED car numbers stenciled in the end windows.

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MU20 #4156 Jamaica 03/1970 Goodfellow era paint scheme had white letters and red side numbers and RED car numbers stenciled in the end.


MP75_2525_NYWorldsFair.jpg (29160 bytes)
MP75 #2525 in New York World's Fair colors.
Photo/Info: Dave Keller

MP75worldsfairlogo.jpg (15640 bytes)

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Private car “Smithtown” with aluminum painted roof and Futura lettering at Morris Park Shops yard – 5/18/40 Archive: Dave Keller

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MU #1725 in experimental aluminum paint color scheme -
  Jamaica – 2/12/37  Photo: George E. Votava  Archive: D. Keller


AlColeman-private-car_American-Dream_6-86_Port-Jefferson_John Fusto.jpg (37230 bytes)
Private car  “American Dream” Owner: Al Coleman 6/1986 
Port Jefferson  Photo: John Fusto

P72 #2920 blue experimental stripe c.1963
Photo: Henry Maywald Archive: Mike Boland

By Mike Boland



GP38-2  #258 P72's train in MTA #1 scheme westbound at
Kew Gardens c.1980   Archive/Photo: Mike Boland

P72 #2938 Port Jefferson MTA #1 scheme c.1970's
Photo/Archive: Mike Boland

Parlor #2000 at Morris Park Train #206 eastbound leaving Jamaica
5/22/1981 Photo/Archive: Art Huneke

P72 #2902 Mineola MTA #2 scheme
Archive/Photo: Mike Boland

P72 2902 MTA #3 scheme   Archive/Photo: Mike Boland

Semaphore Jan-Feb 1991 Modeling LIRR Passenger Paint Schemes Under The MTA  by Mike Boland

P72 #2907 ex-bar car and sandite car at Ronkonkoma 10 /02/2006 Photo/Archive: Paul Strubeck