Milwaukee Road liveries

Discussion relating to The Chicago & North Western, the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific, the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul & Pacific Railroad (Milwaukee Road), including mergers, acquisitions, and abandonments.

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Milwaukee Road liveries

Post by USRailFan » Sat Jun 14, 2008 5:57 am

A friend of mine wants to know in what way (if any) the livery used on Milwaukee Road's SD40-2s, F40Cs, GP38-2s etc is related to the 1947 "Hiawatha" livery - is it simply a simplification of this, or a completely new livery? If so, when was it introduced?

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Re: Milwaukee Road liveries

Post by USRailFan » Wed Jun 25, 2008 1:57 am

I would like to thank everyone who has contributed to this thread for their magnificent help in sorting out my friends' question. It was sure appreciated, and I will definately recommend this forum to anyone else who have questions about US Railroading!

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Re: Milwaukee Road liveries

Post by Komachi » Wed Jun 25, 2008 7:09 pm

I hate to say it, there aren't too many MILW fans on these boards.

Me? The Milwaukee Road came through my hometown, but abandoned the line two months before I was born, so I never saw trains run through here. And even then, all we had were MUed lashups of SW-1s (the trestles on the line had weight restrictions and the SWs were the only locomotives that could operate on the line).

As for the question of the paint scheme, as far as I know, it was inspired by the Hiawatha scheme and was intended as an homage, or tribute to it, but not a direct copy of any of the Hiawatha schemes. The locomotives were painted as they would normally be, except with the Hiawatha logo on the nose.

I've been meaning to research this further for you, but life has had other plans lately.

- The mysterious "K": Die-hard Milwaukee Road Man.

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Re: Milwaukee Road liveries

Post by westr » Sun Jun 29, 2008 6:06 pm

I just came across this thread, not sure how I missed it before, but better late than never. Milwaukee's common orange & black derived from the Hiawatha passenger scheme, without the maroon band down the middle. They abandoned the Hiawatha scheme for passenger service when they took over the eastern end of UPs Cities trains and adopted UPs colors for passenger service, but of course the freight engines stayed orange & black. As part of Milwaukee's final attempt to reinvent itself in the 1980s, they began applying the classic Hiawatha emblem to the nose of the orange & black freight scheme, on relatively new road diesels like SD40-2s and GP40s. There was also a small "lightning-stripe" style zig-zag between the orange and the black just behind the cab; this was also a nod to Milwaukee's early passenger diesels, which had a similar feature. As far as I know (I could be wrong) the F40Cs for Chicago commuter service, with their corrugated bare-metal sides, were delivered in a unique blue & white scheme with traditional Milwaukee heralds, and stayed that way until painted for Metra. The 5 FP45s were well worn by the 1980s, and I don't think any of them were painted in the new Hiawatha scheme before being scrapped.

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Re: Milwaukee Road liveries

Post by Mitch » Fri Sep 05, 2008 9:43 pm

It was yours truly that first developed that color scheme. It was late 1980 when VP Marketing, Mr. Harrington asked me to work up some designs. At the time I was a conductor on the Wisconsin division and the ad-hoc house artist. I had a grey carbody with orange stripe version, a similar orange carbody with maroon stripe version, and anothe rone I just can't remember. I placed the Hiawatha insignia on the ose as we were going to resurect it for use on the "Sprint" trains. I had a lightning stripe placed behind the cab. The scheme I devised never was adopted. I left the Milwaukee during the big buyout of '82 so I didn't work on the project any further. the scheme in a much edited black and orange version appeared and I got credit, somewhere, for it along with the 2 trainmasters that carried the project to fruition.

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Re: Milwaukee Road liveries

Post by Tadman » Mon Oct 27, 2008 2:55 pm

A little history of paint schemes should be in order. These are generalizations, experts are welcome to step in at any time and correct me.

1. GM was the diesel pioneer, but also the industrial design and styling pioneer. Harley Earl started their 'arts & colors' department, which was famous for designing good looking cars and matching appropriate colors. As part of their sales pitch for EMD locomotives, GM usually designed a very attractive and typically complex paint scheme. Think RI Rocket, ATSF warbonnet, IC Panama, Pere Marquette E7's...

2. The railroads began to loose money on passenger trains. As a result, they simplified their passenger schemes to save money on repaints. The most broke of the routes - think RI - simplified the most. However, even relatively prosperous lines like SP, IC, and C&O simplified a lot. Only ATSF and other outright pro-passenger roads like SOU and DRGW left their passenger schemes alone.

3. MILW being the cash strapped route it was, it's no surprise that they went from a complex scheme to simple black and orange to save money. Although I have to say two things about the black/orange: It always looked quite nice, much better than RI's jalopies in mineral red. And, the hiawatha logo in 1980 was fantastic - maybe the first heritage paint scheme...

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Re: Milwaukee Road liveries

Post by aline1969 » Tue Jul 21, 2009 3:51 pm

I am painting a Milwaukee Road refrigirator box car now. Yellow scheme.. not sure what era that is. Wood sides with metal top.
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Re: Milwaukee Road liveries

Post by Thunder » Tue Jul 24, 2012 8:40 am

I need two small Hiawatha logos for my Jeep. Shes orange with a black top I figured it would be fitting. I do remember seeing the SD-40-2's with Hiawatha logos on the nose.Would loved to have seen what you designed happen Mitch.
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Re: Milwaukee Road liveries

Post by Desertdweller » Sat Aug 11, 2012 4:22 pm

I was working for the DM&E when we received some MILW road units with the silver Hiawatha in the silver oval on the nose. I thought it was a really classy touch.

It was very disappointing to me when the Huron Shops painted over the running Indian. Of course, it had to be that way, but it was still painful to me.


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