Thursday, May 29, 2014

BNSF Color Schemes and Railfanning

When I saw the second BNSF engine this morning with a color scheme that did not include orange, I decided it was time to learn more about the paint schemes. I had also noticed that the locomotive liveries that included orange had different details.

I soon learned the paint schemes that include orange are four Heritage schemes that are called H1-H4. The first non-orange scheme I saw several days ago was the Warbonnet scheme (below). Today's non-orange scheme was the second locomotive for a unit coal train. It was grey and off-white. As  best as I can tell, it was the Executive paint scheme.

H1 has a thick orange stripe down the middle for the black lettering and just one yellow stripe between the orange stripe and the "dark Pullman Green" that is above and below the orange/yellow area. And it has the SantaFe cross logo on front but with the lettering of Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway. The colors are based on Great Northern Railway's pre-1967 colors of  Omaha Orange and Pullman Green. Another railfan indicated the dark color is "Northern Pacific dark green."

H2 removes the dark color from the bottom and shrinks the dark color band on the top. I think the dark color is still Pullman Green instead of black. And it adds multiple yellow stripes and the BNSF lettering is now yellow instead of black.

The following has a Warbonnet scheme as well as H2.

In 2005, the company changed their name from Burlington Northern and Santa Fe Railway to BNSF Railway. The the BNSF letters are no longer their reporting marks, they are the name. So they created a new logo that motivates the railfan's nickname of "swish." H3 is H2 with the yellow lettering replaced by the black logo and the dark color is supposed to be black instead of Pullman Green. But exposure of a picture seems to make more of a difference in the dark color than the name used to describe it.

Sorry about the exposure in this H3. This is a screen shot from one of my first attempts to use the video feature of the camera, and I learned that it doesn't handle back lighting as well for video as it does for still pictures.

H4 is the same as H1 but with the modifications of green->black, the new logo, and a wider orange band. One source said that H4 was for use on the cab units. Another said that H3 was for wide cabs and H4 was developed when they started repainting SD40-2 units. Some sources call the H2/H3 scheme the Premium Heritage and the H1/H4 scheme the (standard) Heritage.

There are still some of the BN and SantaFe schemes running on the system.

The second unit on the video I took today:

 The picture above for the H1 scheme was the second in a consist that had a patched BN engine:

20140521 0084c

These units were switching a string of covered hoppers and crossed the road more than once without letting the gates up so I had more opportunities to take pictures than I wanted. I assume they are old units which is why they have old paint schemes and are assigned to switching duties.

And while I was by the CB&Q tracks trying to get pictures of freight trains, there were commuter trains...

...and Amtrak trains.

This Amtrak train was rather long for a passenger train. The Zephyr line to San Fransisco has used this route since its inception. The Southwest now switches from the old SantaFe route to this route at Galesburg, IL, because Amtrak did not want to pay 100,000 dollars for a stretch of track in Chicago that is being abandoned by the parent railroad. It is the same abandonment that is threatening the continued existance of the St. Charles Air Line Bridge. The overpass in the background is I-355. The electric power lines are in the same corridor that goes by the Hidden Lake Forest Preserve.

Of note was a tank-car unit train. Not only was it being pulled by two NS engines, it did not have all black tank cars like the BNSF trains do. It did have the buffer covered hopper cars at the beginning and the end that I see on this route but not on the SantaFe route.

These cars have at least some of the improvements that are needed to avoid fires when they derail--- the shield plate at the ends and the shield around the valves on top so that they don't snap off if the car rolls over.

The details for the container train of which I took a video:

TTAX 654376 – 5-unit trailer
FEC 72368 – 1-unit container
TTAX 653921 – 5-unit trailer
TTAX 355140 – 5-unit trailer
TTAX 554364 – 5-unit trailer
FEC 72383 – 1-unit container
CTTX 656350 – 1-unit container
DTTX 470301 – 1-unit container
SMW 210251 – 5-unit trailer
TTAX 553421 – 5-unit trailer
? - 3-unit trailer
CTTX ?23194, DTTX 723194 – 3-unit container
DTTX 787538 – 3-unit container
DTTX 723278 – 3-unit container
DTTX 732167 – 3-unit container
BNSF 211550 – 3-unit container
AOK 55147 – 3-unit container
? – 3-unit container
? – 5-unit trailer
BNSF 253586 – 3-unit container
DTTX 646825 – 1-unit container
DTTX 765590 – 3-unit container
? - 1-unit container
TTX – 3-unit container
?(green) – 5-unit trailer
TTAX 367085 – 3-unit trailer
TTAX 370458 – 3-unit trailer
TTAX 355059 – 3-unit trailer

All of the trailer flat cars were flat cars. I didn't see any of the type where there is metal just where the wheels would be. And several of the flats were carrying a single-high container instead of a trailer. And several of the flats had two short UPS trailers. Including a few that had just one short trailer on the front of the flat. This train was much more"rural" than the typical container train on the SantaFe route. SantaFe tends to have just one double-high container well after another.

William Wozniak posted in Facebook
Update: William Wozniak posted someones speculation of what heritage units might look like.
Matthew Albert posted
BNSF 3013 all repainted with brand new PTC equipment
KC, MO 5/27/2017
Robert Foster H4 is the intermediate and H3 is high horsepower.
I uploaded this a while back...
Will G Benson posted
Drone shot? Nah. Ballast pile! Here's the local manifest M-CHIGAL as it takes a string of empty centerbeams out of Joliet on 4/22/18
Jacob Metzger posted four photos with the comment:
"Santa Fe Sunday"
A day of the year I always seem to hit the jackpot with vintage Santa Fe equipment is April 22nd, for seemingly no reason. Today was no exception, as I caught the HNTWBRC at Long Common Road on the Racetrack in Riverside, and again at Nerska on the BRC... and on the other half of BNSF's massive Chicago terminal, the BNSF2846, a Bluebonnet GP38 led the YHOD303 from Clearing into Hodgkins around 8am this morning, turning into the MCHIGAL and heading west around three this afternoon..
What. A. Day!!!

the HNTWBRC at Long Common Road on the Racetrack in Riverside

the HNTWBRC at Nerska on the BRC

a Bluebonnet GP38 led the YHOD303 from Clearing into Hodgkins [here, facing towards Chicago]...

...turning into the MCHIGAL and heading west

The paint schemes of the merger partners continues to survive. It is not too unusual to still see BN green covered hoppers. But BN painted engines are getting rare.

Kevin Piper posted

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