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Thread: Union Pacific paint scheme change

  1. #1

    Default Union Pacific paint scheme change

    Union Pacific is modifying their paint scheme. The trademark red sill stripe is changing to yellow to comply with Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) regulations. This is to increase visibility for grade-crossing safety. Union Pacific will gradually begin applying the yellow sill stripe to comply with the FRA May 31, 2015 deadline for the entire freight locomotive fleet. The FRA also requires reflective materials to be installed on freight cars.

  2. #2


    I guess I have a bit of a problem with the requirement to use yellow or white as the only acceptable colors to meet this federally mandated(unfunded?)mandate. I've seen the UP red stripe at night and its reflectivity shows up quite well. It is as was stated, part of UP's "trademark" paint scheme.
    Given the logic of this mandate, perhaps it should be a requirement for all stop signs to be changed to yellow or white with the letters "stop" in some contrasting color(tongue planted firmly in cheek!).


  3. #3


    You are right about the red reflectorized strip with its visibility. I wonder if the yellow is a bit of CNW influence. FRA mandate is still 10 years away too. Heck the regulations could be changed three times before time expires. Seems to me that Amtrak’s red stripe wouldn't need to be changed either.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Cypress (Houston), Texas, USA


    The color choice may have been due to other regulations (particularly European but possibly in this case Canadian) that restrict red to use in situations of particular danger.

    Now we all realize that running into the side of a train at night is fairly dangerous, but red is reserved for abnormal and dangerous conditions. In itself there is nothing dangerous about a traincar or locomotive that warrants red. This however is merely supposition on my part compounded with a bit of work history in red things and governmental demands.

    In the early 80s we had to change all of the computer hard drive activity-indicator LEDs to “anything but red” at the demands of the French gov’t. A loose quote was that it should only be red if the operator was in physical danger.... that's when the industry settled on green LEDs for drive activity altho other colors are used at times.

    but not red.
    More pics in Kenw's Gallery

    Have you broken any rules today? .....why not?

  5. Default

    Here is my first locomotive with the new yellow frame stripe, this ex CNW SD40-2 was seen friday at Alton and Southern Gateway Yard in East St. Louis Illinois. StlRailfan

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Downers Grove, IL by the BNSF RaceTrack


    Dosen't look that bad.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Live from CP72 in Winlock, WA


    Not much changed.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    West Central Ohio


    It would look better on a clean loco but they don't ever stay clean for long.

  9. #9


    now if they would just make NS add a yellow stripe to their black locomotives instead of white for a bit of color!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Where the Sun Never Shines


    It doesn't look half-bad, but I'd still rather see a red stripe.
    I'm a man, I can change, If I have to, I guess

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