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Pullman Green, Dark Olive and UPS brown

What does Pullman Green, Dark Olive used on Southern Pacific / Union Pacific heavyweight passenger cars and UPS brown have in common?

In light of questions from a few modelers on green paint colors on heavyweight passenger equipment, I thought I post some excerpts of Pullman Green which may be of help. You can read the complete text at Utah Rails.* Enjoy!

Different Shades of Pullman Green
  In response to a remark that Pullman had seven different shades of green, Dennis Storzek wrote, "Pullman had it's own internal stock number system for items in its storerooms, and I have only ever seen one Pullman stock number attached to the "standard" green. It may well be they may have had seven different suppliers over the years, all trying to match a single color at a cheaper price, and paint from several may have even been in the stores system concurrently, in fact, that wouldn't surprise me. It would be difficult, however, to supply different paint to shops in different parts of the country, unless all the varieties had different stock numbers." (Dennis Storzek, email to Passenger Car List Yahoo discussion group, March 13, 2015)

Tom Madden wrote on August 6, 2006:
  In late February 2003, I was contacted by a gentleman involved in the restoration of Pullman MT. BRODERICK. Seems that UPS would fund the repainting as long as "UPS Brown" was used. I did some research and concluded that color 70-10 (Pullman green) in Dubin's Pullman painting book looked about right for UPS, the gentleman seemed happy with that and so, I gather, did UPS.
  The following article appeared in the March 25, 2003 issue of the Wall Street Journal:
"UPS is sticking with the chocolate-brown color splashed on almost everything at the company. Brown was first used on delivery vehicles and uniforms in 1916, chosen because it matched Pullman rail cars and hid dirt. "We never gave much thought to changing the color brown," said John Beystehner, UPS's senior vice president of world-wide sales and marketing. UPS will add shades of red, blue and bright green to planes and packaging."
Additional comments from 2003:
  "The discussion concerning UPS is interesting as I've always imagined Pullman color to resemble the UPS color. I once mixed up what I thought was a pretty good match for Pullman with a bit of black in yellow--and then held the chip up to the side of a UPS truck. A pretty good match." -- Wendell Huffman
  "Certainly the no. 70-10 color in Dubin's book is an olive color, somewhat greener than the SP/UP "Dark Olive" color adopted as standard in about 1907 and continued on both roads to the end of the heavyweight era. I don't know any adoption dates for Pullman colors. But by WW II, the Pullman color chip I have seen for "green" was much less olive (less brown and yellow) and a much more straight green. It was in definite contrast to the SP/UP color, enough so that the Pullman shops in Richmond (Calif.) painted the Pullman cars assigned to SP in the SP color, not Pullman color. That later Pullman color was distant from olive." -- Tony Thompson
  "In 1991, while doing research for a movie about the Pullman Co set in 1936, I spoke extensively with the late George Rust of Dupont about the correct formula for Pullman Green. Among his other duties George was the keeper of railroad paint formulas at Dupont. He informed me that there were 7 different formulas for Pullman Green, The one we selected was D4558. D designates Dupont Dulux which is no longer available in California. Each formula provided a slightly different shade of Pullman Green. The specific variation being determined by the region or railroad to which the cars were assigned. Dupont Dulux has the disadvantage of changing color rather dramatically as it ages and fades. Cars painted with the same formula paint, even the same batch of paint, will be of noticeably different colors if painted a year or so apart. We experienced this first hand at the Fillmore & Western." -- Stan Garner
  I find the comments attributed to the late Mr. Rust to be most useful, no doubt as close to "the horse's mouth" as any of us is likely to get. My take on all this? Pullman green, as originally constituted was noticeably olive brown, like the color UPS uses. Over the years it drifted towards being more green, and this drift was augmented by regional or RR-specific variations, all different, all called "Pullman green". Factor in color shifts due to fading and aging and it's likely that every available model paint called Pullman green is correct for some time, railroad or region.
The UPS folks thought the 70-10 color chip was close enough to UPS brown that they sponsored the repainting of MT. BRODERICK with it. It's also clear that "Pullman green" became less brown over the years, but many RR colors changed with time - the folks who stripped and repainted LITTLE NUGGET in Griffith Park found something like 7 different versions of Armour yellow in the dozen or so layers of paint.





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