California's Railroad to the U.S. 1861 - 1996

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Southern Pacific Diesel Locomotive Paint Schemes
1944 - 1946
Interim Tiger Stripe scheme.

1944 - 1946

SP changed the yard-switcher paint scheme in 1944, with the delivery of Baldwin DS-1000's (VO-1000) #1377 - 1385. These came with Orange diagonal stripes applied on the entire long hood end, and wrapping around the side a short distance, in a chevron pattern. The cab end was striped up to the bottom of the windows, some units to just below, (there may be a dimension for this), this also wrapped around the cab side a ways. The frame and pilots were also striped, all stripes were continuous, ie. they followed a pattern, always facing the same way, and the hood and cab end, and pilot stripes forming a continuous pattern when viewed end on. There was also an orange pin-stripe along the top of the hood.

New units also had the air reservoirs striped, but usually lost this on the first repaint.

The lettering on the hood-side remained 12" Southern Pacific Lines, but painted in orange, (the word Lines not being dropped until 1946), as well as the cabside number. Unit numbering on each end, on the orange and black stripes was in white, and on the black was orange [I assume :-)].

New units delivered and older units painted during this time-frame, also received this interim Tiger Stripe scheme.

Locos known to have appeared in this scheme:

  • SP - SW1, NW2, S-2, DS-1000 (VO-1000), GE 44 tonner.
  • T&NO - S-2.
  • SSW - none that I have found so far.

Known Variations:

  • The ALCo S-2's had the fuel tank? below the frame, between the trucks, striped.
  • GE 44-tonners also had this area below the frame striped.
  • Some units painted in late 1946 may have received the later paint scheme.


  • Any brand of Black.
  • Use decals for the orange stripes.


The Microscale sheet #71 has one set of 12" Southern Pacific lettering. It does not have the 'Lines' Lettering though, which was a part of this scheme.

  • Microscale 60-71, 87-71, with reservations...
  • Champ - possibly some for O Scale.

Known Exceptions:

  • None known at this time.

Relevant Magazine articles:

  • Model Railroader, July 1974, page 36. - Painting Diesel Switchers - Interim Tiger Stripe, Tiger Stripe and Blood Nose.
  • Railroad Model Craftsman May 1988, page 54. - Modeling a Tiger Striped S2.
  • Model Railroader - Aug. 1995, page 62. - Tiger Striping and detailing SP NW2 and SW1.

In 1945, SP dropped the word Lines from the lettering, and went to 15" lettering. Units delivered 1947 starting with S-2's came painted this way in the Yard-Switcher Tiger Stripe scheme.

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Thursday, January 01, 1998 00:00:00 AM