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

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Model Train Help EBook

Southern Pacific

Locomotive Paint Schemes

The Golden State

This information has been compiled from postings to the SP Mailing list.

EMD E7 set in Golden State paint from 'Yard Clerk' via Rob Jacox

This paint scheme was only ever applied to one model of locomotive, SP's first batch of E7A's and E7B's - 6000A,B,C - 6002A,B,C. 3 E7A units, 6 E7B units.

To provide power for SP/RI's new Golden State streamliner train, SP purchased the above E7's. They were delivered in April of 1947, and came painted red and silver; they also introduced the Sunset Medallion to cab diesels.

Notice that between the carbody air intake grilles, the panels are painted silver, the Southern Pacific lettering is in Black. Measuring a HO Scale LifeLike shell, I'd hazard a guess at 18" high letters.

The red nose curve was not as sharp as the subsequent Daylight scheme, and the curve would appear to end at a point on the anti-climber directly under the nose door.

As delivered they did not have the small road numbers under the headlight, this was applied beginning late 1948.

Image of hybrid 6001.

At right is part of an image courtesy of the SPH&TS. the famous hybrid #6001.

In 1949, SP started to repaint these E7's into Daylight paint, due to locomotive shortages, this is when #6001 as depicted right, received its very shortlived 'mongrel' paint scheme.

Locos known to have appeared in this scheme:

  • SP E7's #6000A,B,C - 6002A,B,C


  • The red used in this scheme has the same Dupont number as Daylight Red.
  • Your choice of silver or aluminum...


None that I am aware of, although it would not present too much difficulty applying the black Southern Pacific letter by letter.

Relevant Magazine articles:

  • Color pictures appear in SP Motive Power Review 1952-82.
  • SP Historic Diesels Vol.3 has photo's of these units
  • SP Dieselization also has photo's


Unbelievably! LifeLike produced a run of their HO Scale E7A and E7B's in this scheme. Unbelievable? well this was only applied to 9 locomotives, and then only lasted from 1947 until ~1949 - this is a very tight timeframe for a RTR model to be produced for.


In the 1981 SP Motive Power Review, the Steel Caboose article shows one wooden caboose #316, painted in the Golden State colors - a reason for this was not given. The caboose was lettered:

Rio Grande Division
   Safety Caboose

also underneath that:

This Caboose is a Reminder That Safety
            Is your Responsibility

Related websites:

For more information on SP's E7's, see:

For information on Golden State consists and other Rock Island information, see the Rock Island Technical Society's equipment page.

John Matrow has written a page especially for the Golden State train, and can be found at:

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Sunday, October 06, 2002