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

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Model Train Help EBook

Cotton Belt


1 unit delivered

Cotton Belt took delivery of one FP7, numbered 330, and painted in Daylight scheme but with 'High Visibility' of 'Safety Yellow' handrails and grab irons. Company lettering on the flanks was initially ST. LOUIS SOUTHWESTERN, this was later changed to COTTON BELT.

#330 was delivered with St.S.L. lettering with the Cotton Belt 'Gin Saw' logo on the nose 'the reverse of what was on the PA's'

Renumbered to #306 in 1952.

After an accident in 1955 came out lettered Cotton Belt.

To scarlet and gray with Cotton Belt lettering by mid 1959, and did pull daylight passenger cars on the Cotton Belt painted in this scheme.

Incidentally Joe Strapac in Cotton Belt Locomotives says the logo was blue and white... Steve Goen says black and white... and Andy Romano says black and white...

The PA's delivered in 1949 came with a black roof, later repainted aluminum or silver however you personally describe that color.

The FP7 was delivered in 1950 I haven't seen a definitive text or photo to say so, but it also probably came with a black roof.

The PA's had their roofs rooves? repainted at least by 1954 but not still not re-lettered Cotton Belt.

In a photo dated 1955 soon after the above mentioned accident, the FP7 has a silver/aluminum roof and Cotton Belt lettering.

So you have 5 variations:

  1. standard daylight paint, St.S.L. lettering numbered #330
  2. standard daylight paint, St.S.L. lettering numbered #306
  3. daylight paint, silver/aluminum roof, St.S.L. lettering numbered #306
  4. daylight paint, silver/aluminum roof, Cotton Belt lettering numbered #306
  5. scarlet and gray paint Cotton Belt lettering

See Joe Strapac's book "Cotton Belt Locomotives", page 159, for a photo of the unit as-delivered in Daylight colors lettered as "St. Louis Southwestern" spelled out on the flanks. Page 158 shows basically the same scheme but renumbered to #306.

Page 62 of Joe Strapac's "Southern Pacific Historic Diesels, Volume 3: E-units and Passenger Fs" has a photo of #306 in Daylight colors with St. Louis Southwestern lettering. Below that is a shot of the unit painted in bloody nose with "Cotton Belt" lettering.

Denver Public Library has an Otto Perry shot of the above listed 'variation 3' paint scheme.

As delivered it did not have a signal light in the nose door, and did not have dynamic brakes either. In 1960 it was leased to SP renumbered to 6462, and sent to California. In 1964 it still had not received a signal light. By 1969 it had received a signal light in the nose door, but doesn't look to have ever had icicle breakers fitted, and was never retro-fitted with dynamic brakes.

The 1972 and 1978 RMC articles listed below both have the same two photo's of both lettering versions in the Daylight paint.

Prototype References:

  • SP Motive Power Annual 1981 - page 42 photo dated 1964.
  • SP Motive Power Annual 1972 - page 17 photo dated 1969.
  • SP Motive Power Annual 1972 - page 29 photo dated 1972.
  • Cotton Belt Locomotives (Book) Chapter 13 - by Joe Strapac
  • SP Historic Diesels Vol. 3 Chapter 5 - by Joe Strapac
  • Cotton Belt Color Pictorial by Steve Allen Goen - color photo's, data etc...

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