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Author Topic: Best looking
RR4me
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Not really an Amtrak topic; I just finished reading the two stories about the Filmore and Western trip, and have to say I think the F7 locomotives still have my vote for the best looking locomotives ever built, especially from head-on.
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Henry Kisor
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For me it's a tossup between the EMD bullnoses and slantnoses -- the silvery Burlington E5s are No. 1 in my estimation right now.
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20th Century
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Santa Fe Super Chief slant nose warbonnet. Was it the 1939 Super? Was it an E6? It was sleek, so cool, and presented itself as a "mile eater".
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palmland
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Gotta love those Alco PA's. Great styling and they looked like they belonged on the ATSF. My last sighting was at Ft. Ticonderoga on the Adirondack route painted for the D&H. I believe they had been brought back from service in Mexico.
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smitty195
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Call me nuts, but I really like Amtrak's Dash-8 locomotives back when they were in the "Pepsi" color scheme. I thought that was a very sharp looking locomotive.
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notelvis
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I grew up watching quintets of F7's hoist woodchip cars up the mountain into Canton, NC on Southern Railway's Murphy Branch in the late 1960's and early 1970's.

My grandfather was a railfan and 'entertaining' his grandson pretty much consisted of taking me down to the Canton YMCA from where we could safely watch the afternoon freight switch the Champion Paper Mill. The growling sound those locomotives made as they accelerated with a cut of cars was unforgettable.

Twenty-five years later upon moving to College Park, MD for graduate school, I was awakened on my first Monday morning by a MARC Commuter Train accelerating away from the College Park station three blocks away. I lept out of bed and dashed to the window just in the nick of time and my eyes confirmed what my ears had already told me.... that MARC trains on the Camden Line were still being hauled by F-unit diesels in 1992. Rebuilt F-units, yes, but they still had that EMD growl.

The EMD F-units.......and to a slightly lesser degree... E-units..... remain my favorite diesels.

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David Pressley

Advocating for passenger trains since 1973!

Climbing toward 5,000 posts like the Southwest Chief ascending Raton Pass. Cautiously, not nearly as fast as in the old days, and hoping to avoid premature reroutes.

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chrisg
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Any EMD cab unit gets my pick any day of the week. Nothing beats that great looking face.


Chris

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sfthunderchief
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Is it possible to design a better looking locomotive than the old E-units and F-units? I think so, The surprising thing is, no maufacturer has done it. ?

Why is this? And I'm talking the world over. Japanese bullets, that duck-billed Talgo and so many other streamliners don't even come close. This may be my opinion, but I know it is shared by many, many folks out there. And I have never heard anyone raving about the aesthetics of any other locomotive.

Some of the modern freights have an undeniable magnificence, but they still lack the artistic beauty of design possessed by E's and F's.

The closest thing to them, today, are the MP36PH-3C's, which are the nicest looking (again in my opinion) cab units on rails.

The geek in me gave me the impulse to print off a bunch of front end quarter shots and get out the colored pencils and mark 'em up in old railroad paint schemes, just to see how they would look.

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mgt
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What about the A4 Pacific, designed in the 1930s by Nigel Gresley? It has a timeless quality about it. British steam locomotives always seemed to have much cleaner lines than their continental cousins, particularly the French.
The 1938 Dreyfuss Hudson design must also be a contender, but many of the streamlined steam locomotives of that era, while being modernistic, also now tend to appear dated, very much of the late 1930s.
This modernistic but quickly dated look also applies to GM's LWT12s, perhaps the ugliest, to early 21st century eyes, locomotive ever designed?

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PullmanCo
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The EMD E-2, pulling the City of Los Angeles.
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dns8560
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The New Haven FL-9

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Everybody has to believe in something. I believe I'll take the train!

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amtrak92
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For me any cab unit
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Ocala Mike
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Pennsylvania RR GG-1 in the "dark" color scheme. They just didn't make it for me in Tuscan Red.
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PullmanCo
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Actually, there are two better looking units than an E-2:

UP M-10000, the City of Salina

CB&Q Pioneer Zephyr

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amtrak92
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The Burlington E-5's with the stainless are pretty nice too
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amtraxmaniac
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I'm going to get the tomatoes tossed at me for this one: The Genesis P42 followed closely by the F40. I'm probably in that slim minority that like the more boxy chassies over the more rounded ones. I, too, like the Dash 8's-I think there were a few (not sure if they're around) in the Amtrak West silver and blue livery. The ugliest ever (again, I'm probably in the minority) are the F59's and those old turbo-train ones they used to run back east pre acela.

I'm probably giving away my chronological disadvantage by my answers.

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Mike Smith
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This thread is useless without pictures. I like this one:

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notelvis
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Now that we have more or less agreed on the superiority of cab units, perhaps we should debate some of our favorite paint schemes for our F and E units....

Of course I'm partial to the Southern Railway Green and Gold scheme.

Other favorites include the Atlantic Coast Line purple, the original Louisville & Nashville cab unit scheme, Erie Lackawanna's (and Lackawanna before that) yellow, maroon, and grey, and Santa Fe's Warbonnet of course.

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David Pressley

Advocating for passenger trains since 1973!

Climbing toward 5,000 posts like the Southwest Chief ascending Raton Pass. Cautiously, not nearly as fast as in the old days, and hoping to avoid premature reroutes.

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yukon11
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The Winter 2009 issue of "Classic Trains" had an article on the Ps-4 class locomotives, which would get my vote. Specifically the Southern Railway 1401, which is in the National Museum of American History:

http://z.about.com/d/dc/1/0/L/g/nmah_train.jpg

Richard

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amtrak92
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I like the Burlington E-5's with the stainless, and for actual paint, I would say New York Central, Southern, or Atlantic Coastline
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notelvis
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quote:
Originally posted by yukon11:
The Winter 2009 issue of "Classic Trains" had an article on the Ps-4 class locomotives, which would get my vote. Specifically the Southern Railway 1401, which is in the National Museum of American History:

http://z.about.com/d/dc/1/0/L/g/nmah_train.jpg

Richard

Oh so not fair.

I thought that we were restricted to diesel locomotives only.

If I'd thought we could have voted for a steam locomotive, the Southern 1401 would get my vote too.

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David Pressley

Advocating for passenger trains since 1973!

Climbing toward 5,000 posts like the Southwest Chief ascending Raton Pass. Cautiously, not nearly as fast as in the old days, and hoping to avoid premature reroutes.

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Ocala Mike
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Paint schemes? I've always been partial to the Herbert Matter "New Image" paint schemes on the New Haven back in the late 50's. I believe the Connecticut DOT is using that scheme on their equipment today.
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dns8560
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http://naphotos.nerail.org/showpic/?photo=200509040040307967.jpg&order=byposter&page=72&key=dnsommer

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Everybody has to believe in something. I believe I'll take the train!

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sfthunderchief
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quote:
Originally posted by notelvis:
quote:
Originally posted by yukon11:
The Winter 2009 issue of "Classic Trains" had an article on the Ps-4 class locomotives, which would get my vote. Specifically the Southern Railway 1401, which is in the National Museum of American History:

http://z.about.com/d/dc/1/0/L/g/nmah_train.jpg

Richard

Oh so not fair.

I thought that we were restricted to diesel locomotives only.

If I'd thought we could have voted for a steam locomotive, the Southern 1401 would get my vote too.

Ditto that notelvis. I thought the discussion was really about E's and F's. If it is everything then my vote for best looking has got to be the GG-1's. Way cool.
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PullmanCo
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Well, now that we're away from Mr Diesel's enginel:

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This is on the approach to Tracks 25 and 26, the PV house tracks now at KCUS...

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PullmanCo
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This is another favorite. Uncle Bill actually used Little Zip to get to and from Heaven Help Me KU from Abilene.

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Here's another shot:
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The City of Saint Louis (UP, 1967) is still my standard for passenger operations

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RR4me
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Liked seeing the bow in the tracks under the UP 3985, above.
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MetSox
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Here are some of what I consider the best looking:
For Diesels, I have to agree that the Santa Fe warbonnet Fs were the best. One paint scheme that always impressed me was Great Northern's "Big Sky" blue because it made otherwise ordinary looking GP units very striking. On Amtrak, I'd say that the P42 is much better looking than the F40. In my opinion, the ugliest Diesel is the Alco DL109.

Steam: Norfolk & Western J series.
Passenger car: CZ/CP dome observation.
Subway: BART "A" car.
High Speed: West Japan Rwy. 500 series.
Tram: "Eurotram" operating in Strasboug, Milan and Porto.
"Talent" Diesel Multiple Units operating in California "Sprinter" and Ottawa O-Train service.

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Southwest Chief
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quote:
Originally posted by 20th Century:
Santa Fe Super Chief slant nose warbonnet. Was it the 1939 Super? Was it an E6? It was sleek, so cool, and presented itself as a "mile eater".

I think you mean the E1. That would get my vote too. Simply a beautiful loco. Sleek as can be but modern looking as well when compared to other early streamliners of the day.

Take a look at this beauty:
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And the color photo above is not as sleek as they were originally. Look at this factory fresh model with the flush front coupler covers and no cab roof number board:

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--------------------
Matt
Visit gallery for photos of our train layouts

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Amtrak207
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Streamlined steam: N&W J class. It takes a serious work of art to make something look better to me than a streamlined Hudson, and that's it.
Diesel: I really don't know. I'll have to say the FL-9, either New Haven or Amtrak phase 3. They looked just different enough to distinguish from all those other hood units.
Museum showpiece: Flying Scotsman.
Wouldn't That Have Been Great: various iterations of the Rohr Turboliner. Not the UAs, not the as-delivered French sets.
Chainsaw Massacre: GM SD70M-2 with the "cheese slicer accident" cab/nose/numberboards.
Widecab Freight Diesel: I've got to say the SD80MAC, either CR Quality paint or NS black.
Plenty Of Frame To Go Around: the category designed for the SD40-2.
Poor Adaptation of an Existing Temporary Paint Scheme: the SDP40F. It's just too big for that bloody nose look.
Best Paint Scheme When Applied To Just About Anything: Deleware and Hudson lightning stripes. That being said, NYC lightning stripes made Baldwin Sharknoses bearable.
Best Way To Get Copied By A Major Airline Albeit Upside Down: Amtrak phase 3.
Biggest Pain In The Tail To Custom-Model: The lone RTL-II turboliner with the fading red stripe down the side. What a pain.

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