locked SOU S2 2218 Photo Chronology Verification

David Friedlander

Hi all,

I'm getting some models ready for the Valley Forge RPM.

I've finally come back around to my model of Alco S2 2218 I did many years ago and want to weather it.  Went looking for photos and found some good ones in my era online:

The interesting thing here is that all of these photos claim they are in March of 1971.

Photo 2 and 3 are basically the unit in more or less the same location. I honestly think one of them has the location mislabeled, but I don't know enough about either to know whether Union or Spartanburg is the correct location. It doesn't matter for my purposes, so I won't waste brain power there.

However if you compare photos 1 and 3, you'll see vastly different weathering and some spotting details differences:
-In Photo 1 - Along the carbody are white markings everywhere, perhaps some sort of residue from phosphate or anti-snow liquid residue. None of that exists in Photo 3, and while one could think the unit was cleaned, the carbody still looks unwashed to me.
-In Photo 1, the stack is still unpainted metal/aluminum in color with exhaust residue at the top. In Photo 3, the stack looks to be repainted black and is equally weathered near the top (or maybe they just painted right over the caked on exhaust).
-In Photo 1, there is some good rusting on the cab roof corner closest to the photographer. Photo 3 - not there, but either repainted, or a precursor to rust (the latter makes less sense since this unit was traded in in 1972)
-If you compare the font of the numberboards, they also look different across Photos 1 and 3. It would be my opinion that the font shown in Photo 1 is earlier than Photo 3.
-Photo 1 has the forward cab windows with a yellowish tint.( I'm guessing caused by the exhaust.) Not sure on Photo 3.

I want to say that Photo 1 is earlier than Photos 2/3 due to the color of the stack and the font on the numberboards. I'm guessing it was indeed shopped (albeit mainly cleaning and some light painting) sometime in the middle of March 1971 and this is sort of a before and after. It does sort of surprise me that they cleaned this unit up a year before it was traded into EMD.  Anyone else have a better idea of the chronology of events here? Perhaps Photo 1 is even earlier than 1971, though I highly doubt Warren would label it with the wrong date.

If Photo 1 is indeed earlier than Photo 3, I'd prefer to use it as my weathering reference. Any idea of the best way to model all of those white splatters across the carbody?

David Friedlander

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