Pretty easy, David. The Warren Calloway photo appears to be the earliest. The Tom Sink and G.M. McDonald photos were both made the same day. Those 2 gents used to be close friends and traveled frequently together. Just different angles of the sane subject on the same trip. SOU ALCO S2's were all retired by 1972, and the SOU 2218 made by Sink & McDonald has been somewhat freshly painted. In case doubters show up, I knew and also traveled with all 3 men at one time or another during this same time period. AS for location, SOU switch engines tended to be very provincial in their assignments and 2218 was usually in Spartanburg or close environs at the end of its service life. I checked my collection and I have a shot of SOU 2218 made in Spartanburg SC in Oct 1971, looking essentially the same as the Sink/McDonald photos, and it was retired just a few months later in early 1972. FWIW, the last SOU S2 I shot was SOU 2220 in Greensboro NC in Dec 1971.
From: "David Friedlander"
Sent: Tuesday March 15 2022 11:36:28PM
Subject: [SouthernRailway] SOU S2 2218 Photo Chronology Verification
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:http://southern.railfan.net/images/archive/southern/switchers/sou2218.htmlhttp://southern.railfan.net/images/archive/southern/switchers/sou_2218_union_sc_32771.jpghttps://railpictures.net/photo/343840/
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?