1970’s to 1988 Katy red retired for new look of green and yellow

Home / 1970’s to 1988 Katy red retired for new look of green and yellow
1970’s to 1988 Katy red retired for new look of green and yellow

M-K-T / Katy Modelers Infomation

Photo Archives and Katy Modeling Info


When the Katy started building it’s line in 1870 the early engines were typical for the time period. Mostly diamond stack 4-4-0 American types with a few 2-6-0 Moguls on the roster. According to photos and interviews with long time employees these engines had a polished boiler jacket, probably Russian Iron green or dark maroon with a dark graphite smoke box, stack and glossy black cab. A large oval medallion on the side and back of the tender, with a field of Chinese vermillion and company initals M. K. & T. R. W. inside of the oval and on the side of the crew cab. The number of the engine in the center of a field of gold, black shaded and split on the rear of the tender of the tender. All passenger engines were finished in gold lettering and striping.

After Jay Gould gained control of the Katy around 1880 the colorful livery disappeared and all engines were painted black with all lettering and numbers appearing to be white. The company name, M. K. & T. is moved below the window of the crew cab along with the engine number. The engine number in large numerals is painted on the tender sides and small engine numbers on the sand dome. The engine number of the side of the cab would be replaced later with the engine classification and after the 1923 reorganiztion the company name was changed to M-K-T. Some engines based south of the Red River in Texas were lettered M-K-T of Texas due to a state law requiring railroads operating in the state to be headquartered in Texas. Although the exact date is unknown, around 1930 photographs show some engines with the bottom edge of the tender tank, running boards edges and all wheels trimmed with white paint.

The December 1989 issue of the Katy Flyer featured an article by Ray George titled, The Official Guide To Painting Katy Locomotives, Circa 1945. This references a Locomotive Standard Practices, Card 75 which gives a detailed list for preparing and painting of Katy steam locomotives during the period when all tenders displayed the M-K-T herald. The following is a portion of the article plus information on painting details from early years. This standard lists a issue date of 1928 with reissues in 1940, 1943 and 1946. The issue date may have been when the M-K-T herald first appeared on the tender sides. A photograph and caption on page 196 in the M-K-T Employees Magazine from July 1928 listed Katy Pacific Type engine 397 as the first locomotive to have the Katy emblem painted on the tender and engine number below the crew cab window in April of 1928. Later emblems would be enamaled steel and bolted to the tender. Both freight and yard switchers would receive the famous Katy herald later, photographs in the employee magazine from November 1939 show Mikado Type 861 and 857 the first freight engines receiving the upgrades in Parsons and Bellmead engine shops in late October or November of 1939. Photographs show a bright silver graphite smoke box door, smoke box and stack on most engines with the M-K-T herald. The same bright graphite also appears on the exposed surfaces of the backhead, wrapper and throat sheet. Many engines before this period appear to have dark silver graphite applied to the same areas listed above.

Please double click a photo, link or list below

for a larger and complete view of the photograph with credits. Most photographs are from my collection, the photographer should be listed on the photo if known. This page will show examples of Katy engines and equipment from different eras. Mainly M.O.W equipment is on the page now, more will be added as time permits. After viewing the photo please use your the back button on your browser to return to the menu page.

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