The internet was abuzz of activity with the viral dress that was either yellow and white or blue and black depending on what kind of lighting you were viewing it with. This sparked up a memory of the MTH O-Gauge 2013 Volume 1 catalog in which the Premier Nickel Plate Road ALCO PA, nicknamed “Bluebirds,” was offered. It was difficult to tell if the locomotives were blue and white or blue and silver depending on how you looked at it. Years ago MTH had produced the same engine in the Premier Line equipped with Proto-Sound 1.0 and colored blue and white.  Most of our NKP customer base was split between wanting white or silver engines and many were unfamiliar with the real locomotive’s history.

You see when the Nickel Plate Road received its first PA it was painted blue and nickel silver to match the new streamlined coaches built by Pullman Standard. Unfortunately the nickel silver paint on the engines could not hold up to wear, tare, and rust. Different kinds of metallic silver paint were tried but there was to be no improvement. In less then two years all of the PA’s were repainted blue and white which held up until the end of their service lives.

After several weeks of research, discussion and talks with MTH, Stockyard Express was able to confirm that the cataloged engines were to be blue and silver. While many loyal NKP fans were okay with this decision a small number still wanted white engines. We ended up striking a deal with MTH and 16 new blue and white ALCO PA’s were produced just for us at the same time as the blue and silver engines. All sold out within days of their delivery.

It should also be noted that our Exclusive “City of” sleepers were created and designed at the same time as the locomotives. Currently we are anticipating the arrival of the last part of an authentic Nickel Plate Road passenger train and that would be a Heavyweight Madison-style Railway Post Office car or RPO for short.

Nickel Plate Bluebirds

Nickel Plate Bluebirds

As always check out our Stockyard Exclusives page for more information on past and future products!