Going back to the original post - I'll pass on some history related by my
He worked for Penn-Central railroad for most of his life, and for a good
portion of it was in charge of a Cleveland area freight car maintainance
center in. Freight cars are subjected to very harse conditions, and were
painted with a very high solids, linseed oil based paint. Normally, each
car was scheduled for repaint every three years, with an inspection at two.
They were manually scrubbed with a stiff brush and aggressive detergent,
then scraped prior to painting. Painting was done by hand, with natural
bristle brushes. According to him, brushing is the only way to ensure good
adhesion - the bristle action loosens any remaining oxidation and creates a
solid bond of the new paint with the old. ID numbers for logisitics were
hand stencilled on each car, using a stiff brush and hand-cut stencils.
At one point in the late 60's, a "college hotshot" (grandpa's term) manager
was hired, who determined that spraying the cars would save lots of time and
money. Those in the know argued against, but were over-ruled, labelled as
being resistant to change.
All the cars painted that summer were back on the siding by Thanksgiving,
with paint peeling and missing ID numbers, and causing a major overtime and
making a mess out of the central tracking system. Guess what happened to
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