MoPac's matched set of
Bicentennial units- MPRR Photo/Daryl Favignano collection
38 railroads had a bicentennial scheme in honor of and celebrating America's
200th birthday in 1976. Notable among these was the Missouri Pacific's
adaptation of its Screaming Eagle scheme on paired Bicentennial units.
It was especially appropriate for the road to participate since the MoPac
was to be among the host roads of the special America
Freedom Train train to tour across the country.
In late 1975 it was
decided by the company to present two units dressed in red, white and
blue. It was up to the MoPac Mechanical Engineering Department at St.
Louis and Mechanical Engineer Daryl W. Favignano (MPRR 1974-1986) to draw
up a design.
The one-time scheme
on these units would display a large blue eagle with an American flag,
stars and banner. MoPac had the unique advantage of being able to incorporate
its own classic screaming eagle paint scheme very successfully into the
special bicentennial livery.
The two units selected to represent the road were to be
numbered MP 1976 and 1776 appropriately enough. As luck would have it,
the original 1776 was not in any condition for such a public exhibition,
lacking the modern "chop-nosed" cut down hood treatment. C&EI 84, however
was in good condition, mechanically and appearence-wise, with the low
hood only applied since 1975. It quickly was reassigned as MP 1776.
Both units were
taken into the paint shop and tranformed into Bicentennial engines. Proclaiming
"Happy Birthday America" across the sides they wore a unique
scheme of an American flag, stars, eagle (turbo style) all in red, white
and blue, commemorating America's 1976 Bicentennial. The Geeps came out
of the paintshop in their new livery in February 1976.
scheme was among the most eye-catching of all the bicentennial units...
but then this author might be a slight bit biased!
as C&EI 212
to EMD for GP38s
rebuilt with 2500 gallon fuel tank, chopped-nose.
as MP 481
to PNC 7/85
||The original artwork used in
the production of the MoPac's Bicentennial scheme. Daryl W Favignano,
(MPRR 1974-1986) who worked in the Mechanical Engineering Dept. at
St Louis, was the one who drew up the paint scheme for 1776-1976.
- Daryl Favignano Collection
|American Freedom Train and Bicentennial
engines - AFT #4449 and paired MoPac units #1776 & 1976. The
three locomotives powered the American Freedom Train on it's run south
of Newport, Arkansas. - George Elwood/Bill Navari