If we are going to get pedantic here we must stop referring to a shrieking pike.
A pike is a type of fish, so unless the line to port Lincoln is running under the sea we will not see many by railway lines.
With reference to Steel cars, I can remember a popular book with a string of steel cars behind a pair of 930's on the Victor line.
I can't access my copy at present, but it may give an insight into black/ silver roof as it is a high percentage of the whole fleet at that time.
And to David.
Maintenance and repainting was a systematic process. Accidents caused some difficulties but otherwise vehicles were rotated through the workshops on a regular basis.
Locos worked on a cycle of services A to F along a sequence like A, B, A, B, A, C through to F which was a full overhaul and usually repaint.
At any one time there would be one or two redhen sets and one or two 400 class at Islington, Same with bluebirds, Overland cars, etc.
Freight wagons were often done on a campaign basis like fitting of high speed bogies, or new doors etc. But there were also daily maintenance like new planks on the side of an OW along with bogie maintenance, but if the paint shop was full, put it back in traffic with an odd plank unpainted.
It was all coordinated to maximise use of the workshops.
If you search through the Comrails site you can find details of AN actions on many freight wagons. Try starting with the AHDL and look at the choices made. They did not produce 150 wagons in one week.
The 4400 were only made with wooden bodies for a single reason.
At the time of construction the Steel erecting shop was flat out producing many vehicles.
The wooden carriage shop had an idle workforce and capacity ,so the 4400 appeared to keep the workforce in a job. There was actually a plan to produce a steel body, but as things evolved the need for brake vans reduced.
The paints used by the SAR were envied by other systems. I spoke with a person who was highly ranked in the VR and he said that SAR used good quality paints but the VR made do with pigments obtained from the Otway Ranges and dreamed of the day they could use SAR quality paints. He sent me a copy of some Railways of Australia meeting notes to confirm the point.
Yes the colours changed over the years, new suppliers, new paint types ( paint with hardener, 2 pack, acrylic , epoxy styles.
It mostly came from 44 gallon drums and if the apprentice forgot to turn on the agitator you could get varying results.
I have seen a large flaked piece of acrylic paint that fell off the roof of a redhen.
It was a totally different paint to what was on the rest of the body, and a different colour, but was probably bought from Bunnings to patch up a car to keep it in service for a couple of months or so.
The SAR / ARHS ran a series of trips on the northern narrow gauge prior to closure, Peterborough cooperated to make engines and rolling stock look as good as possible. Several locos received "invisible green" in the black paint. Possibly some green from the pass cars supply. It certainly made the locos shine.
The SOC wagons had constant maintenance issues, and could that paint have been used on a few 830's that appeared with slightly unusual traffic yellow?
As stated the steel cars did not all appear in red and silver instantly. they would have been in the cycle with the Overland, AD, BD, CD cars etc. so each week one or two cars may appear in the new scheme, but Easter, Christmas etc the maximum fleet would hopefully be available for increased loadings so no major work then.
The life of paint was considered to be about 7 years so paint cycles were set around this. Many vehicles outlasted this time frame or no capacity was available. As a home indication take a look at the Stoney. Same wagons, same ages, but does anybody have a photo of a uniform consist. Dark grey, to light grey, to ANR red, to Green, to GW orange. It was only at the very end of operation that the last light grey wagons disappeared.
At the moment there is a photo for sale of an F class loco hauling 5 bagages/ centre end loaders on Ebay.
I defy anybody looking at that photo to tell me what one is painted in "correct" suburban red. Even colour blind Allan will be able to see the tonal differences.
SteamRanger possibly ran the best matched consists, but their standard Southern Encounter was a matched consist that ran once a week.
As their budget allowed a newly refurbished car to come in the worst one would be withdrawn. It was always Dean Harvey's mission to present the best possible looking train. He was supported by a dedicated team. They always had a substitute pair of cars available in case of failure
The railways never had that type of flexibility, but they always had cars in the wings for failures.If the club car on the Overland failed, they could use the cafeteria car . Then Adelaide would be used on the East West.
Apparently when Webb was commissioner there was a request for more carriage sheds to be built to protect the carriages from the weather.
He asked if the trains stopped running in the rain. Obvious answer so the funds were allocated to another project and the sheds never appeared. .
There was a plan to produce large, heavy Pullman type cars. They were planned to have a special paint job on the steel to make them match the existing wooden stock. These cars were very heavy, so the expense and limited capacity meant they never appeared. Had they been available now with limitless diesel power the railway scene may have been very different.