Canadian Pacific Historical Association
Colours Project

CP Colours

This project will be of interest and use to both museums and modellers, as well as anyone simply interested in the subject.  Our hope is to present our research results and standardised paint information in CP Tracks.

We are not limiting the scope of the project - if we can get useful information, we will do our best to make sense of it - whether on rolling stock, structures or other CPR equipment.  Likewise, we are happy to work with material from any era. (Obviously, the older material will be harder to come by).

Members of our team can be found from the Maritimes to the West Coast and most places in between. There are several ways you can help to make this project a success:

  • If you have access to CPR equipment or structures, or anything else (like paint cans or old boards) that contains paint samples.
  • If you have any company literature on the paint used by the company - anything from colour drift cards, to memos and specifications, to purchase orders or receipts may be useful.
  • If you were involved with painting, purchasing or mixing paint for the CPR.
  • If you have done some paint matching of your own.
  • If you have some technical expertise in paint research or related subjects.

While we are still in the early stages of the project, we hope to use fairly advanced methods to identify the various paints. It is our hope that a commercial paint supplier will agree to sponsor the project and give us access to their lab equipment for chemical and spectral analysis of the colours.

If you know of anyone with access to such equipment, we would like to speak with you. We know there can be many pitfalls in attempting to identify "correct" colours. What we are hoping for is that a number of samples for each colour will be found, so we can develop a pedigree for each sample and come up with the best match technically possible. We hope to present it in a way so that anyone else can look at our efforts and make their own assessment.

If you want to help, or know someone else who could help, please get in touch with us. You can contact, Robert Kirkham or, join the working group e-mail list.

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