Railcar Drumheads and Logos – important details

Pontchartrain Railcar – preserving and operating heritage passenger cars

This is a first attempt at a logo for Pontchartrain Railcar Company (PONX). PONX is the PONT subsidiary that acquires, restores, and charters private rail cars. The shop is located off of City Park Avenue in Mid-City (in my fictional New Orleans).

Railcar Drumheads identify the operator

The logo is a variant of the main Pontchartrain Railroad logo. I found a line drawing of a corrugated-side observation car, and converted it to vector format. Trying to decide if I should reverse the colors on it, so the car is dark and the windows are white/clear. Any thoughts or suggestions are welcome.

The idea here is to have a logo that will serve as a “drumhead” at the rear of PONX-owned observation cars. The “drumhead” is the logo you see hanging on the rear of the last car of a passenger train. If the train didn’t have a unique name, the drumhead was usually just the company logo. If the car operated on a “name” train, like the Super Chief or the Crescent, then the drumhead would be the train’s logo.

Drumhead Examples

railcar drumheads

“Drumhead” on the rear of an observation car running on The Crescent.

Here’s the drumhead for The Crescent, on a Louisville and Nashville observation car, for example. The Crescent ran under L&N livery, then Southern Railway. It now operates as the Amtrak Crescent. The mix of owners makes for interesting modeling. A number of companies making N-scale rolling stock get it completely wrong. Fortunately, we can purchase “undecorated” cars and re-create the ones we want to have Pontchartrain Railcar work on.







railcar drumheads

Drumhead on the New York Central’s “Twentieth Century Limited”

Here’s another, from the New York Central’s “Twentieth Century Limited” train. This “drumhead” isn’t round like drum, but it’s very nice. The back-lit effect is a great touch.

Pontchartrain Railcar Company restores cars, then either transfers them to Pontchartrain Railroad for operation, or they are chartered out, operating on Amtrak, and PontRR trains. Cars that become part of the PontRR fleet are usually painted in their blue and gold livery, where charter cars are restored to their original livery. Occasionally, a private owner will contract Pontchartrain Railcar to custom-paint their rolling stock.

When we settle on the design for these logos, we’ll send them to a company that prints decals. We’ll put them into a one-sheet EPS file for printing.

Share This

Share this post with your friends!