HERB-1 - "HERBIE" at Little Rock, Arkansas.
Notice that car is a different body from the one below. Also
notice the air-conditioning unit mounted on the bulkhead end
panel. Dated 3/1983 - Bill Folsom Photo/T. Greuter Collection
The MoPac's HERBIE (reporting marks 'Herb -1') car - a converted
40' boxcar with the slogan "Herbie Rides the Help
Every Railroader Be Injury Exempt
Division," was often paired with East One (see below),
a converted combine/caboose for promoting rail safety as part
of the instruction car fleet.
There was not one but two HERBIE cars, and the symbolic car went
through revised paint schemes (two different MP heralds placed
in different locations). Herb-1 was also in active service after
the merger on the UP system, complete with a UP shield to replacing
the MP eagle/buzzsaw.
|| MoPac's HERB-1
- The artist David F. Newborne, a carman in Memphis,TN, standing
beside the newly finished car - Photo courtesy J. Freeman
|MoPac's HERB-1 - Its 1979 and
a freshly body-painted boxcar awaits its transformation. - Photo
courtesy J. Freeman
A little history of the Herbie boxcar
In 1979 the Arkansas division safety committee held a contest
for a new safety slogan to be used on safety posters. A carman
in Memphis,TN named David F. Newborne who was also a amateur artist
won the contest.
The committee liked the Herbie idea and his artwork so much that
it was decided to paint it on a boxcar to tour the system. So
boxcar numbered MP 129685 was spotted infront of the repair
track in May of 1979. Several of us carmen painted the sides of
the car boxcar red.Ê David painted and lettered the Herbie on
the sides of the car.
After the UP-MP merger another boxcar was painted in the Herbie
The "Herbie" photos below are of the car with the sides painted.
- Thanks to J. Freeman
|MoPac's HERB-1 - awaits its
transformation. - Photo courtesy J. Freeman
|MoPac's HERB-1 - Painting in
progress. The masking for the lettering is clearly visible. -
Photo courtesy J. Freeman
|MoPac's HERB-1 - The car now
has most of the paintwork on the sides done. - Photo courtesy
The Real Story, MP Herbie boxcar and UP Herbie boxcar
We stand corrected thanks to J. Freeman!
The MP & UP HERB-1 were not the same car, but actually two
different boxcars. It is not clear if the "HERB-1" reporting
marks were used on both.
The MP Herbie boxcar (the original car) is thought to have seen
a variation of the original paint job re-done in North Little
Rock. - Thanks to J. Freeman
Railroad.union.rpi.edu Photo "Herbie" Graffiti
- closeup of graffiti on Atlanta & St. Andrews Bay box car no. 8082
found in the Milwaukee yard in Mason City, IA, on August 4, 1977. - SD
History 101: Just Who Was Herbie?
The Herbie drawing began appearing first as graffiti art on freight cars
- a large number of these being owned by the Mopac. The Mopac later
adopted the art for use with a safety slogan on a boxcar stationed out
of Little Rock. It is still in use on the Union Pacific R.R. today.
Herbie Meyer was the original artist behind the fellow enjoying his siesta
under a sombrero resting against a palm tree drawings. The name Herbie
followed by a date was always under him. Herbie worked as a switchman
for a yard and transfer company, other than Missouri Pacific, somewhere
in the St Louis area, possibly the TRRA (one story has it that he was
a switchman on the Wiggins Division of the TRRA in St Louis).
He died December 9th, 1995, when he was in his eighties. He is now a
legend in the graffiti community, as more and more practitioners are researching
the history of railroad graffiti by railworkers and hobos, and they are
finding his prodigious output of drawings on the railcars had an apparent
omnipotent presence in vast railroad network for over three decades.
There was an article in the CB Hist Society magazine Cotton Belt Star
about Herbie identifying him as a carman at East St Louis, hence so many
'tagged' MoPac and Cotton belt cars. (gathered from the MOPAC
"A story that appeared in the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineer's
Newspaper back in the early 80's told that Herbie was a Car Inspector
that worked in the St Louis, MO area for either the Terminal Railroad
Association of St Louis or Alton & Southern, but I cannot remember
which one it was for sure now. He retired around 1980.
"Herbie told of many who attempted to copy his artwork, but never
getting it correct as the number or style of leaves on the tree were never
quite right." (Tuch)
MP East One - which was often paired with HERB-1, had
the unique distinction of being the sole MP caboose to wear a large "Turbo"
eagle. "November 27, 1982 finds Missouri Pacific's Classroom, a converted
Drover's Caboose, at Dolton, Illinois." MP East One was recycled
by the railroad as a company promo for railroad safety. - Thomas J.
Golden photo, postcard
MOPAC Group, J. Freeman
effort has been made to get the correct information on these pages,
but mistakes do happen. Reporting of any inaccuracies would be appreciated.