In 1961, the Chesapeake & Ohio adopted a new paint scheme that it hoped would increase the visibility of oncoming diesels. Its switch to black and white colors mirrored those that were being applied to freight cars at the time. This scheme was only used on locomotives that were repainted in 1961 and 1962. As it happened, only EMD diesels received this paint scheme.

Whether the nose striping actually improved visibility is open to debate, but the black and white scheme proved to be very labor-intensive and expensive to apply.

This scheme is often referred to as the "zebra scheme" as the striping on the nose of an F-unit was frequently described as looking like "the south end of a north-bound zebra."

The C&O did not take delivery of any new diesels while this scheme was being used. The C&O's SD18s delivered in 1963 marked the return of blue and yellow paint to the official diesel paint scheme.

The diesels that are listed here are ones where the author has seen photos of the unit in the "zebra" paint scheme.

These notes cover the following groups of repainted diesels:

 Photo of C&O GP7 #5761 at Grand Blanc, Michigan, circa 1966
C&O GP7 #5761 at Grand Blanc, Michigan, circa 1966

 

F7s

Number Notes
7004 Received "zebra" paint scheme by February, 1963.
7068 Having received the full-stripe "zebra" scheme by February, 1964, was repainted without nose stripes, but otherwise still in the black scheme sometime between August, 1964 and November, 1965.

 

FP7s

Number Notes
8000 Received "zebra" paint scheme by early August, 1962.

 

GP7s

Number Notes
5761 Painted in late December, 1960, originally only with striping on the pilots and the front of the short hood end. Sill stripes and striping on the rear of the locomotive were supposedly added later, but the author has not seen evidence of this. 5761 may be the only Geep that received stripes on its pilots.

 

GP9s

Number Notes
6012 Received "zebra" paint scheme by early November, 1963.
6141  

Photo of C&O GP9 #6141 in the later version of the 'zebra' scheme,
          date and location unknown
C&O GP9 #6141 in the later version of the "zebra" scheme,
date and location unknown