I am trying to find the name of the green color that the wonderful Ce 6/8 II "Crocodile" locomotives wore while driving across the alps during the 1920s and after. This green is very typical of the SBB at this time with other rolling material wearing it too (Ae 6/6, Ae 4/7, ...).

I tried to go through the SLM archives that can be found on the SBB website : https://www.sbbarchiv.ch/archivplansuche.aspx. I also tried to search information related to the Maerklin model : https://www.maerklin.de/en/products/details/article/55681. All this with not much success unfortunately :/ I am pretty sure this color has a name and a color code as it was widely used back then.

I thank you very much for your response and hope this question fits in this StackExchange.

  • 4
    I would recommend trying to have a look at railway modelling sources, though I am afraid I have no idea where to start: they are often quite scrupulous about such things and it is a good chance that someone somewhere has tracked down the original sources. Commented Mar 5, 2023 at 20:27

3 Answers 3


@[email protected] says NCS* 8010-B90G, which is closest (but not exact) to RAL 6009. The German wikipedia page for the Ae 6/6 calls the color "tannengrün", which is the name of RAL 6009. The source seems to be official documents hosted on the SwissRailModeling Yahoo group, which as far as I know is lost to time.

The image you linked is quite weathered, this one shows newer paint.

  • 7
    A not-always appreciated problem which faces modellers of my favourite rail livery, British Railways Southern Region electric multiple-unit green (1948 to 1966 approx) is that batches of paint differed slightly; the shade when newly painted was not the same as after a year or two of exposure to sunlight, and BR (S) used to repaint and varnish every 10 years and re-varnish at the 5 year point between. All these things made the actual shade at any one point a variable one. Commented Mar 5, 2023 at 22:42
  • Not sure where you got "the source seems to be" from, but are you perhaps referring to this or that message? The thread appears to be about BT not SBB though
    – Bergi
    Commented Mar 5, 2023 at 22:51
  • 5
    The biggest advantage is that the model doesn't have to be painted a precise color. Something close 100% works because it's "the original color, but it's faded & weathered a bit over time. TBH, it's about ready to go to the paint shop again for a refresh". :)
    – FreeMan
    Commented Mar 6, 2023 at 16:33
  • 1
    @FreeMan - I know purists who 'weather' their rolling stock, some even add tags from imaginary graffiti artists, and I know of one guy who reproduces the effects on blue British Rail 70s-era multiple units caused by chemicals in the wash fluid used in the carriage washer plant, streaks, faded patches, etc. Commented Mar 8, 2023 at 15:21

… the green color that the wonderful Ce 6/8 II "Crocodile" locomotives wore while driving across the alps during the 1920s …

Well since you specifically ask about the 1920s, it appears that the answer is "none". According to all sources I could find, specifically https://www.stummiforum.de/t19973f20-SBB-Krokodil-Braun-oder-gr-n.html or https://lokifahrer.ch/Lokomotiven/Loks-SBB/Ce_6-8-II/SBB-Ce_6-8-II.htm, the crocodiles wore brown at that time. The green livery didn't come until the 1930s and even then it took a long time to convert the whole fleet.

If you're really curious and need a definitive answer, I suppose you'll find it in the dossier KDII_DIV_SBB66_0133 "Anstrich der elektrischen Lokomotiven" ("coating of the electric locomotives") which is available to order from the SBB archive.


Looking up colour standards, it seems plausible that this green was defined in the RAL classic colour system, which is widely used in Europe and was created in the 1920s. My colour vision is not very good, but it looks to me like a slightly faded version of RAL 6000, "Patina Green".

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.