British Rail Corporate Liveries - Early Liveries


Early Liveries

The standard livery for most British Railways steam locomotives was black, often with a thin red, cream and grey "lining" (trim), while express passenger locomotives were painted Brunswick Green, with orange and black lining. This had been the livery of the old Great Western Railway, and the Western Region, which now covered the same area, managed to paint far more of their locomotives in these traditional colours than elsewhere.All Class 42 "Warship" class diesels were delivered in green but some Class 52s were delivered in maroon to match the then-standard coaching stock livery. This livery suited these diesel hydraulic classes, and allowed the Western Region to once again show a degree of independence; it was not applied to any other diesel or electric classes. The 25kV electric locomotives were painted from new in a striking shade of bright blue which was known as "Electric Blue". They retained this livery for some years, before being painted in Rail Blue when that became the norm.

In 1964, as part of a plan to develop a new corporate image for British Railways, a number of experiments were tried;

  • Two Class 31 diesels were painted in trial liveries. No.D5578 was painted in an unlined 'Light Electric blue', and No.D5579 was painted in a colour variously described as 'Bronze Gold' and 'Golden Ochre'.
  • The first Class 52 "Western" class, No.D1000 Western Enterprise was painted in a pale brown livery known as 'Desert Sand' livery when first delivered in 1961.
  • Another Class 52, No.D1015 Western Champion was delivered in another, darker yellow/brown colour described as 'Golden Ochre', though somewhat different from that applied to D5579. These non-standard liveried "Western" diesel hydraulics were also fitted with the cast aluminium lion and wheel emblem that was standard issue on the 25kV electric locomotives.

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