British Rail Corporate Liveries - Moving Away From Rail Blue


Moving Away From Rail Blue

The first break in the uniformity of Rail Blue came in 1976 with the introduction of the first InterCity 125 (HST). The distinctive angular shape of the HST power cars did not lend itself to applying yellow on the leading face, so the yellow was wrapped around and extended along the side of each power car, although the coaches retained the usual Rail Blue coaching stock livery.

In 1978 the British Railways Board began planning a new livery for the future, and in that August Class 56 diesel locomotive 56036 was painted to test a modified livery of all-over Rail Blue with the entire loco front in bright yellow to improve visibility, this extending down the sides of the loco to the rear of the cab windows which were, in turn, outlined in black. This livery was known as Large Logo livery as each side of the locomotive was dominated by a full body height BR double arrow symbol, and had the loco number prominently displayed at twice the previous size. This livery was well received by enthusiasts but as the Class 56s only hauled freight, it was decided to extend the experiment to a passenger loco. Thus Class 47 47170 County of Norfolk, allocated to Stratford and a regular performer on trains between Liverpool Street and Norwich, was painted in Large Logo livery. Initially new locos were still painted in the traditional Rail Blue livery, but starting with Class 56 number 56084 the new Large Logo version was standard on new locos delivered to BR. After this date, the passenger versions of Class 37 and 47, as well as Class 50, were routinely outshopped in this livery.

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