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A livery query, as a relative newcomer to the Brighton.  I will join the Circle sooner rather than later, but I don't have a permanent address at present [!],  so forgive my cheek in the meantime.


Thinking of a layout set in the 1912-14 period, my thoughts turn to the locomotives wearing the goods livery of the period.


There does not seem to be 100% consistency on the part of the company, with some classes in both goods and passenger liveries at times and some you might think should be wearing one, wore the other, so perhaps a class by class query would be best.


I am assuming that the appropriate livery is black lined out with double vermillion lining and with lettering yellow shaded black.  Let's see whether I've at least got that bit right. 


Now to particular classes:


  • E3 - I thought this might be a fun pendent to an umber E4, as I believe that they would be in lined black by this time.
  • C2 and C2X - I thought these might be the most common/useful 0-6-0 tender goods classes to represent the period.  I would naturally assume that these would be painted/repainted in lined black. Can't find any pictures of either class in the period concerned.
  • E2 - as a shunting/short distance goods class introduced at this time, I would have thought that, again, lined goods black would be the livery. Hornby once produced a representation of the class (before morphing it into 'Thomas') and this was brown.  Now, I would not hold up an old Hornby livery choice on a toy-standard product as having any authority, on the other hand, it is entirely possible they knew something I don't.
  • K Class - introduced for heavy goods, but was it regarded as a mixed traffic class?  I would have thought lined black was its livery on introduction, but I have seen the class illustrated and modelled in umber.  My model hedges its bets by lurking in photographic grey, but what was the correct in-service livery?

Pointers to sources for above information would be gratefully received.




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One factor causing a bit of confusion is that towards the end of its existence the Brighton painted some goods locos in lined umber, as I understand it the paint was actually cheaper than the high quality black they were using.

Back to your list.

E3 as you say by 1912 they were all in goods black, the last in green going in 1910

To add to the mix the E4s, in their original short smoke box version had one green until 1912 and a yellow one made it to 1913, whilst E5 Tilington made it to 1917 in yellow.

C2 started turning black in 1905 and probably all were by 1912. The C2X started appearing from 1908 and 28 had been converted by the end of 1914. All would have started off in black, but note that the earlier examples differed slightly from later conversions. There is a series of articles by Gerry Bixley in Southern Way covering these.

E2 the first three were brought out with lever reverse as shunting locos and therefore in black, in spite of the photographic livery picture. The next two had screw reverse for passenger trials and were painted in umber which they retained until their next visit to Brighton works. Note that this class only appeared in 1913, very close to the end of your period. One more was built in 1914, with extended tanks, which probably reverted to black.

K class. Again these came out in late 1913 so right at the extreme date, with the first two having short smokeboxes. The first one, 337, ran trials in red oxide primer before being painted in photographic grey, which it kept until February 1914, when it had its smokebox redone and appeared in black. The second, 338, also ran for a while in red, but thereafter ran in black. Three more appeared in 1914, all in black.

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Magnificent answer, thanks!


From the sounds of things, it seems as though 337 may have been repainted black by the time her siblings appeared in black, so 337 will probably be my only K Class (though I will probably not be that strict about dates).




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The information you want will be in the next or next but one book published by the HMRS but it is a good many pages of text and drawings and several months off. I suggest you contact the HMRS Brighton steward via the website, or Peter Wisdom at the Brighton Circle. 



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