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Evertrainz

AC Electric early cab Color

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Hi all - 

 

I've been struggling trying to identify the cab interior colors of the Class 83 cab as-built, in Electric Blue livery. I am aware that the "standard" Pilot locomotive cab color scheme was green for the bottom half, and cream for the top half. However, electrics seems to have substituted that green color for a more grey-ish color, that has a tinge of blue-green to it. The following pictures will demonstrate what I mean. It also seems to be prevalent in Class 73 locomotive cabs today.

 

Class 85 cab (rheostatic braking switch behind power panel): https://www.flickr.com/photos/kerryp28/6117010213/in/[email protected]/

Class 83 cab: https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/3512890881/in/[email protected]/

Class 73: https://www.flickr.com/photos/brianews/5863664855/in/album-72157627030673260/

 

 

 

With this in mind, I have some questions.

1. Would anyone know if the color of blue-grey used for the control desk in the above shots is 'duck egg blue'?

 

2. Does anyone how the 25kV AC Electric cabs were originally painted? I would assume that they were painted in a similar pattern to the diesels, where the cream and green portions wrapped all the way around the cab through to the bulkhead, however many shots show that the bulkhead is indeed painted white. https://www.rail-online.co.uk/p1024248118/e2fb64802

 

3. Was the roof painted white, or was it painted cream?

 

 

I've looked at all the pictures I can, and things are still inconsistent; for example, in the 25kV AC edition of Modern Locomotives Illustrated, a works shot from 1959-60 shows three AL1s (81s) being completed, and all have their doors open, showing the bulkhead clearly. On all three, the pattern of bluish-grey and cream is followed, with cream on top. However, in shots of other early AC electrics, the bulkhead is white, similar to the shot of E3304 above. 

For the AL3s/83s, the only things I can say with confidence is that the control desk is bluish-grey (duck egg blue?), the windscreen is cream, and the draught screens behind the driver and secondman are cream. The bulkheads are white aswell.

 

Any help or information about how locos were painted, or conventional schemes of the 1960s, would be very helpful. I've attached my crude attempts at illustrating what I've got so far. (The very first one has the cab interior ceiling also painted cream, but the following three shots have the cab ceiling painted white. Which one looks more correct?)

 

Thanks and regards

Ron

 

 

AL3_1960s_cab_R9.jpg

Cab_1.JPG

Cab_2.JPG

Cab_3.JPG

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Posted (edited)

I know the colour as “duck egg green”, although whether that is its official name I’m not sure - It probably comes from BS381c if you want to check.

 

It was very widely used in industry, especially the electrical industry, for control panels in the 1950s-80s, and is sometimes still used, even in VDU control displays, because it is very restful on the eye, and because it acts as a very good neutral Colour against which other colours are easy to distinguish.

 

I think it became popular after it was used for aircraft instrument panels during WW2.

 

PS: try BS381c - 210 ‘Sky’ (not BS381c ‘Sky Blue’, which it definitely isn’t)

 

 

Edited by Nearholmer
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Posted (edited)

Those interior representations are excellent. 

 

Further along that sequence of photos on rail online, there's a close up front offside 3/4 shot of AL4, E3036 repainted rail blue, syp with the nearest cab door open - as the external cab roof is very clean white, the bulkhead is certainly not white - appears very light grey with a hint of lavender I would say (however the usual caution with blue colours in photos - there's a shot of an early loco in electric blue with part of an 86 in view (rail blue) - they look more similar than they should)! It's the same bulkhead colour as in the photo of E3304 (and what an amazing photo that is). I think yours is too blue in comparison - it's more of a very pale grey with a hint of lavender in the photos. Also in the sequence is a shot of E3098 with the cab door open but looking from behind and from rail level - part of the interior cab roof is clearly visible though it's a little dark. You'd need to enlarge it to see properly but it's possibly the same colour as the bulkheads.  

 

In the Flickr shot of E3030 where the desk is in clear view, the cab side in the driver footwell can be seen (unless it's all part of the desk moulding) - it's the same duck egg blue as the desk. Also there appear to be some areas of the cream area around the cab windows which look cleaner and more white than others. That cream is possibly a creamy off white colour. Did the off white used wear to a cream colour? (eg it looks like white with smoke staining). 

 

There was also at least the loco number on the centre interior cantrail - possibly additional lettering. 

 

Would it be worth a look at a preserved one (or see if the ac loco group have any photo records)? 

Edited by MidlandRed
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Though AL6s these may help in some way. Skip to 10:20, 11:17 and 11:24.

 

 

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On 29/07/2020 at 01:09, Nearholmer said:

try BS381c - 210 ‘Sky’ (not BS381c ‘Sky Blue’, which it definitely isn’t)

 

On 29/07/2020 at 19:47, stovepipe said:

Though AL6s these may help in some way. Skip to 10:20, 11:17 and 11:24 ...

 

Thanks guys - I have updated the desk/bottom band color to a desaturated shade of that duck egg green. The video confirms that indeed it was possible for the cab roof to be a different color from the front windscreen and driver side paneling. 

 

On 29/07/2020 at 04:54, MidlandRed said:

I think yours is too blue in comparison - it's more of a very pale grey with a hint of lavender in the photos. Also in the sequence is a shot of E3098 with the cab door open but looking from behind and from rail level - part of the interior cab roof is clearly visible though it's a little dark. You'd need to enlarge it to see properly but it's possibly the same colour as the bulkheads.  

 

The roof/backhead was actually a flat grey color with no bias towards one hue, but the lighting of the scene made it appear bluish-grey. I have changed it to the ever-so-slight lavender hue of light grey, and I think it looks fitting. I've attached a couple shots that show the very slight difference between windscreen color and cab ceiling/roof - am I making this up or does it look correct? :D  Also hopefully the first one confirms the problem of original color - it's indeed a very strong hue of yellow, rather than cream, and it actually wore to an off-white with time. 

 

 cabroof1.jpg.eeda93680db88f0d5a16ead90985fe1c.jpgcabroof2.jpg.27469d0196976c984055866b4b47f410.jpg

 

 

The note about cab reading at least loco number, along with cab end and MPS, is confirmed - E3062 seen below. 

 

Cab_E3062.jpg.bf405d99df459743306b0168ac4f28b1.jpg

 

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I've linked here a collection that is likely no stranger to RMWeb :P  This shot shows a more representative view of the cab desk color on E3050: https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/15734898347/in/[email protected]/

 

The rest of the shots in that Flickr collection show similar views of the other AL- classes in the lineup. Here, we can see that the AL4 has white (or grey-lavender) draught screens, while it appears to be cream on the other classes. Similarly, the AL1 has the split between cream and duck egg green on the rear bulkhead, while none of the others do.

 

Also attached below is my attempt at a more 'proper' coloration. Critiques welcome.

 

AL3_1960s_cab_R10.jpg.7571e0c8c8b42b0d19bdcd6f7493f8f6.jpg

 

 

 

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http://www.dawlishtrains.com/driving-cabs-electric-loco.html

The more I look at it, the more I think that the Class 83 cab shot on this site is from English Electric's Vulcan Foundry, the interior unpainted. The relatively shoddy finish gives it away, as do the unpainted steel strips.

 

 

This link has a nice video that is useful to early AC traction modelers, and the end has a decent clip of a cab ride in an AL3. The interior there looks finished and very neat indeed. 

Again going back to the interior, the roof section looks to be a noticeably lighter color than the windscreen and side panels of the cab. 

 

 

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On 31 July 2020 at 01:26, Evertrainz said:

I've linked here a collection that is likely no stranger to RMWeb :P  This shot shows a more representative view of the cab desk color on E3050: https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/15734898347/in/[email protected]/

 

The rest of the shots in that Flickr collection show similar views of the other AL- classes in the lineup. Here, we can see that the AL4 has white (or grey-lavender) draught screens, while it appears to be cream on the other classes. Similarly, the AL1 has the split between cream and duck egg green on the rear bulkhead, while none of the others do.

 

Also attached below is my attempt at a more 'proper' coloration. Critiques welcome.

 

AL3_1960s_cab_R10.jpg.7571e0c8c8b42b0d19bdcd6f7493f8f6.jpg

 

 

 

 

I think this is about right. I would return to your original desk colour but much lighter - it's definitely blue not green (of the duck egg variety). These models are fabulous btw!! 

 

Ive been a fan of the WCML and especially the various generations of AC electric locos - this stems from being taken as a child by my parents by car to watch these locos pulling trains at speed at various locations on the Trent Valley section of the WCML. Two particularly notable experiences were the appearance of E3108 on a northbound express at speed near Tamworth - I didn't even know they existed and first impressions were the set back loco numbers, vertical lower cab (rather than the rake back of the whole front of the earlier locos) and the different shade of blue, which was very noticeable in the afternoon sun. The second was being shown around the cab of E3019 one evening at Stafford - it was parked in one of the down slow/local platforms - this was an amazing experience for me as a train-mad child and although I have various AL6 marked with C and E3036, I only remember E3019.

 

This was all probably 1964-5 when the southern changeover point to diesel was first at Nuneaton, then Rugby. 

 

The WCML was definitely the pinnacle of modernisation at the time, and in quantity and especially after completion to Euston and Birmingham. 

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Posted (edited)
On 31 July 2020 at 01:26, Evertrainz said:

I've linked here a collection that is likely no stranger to RMWeb :P  This shot shows a more representative view of the cab desk color on E3050: https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/15734898347/in/[email protected]/

 

The rest of the shots in that Flickr collection show similar views of the other AL- classes in the lineup. Here, we can see that the AL4 has white (or grey-lavender) draught screens, while it appears to be cream on the other classes. Similarly, the AL1 has the split between cream and duck egg green on the rear bulkhead, while none of the others do.

 

Also attached below is my attempt at a more 'proper' coloration. Critiques welcome.

 

AL3_1960s_cab_R10.jpg.7571e0c8c8b42b0d19bdcd6f7493f8f6.jpg

 

 

 

 

I think this is about right. I would return to your original desk colour but much lighter - it's definitely blue not green (of the duck egg variety). These models are fabulous btw!! 

 

Ive been a fan of the WCML and especially the various generations of AC electric locos - this stems from being taken as a child by my parents by car to watch these locos pulling trains at speed at various locations on the Trent Valley section of the WCML. Two particularly notable experiences were the appearance of E3108 on a northbound express at speed near Tamworth - I didn't even know they existed and first impressions were the set back loco numbers, vertical lower cab (rather than the rake back of the whole front of the earlier locos) and the different shade of blue, which was very noticeable in the afternoon sun. The second was being shown around the cab of E3019 one evening at Stafford - it was parked in one of the down slow/local platforms - this was an amazing experience for me as a train-mad child and although I have various AL6 marked with C and E3036 in a remaining Combined Volume, I only remember E3019.

 

This was all probably 1964-5 when the southern changeover point to diesel was first at Nuneaton, then Rugby. 

 

The WCML was definitely the pinnacle of modernisation at the time, and in quantity and especially after completion to Euston and Birmingham. 

Edited by MidlandRed

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