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Why do you model BR Blue?


tractionman
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I see BR blue as more of a label for an era, since we've pretty much dispensed with the modern image tag. There was a varied selection of diesels and Electrics and coaching stock. This variety is what I model rather than because they were all blue. I also grew up through this period.

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For me there is definitely a strong aspect of nostalgia and trying to recapture my yoof. For example the excitement of seeing a Wezzie at New Street, or my first glimpse of a Peak. Those excursions to London when you would try to do as many of the termini as you could, perhaps see some deltics at Kings Cross, copping all those exotic ER locos. A midland railrover, getting some peak haulage on the NE-SW route between Derby and Gloucester, an EMU out to Bescot. etc etc.

 

Happy and formative years, from when I was about 11 to 18. Looking back it was a great way to build confidence, navigating around the country with my mates and without parents. Many carefree hours spent on platform ends around the country. Unfortunately I then discovered beer, girls and motorbikes.Looking back, just when I got some cash, a camera and wheels and could have spent some time taking photos that would be facinating now, I decided that trainspotting wasn't cool. Not my smartest decision - doh!

 

I think also because I have the best understanding of that era as opposed to others it draws my interest more than others. The variety of the railways then makes it more interesting to model than, say, the present day IMHO. Of course earlier eras had even more variety, shorter trains etc. that would make them better subjects to model, but I guess you go back to what you know.

 

I wonder if as the modllers in the market age, we will see manufacturers shift their emphasis as they respond to it. At the moment we seem to have a lot of British Railways era products on the market. I wonder as we age and more people of my generation get to the stage of life where they have some spare cash as empty nesters or retirees we will see more emphasis on the BR Blue era.

 

Thanks for allowing me to reminise, I just came over all nostalgic :)

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As others have said, BR blue was what I grew up with, my 'proper' interest in railways starting in 1971 when I went to secondary school. As to those who say the BR Blue period was boring - The only boring thing was the uniform livery (which after all is only a coat of paint). Thinking back to the my favoured 1972-1980 period; The variety of loco and unit classes, the quantity of freight vehicles (unbraked, vacuum braked and air braked), the number of freight terminals, eg collieries, steelworks, etc; The number of shunting locos still required, and all those depots, some well-known and others obscure (eg Blyth Cambois).

 

Getting a bit philosophical, part of the wonderful memories is the thrill of discovering new things, eg visiting Reddish Depot or Tinsley Yard for the first time, or, for a southerner, the ultimate dream of a family holiday in Scotland! I do believe that as we grow up and become more affluent, experienced and knowledgeable, such excitement (as far as railways are concerned at least) becomes much rarer. Hence, perhaps, the froth each year over Hornby and Bachmann's announcements !

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Unfortunately I then discovered beer, girls and motorbikes.Looking back, just when I got some cash, a camera and wheels and could have spent some time taking photos that would be facinating now, I decided that trainspotting wasn't cool. Not my smartest decision - doh!

 

Same here! Though for me it was cars rather than bikes, but yes - I kick myself for not pointing my 18th birthday present (in 1986, a Pentax camera) at trains instead of taking zillions of 'arty' shots of trees and stuff - oh well.

 

Mind you, what I regret more in some ways is not realising in the late 1990s what massive motive power changes were afoot on Britain's railways, as our beloved old locos were decimated in a matter of years. Fortunately I finally did realise - albeit a bit too late (in around 2003) - what was going on, so got my camera out and started roaming the rails, getting into the modern railway scene all over again. Lesson learned!

 

cheers,

 

Keith

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Started train spotting in 1980 and during the summer we had a day return to Birmingham New Street (£3.45 I think it was) and I remember arriving in the station and seeing my first 86 sat there all quiet but purposeful as if it was yesterday.

Also watching the procession of summer Saturday extras bringing all the holiday makers down south with "foreign" locos on the front.

 

But for some strange reason I have started buying green full yellow ends lately?

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Westerns at Paddington, Peaks at St Pancreas, Deltics at the Cross

Through the foot tunnel to Stratford depot or tagging along to coach party at Finsbury Park

Walk into Old Oak Common and occasionally Willesden Junction.

Midland Electrics at Wealdstone or Stanmore, and HST Prototype from Southall footbridge

Not forgetting holidays in scotland with 27s at Dundee.

 

These were my spotting days

Its what I know

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This photo I took of Bath Road from Temple Meads in about 1974 sums it up for me.

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Already times were changing, a couple of years before we'd make the trip for 'Warships' and "six-three-ers", and by late '71 would have to bunk Marsh Jct for those in store..

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Now the even Hymeks were fighting a rearguard action, and that Western must have been nervous as well.

.

But look at the selection still on view, from left to right

Gloucester RCW 'Cross Country Unit' later Cl.119

Cl.03 'Noddy' hiding an 08

Western D1070

Cl.50 in front of a 'Peak' and at the back of the line the Departmental Co-Bo

Cl.37 or 'six-eighter' with what appears to be a Cl.31 (Brush 2) behind.

Another 'Noddy' atop what looks like a former GWR auto-coach

Then a second Cl.50 moving past.

.

And, check out the all those BRUTE trollies, you remember British Rail Universal Transpotting Equipment !

 

Brian R

post-1599-0-39261600-1325894514_thumb.jpg

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This photo I took of Bath Road from Temple Meads in about 1974 sums it up for me.

.

 

Although I know I'm in a minority, but as much as your photo is evocative of the era, it sums up why BR blue is boring to me - it's all the same colour! :jester:

 

Cheers,

Mick

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I am not quite sure how I ended up modelling BR blue, as I never really remember BR blue on the network as I was never into spotting, and only took an interest in diesels from the early 90's. I think it was a number of things which came together, but the biggest catalyst was I got fed up with Lima running qualities when Bachmann came on the scene, who started off with the Warship, 24 and 25 all of which I got in Blue. 2 Lima locos would fund 1 Bachmann one and BR Blue took over by stealth, to the point where of my 18 locos only 1 is green and due to be sold imminently.

 

Also being in to doing respreays, BR Blue is dead easy especially on a 37 or 40!

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Has there ever been a period when the "BR Corporate Image" was all that was seen on the railway network?

There were Green diesels in the early 1970s, maroon coaches lasting nearly as long. The prolific 4 wheeled goods stock in any scheme including the engineers liveries, pre-nationalisation stock, Steam engines ending in 1968, and restarting in 1971.

The mainline liveries of plain blue on the locos, suburban coaches, NPCCS and most multiple units, blue and grey express stock of different ages and uses. The descision to apply names to locos (along with crests where applicable) and the application of some "non-standard" liveries like the Sealink Mk1s, the South Yorkshire PTE class 114, and the West Yorkshire liveried 141s, the 'Yellow Pages' liveried unit in Birmingham.

 

I don't model the blue period, but I do remember the introduction of the sector liveries in the mid 1980s.

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When I started serious modelling in the early 80's, it was nearly a full sea of blue and I tried to do a few varaitions, such at Stratford grey roof 47's, and a Motherwell grey roofed 37, but as I've stated elsewhere, I've tended to model locally and the North-West of England didn't see too many SF duffs............ (ML 37's were reasonably common on the Clitheroe Cement though)

Large loco brightened things up for a while, but I was glad when Railfreight, InterCity et al. started to hit the rails.

 

Cheers,

Mick

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I spent most of my childhood hanging around Exeter st Davids

late 70's to mid 80's so i remeber the Blue period very well and Exeter has trains from London from both directions

classes 08

25

31

33

37

40

45

46

47

50

were regulary seen

Also Hastings units on the Brighton

I didn't find Br Blue boring at all

most of the stock on my Layout Exford

is Blue some Large logo and Railfreight and NSE

 

As i'm 42 to young to remember steam power working in the southwest

Edited by Crompton48
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Although I know I'm in a minority, but as much as your photo is evocative of the era, it sums up why BR blue is boring to me - it's all the same colour! :jester:

 

Cheers,

Mick

What? Black and white? Each to his own but I can't get the modeling juices excited over similar shot today where the 8 logos in sight would all be the same class albeit different colors.

 

Gotta remember those 44s on the Toton Three Spires Nat. Happy days.

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As so many have said, BR blue was the period I grew up in. I'm not old enough to remember steam other than at preserved railways, and a few fleeting glimpses of the very last industrial steam. My childhood involved seeing trains passing Lostock junction from my nursery school (the sandpit offered excellent training watching opportunities!), being taken to see vans being shunted at Metal Box in Westhoughton (my Father was a manager there), watching trains go by from the gate of the foot crossing at the end of Snuff Mill lane in Cottingham (the lane ran behind my Grandmother's house) and seeing class 03 shunters trundling along the long gone bit of line that connected Onllwyn around to Banwen.

 

Childhood memories are very powerful, and I believe that that's why when I came back to railway modelling after University, it was the obvious choice to try and recreate some of the things that I remembered.

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What? Black and white? Each to his own but I can't get the modeling juices excited over similar shot today where the 8 logos in sight would all be the same class albeit different colors.

 

 

I couldn't find an ironic smiley to use when the pic I'm commenting on is of blue locos in black and white.

 

 

I'm sure that this will become polarised in views as many threads similar to this do,

 

Nuff said...........

 

Mick

Edited by newbryford
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For me .... it meant everything a story, a song, tv, Late 60s/ 70s life, especially train spotting with my mates! but the different locos emus dmus especially that one you wouldnt expect to see on your line?? fantastic! !also the north london line The lovely comfy 501's . Filthy& dirty just as a railway should look. Ah the memories Life seemd right then and the seasons of the year thats all....but at least i have them to look at and keep on my model canonbury!

 

Mark.

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Likewise, born in 66 so that was what I remember fondly.

 

Although some peeps say they find it a bit dull, the Large Logo liverys were a nice addition and (for me) really suited the class 37 and 50's.

 

Long live BR Blue! :D

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That photo does it for me! As you say, look at the variety of types on display! It seemed like whenever you visited somewhere away from your "patch" there was something different to see. There seemed to be a lot more variety of things happening on the railway then. I'm sure the pre-BR modlers say the same thing about the blue era... Perhaps I'm just getting old and nostalgic :)

Happy days.

 

John

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  • 3 weeks later...

What? Black and white? Each to his own but I can't get the modeling juices excited over similar shot today where the 8 logos in sight would all be the same class albeit different colors.

 

Gotta remember those 44s on the Toton Three Spires Nat. Happy days.

 

I remember the peaks at Toton also the rats and choppers! Oh mustn't forget the shunters in BR Blue!

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I have Steve Flint to blame.

 

I'm a child of the 80s so I just about remember the late blue period, but as a kid I modelled preserved steam.

 

I was converted by 'Kyle of Tongue' - indeed I was privileged to do a couple of exhibitions operating KoT and Reighton, which was dated but a few years later. At that time I had never been to Scotland myself but something innate told me this was for me. Since I joined the railway, I have been to Inverness and beyond many times, and I love the area. The Kyle and Far North Lines in the mid 70s just fascinate me - apart from the locos, everything was knocking on - the infrastructure, the rolling stock, you name it. It's like a steam era railway but with the corporate image - and at that, I have found a happy balance.

 

I model the contemporary railway as a memory of what little time I was able to spend introducing my son to the railway, down in the South West, but as pure escapism, I like to slip into a part of the world I love and a decade I never saw!

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As has been stated before, it was not an era for a myriad of colour, but boy oh boy what a myriad of stock !!!!!! and people called the Blue period boring ????? Lets see what have we got today...........

 

Class 70's in Freightliner, and errr Freightliner, and errr errr Freightliner, oooh look at that EWS coloured one its a Class 66, and look at that Freightliner one its a Class 66, look at that GBRF one its a Class 66, oh look at that First Great Western Bluey Purpley white and pink Loco its a Class 66 :rolleyes:

 

Why Blue, because its great, and it was good enough for the Swedish in the same era to give the name "Swedish Blue" to there "specialist" videos that they exported all over the world :O, they must have loved our locos ?

Edited by muddys-blues
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Just reading muddys-blues post above... and to add on to the fact that all the loco's are the same... with a small number of companies... passenger stock is the exact opposite I've found.. especially in the first few years of privitization.. looking through the Bachmann catalogue, it looked like every six months there was a new operator with a new neon crayon color scheme on their stock.

 

BR Blue may have been 'dull' due to the lack of color as compared to the steam engines of yesteryear, but when you compare that against todays ever changing liveries... it screams of stability. Besides... who says it needs to be dull?

 

If you are modelling early pre-TOPS Blue... I'm sure there are ways to include a 52 'Western' in one of their multitudes of colors as a loco that had not been repainted yet. Steam on the south lasted into BR Blue days. There are photo's of MK1 coaches not yet repainted into Blue/Grey mixed in with B/G ones.

 

If you are modelling the TOPS era... you have all the sector liveries... NSE, Railfreight, Provincial, InterCity... all add color and variety.

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