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BR Blue/Grey: Is it now classed as a "heritage" livery?


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I hope I've posted this in the right place...

 

I was wondering if the BR blue/grey livery of rolling stock from the mid-late 1960s through to the 1980s is now classed as a "heritage" livery? Presumably it is, but I'm not an expert on these matters and I am rather curious to know.

 

I would imagine the regional liveries of the GWR, Southern, Midland, etc...and post-nationalisation liveries such as crimson/cream or maroon are most definitely classed as "heritage" liveries as I've heard them described as such, but not BR blue & grey.

 

When did the blue/grey livery disappear for good on our railways? If my memory serves me right, I do not recall ever seeing blue/grey rolling stock on any railway in England after 1986, maybe 1987 at the latest - around the time the sectorisation of the railways took place. I certainly recall all the main SR region EMUs going over to NSE livery around that time.

 

Other than sheer curiosity, I have a soft spot for blue/grey coaching stock as this is what I remember seeing everywhere as a kid in the 1970s and early 1980s. Aside from some Hornby Pullmans that came with my VSOE set, all of my coaching stock that I've accumulated for my planned model railway is Bachmann Mk1 in blue/grey, with the new Mk2A coaches to be added when they are released later this year.

 

I plan to run Mk1 blue/grey coaches with my steam locos too when I get the layout built....Hornby Clan Line & Flying Scotsman, Bachmann Tornado & Evening Star. I have a thing for green steam locos :) There's also something I really like, aesthetically, about seeing green steam locos hauling BR blue/grey Mk1 coaches. Probably because it reminds me of my old Tri-ang/Hornby layout when I was a kid.

 

Comments welcome...

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I am not sure if there is a definition of "Heritage". Most of the preserved trainsets are in liveries prior to the end of steam (and in some cases pre-nationalisation or even pre-grouping). However I am sure there must be a few Blue units around, one of the preserved SR EMU's perhaps (not my main area so I could be wrong).

 

Blue/grey started to disappear with the introduction of sector liveries in 1986. The latest picture I have seen of B/G stuff in passenger service was a 313 at Welwyn Garden City in the summer of 1990. I started travelling by train a lot around t1991/1992 and I cannot remember seeing any B/G units left by then as NSE seemed to have taken over completely. Perhaps there were late survivors of this livery in other parts of the country.

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I plan to run Mk1 blue/grey coaches with my steam locos too when I get the layout built....Hornby Clan Line & Flying Scotsman, Bachmann Tornado & Evening Star. I have a thing for green steam locos :) There's also something I really like, aesthetically, about seeing green steam locos hauling BR blue/grey Mk1 coaches. Probably because it reminds me of my old Tri-ang/Hornby layout when I was a kid.

 

Comments welcome...

 

Tornado would be wrong - only recently constructed, but the others are OK, Blue - Grey is a steam era livery so no problems with Clan Line and Evening Star, or FS, if in the condition of early conservation.

 

Paul Bartlett

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Guest Max Stafford

Blue and grey coaches were still commonplace in Scotland in 1988 although they vanished almost overnight as the Sprinter revolution eclipsed all in the following 2 years. I remember a couple of blue/grey BGs in 1993 on the Southend Vic-London Royal Mail service.

 

Dave.

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Blue/grey is still found on mainline hire coaching stock. DRS has recetly purchased some. I have been pondering a similar question as to how far back peoples memories would go regarding livieries and what should be run on preserved lines. People who were 10 in the grouping period - say 1940, would now be 82.

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I am not sure if there is a definition of "Heritage". Most of the preserved trainsets are in liveries prior to the end of steam (and in some cases pre-nationalisation or even pre-grouping). However I am sure there must be a few Blue units around, one of the preserved SR EMU's perhaps (not my main area so I could be wrong).

 

Blue/grey started to disappear with the introduction of sector liveries in 1986. The latest picture I have seen of B/G stuff in passenger service was a 313 at Welwyn Garden City in the summer of 1990. I started travelling by train a lot around t1991/1992 and I cannot remember seeing any B/G units left by then as NSE seemed to have taken over completely. Perhaps there were late survivors of this livery in other parts of the country.

 

Yes, I lived (and still do live) in the area that BR named the NSE region in 1986/87. After that time, I definitely don't recall seeing blue/grey liveried trains in this area and I didn't travel by train much outside it as I had a car not long after Like you say, perhaps in other areas of the country some survived beyond the sectorisation that took place in the late 80s - the fact that you've seen pics dating from 1990 shows that was the case.

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Guest Natalie Graham

Isn't the term 'heritage' meant to decribe the recently withdrawn, worn-out stuff of no historical importance that preserved lines run to avoid wearing out or restoring the interesting stock?

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Tornado would be wrong - only recently constructed, but the others are OK, Blue - Grey is a steam era livery so no problems with Clan Line and Evening Star, or FS, if in the condition of early conservation.

 

Paul Bartlett

 

Re Tornado, I see your point but I'm not going for historical accuracy here...to quote James May: "It's my railway and I'll run on it what I want!"...or words to that effect ;)

 

All the pics and footage of Tornado with coaches that I've seen are of her pulling a rake of crimson/cream Mk1's with what looks like a support coach (maroon liveried).

 

But I don't like those liveries for loco-hauled coaches - apart from blue/grey I only like the Pullmans and Western Region chocolate/cream.

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All the pics and footage of Tornado with coaches that I've seen are of her pulling a rake of crimson/cream Mk1's with what looks like a support coach (maroon liveried).

 

But I don't like those liveries for loco-hauled coaches - apart from blue/grey I only like the Pullmans and Western Region chocolate/cream.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

W H A T....? Y O U C A N N O T B E S E R I O U S :sclerosis:

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Isn't the term 'heritage' meant to decribe the recently withdrawn, worn-out stuff of no historical importance that preserved lines run to avoid wearing out or restoring the interesting stock?

 

Interesting. I think of 'heritage' railways as part of our railway history, period. Surely blue/grey coaching stock from the 1960s-1980s would count as that? Why would it be any different to say, crimson/cream or maroon of the pre-BR blue era?

 

Withdrawn for 20+ years (for the most part) surely puts blue/grey livery rolling stock beyond the "recently withdrawn" category? I guess it depends on your version of "recent". In the grand scheme of things (i.e. how long railways have been around), the 1980s and 1990s are very recent.

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For some odd reason I just find it difficult to think of the Corporate blue & grey, InterCity and Network South East as 'Heritage'. I mean, if they represent "our heritage" then we are down to celebrating the vulgar. The garish Passenger Transport Executive colour schemes on buses that replaced all the once proud civic colour schemes could be seen in the same way. Surely we are in danger of dumbing down our heritage unless a bit of common sense and taste are used in the selection process, otherwise all those 'common' tasteless grafitti vinyls will one day be called heritage. Just a thought.

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There is no reason why some preserved coaches should not be blue grey. While I, personally, think it's an ugly livery, it is not unreasonable for it to be represented and it goes well with preserved diesels. What I would object to, and strongly, would be an attitude that said, in essence, 'we should only preserve what living people can remember.' This is the POV that already makes BR loco liveries almost universal. We have a history (not just of railways) that goes back far beyond living memory. Where appropriate, these earlier times should also be represented. ('Where appropriate' means for example that I recognise you can't put a class 47 or a BR standard engine into L&Y livery.)

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For some odd reason I just find it difficult to think of the Corporate blue & grey, InterCity and Network South East as 'Heritage'. I mean, if they represent "our heritage" then we are down to celebrating the vulgar.

Personal taste aside, they are historical liveries and I don't see any reason why they should be excluded from preservation or even the term "heritage". If they are not popular with preservationists or the paying public then I think that alone will be enough to limit their numbers.

 

Corporate, sectorisation and even privatisation liveries are just as much a part of railway history as steam and green diesels. Are they vulgar or is it simply that we are not yet sufficiently removed from those times yet to view them nostalgically through rose-tinted glasses?

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By all means run blue & grey carriages with preserved blue Diesel locomotives. Historically it makes sense. On the otherhand, tell that to Mr.Blogs and his live-in partner & ten kids when all they see is "A train we can see anyday on BR". The reason for this perception is probably due to the popularity of old 1970s/80s re-runs of 'The Sweeney', 'The Professionals', 'Minder' etc on Freeview. That to them is our railway system if they have never had occasion to travel by train.

 

I wonder how many Mk.I coaches were painted in Western Region brown & cream after 1956? Not a lot I'll bet. I saw the occasional couple on the Cambrian section and the odd stray to Llandudno or Holyhead. And yet almost all heritage sites feature coaches in this livery, which is really silly if the line in Yorkshire or wherever.

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I think there are two heritage railways, the Glos/Warks and East Lancs, which have blue/grey rolling stock making the argument, which cannot possibly be refuted, that as the livery was introduced in 1966 it was part of the steam railway pre-1968. To support their view they also point out that all, literally all, of the steam specials in August 1968 had blue/grey stock in their rakes.

 

Now all of this is true, but I can't bear the blue/grey or plain blue livery! Nor do I want it on my films of steam galas! Therefore I stay away from these railways.

 

Regards

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I wonder how many Mk.I coaches were painted in Western Region brown & cream after 1956? Not a lot I'll bet. I saw the occasional couple on the Cambrian section and the odd stray to Llandudno or Holyhead. And yet almost all heritage sites feature coaches in this livery, which is really silly if the line in Yorkshire or wherever.

I forget how many rakes were painted in WR choc'n'cream. I think all the named expresses had a matching rake although these started to get mixed up by the early 60s. Lots of Mk1s are pretty much inevitable in preservation as most pre-nationalisation stock was scrapped before the preservation got into the stride it has now. I must admit, I have not seen choc'n'cream widely used out of context. My local preserved railway is the Watercress line and most of the stock there is green. I have to go to Didcot to see other colours.

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