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D864 Zambesi Livery


Andy Kirkham
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A couple of weeks ago I was admiring a friend's model railway when I noticed he had a model of D864 Zambesi in its unique livery with brown-painted skirts.

As shown here

https://flic.kr/p/aBysaH

 

I'd been aware that one of the Warships carried this style, but I couldn't have said which one it was. Then I thought Hey! I took a picture of D864 in 1970, and I went home to check it out.

 

10420684423_01f97e4665_z.jpgD864 Zambesi at Bath Road, 1970 by Andy Kirkham, on Flickr

 

All these years I have supposed that the colour of the skirts in this picture is blue (albeit obscured by dust), so I concluded that the loco must have had at least a partial repaint late in its career to normalise its livery.

 

However this afternoon in a bookshop I had a surrepticious browse through The Book of The Warships and checked out the page for D864. It states there that Zambesi carried its unique livery until withdrawal. I've had another close look at my picture and to me those skirts still look more like blue than anything else.

 

What does the team think?

Edited by Andy Kirkham
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There's a book (forget which one) with a colour phot of it on the scrapline at Swindon and the frames do still appear to be brown. The rest of the loco appeared washed-out blue but below the solebar was all brown.

 

I think the fact all Western and Warship frames tended to get covered in brake dust and appeared to be beyond the reach of the wash plants meant it was not obvious the loco was any different to the rest.

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http://www.rail-online.co.uk/p661346788/h5C13D4D0#h5c13d4d0

 

I can only find that scrap line photo so far, and it is rather inconclusive.

http://www.rail-online.co.uk/p634483962/h18b1172b#h18b1172b

 

Here's another one of it with 860. If I were a betting man I'd say the skirts were a different colour but the photo is not entirely conclusive.

 

EDIT:

 

http://www.rail-online.co.uk/p634483962/h179afcc8#h179afcc8

 

Yet another, albeit even less conclusive. Although 864 is not mentioned, it's the in the centre of the photo.

 

Of note is the two phot's show both ends of 860 have a blue streak where rain water has washed the dirt away on its way down from the nose. 864 has no such mark - all appears brown.

Edited by Steve T
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To my untutored eye, it looks as if the photo in the op was a loco that had been painted blue, from maroon.

 

Swindon ran out of  blue paint on the Friday afternoon, so out shopped the loco with the original dirt encrusted maroon skirts.

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The Chocolate Brown (or Burnt Umber as it should be known) was first used on the XP64 coaches and was (obviously) designed to hide brake dust. There was a class 08 painted in Blue with brown frames in 1966 and Brown under frames was to be part of the corporate livery but luckily they saw sense and Black was used. By the time the design was changed the Blue livery repainting process was under way so only a tiny few got the Brown.

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  • 3 months later...

Geoff... here are pictures of 864...

 

In the June 68 picture the skirts appear Blue...

 

In the September 68 they are Brown again...

 

And again in January 1971 they are Brown...

 

And then in June 71 at Exeter after withdrawal they appear Blue...

 

And then in August 71 they are Brown again...

 

Trust me... no one painted the skirts for fun.... the loco kept Brown underframes.... dirty... covered in crap.... and rusty... but Brown nevertheless...

 

Its still in its same livery as applied after its side swipe with 1071's collision at St. Annes...

 

It kept the Brown skirts to the end... They got covered in crap... washed at Laira... and covered in crap again!

post-8027-0-61506600-1462477753_thumb.jpg

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post-8027-0-10878800-1462478101_thumb.jpg

post-8027-0-73969300-1462478223_thumb.jpg

post-8027-0-99487200-1462478289_thumb.jpg

Edited by mark alden
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  • 4 years later...
On 11 January 2016 at 20:47, mark alden said:

The Chocolate Brown (or Burnt Umber as it should be known) was first used on the XP64 coaches and was (obviously) designed to hide brake dust. There was a class 08 painted in Blue with brown frames in 1966 and Brown under frames was to be part of the corporate livery but luckily they saw sense and Black was used. By the time the design was changed the Blue livery repainting process was under way so only a tiny few got the Brown.

 

In terms of Warships and Westerns, only D864 got the brown body skirts AFAIK as well as bogies. As others have commented I also saw this a number of times when first done and didn't really notice the difference - however it was one of the first locos in BFYE livery. 

 

However this corporate livery of burnt umber underframes was widely applied at one time (probably mid/late 66 or before and even early 67), and I recall DMUs of both ex WR (Tyseley) and LMR heritage at Birmingham New Street having it, some with wrap around yellow fronts. 

 

I'm not sure whether the AL6s received it or the BSYP repaints (selected AL3 and AL4?) or even AM10s or AM4 repaints (repainted for Euston services whilst the rest of the AM10s were awaited). Not aware of any other AL class BSYP repaints.

 

These variations of under frame colour, as with D864, were soon hidden under brake dust so it was only if you saw an ex works vehicle that it was apparent.

 

The first time I became aware of the change to black underframes was a visit to Derby Works open day probably in the summer of 1967 when several Sulzer type 2s were ex works in blue with FYE and black under frames. 

 

I suspect many early blue transition repaints (including coaches) had burnt umber underframes (many of those early repaints had red buffer beams - however the AL3/4/6 (other than the first few AL6 from Vulcan and Doncaster) had rail blue ones - just for variety!!!! 

 

I dont think any under frames got reached by the carriage washing plants of the day - indeed I recall watching a green Warship pull a rake of coaches through the plant next to the station at Newton Abbott - and mighty fine it looked too whilst wet - reverting to faded and washed out green as the water dried. 

 

Vehicle washing has moved on significantly since then, so vehicles like class 465 (white rooves and probably 2/3 of the bodysides are white) remain in very presentable condition much of the time (graffiti artists excepted) to the extent if you see the tops of the carriages whilst crossing a footbridge even they look presentable. The tanks at the washing plant at Gillingham have Autoglym stickers on them - whether that's someone's joke I don't know but high end cars use their products!!!! 

Edited by MidlandRed
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