Jump to content
  • 0
Sign in to follow this  
jhb171achill

GSR / CIE Wagon Liveries

Rate this question

Question

For those who have asked, I now have details re the above which I hope may be of help to all.

 

The GSR used a grey for all wagons which was described as being the same as LMS wagon grey - which can be bought readily (is Humbrol still on the go?). Wagons were painted grey all over, with the only bits picked out in black being buffers and couplings. The large "G S" and numerals on the sides were a light cream colour, though this tended to darken a bit after a while in use.

 

Wagon roofs and chassis were in the body colour, not black - a very common error on models because bought model wagons are inevitably of BR & constituent companies across the water, where black chassis sem to have been the norm - unless, that is, Hornby perpetuated an error years ago!

 

I suppose this is why, to me, livery information is crucial. Some might see it as the stuff of bean counters or rivet counters, and if one's main interest in a layout is the operational side, so be it - no one type of interest is more or less valid than another. But the first thing anyone ever knows about anything in the world is what it LOOKS like - and livery plays 50% of this part, outline dimensions being the other 50%. Hence my interest in liveries!

 

I was taking an interest in the world outside when CIE's green and snails were giving way to broken wheels, red and cream buses, navy and cream buses, black and silver lorries and black'n'tan trains, and the UTA's green buses were becoming blue and cream Ulsterbuses, while their trains were also changing livery. UTA green, GNR brown carriages, UTA blue and cream and early NIR maroon and grey were all floating about in my head, instead of French vocabulary, equations, and chemical formulae..

 

Once CIE took over, variations started to appear. Photos taken in the 50s show flying snails adorning what was still clearly this mid-grey as opposed to the much lighter shade used from the mid 60s onwards). The familiar "broken wheel" started to appear from 1963, but wagons were still to be seen with "snails" as late as 1978 - when I photographed one in a train at Ballina.

 

At some stage about 1959 / 60, the lighter grey (similar to that on 121 class locos at first) began to appear, mostly if not entirely on newly built standard "H" vans. I never saw an older wooden framed wagon in light grey. In the mid 60s, fitted wagons were painted brown - a theme copied, I believe, from British Rail, but it doesn't seem to have been absolute as I occasionally saw a brown wagon which was not fitted - perhaps some wagons received or had removed the relevant pipes, but were not repainted. Older wagons tended to retain the darker grey.

 

The corrugated-sided Bullied open wagons had all but replaced wooden bodied opens by the early 70s, but I do recall seeing a single one of these wooden wagons in brown, but it was not fitted - that was unusual, as these wagons were inevitably the slightly darker grey of pre 1960. The corrugated-sided ones went on to carry little other than beet in later years. They were always a silvery grey which could have been as a result of having been unpainted, or possibly they were galvanized. The chassis of these occasionally had brown daubs of paint with the number painted on, or maintenance dates - just like other wagons.

 

By the mid 1970s, most goods trains were made up of "H" vans which I would guess were about 60% brown, 40% light grey.

 

Every rule has exceptions. In steam days the railways were a much dirtier environment, and paint was more expensive than now, so lowly goods wagons tended not to receive the cosmetic care and attention lavished (usually) on locos and passenger stock. Thus, wagons could frequently appear with just a few newly replaced planks repainted in new paint, with the rest not repainted - maybe a wagon with newly painted doors, but not the rest. In later days unpainted planks would sometimes appear 9more so on the UTA in the 60s, though). The dirt, brake dust, coal smoke and soot mean that wagons were in, well, fifty shades of grey!!

 

Special vehicles are well known and gave been commented on here by others - blue Tara waons, white and dark green Anhydrous Ammonia bogie tankers, and silver and red Asahi wagons. The most common exceptions, perhaps, for many modellers would be the cement "bubbles". These started life in the standard CIE grey, with black lettering and tan-coloured "wheel" surround to the black "CIE" lettering on the logo. From the early 70s they were repainted orange, with grey or black chassis and black lettering. The "bubbles" tended to be regularly cleaned in these times, not covered in a layer of cement as in later days. The next stage was a cream colour with "Irish Cement" logo, which they technically ended their days in, though they were so dirty it was impossible to tell what colour many were painted; they were just coated in cement dust.

 

Narrow gauge vehicles (West Clare, T & D, C & L) were all painted the older darker grey, though with even less frequent visits to paint chops, the fifty shades were more like 150 shades. Modellers of this type of thing could really get away with anything - the one common denominator being very heavy brake dust and paint-faded weathering!

 

Sometimes wagons were intended for use on passenger trains, and would be painted in a matching livery. A handful of "H" vans (maybe only 1 or 2 for some special reason?) were standard dark passenger green, but with wagon-style "snail" markings and the usual stencilled numerals in white. I have seen but two pictures of these - one had the green down to the chassis, and a black chassis like a passenger vehicle, but green ironwork on the body. The other looks as if the whole chassis was green. The West Clare section had four small 4-wheeled vans for use on passenger trains - these had a green body and black chassis.

 

Elsewhere, wagons in grey era, including the 1960s lighter version, and the brown seen everywhere since, never had black chassis or ironwork - this is a common error in models due to whatg appears to be the standard use of black chassis on BR-based models, which most of us start with! The only exceptions to that anywhere in Ireland that I am aware of, are NCC brown vans in certain liveries (can't speak for original state) and some one-offs or oddball PW vehicles.

 

Talking of PW stock, all companies used standard grey or black for spray train equipment, breakdown trains and what are now known as maintenance-of-way stuff. Imported tamping and lining machines were yellow from the start, a that's how they were made by the likes of Plasser & Theurer, but it is only in recent years that ballast vans and sundry wagons, spray train carriages, etc, have become yellow. A spray train modelled pre-1980 anyway would be grey.

 

I seem to recall the ex-GNR breakdown crane in red, though this was almost certainly a UTA job. The GNR, like CIE and the GSR, would have painted them grey all over.

 

All this grey - sounds dull, doesn't it? But look at old colour photos; dull in colour terms, but if I may suggest, a lot more interesting than today.

 

Going back into history, the MGWR painted wagons grey, as did the GNR, but the GSWR painted them black at one stage, and as I think I might have mentioned somewhere else, a very dark grey which I can verify off a large scale model I have which was made in Inchicore about 1905. The BCDR and NCC were early entrants into the world of grey for loose coupled, bauxite brown for fitted.

 

Finally, as befits the last wagon on every goods train, is the humble guard's van. These followed the practice of other wagons on whatever railway they were on - i.e. inevitably all over grey. CIE started painting the guard's ducket with black and yellow stripes from the mid 60s, and once a van was repainted brown (as all survivors were by mid 70s-ish), it retained the yellow and black striping. Regrettably, the three best preserved guard's vans are inaccurate livery-wise; the CIE one in the UFTM at Cultra has black and white stripes on the ducket, and incorrect style of numerals, and the (EXCELLENTLY restored) GNR van at Whitehead has cream inside the balconies 9should be grey), black ironwork* and black lower body. (* Re. exceptions to rules: NIR painted ironwork black on one or two guard's vans and ballast opens in the 70s!). The third van, the former NCC one at Downpatrick, is in NIR light grey like this, but with UTA markings.

 

I should add that in terms of liveries, the colour scheme of the CIE van at Cultra is by noe means the only livery inaccuracy there. It's best to check elsewhere if modelling something in there! Though, as one of their own folk very correctly said one time, it's better to have something painted bright pink and tartan, than not have it at all!

 

I'd better go and do my shopping now......

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Recommended Posts

  • 0
A number like that is pre-1910 (approx) of GSWR origin.

 

Probably a covered van, convertible van, or possibly a cattle truck.

 

No sign of ventilation slits that you would see in a cattle wagon, not even boarded-up ones, so probably just a regular goods van.

 

No cast number plate or any sign of one having been fixed to frames (bolts/boltholes etc)

 

No 'To Carry X Tons' plate that you'd expect, might have been taken off when the sheeting was put on it? Rusty remains of label clips.

Edited by minister_for_hardship

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

Excellent! Most interesting!

 

All GNR design, of 1920-40 era; except the very first (GN 1) which is probably GSR 1920s, but at a pinch MIGHT be GNR, and GN5, which is an Inchicore design of early 1930s for the GSR. A design, in fact, of jhb171senior's senior....

 

A photo of the plank would be interesting...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

You might of hit the jackpot Minister the horizontal tie-bar through the framing seems to be a common feature on CBSCR covered goods wagons.

 

I have seen grounded bodies of GSWR, GNR & GSR vans with aluminium sheeting sandwiched between the framing and planking. This may have been an economy measure to use a lower grade of timber for body planking.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
You might of hit the jackpot Minister the horizontal tie-bar through the framing seems to be a common feature on CBSCR covered goods wagons.

 

I have seen grounded bodies of GSWR, GNR & GSR vans with aluminium sheeting sandwiched between the framing and planking. This may have been an economy measure to use a lower grade of timber for body planking.

 

Numbered plank is from same wagon, no 'B' suffix. Also number seems a little on the high side to be from a smallish system like the Bandon.

 

Had a look under the alum sheet and there are CIE snails painted on the timber underneath (snails at top LH corners, numbers are at bottom RH corners) This sheeting must have been put on in CIE days in an effort to 'recondition' old wagons, I would think.

Edited by minister_for_hardship

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

With no letter "B" and, I am guessing no other letter at all, this vehicle is very certainly of GSWR origin; the high number would in itself suggest that.

 

For modellers of the 1945-55 period, the light green colour (which is actually the normal "eau-de-nil"), is worth noting. Once the stencilled snail appeared, wagon numerals and logos changed to white.

 

If you have access to a painted light green "snail", Minister, it's worth photographing and measuring for modellers for an accurate record, as I'm unaware of the existence of ANY other painted "wagon snail".

 

Regarding the metal strengtheners on the wagon, the GSWR and possibly DSER used these too - maybe others also.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

12957593_10153325159535518_8437619979797291100_o.jpg

 

Detached snails, wagon is not long for this world so took photos of them in place before removing them.

 

Oddly, one is a slightly different shade of green from the other, unless it had been standing for a while exposed to sun on one side only.

 

No other tonnage plates / wagon plates in evidence.

Edited by minister_for_hardship

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

The upper plank is the "real deal" shade, common instead of white in earlier CIE days. The grey shade is standard for 9a0 the GSR period - for ALL goods and PW stock - and CIE up to the late 1950s. Light green started being replaced by white for logos and numerals probably in the early 50s, and "snails" were initially painted, as above. The stencilled "snails" were from the late 50s but became absolutely universal with some still to be seen well into the 70s when loose coupled goods ended.

 

FOR THE BENEFIT of anyone interested, I had a flick through several hundred photos purely on impulse yesterday (yes, in the winter season I really am that sad!), and looked at goods stock between 1972 and the end of loose coupled, late 70s. Roughly half, or perhaps slightly over half, of palvans and H vans were BROWN, the rest still (weathered) light grey. This would be relevant to many of the very excellent layouts we see which are based in this period.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

In an off-board conversation with a highly respected colleague this afternoon, the matter came up of "brown or bauxite" in regard to CIE / IE wagons.

 

Definitions on paper of what constitutes "bauxite" seem to vary, so let's put it like this.

 

If we take the majority view that "bauxite" is a mid brown with a distinct reddish tint, then it is a new phenomenon as far as IE is concerned, and was never used at all by CIE. The reddish shade used now is of comparatively recent origin, most often seen now as a background for painted numerals on modern stock, which (like UTA in the sixties) rarely if ever is entirely repainted. Against a brown surface liberally coated in brake dust, it looks almost red.

 

CIE used a mid brown, and this continued well into IE days, until - I would guess - early 2000s. Thus, anything before that, and certainly everything without exception which constitutes CIE goods stock was not bauxite, but brown.

 

A good source of what this looked like can be seen on many pages of colour books of the period, or among Brian Flannigan's or Ernie ("irishswissernie") Brack's excellent flickr collections.

 

If anyone is familiar with the bizarre collection of sidelined wagons at Limerick, there is this oddball-goods-brake van, converted for some purpose it appears never to have been used for, and with the ends removed. THAT is painted a bauxite colour - but no CIE wagon of any sort, let alone a guard's van, ever carried that colour, any more than it did LNER loco green!

 

I hope this helps.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

The de-roofed six wheelers used for turf traffic. Did these retain their (presumably well weathered) passenger livery or were they re-painted grey?

When did they cease using them?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×

Important Information

Terms of Use