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Colour of CIE wagon rooves 1960's and '70's

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John McGahern

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Generally painted same colour again, John, though I am sure I have seen a grey roof on a brown wagon, but never the other way round.


However, a bit like grey steam engines, or orange roofs on diesel locos or carriages, the wagon roofs didn't stay that way long. Weathering on the roof would be thus almost obligatory!

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As an aside, many railway companies painted carriage roofs white or extremely light grey prior to about 1918; even after it in the case of the GNR, at times.


A less suitable colour for the roof of anything in the steam era could not be found! Thus, modelling such things would require substantial weathering to varying shades of grey (fifty, even!).


Companies which did this that come immediately to mind would be MGWR, GNR(I) and even the LLSR at one stage!

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Thank you for the advice! By the way what would be the most accurate shade of grey? (I know I'm probably sound a little ridiculous now) :) I was thinking along the lines of LMS grey but really lightened up as I've been told they were towards the '60s onwards. And as far as the brown goes, I've been told that they were pretty close to the British Rail Bauxite?

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BR bauxite is indeed close enough for the brown. After new painting it adopted a much flatter hue very quickly, as old photos (and recollection!) will testify. In more recent years, post 2000 at a guess, it shows a reddish hue when newly painted, but again this dulls down, as a quick look at any Tara timber wagon shows.


The grey used by (initially) the GSR, and on into CIE days until probably the mid fifties or so was very much like LMS grey, and may have been exactly, as their carriage maroon post-1935 was. The NCC also used a shade like this, as did the GNR. It was fairly standard.


The very much lighter shade started appearing around the very late 50s of early 60s, and would initially have been associated with the then current production run of H vans, though earlier H vans were the darker shade. This lighter grey was also applied at this stage to pallet vans, repainted wooden open wagons and guards brake vans, the latter having yellow and black flashes on the ducket (NOT white and black, as on the one in Cultra!).


How to describe the shade... Grey is always a hard colour to describe! I would not be the expert on reference numbers etc, but I'll see if I can find a suitable picture to illustrate it.

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