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GSR carriage liveries

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The GSR had four basic carriage liveries.


After the 1925 amalgamation, the GSWR's deep shade of Crimson Lake (actually a very deep red with a distinct brownish tint) was continued, but extended to vehicles from other companies. Obviously the lettering and crest were different, but while different in size, similar in style. From 1918, the MGWR had started using a similar shade, so with the overwhelming majority of the GSR's stock in deep maroon anyway, it made sense to use up supplies of existing paint. Only the DSER (lighter maroon) and the CBSCR (olive green) chang significantly.


This dark shade became the standard GSWR livery for some years. Accurate renditions of it can be seen on the DCDR's coach 836 (as it is at the moment, not the way it used to be with white panels and incorrect lining); also on the the model made by Inchicore apprentices of the dining car, which is in the UFTM at Cultra. Lining was in red and gold, as above examples will show.


In 1929 they introduced a new livery but only for main line stock. This was brown and cream, more or less the same shade as the English Great Western Railway, although the brown may have been very slightly darker on the GSR. Lining was plain black with one line separating the brown and cream at waist level, and another line directly above window level, with a third just below cantrail level.


The crimson lake had white roofs initially, later dark grey or black. The brown and cream livery had only dark grey roofs.


Because brown and cream was meant to be a main line livery, it was never to be seen on narrow gauge stock. Very very few six wheeled vehicles ever got it; I've seen just two pictures of such things ever, and both were passenger brake vans which would have been used on main line trains as well as branches. Secondary bogie stock, and all other passenger stock remained the dark shade.


In 1933 the first "steels" (what we call "Bredins") were introduced, in a new livery. This was a lighter maroon identical to English LMS livery, and with identical lining in yellow and black, identically positioned; someone from Inchicore may have been over there and just liked it!


This was to become standard, and was applied to ALL passenger stock of all types and of both gauges. The only variations were on some secondary stock of older types, and almost all narrow gauge stock which had standard crest and markings, but no lining at all.


In these times, things weren't painted as often as in later years, as money was tight. So by the time CIE appeared in 1945, while almost all was the "new" maroon, the odd vehicle was still in brown /cream, and at least one old spare passenger brake was still in very dishevelled dark GSWR livery, never having been repainted in any GSR livery at all!


I think, but can't confirm, that the last coaches painted in brown and cream were thus treated about 1933.


The fourth livery was both short lived and applied to very few vehicles; this was the LMS shade maroon with cream upper panels. This was only seen, and only for a short time, on the first batch of Drumm trains. These were eventually repainted normal "LMS" post-1933 livery.


So - the GSR inherited GSWR / MGWR "lake". CIE inherited the DUTC's 1941 green, and in 1987 IE inherits CIE orange and black!

Edited by jhb171achill
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Thank you. Interesting, informative and extremely useful for me. I had not realised the GSR, had in 1933, introduced a livery identical to English LMS livery, and with identical lining in yellow and black, identically positioned. Nor was I aware, the early Drumm were painted LMS maroon with cream upper panels. I wrongly assumed the colours of these unique units to be Brown and Cream!

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Easy one to make, Old Blarney, as the pics are two tone black and white, and the coaches with light up or panels had brown below!


The second batch of Drumms were normal "LMS" style.


The old MGWR 6 wheeler at Clifden displayed traces of the maroon, plus the lining (LMS style) as does one of the DCDR ones.

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