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Pre GSR wagon liveries

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The GSWR painted most wagons, most of the time, plain black all over, sometimes an extremely dark grey, darker than locomotives and almost black.


Prior to about 1890, at a guess, some stock was seen brand new with what appears to be varnished wood with (very unusually for Ireland) black ironwork.


After about 1915, a more "normal" wagon grey was used. In all cases, lettering was white.


The MGWR used plain grey throughout, with white lettering. This was the norm with almost all companies.


Both the GNR and UTA, while normally following the above, appear to gave started painting fitted wagons brown (a lighter shade than CIE) in the mid or late 50s. CIE was all grey until the H vans and "palvans" appeared. They were in a lighter grey. CIE's brown only appeared about 1970.


Going back to pre 1925, narrow gauge companies were all grey, though up to the early 1930s the CDRJC used all-black.


For modellers, it's easy to default to grey everywhere, but there are a few exceptions as seen. The main areas to watch, if striving for accuracy, would be -


- is your model of a fitted wagon or not? If so, and if UTA it GNR, what year is it based?

- don't pick livery details up from almost anything preserved; wrongness is the norm there, unfortunately!

- be award that in old photos, especially black and white, rusting ironwork can look darker or even black, and filthy chassis can also look darker. Wagons were rarely well cared for cosmetically.

- related to above, heavy weathering (very especially on UTA) is the norm; pristine goods stock was so rare it almost looks unrealistic. In particular, a whole rake of identical wagons was in itself almost unknown, but an identical rake all clean......no!

- don't do the "Hornby thing"; black chassis for everything. Very few wagons in Ireland had a black chassis and coloured body - NCC brown vans bring a rare exception.


Hope this is helpful.

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The late Padraig O'Cummin the MGWR historian published a series of articles on MGWR coaching and wagon stock in the 1970s


MGWR wagons were painted dark slate grey with loco and traffic coal wagons black, ballast wagons sand-beige (yellow clay) and some goods brakes mid green. Some evidence light grey used in 1924 for open box wagons.


Traffic wagons and small p.w.d trucks and hoppers used MGW + number on one plank.


Passenger train wagons, loco coal wagons and bogie rail wagons used MGWR + number


I don't know about standard gauge stock the GSR painted C&L ballast wagons sand-beige /yellow clay in the 1930

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The GSR's wagon grey was the same pretty standard stuff used by the GNR, DSER and NCC also. BCDR grey was slightly darker. The C&L ballast wagons (of which I think there were about 3) inherited the sandy yellow colour from the C & L itself. Lettering was black on these instead of white. To my knowledge they were the only exceptions to the normal grey anywhere on the GSR. There's a pic of one in Paddy Flanagan's book.


The GSR, with it's apparent love of all things grey, painted all PW, loco and other departmental stuff the same grey as goods stock. I think, but I'm not certain, that the weed spray tanker was black, with support vehicles grey.


CIE continued this until the advent of yellow for things other than track machines, into the 1980s.


A point here - if anyone is modelling a weedspray train in anything other than recent 2 decades, it may be grey, not yellow!

Edited by jhb171achill
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No. It was purpose built - but it certainly looks very "steam-engine-ish"!


On close inspection, the cab hasn't the right profile for an ex-loco one.


It wasn't part of the Bretland thing, I'm nearly certain. However I have seen one old MGWR bogie flat in the flesh, and photos of at least one different one, with that type of bogie. There was some sort of old GNR bogie goods vehicle, the details of which I don't remember, which also has bogies of a quite American looking style, though not the same as these.


And yet, I'd be extremely surprised if they actually were American.

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