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Liveries of Great Southern Railway

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Locomotives

With the exception of the three 800 class, all locomotives adopted the livery which the GSWR had used since about 1918; namely a very dark "battleship" grey which was spray painted over the entire locomotive, including the cab interior, motion, and between the frames, as if the engine had been driven through a sheep dip. The only relief was the red buffer beam, with ornate shaded number on it. Former GSWR engines were inherited like this, and continued thus, right into CIE days, and indeed all but a very few ended their days uncder CIE in grey.

 

Locomotives from other companies were gradually treated the same, with numberplates being replaced usually by standard GSWR pattern ones (a few exceptions, e.g. ex-Cork, Blackrock & Passage narrow gauge engines transferred to the C & L). Old liveries such as the elaborately lined MGWR and WLWR ones, disappeared. The numberplates were often painted over, but occasionally had the raised rim and lettering / numerals picked out by sanding them down, i.e. bare metal, other times by painting them. Eye witnesses (several of whom I have known) noted this painting of numberplates was sometimes a lighter grey or a creamy colour (possibly off white), but more usually bare metal. Numberplate background was the same overall battleship grey.

 

describe locos fresh out of the paint shop as having a slight bluish hue, something to be seen on RPSI No. 186 when very clean, or when initially painted thus at Whitehead. In use, after a while in traffic and many "cleanings" with oily rags, locos began to look much darker, almost black. A close look, though, showed they were not black.

 

The three 800s were a lightish green, much lighter than the later green as seen on 800 in Cultra museum. It also had a distinct bluish tint, and the recently releasec scale model of it advertised on these boards has captured this perfectly. Lining was light yellow and black and number and name plates had edges and numerals polished, with dark blue backgrounds and red buffer beams. Bear in mind, incidentally, that 800 in Cultra has CIE green, but GSR markings, if ever photographing it for modelling purposes.

 

GSR carriages initially continued the GSWR tradition of a very dark maroon, so dark it looked brownish; this was known as "crimson lake". The exact shade may be seen on ex-GSW coaches 836 and 1097 at Downpatrick; 836 also having accurate GSWR lining, crests and lettering. Coaches of other companies gradually got this colour as well, with GSR coats of arms and large "1", or "3" numerals on carriage doors to indicate class. Lining was gold. By the mid 1920s an experimental livery was tried on corridor coaches on the Cork line. This was a chocolate brown up to lower waist panel level, with cream above and grey roofs. The cream had a thin black line seperating it from the brown, and two black lines just above the window level, and just below cantrail. Crests and numerals were the same as before. This livery was gradually extended to more corridor and bogie coaches, but was never used on six wheel stock with the exception of a very small number of vans (probably treated thus for ioperating on Cork line, but one at least was photographed bringing up the rear of a branch line train in Mayo). Nor was it ever used on the narrow gauge, and many secondary bogie coaches remained in the dark lake colour.

 

When the "steels" (the first steel sided coaches, often known as "Bredins") were intorduced in 1935, they were painted a much lighter shade of maroon, almost idenitical to that used by the LMS NCC / LMS in GB, all over. Again, the same numerals and crests were applied to the sides, and the lining was also like that of the LMS - a black line edged in yellow at waist level, and two thin yellow lines above windows and below cantrail. Some lowly branch line carriages, most narrow gauge stock, and things like horse boxes were unlined. A very small number of very old passenger carriages even then used as emergency accommodation only, has the letters "G S" instead of the crest, and no lining, same as on horse boxes.

 

Newly painted brown and cream coaches were in evidence up to about 1933/4, but after the late 30s the new LMS style maroon spread to most stock, before the advent of the earlier CIE green livery after 1945.

 

Inherited wagons were a mixed bag. The GSWR had painted its wagons dark grey or more usually, black, but companies like the DSER and MGWR used various shades of grey (yes, possibly even fifty shades of grey!). The GSWR had painted departmental stock a sand colour at one time, but this was discontinued. Gradually, a grey colour became standard across the board. The shade was darker than that later used by CIE, and probably very close again to LMS wagon grey. Narrow gauge wagons were also treated thus, though one interesting exception to the rule was that the Cavan & Leitrim had painted its ballast wagons yellow - just like a century later! The GSR continued this, using yellow 4 wheel open wagons with "G S" on the sides in smaller than usual letters. In common with most railway companies of the days, the owner's initials were prominent; large bold lettering "G S" was on the side of the wagons. The same size numbers were used on narrow gauge wagons, looking even bigger due to those wagon's small sizes.

 

Stations, buildings and signal cabins had dark green paint round doors and frames, with cream used on upper panels or round window panes.

 

Hope this helps.

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Great info as always, a subject for your next book perhaps Railway liverys of Ireland.PIMP

 

Hahaha good thinking snapper! I've one on the go at the moment in which liveries will be commented on as always! (Liveries have always interested me; dunno why - they don't often interest all that many people... present company excepted of course.. but there ye go!)

 

I meant to add, by the way, with regard to wagon liveries, grey all over, NOT black metalwork, strapping or chassis. This is an error often made by modellers, like I did myself back in the day when I did a bit of modelling, and chassis off Triang Hornby things (inevitably black, as per BR where metalwork WAS black) were the norm....

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Another addition.... with money being even more scarce in the 30's than it is now, and less importance given to instant "corporate branding", repainting was generally done when something needed to be painted, not when it changed owner. Thus, especially with goods and departmental stock, pre 1925 amalgamation liveries were to be seen until at least the mid thirties, with wagons bearing faded "D S E R", "G S W R" or "M G W R" lettering on them cropping up all over the place. If you are modelling this, the DSER used lettering only slightly smaller than the GSR, but GSWR, CBSCR and MGWR wagon lettering was smaller, about one plank height usually. And while the wagons were generally painted the same colour all over, exhaust smoke from engines made the roofs dirty very quickly, indeed even diesel exhausts soon discoloured light grey or brown wagon's roofs in CIE days. A very newly painted wagon stuck out because of the clean grey or brown wheels, brakegear and roof.

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Haha sorry heirflick! Yes, with a dearth of published photos and periodicals until recent times, details of many aspects of the railways useful to modellers (and none more so than liveries) were not as well publicisdd as they might have been. In Britain, the tendency was for railway companies to paint all metalwork black, though exceptions existed. Here it was the other way round. Few companies did this, most preferrring all over grey - of various shades - and brown, or pre 1925 on some lines, black or almost-black grey, all over.

 

Having said that, many wagons were also infrequent visitors to paint shops, and the paintwork would become very heavily faded and weathered, so nondescript brake dust mixed with dirt would be a good "weathering livery" on some black chassis! Look even at modern IE freight stock - if you can find any which aren't plastered with graffiti, or even find any at all! They will show signs of the same - a nondescript dirty colour with a rusty brown tint (from brake dust).

Edited by jhb171achill
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Another addition.... with money being even more scarce in the 30's than it is now...

 

Slightly OT but I think I read somewhere that during the GSR's 20-year existence it had sufficient funding to build fewer than 50 new engines. Much of its activity was necessarily engaged on belt-tightening.

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Slightly OT but I think I read somewhere that during the GSR's 20-year existence it had sufficient funding to build fewer than 50 new engines. Much of its activity was necessarily engaged on belt-tightening.

 

 

 

While the lack of money was obviously a factor most mainline duties would have been worked by relatively modern GSR or pre-amalgamation locos, with the older locos on branch and secondary lines most of which were up for closure by the 1930s.

 

I think the high average age of the fleet was more due to the large number of J15s and small GSWR passenger locos than anything else, part of the problem was that the attempts to build a slightly more modern replacement for the J15 and a modern passenger tank for the Dublin Suburban services were unsuccessful.

 

Rather oddly the GSR scrapped some of its more modern locos in the 1920s, surviving class members remained on main line passenger and freight work until dieselisation. These may have been considered redundant with the introduction of the Woowich or not worth the cost of an overhaul.

 

Even odder still in the 1930s the GSR built the 342 Class 5 new mixed traffic 4-4-0s based on a 1903 GSWR design to replace 5 similar GSWR 4-4-0s scrapped in the 1920s.

Edited by Mayner
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I seem to remember seeing a pic of one of the Inchicore 'cabs', a loco with attached coach effort in lined green somewhere in GSR days.

Also a pic of a pre-'Bandon Tank' CBSCR tank loco with lining visible in GSR or early CIE days on the scrapline, possibly the battleship grey had weathered off from standing in the open?

 

What was the reason for the removal of almost all GSR era numberplates AND private builder worksplates around WW2/Emergency? Suppose they all went into the melting pot?

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The only colour pic I saw of an Inchicore "Cab" operation was of an ancient loco and an even more ancient ex-MGW six-wheeler. The loco was so dirty that Poirot couldn't have worked out what colour it had been painted - though I'd be 99.99% certain it was grey. The coach was in VERY dirty and faded initial CIE dark brunswick green with badly faded loight green bands above and below windows. I doubt if the "joined-on" locos / coach portion were ever green, as the last was scrapped about 1949, just a few years into pre-nationalisation CIE ownership. For a modeller, the loco would probably be 100% weathering paint!

 

A grey loco could well have shown faded lining in a scrap line, though I doubt in traffic. CBSCR engines were originally green, apparently of an olive shade, with quite elaborate yellow lining.

 

Name and number plates were indeed removed for economy - though I doubt if they got the price of a dozen eggs as a result of recycling the scrap!

 

If you are ever in Clifden, the six-wheel coach under tarpaulin there in the Station House Hotel car park shows glimpses of both CIE and GSR lining.

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For what it's worth, my theory on the low level of new locos is that a new loco has to be paid for out of capital, whereas you can rebuild an existing loco out of income. To have capital, you may need to declare a dividend and pay corporation tax on your profits. A nice rebuilt J15 could be had, with new frames, new boiler, even new cylinders, and maybe keep the cab just so you can say it's a rebuild, for a lot less money. That's just a theory - I've no evidence for it whatsoever.

 

Alan

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For what it's worth, my theory on the low level of new locos is that a new loco has to be paid for out of capital, whereas you can rebuild an existing loco out of income. To have capital, you may need to declare a dividend and pay corporation tax on your profits. A nice rebuilt J15 could be had, with new frames, new boiler, even new cylinders, and maybe keep the cab just so you can say it's a rebuild, for a lot less money. That's just a theory - I've no evidence for it whatsoever.

 

Alan

 

I think the low level of capital expenditure was more to do with insufficient net income to fund renewals and pay a dividend to ordinary shareholders than anything to do with tax avoidance.

 

Rather than new locos and passenger stock the GSR appears to have concentrated capital investment which paid off in modern terms of cost savings and operational efficiency, like the Midland Line singling, Kingsbridge, Harcourt Street and Amiens Street-Dun Laoire power signalling schemes and the new Inchacore Erecting Shop.

 

To a certain degree the GSR in the 1930s was ahead of the UK in superheating older superheated loco could be charged to current expenditure and use up to 20% less coal to do similar work to a saturated engine.

 

The draub GSR livery and image was probably a hangover from GSWR obsession with economy, committees were formed to hunt and melt down brass number and name plates and carry out work study of Inchacore piecework rates.

 

While at the same time the road transport side of the business built really modern Art-Deco tourist coaches and streamlined horse-boxes

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Bumping this thread a bit to say two things - can it be stickied, as the info on page 1 on liveries is a gold mine - JHB, thank you immensely. Second, is there, or has there been a comprehensive book published that deals with the "steels" Bredin carriages? There is little or no information on them on the web. Cheers Richie.

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Bumping this thread a bit to say two things - can it be stickied, as the info on page 1 on liveries is a gold mine - JHB, thank you immensely. Second, is there, or has there been a comprehensive book published that deals with the "steels" Bredin carriages? There is little or no information on them on the web. Cheers Richie.

 

The best thats available is an IRRS Journal paper from the early 70s on GSR coaches and a brief piece with two photographs in Irish Broad Gauge Carriages.

 

The RPSI have several which have spent longer in preservation than in ordinaryservice with the GSR and CIE :o

Edited by Mayner
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Bumping this thread a bit to say two things - can it be stickied, as the info on page 1 on liveries is a gold mine - JHB, thank you immensely. Second, is there, or has there been a comprehensive book published that deals with the "steels" Bredin carriages? There is little or no information on them on the web. Cheers Richie.

 

IRRS Journal Vol 11, pages 82 to 95 carries an article on GSR Coaches by Brendan Pender and includes a stock list - it's Journal No.61 and may be still available form the Society. Only one photo, I think.

 

Leslie

(IRRS London hat on!)

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John, I'd found a little about the Great Southern Railway Preservation Society here which might explain why they are not in traffic, and aside from the two in Downpatrick, it seems everything else was lost......Except the converted parcels/brake van that became the iconic weedsprayer wagon. I assume Edgar Craven Bredin was the same engineer, along with Beaumont, responsible for both iconic carriage design types associated with his name?

 

Good lord, that's a needle in a haystack find Leslie, a stock list is exactly what I'm looking for, and even a single photo would be a bonus to add to the other seven or so I have. Thanks for the info, really appreciated. I need to sign up to the IRRS

 

If anyone has access to the rust collection point up wesht, enthusiastically described as a transport museum in Dromod, could they grab a couple of snaps of the light green and brown Bredin carriages grounded in the muck, immediately behind the IE platform, if they could safely navigate between the ice-cream vans, RTE broadcasting vans and De Havilland Chipmunk aircraft?

 

I would ask for measurements, but you might trip over the narrow gauge anti aircraft guns.

 

Richie.

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If anyone has access to the rust collection point up wesht, enthusiastically described as a transport museum in Dromod, could they grab a couple of snaps of the light green and brown Bredin carriages grounded in the muck, immediately behind the IE platform, if they could safely navigate between the ice-cream vans, RTE broadcasting vans and De Havilland Chipmunk aircraft?

 

I would ask for measurements, but you might trip over the narrow gauge anti aircraft guns.

 

Richie.

 

glenderg, thats the best description of a museum that i ever heard...makes me want to visit there . thats another place added to my 'bucket list'

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glenderg, thats the best description of a museum that i ever heard...makes me want to visit there . thats another place added to my 'bucket list'

 

Seamus a must do

 

It brings back happy memories of visits to the narrow gauge railway and the local pubs afterwards:D. To be fair whatever you might think of the collection of aircraft and busses and other vehicles they did a creditable job on the narrow gauge restoration.

 

Glenderg.

 

Its strange that GSWR stock fared better in preservation than the Bredins, Downpatrick and the RPSI have enough to make up a very nice train.

 

At one stage the RPSI had at least 4 Bredin steel coaches but only one appears to have survived, the GSRPS mainly had early CIE built stock about 20 which were slightly longer and had different underframes to the GSR built Bredins.

 

If you can get your hands on it the GSRPS published a reasonably good stock book with photos of all their coaching and wagon stock.

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JHB, I meant to say thanks, earlier, for the livery info. It's very useful.

 

John, I think we're probably in agreement on the taxation and dividends issue. As I understand it, a company declares a profit, pays corporation tax on it, then puts part of the profit towards capital and part towards paying a dividend to the shareholders (who may complain that too much is being used to add to the capital). If you rebuild a loco, you can do it out of revenue, before you declare the profit. To build a new loco, you have to do it out of the money you have added to capital. Scarce capital was probably better employed on other projects such as resignalling. (And I'm not sure there even was corporation tax in the 1920s, so dividends may have been the only issue.) Sorry this is a bit off-topic.

 

Martin Bairstow's 4th vol on the GSWR has some great photos from July 1914 (labelled LCGB / Ken Nunn) that show the lining and liveries about as well as black and white photos can.

 

Alan

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Alan

 

Generally the only way a company can raise capital is by issuing stock shares or debentures, profit retained bay a company after tax are simply classed as Retained Profits or Reserves used to balance out the peaks and troughs in a business.

 

The interesting thing from an accounting perspective :ROFL: is the different tax treatment between replacing and upgrading assetts like the GSRs superheating of the J15s in the 1930s.

 

Judging by the scrapping of a number of 400 Class 4-6-0 and other relatievly modern locos the GSR had had more large locos than were actually need in the 1930s, but small locos were still needed for secondary services after attempts to brew an improved J15 failed, the GSR started a large scale and very succsssful programme of superheating its small goods and passenger locos.

 

 

Now the intersting bit the capital cost of building an improved J15 would have been depreciated over 30-35 years, while it may have been possible to calaim a tax write off the cost of re-boilering and superheating an J15 withiin one year and yield an immediate 20 % saving in coal consumption So 186 may have paid for its rebuild within a couple of years while the unloved 700 and 710 had not paid for themselves by the time they met the scrappers at the end of steam.

 

I think looking back that one of the main things we miss is that the GSR was a much more commerically oriented organisation, much more ruthless both in dealing with the competition and closing unprofitable lines than CIE or the GNR. The GSR wasted no time in replaccing rail with road services and by the late 30s planned to considerably trim the network closing most branch and secondary lines.

 

David Murray's GSR book provides an excellent snapshot of this era the contrast between the GSRs modern and very distinctive road vehicles and its aged steam locos and passenger stock is striking.

 

Against this background superheating small GSWR & MGWR steam locos may have more a matter of buying time to work through the closure process with the Transport Tribunal than anything else.

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Well lads, I don't want to colour your excitement, but if in the last 10 years you have oiled a gate, changed a wheel on a wheelbarrow, or wiped your hands on an oily rag, you've participated in more restoration than Steptoe of Dromod has. If you've ever seen an old farmyard with old morris minors shoved into the ditch, weeds growing out of the wheel arches, hens in the boot, and rabid dogs in the front, that'll give you a flavour of what you're in for. Mind you, I've never seen a single engined prop plane parked by a slurry pit.

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Um. The skeleton. Dressed up. A dressed up skeleton. Who does that? In a carriage. Possibly in one of me bredins. That has been restored with authentic shiny pine wainscotting from ye olde B&Q. And the plasterboard on the ceiling, excellent choice sir, for rolling stock....

 

Two things - can a mod move the last few posts to a new thread so seamus can continue to baffle me with his "rust giddyness" and I'll bosh back keenly. And we'll not poison this excellent lead post!

 

Can't remember what the other point was, but it has something to do with "awaiting restoration" and the cut off cockpit of a Lockheed constellation, and dromod not being the Mojave desert. I'll get to it tomorrow.

 

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is usually associated with teens. In this case it applies to an entire museum. Only without any Hyperactivity.

Edited by Glenderg
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- can a mod move the last few posts to a new thread so seamus can continue to baffle me with his "rust giddyness" and I'll bosh back keenly. And we'll not poison this excellent lead post!

 

aye-we could call the thread 'live at 3' (am) resisting the urge to sleeeeeep.......feck it....ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ!

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