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Thread: GSR & CIE locomotive list for grey, green or black livery

  1. #1
    Senior Member jhb171achill's Avatar
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    GSR & CIE locomotive list for grey, green or black livery

    Having managed to find old notes in the chaotic parallel world which to outsiders is my "study", here are the details I had promised of loco liveries. The bulk of this material originated from the late Drew Donaldson and Bob Clements, both probably the greatest ever authorities on GSR / CIE steam locomotives.

    In GSR days, all locomotives were battleship grey as currently seen on RPSI's J15 186. This was inherited from the GSWR's post-1918 livery. No lining was applied, and cab interiors, frame interiors, every single detail bar the red buffer beams, were grey. The GSR never painted anything, broad or narrow gauge, black. Given an exception to every rule, of course, the GSR had just three: the 800 class, painted a mid-green with bluish tint, and yellow (not white) and black lining. Name and number plates on the 800 class had raised polished numbers and lettering, and blue backgrounds. All other (grey) locos had the numberplates just painted over, or sometimes the raised edges and numbers polished to bare metal, and occasionally painted a light creamy yellow colour, particularly after CIE took over.

    In CIE days, a small number of locos were painted lined green, as on 800 in Cultra Museum (though ignore the "G S" on its tender - should be a "flying snail" for that livery). The locomotives painted green were as follows:

    1. All surviving 4.6.0s inc. 400 class, 800 class, etc.

    2. All repainted "Woolwich" 2.6.0s. One, No. 384, received a lined black livery, with red lining, eau-de-nil "snail" and cream painted cabside number, as depicted on the excellent Murphy Models version, for a short time in then late '50s. This loco was used on the Cork - Rosslare (via Mallow) Boat Train.

    3. Most Dublin Suburban tank engines.

    4. B4 class No. 467, D4 No. 336 (for a short period, then back to grey), D12 No. 305 and D14 No. 61 (which latter must have made a fine sight!). GSWR J30 (preserved at Downpatrick) was repainted in the late 1950s in its final years of traffic in a shade which if not actual black was as good as black. It had a large painted pale yellow number at that stage.

    5. One ex-GSWR J15 (193), and one ex-MGWR J18 (593), which were repainted in Cork shortly before the end of steam had the all over grey but with black smoke boxes. One "Bandon Tank" (464) also based there was repainted at the same time in what appears to have been a much darker shade of grey, with black smoke box.

    6. In the very final years of steam (late 50s to early 60s), some of the very few locomotives which saw a paintbrush by then were turned out in unlined black. They were few in number and I have the details somewhere, but not to hand. When I find the info I'll post it here in the hope that it is of assistance.

    7. All locomotives receiving green livery except the 800 class had painted numerals and "snails" - in both cases, the standard pale green "eau-de-nil" colour was used, as opposed to the light yellow used to paint numerals on grey / black locomotives. "Snails" were n ever light yellow though - light green on tenders of grey / black engines. No tender engines (including, not surprisingly, all narrow gauge engines), ever had "snails".

    8. No narrow gauge engines were ever green or black. (A Cavan & Leitrim 4.4.0 would have looked amazing in green!! The closest to this was in the form of C & L No. 1 which remained in C & L green until the mid 1930s, thus one of the very last locos in pre-grouping livery. C & L livery was green, lined red and white).

    9. Details: the "eau-de-nil" snails were lined in gold, and green locos had buffer beams (always red) lined with black.

    10. The 800 class differed from other green locos in retaining their numberplates. One of the trio (or possibly two, but not 800 itself) had a red-painted background to the name and numberplates, as currently on the RPSI's 461. For a very short time over the winter of 1952/3, 802 carried a lighter shade of green, possibly as a short-term experiment, as the lighter green applied to carriages, some railcars and diesel locomotives appeared a short time later.

    I hope this is of interest.

  2. #2
    It is of great interest and is historical fact. Thank you very much for taking the time to compile and post this. You are a library of information, you're presence and willingness to share it here is hugely appreciated. Even a lot of the rolling stock that was on the network 5 years ago is consigned to history now. Historical fact like this is priceless in this hobby, and plays a huge roll in the grand scheme of things.

    I hope this encourages more people to photograph anything railway related and make notes because the hobby can't survive without it in the long run. Superb stuff and thank you once again.

    Rich,

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    Thats a mine of information and throws a lot of light on a tricky and emotive subject. I shall be able to paint my locos with confidance. Thank you for the time spent collating this information.
    Mike

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    Senior Member Mayner's Avatar
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    I would not get too bogged down on what engine was painted a particuar livery.

    Drew Donaldson who built a large clockwork powered O Gauge layout based on the South Western Section (Dublin to Cork and branches!) painted most of his scratch built fleet in the lined green livery. It was his railway and he obviously prefered lined green to dark grey.

    Another timetable and operational modeller from the same era who modelled the GNR did not like diesel railcars, built several BCDR locos to work the links normally operated by railcars!
    John


    If I was going there I would'nt be starting here.

  5. #5
    Senior Member jhb171achill's Avatar
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    Many thanks, gents. If there's anything else I can dig up I'll post that too. Mayner mentions Drew - yes, strange that he was one of several who meticulously recorded detail, liveries, what locos worked what links and so on.. anyone who knew him will remember the importance he placed on accuracy, and yet he did indeed paint his locos in liveries which for the most part they never carried... Just goes to show that if the owner of a layout wants accuracy, he can have it with information available, or if he prefers something else he's free to do so - it's his layout.

    I should point out that I would never criticise anyone for preferring to depict something that was not in real life - I had at one stage planned (if I EVER get time!) a layout based on a 3ft gauge version of the Achill line - which most certainly never was! My point in maing posts is to make available information that I have the good fortune to be able to research accurately, for the benefit of whoever wants it.

    On the subject of layouts in general, apart from liveries, the main thing I notice nowadays is the massively high standards of modelling achieved by both individuals and the several small manufacturers who are making kits currently. I look at the B101 class, the new De Dietrich carriages, the 4 wheel "tin vans" and many more - the pinnacle for me is the model of 800 - who would ever have thought such high class stuff would be available only a few years ago. In my teenage years, a CIE train meant Hornby mk 1's crudely painted black'n'tan.... and an LMS 0.6.0in grey to haul them.... no Murphy Models 141's in a variety of liveries then. If only.

    Meantime, I'll poke about for more livery details.

  6. #6
    GSWR 90 was in lined green when on display in Fermoy.
    I'm assuming it never worked in that condition and that it was a post-withdrawal paint job?

  7. #7
    Senior Member jhb171achill's Avatar
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    Yes, indeed, Minister, it was. It started life on the Castleisland Railway Company - it is not known whether they had a livery of their own for their only locomogtive, but it would have been painted in GSWR colours after only a few years. The appropriate version of GSWR livery for that time is what it now carries in Downpatrick. The precise scheme was obtained from a large scale model built at Inchicore around tha time (of a GSW 2.4.0) and presented to the Institute of Mechanical Engineers in London, where it resides to this day, and may be viewed by appointment.

    It would subsequently have acquired the later version of lining with the same dark green - this was cream and black. After about 1905 it would have been repainted black with red lining, and probably retained this after its 1915 rebuild into its current state. The grey started to appear about 1918 and quickly spread to most GSW locos, and to all GS ones after 1925. When 90 was withdrawn it was painted the way you (and I) remember it. This was a reonable approximation of an earlier GSWR livery, as carried on No. 36 in Cork station. That lighter green seems to have been replaced by the dark olive green about 1870 - before 90's time.

    90 first went on display in its post-withdrawal scheme at Fermoy, and later to Mallow. It is DCDR's intention to keep it as it is. Basically the loco is in working order, but it needs a boiler lift for insurance and a number of small adjustments made before it re-enters traffic, though this will come abouit in due course. There are several youtube clips of it in traffic, one showing it fully lined in late 1870s style.

  8. #8
    Great info. Thanks.

    So the livery on 36 is prototypical and was used until about 1870? I had assumed it was made up by CIE in the 50s.

    I read that 90 was an 0-6-4T until 1915. Do you know would the carriage portion have been in purple lake?

    (Any chance of a sticky on this topic?)

    Alan

  9. #9
    Good idea... this is a topic that is likely to be visited again and again.

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  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by jhb171achill View Post
    It is DCDR's intention to keep it as it is. Basically the loco is in working order, but it needs a boiler lift for insurance and a number of small adjustments made before it re-enters traffic, though this will come abouit in due course. There are several youtube clips of it in traffic, one showing it fully lined in late 1870s style.
    Thanks for the great info. Is 90 not back on the rails? I travelled on it 2 years ago, has something changed in the interim.

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