Singing the Blues!

Nostalgia for the TCS Picture Gallery by Pat Hammond

Who can resist them?  Locomotives in Express Blue livery – especially when they are pulling a rake of crimson and cream (‘plum & spilt milk’) coloured coaches.  This was the British Transport Commission’s first choice as the livery for its top-link express locomotives, immediately following Nationalisation, but the colour did not wear well and was difficult to touch-up.  This would have meant more frequent repaints and, at a time of austerity and other demands on the public purse, it could not be justified.  So, Britain’s power class 8 locomotives received Brunswick Green finishes after 1951, as carried by other passenger locomotives since 1949.

Because of the livery’s short life it is possible to date children’s railway books that carry pictures of top-link locomotives in Express Blue.

Here is a selection of Express Blue 00 models released in recent years by Hornby and Bachmann and examples of how the livery was presented in children’s books.

(Pictures by the author)


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