GWR coach livery 1880–1908

This 4-wheeler illustrates the general outline of the standard GWR coach livery from c 1880–1908. Note that the entwined letters on the coach was used on Second and Third class coaches up to 1906, but First class coaches carried the GWR Garter Crests instead – two per side until 1904, then a single Garter flanked by two small crests. From 1906, this latter scheme was used on all classes. Ends are brown with black unlined mouldings. Roofs were white.

Numbering was in the eaves panels until the end of the period, when it was moved to the waist. The superb model represents a 4-wheel Brake Third to diagram T34, built from a Slaters 7mm kit.

Underframes were black. The the wooden inserts of Mansell wheels were probably varnished.
Slaters 4-wheeler GWR Diagram T34
Image courtesy Slater's Plastikard

Some excellent photos of various vehicles taken by James Hilsdon at Didcot in May 2021.


Hornby Brake 3rd Clerestory

Al Reynolds has transformed the appearance of this Hornby corridor clerestory. The panels have additional black lining, and the droplights have been painted indian red, and indian red has also been applied with a bow-pen to produce the 'fake bolection' surrounds. The roof is now in a more realistic overall medium grey. Voids in the bogies, just above the stepboards, have been drilled out and cleaned up with files. MJT bellows corridor connectors have been added.

Additional notes

The Locomotive Volume 1, No. 3, March 1896 states: "The carriages are painted a light brown umber on the lower panels with black margins, a yellow * line being run round on the edge; the upper panels are cream colour with a fine brown line drawn round inside. The lettering on the lower panels, doors, etc. is yellow, shaded black, whilst the numbers which appear along the upper portion are in yellow, shaded with brown. The underframe is painted black."

In 1903, an all-brown livery was tried experimentally. The number of coaches in the experiment is not known, Great Western Way stating that it was 'a rake'. In June 1905 the Railway Magazine was reporting observation of all-brown coaches. Whether this was just a sighting of the 1903 rake or reflects further experiments is not known. This is likely to have been the colour adopted in 1908.

*  Officially, this was gold.