GWR 1934–1942 loco livery

GWR Pannier 6710, in 1936

Pannier 6710, following a Swindon works visit c 1936, showing the position of the 12" diameter roundel. This loco was built with riveted tanks by one of the outside contractors (Bagnalls), and was a 'goods-only' loco, with 3-link couplings, no vacuum brake, steam heating, or ATC. The dome and safety valve cover are shiny, but are in bodywork green.


In 1934, the 'Shirtbutton' monogram replaced the existing lettering on both tender and tank sides. In other respects, the livery continued the practice of the previous era.

The first known application of the roundel is the hand-drawn version on 1 June 1934, in the photo adjacent, and predates the official drawing of a month later, from which the production transfers were ordered.

Many engines never received the monogram before it was replaced with the more aesthetically pleasing 'G W R' applied from 1942 onward.

Express passenger locos continued to be lined, but the upper fender of Collett 3500g and 4000g tenders did not have any lining panels. There is a question over the consistency of the application of lining to the upper fenders of Churchward 3500g tenders, but such lining could still be seen during the 1930s and into the late 1930s.

In December 1936, an instruction was issued to change the colour of the body of loco lamps from red to white. The implementation of the change was gradual.
GWR signwriter applies the first roundel on 1 July 1934


The upper fender of this 3500g intermediate tender is lined. Saint 2953 at Didcot, 16 August 1936 Lining on upper fender of GWR 3500g intermediate tender, 16 August 1936


The tender of this Star, as on the loco itself, has had a quickie wash of a new topcoat, but no effort has been made to remove the previous era's insignia.

Swindon, 23 June 1935
Tender of GWR Star 4034


The shirtbutton tended to get a bit 'lost' on large areas such as a Collett 4000g tender. Tender of GWR Castle 5010


Cliff Williams' 7mm model of small Prairie 4566, built from a Malcolm Mitchell kit. 7mm model of small Prairie 4566, built from a Malcolm Mitchell kit


Malcolm Mitchell's 4-6-0 Grange Class built from his 4mm kit. The class was introduced under Collett in 1936, with a total of 80 engines built. Image courtesy Malcolm Mitchell. Malcolm Mitchell Grange Class


7mm GWR large Metro tank, from a Castle Models kit

John Taylor built this large Metro tank from a Castle Models kit. This illustrates that tops of side tanks were always black. Details of the build can be found on RMweb.


Further reading:

Ian Rathbone's comprehensive Great Western Railway locomotive liveries 1923 – 1939