The Barry Pages

Barry Railway Liveries


Stock Colours

Barry Railway Class A – sporting one interpretation of the Barry livery. This is a 7mm model built from a Gladiator kit. Note that the flash effect has an impact on these photos: The colours seen here are indicative only.

There is some debate over the exact shade of the Barry Railway livery, and whether or not it differed between locos, coaches and wagons.

On the issue of shade, the question is whether locos and stock carried a dark Chocolate Lake or a lighter Crimson Lake (akin to e.g. Midland Red) – and whether there was a gradual change over time, or the same colour throughout.

The issue is not made any easier by the fact that lining styles and colours also changed over the years, which may well have affected the impression of shade – along with oil cleaning and the fact that red is a very difficult colour to judge in black and white photos.

Another Class A – with an alternative interpretation of the livery shade. This 7mm model was scratchbuilt in Plastikard by Brian Bunce. The undercoat is red oxide. Photo courtesy Barry & Penarth Model Railway Club.

The table at the bottom of this page lists the main sources I have been able to dig up on stock colours. Slinn's account is the most detailed, while Nigel Digby's article in British Railway Modelling is the only one that seeks to illustrate the livery in colour artwork.

Both Slinn & Digby lean towards the darker shade, and this is also the impression one gets from studying photographs in E.R. Mountford's book.

Further views on the matter have been recieved via e-mails. This includes the following comments by David Temple of the Barry & Penarth MRC: "I think it is impossible to find the actual colour now. I have decided that Humbrol No 73 is about right. My 6-wheel coaches from Redcraft are painted in this colour, which is not quite as crimson as Midland Red."

Also on this issue, Brian Watson writes: "Back in the 1980's I scratchbuilt a Barry Railway class 'G' 0-4-4 tank. I eventually became a member of the Welsh Railways Research Circle (no longer a member) and showed the engine to the late C. Donovon, at that time a recognised expert of the Barry. Now my initial colour for the Barry tank was a concoction that I mixed up trying to replicate Cadburys Bourneville chocolate with a slight reddish tinge. I don't think Dr. Donovon was too impressed and suggested I used something similar to the MR Crimson. My repaint was basically MR Crimson, but on top of the original home made chocolate colour, which thereby served as a darker undercoat. Dr. Donovon was pleased with the resulting colour and thought it was a good likeness. It remains that colour to this day."


Lining and Insignia

Later Garter Crest

The following is based on J.N. Slinn's "Great Western Way". Please note this is only an overview, see Slinn for more details.


From 1905-1910 both passenger locos and goods engines were lined. Before and after that, only passenger class carried lining.

Lining included a broad scarlet band around edges of tank and cab sides. Inside and separate from this, the lining proper consisted of a black band edged with thin yellow line on either side. This was also applied to boiler bands. From 1905, the black band was changed to green. The scarlet and black bands is not visible on post-WW1 photos.

Passenger locos had dome covers and safety valve bases in polished brass. On goods engines they were painted over (except 1905-1910).

This photo of a Class F in works grey illustrates the broad scarlet band on cab and tank sides, and the lining inside it.
Source: Author's collection.

Until c WW1 locos (incl goods) carried Garter crest on bunker sides. An early version showing an intertwined "BR" was replaced in 1905 by the dragon design (illustrated).

All locos carried brass numberplates of various designs in the centre of tank sides. Numerals were also carried on loco fronts, first as separate brass numerals on chimney, later as number plates on chimney or smokebox.


Passenger Stock

Barry Railway 6-wheel composite to Diagram 5 undergoing restoration. Note the livery shade.

Paneling was lined with thin chrome yellow on either side of mouldings. Droplight frames were in polished mahogany. Lettering and numbers in gold shaded mid-blue.

Class wording was originally in blocks in waist below door droplights, but this was later changed to large numerals in lower door panels.

Crest appeared twice on body sides, evenly spaced, except for brake thirds which had a garter at the van end only.

When repainting after grouping, the GWR painted on standard GWR panels regardless of actual mouldings on the Barry coaches, resulting in a rather bizarre appearance.


Goods Stock

Barry Railway Iron Mink at Tenterden station in 1980. Photo courtesy and copyright David Wainwright.

Original lettering was in white unshaded 5 inch blocks, carried on second plank down from top (both vans and wagons), showing "Barry" and "Co." on each side of doors.

Post WW1 insignia altered to simply "BR" on either side of doors, in white 24 inch blocks (as illustrated).


Sources on Stock Colours

Source Locos Passenger stock Freight stock
J.N. Slinn
"Great Western Way" Historical Model Railway Society, 1978 p. 189-196
Chocolate brown at first, changing to richer shade after 1905. Darkened further after 1910 to become Lake. Smokeboxes and chimneys black. Chimneys copper-capped throughout. Underframe as body. Wheels as body until 1905, then black. Crimson lake bodies. Roofs white with black fittings. Solebars and wheel centers crimson lake until ca 1900, then black. Red oxide sides and ends. Solebars as body if wood, otherwise black. All strappings, hinges and underframe detail black (except possibly leaf springs). Brake vans as above but with vermillion ends, and after WW1 also with vermillion side doors on verandhas.
E.R. Mountford
"The Barry Railway: Diagrams and photographs of Locomotives, Coaches and Wagons"
Oakwood Press, 1987 p. 6
Chocolate in the "early days", Lake in "later days". As locos "Generally" Lake
E.R. Mountford
"GWR Absorbed Coaching Stock" (Barry section)
Oakwood Press, 1978 p. 33
Not mentioned "The official colour of Barry coaching stock was Lake with gold lining, but the shade varied over the years according to the quantity of red put in the individual mix" Not mentioned
D.S. Barrie
"The Barry Railway"
Oakwood Press, 1962 p. 196 & 203
"Crimson-chocolate" "Reddish or lake colour, generally similar to that of the engines" Not mentioned
Nigel Digby
"Liveries of the pre-grouping railways"
British Railway Modelling, July 2002
"Dark crimson brown" As locos Brown oxide (very similar to locos)