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My Top Five Liveries

Stuart Jordan

STUART JORDAN takes us through his top five liveries.

You may think that as I am not a diehard railway enthusiast my choices may be somewhat arbitrary, but believe me, a lot of thought has gone into these! It's been interesting to see just how diverse these choices have been in my colleagues' articles in this series.

5: Freightliner Post-Privatisation

Livery Operated by: Freightliner Group.

Livery Details: Dark green body, with yellow ends.

Freightliner Locomotive

Class 66.

I enjoy long railway journeys. I much prefer travelling long distance via train than in a car; it feels less stuffy and enclosed, and you can read or enjoy the scenery. The Freightliner livery reminds me of heading west past Southampton container port. Even if there isn't anything moving, there is usually a lot of Freightliner stock parked up, usually Class 66s, Class 08s, and the odd Class 70.

4: EWS Maroon and Yellow

Livery Operated by: English, Welsh & Scottish Railway, now DB Cargo UK.

Livery Details: Maroon body with yellow stripe with flash.

EWS Locomotive

EWS Class 66 Locomotive at Westbury Station.

Again this livery evokes memories of long distance travel. When I was at university in Cheltenham I used to travel to and from Sussex by train (25 for an open return, unthinkable now). I would often have to change trains at Westbury where there is a permanent way depot, and there was always lots of EWS stock parked up.

EWS was formed in 1995/96 from the various parts of BR freight services after privatisation. It was a major competitor with Freightliner for intermodal traffic. In 2007 Deutsche Bahn bought EWS and it was renamed DB Schenker Rail, and then DB Cargo UK, so this livery has disappeared from our railways.

3: CN Noodle

Livery Operated by: Canadian National Railroad.

Livery Details: Black body with red nose, intersected by a white diagonal stripe.

Canadian National

What I like here is a combination of an effective logo and a simple colour scheme. It's also a chance for me to plug my recent three part article on Canadian railway history (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3). The rebranding of the Canadian National Railroad began in 1959, when a customer survey showed that most Canadians saw the CNR as old-fashioned and backward - not the image a modern transportation system wants! CNR commissioned designer James Valkus to come up with a new look for the railway. Graphic designer Allan Flemming came with the new 'noodle' logo, and an iconic brand was born.

2: UP Armour Yellow

Livery Operated by: Union Pacific Railroad.

Livery details: Silver Locomotive with red cab end, with Native American motif on nose.

Union Pacific

Union Pacific Armour Yellow is one of the oldest still running railway liveries in the world. I've chosen it for nostalgic reasons, as when I was a boy I had a Micro Machines train set. One of the locomotives I had was a Union Pacific GP20. The livery gets its name for the bizarre reason is that it was the same yellow used by the Armour meat company. This covers the middle two-thirds of the locomotive, with the top and bottom painted in Harbour Mist Grey. A thin line of Signal Red divides the yellow and grey.

1: GWR Green

Livery Operated by: Great Western Railway.

Livery details: Dark green with yellow ends. Black roof separated from green by thin orange band.

Great Western Railway

No, not that GWR - the new one that used to be First Great Western. What can I say? This has got to be the classiest livery and most successful rebrand of the privatisation era. In my opinion anyway! Down here in deepest Sussex we only get two GWR services a day, running between Brighton and Great Malvern and back. Luckily this runs straight past our window here at GM HQ, and although a lot of the GWR DMUs haven't been repainted yet, with increasing frequency we are seeing the new green units. I had the pleasure of travelling to Brighton in one recently, and even the refurbished seats and tables inside look brilliant, with a really classy colour scheme. Who'd have thought it, I started the article by writing that I wasn't really a train enthusiast, but here I am getting excited over a livery.

The new GWR livery is currently represented in model form by a couple of Bachmann diesels, and the Hornby HST and accompanying MkIII Coaches, and the forthcoming Hitachi IEP Train Pack.

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