King Edward The 2nd...Why Blue???

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Smelly_Diesel

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Never seen a Blue King before, always thought that they came in Brunswick Green...? A Learned friend of mine who had King's passing his School fields everyday never recalls one in Blue, so, why Blue?
 
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RPM

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It was an early & short lived British Railways livery, quickly replaced by green. Not sure how many Kings actually carried it - possibly only 1 or 2.
 

TheEdge

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It was an experimental blue that appeared in the very early days of BR before they settled on Brunswick Green and BR Black for their locos, goes by the name Express Passenger Blue.

It only found its way onto various Big 4 class 8 locos, those being;
LNER A1
LNER A3
LNER A4
GWR King
LMS Princess
LMS Duchess
SR Streamlined Merchant Navy
 

jp4712

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It wasn't experimental - it was chosen in late 1948 as the colour for top-link express locomotives. However with the paint technology of the time, it faded terribly and touching-up small areas just looked terrible - even after only a month, it had changed colour to the extent that a small newly-touched up area was impossible to match.

So by 1951 it was gone, replaced by the Brunswick Green that had previously been intended for second-string passenger locos. Now with paint technology we have today, the restored King is much more 'colour fast'.

There WAS an experimental additional blue, a brighter shade applied with broad red lining out on a Spamcan; if the colour photo of it I've seen is anything to go by, it's a good job it was never replicated and the Bulleid was very quickly repainted.
 

Harbornite

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There WAS an experimental additional blue, a brighter shade applied with broad red lining out on a Spamcan; if the colour photo of it I've seen is anything to go by, it's a good job it was never replicated and the Bulleid was very quickly repainted.


Indeed, there was also an experimental ultramarine livery with lining applied to a certain A4.
 

sprinterguy

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Indeed, there was also an experimental ultramarine livery with lining applied to a certain A4.
There were, in fact, four A4s which received the short lived experimental ultramarine livery in 1948: 60024 "Kingfisher", 60027 "Merlin", 60028 "Walter K Wigham" and 60029 "Woodcock".

The same or a similar experimental scheme was also applied to seven A3s (60036 "Colombo", 60045 "Lemberg", 60071 "Tranquil", 60074 "Harvester", 60075 "St Frusquin", 60084 "Trigo" and 60091 "Captain Cuttle"), as well as to four "Kings" (6001 "King Edward VII", 6009 "King Charles II", 6025 "King Henry III" and 6026 "King John"), one Merchant Navy (35024 "East Asiatic Company"), as mentioned by jp4712 above, and six Princess Coronations (46224, 227, 230 - 232, 241).
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
Not sure how many Kings actually carried it - possibly only 1 or 2.
There is something of a consensus within online sources, though unsure of the veracity of the claim, that all of the Kings carried BR express passenger blue livery and were the only complete class to do so, although all of the A4s then extant (4469 having been withdrawn due to bomb damage in 1942) certainly did as well, and the Peppercorn A1s must surely have come close to a squadron application.

The livery was shortlived though for the reasons laid out by jp4712 above, and some of the Kings probably only carried the scheme for as little as 18 months before they began to be painted into BR brunswick green in 1951.
 
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Harbornite

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There were, in fact, four A4s which received the short lived experimental ultramarine livery in 1948: 60024 "Kingfisher", 60027 "Merlin", 60028 "Walter K Wigham" and 60029 "Woodcock".

The same or a similar experimental scheme was also applied to seven A3s (60036 "Colombo", 60045 "Lemberg", 60071 "Tranquil", 60074 "Harvester", 60075 "St Frusquin", 60084 "Trigo" and 60091 "Captain Cuttle"), as well as to four "Kings" (6001 "King Edward VII", 6009 "King Charles II", 6025 "King Henry III" and 6026 "King John"), one Merchant Navy (35024 "East Asiatic Company"), as mentioned by jp4712 above, and six Princess Coronations (46224, 227, 230 - 232, 241).
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---

Thanks for clearing that up. I wonder how the Caledonian railway coped with its locomotives which were painted blue.
 

acmw421

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There is something of a consensus within online sources, though unsure of the veracity of the claim, that all of the Kings carried BR express passenger blue livery and were the only complete class to do so, although all of the A4s then extant (4469 having been withdrawn due to bomb damage in 1942) certainly did as well, and the Peppercorn A1s must surely have come close to a squadron application.

The livery was shortlived though for the reasons laid out by jp4712 above, and some of the Kings probably only carried the scheme for as little as 18 months before they began to be painted into BR brunswick green in 1951.

I believe in fact that all 49 original A1s (and Tornado of course) carried BR blue. Of them, 60114-126 and 60130-152 were delivered in LNER apple green with BRITISH RAILWAYS titles; the remainder (all built by Doncaster) in BR blue from May 1949 onwards. The last in apple green appears to have been Darlington's last engine, 60152 Holyrood (built as late as July 1949), which was repainted in blue and named in June 1951. It seems the whole fleet were in traffic in blue for a short while: 60149 Amadis was repainted from blue into Brunswick green in August 1951, so for those two months it appears every engine was blue, but in any event they all are recorded as carrying blue at one time or another.
 

randyrippley

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So.........if BR had problems with blue paint fading, how did Gresley manage to paint the second batch of A4's in blue? And the matching coaches?
And the same goes for the LMS blue-painted Coronation Scot trains - I've never heard of paint fade problems with either.
 

alexl92

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So.........if BR had problems with blue paint fading, how did Gresley manage to paint the second batch of A4's in blue? And the matching coaches?
And the same goes for the LMS blue-painted Coronation Scot trains - I've never heard of paint fade problems with either.

I think both were a lighter shade of blue, so could be something to do with how the pigments in the different shades reacted to the sun?

It can also be to do with the type of paint - in the early-mid 2000s, Vauxhall Red paint on their Corsas/Astras was absolutely notorious for fading - but no other manufacturer had this problem to the same extent. Presumably different types of paint were used at different times in the 30-50s too? I'm no expert though.
 

randyrippley

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I think both were a lighter shade of blue, so could be something to do with how the pigments in the different shades reacted to the sun?

It can also be to do with the type of paint - in the early-mid 2000s, Vauxhall Red paint on their Corsas/Astras was absolutely notorious for fading - but no other manufacturer had this problem to the same extent. Presumably different types of paint were used at different times in the 30-50s too? I'm no expert though.

The red paint fade was due to switching from inorganic red pigment (i.e. red lead) to organic pigments on safety grounds- which simply weren't as good. Ford and Volkswagen both had problems as well - Fiestas and Mk2 Golfs were prone to fading.
I assume that locomotive paint would have used inorganics, such as Prussian blue. There wasn't really an organic pigment available until Phthalocyanine blue BN was discovered in the 1930's. That went on to become known as Monastral blue - and became BR standard blue, though as we all know in its early days on BR it had a tendancy to turn turquoise, especially if overpainted onto green........At some point BR cured the problem.
But back to the steam locos, I assume the LNER did use real Prussian Blue pigment. As to what the others used, the choices were limited, and natural blue pigments were always expensive. Synthetic ultramarine maybe? Or cobalt blue?
 
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