Regional Railways 1992 Corporate Identity

M28361M

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I hope this is of interest to some people. A friend has managed to get his hands on the Regional Railways 1992 corporate identity manual. He has transcribed the whole thing into HTML format and put it online at http://www.regional-railways.co.uk/

It contains lots of detail of how the new style was to be applied to trains, posters, leaflets, stations (and stationery).

I always believed Regional Railways was a classy brand for what had previously been a rather neglected part of British Rail. Interesting to see how much thought went into the branding.
 
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PG

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I hope this is of interest to some people. A friend has managed to get his hands on the Regional Railways 1992 corporate identity manual. He has transcribed the whole thing into HTML format and put it online at http://www.regional-railways.co.uk/
Thanks for posting this, and also if you are able to convey many thanks to your friend for his efforts as they are much appreciated. :)
 

hexagon789

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I hope this is of interest to some people. A friend has managed to get his hands on the Regional Railways 1992 corporate identity manual. He has transcribed the whole thing into HTML format and put it online at http://www.regional-railways.co.uk/

It contains lots of detail of how the new style was to be applied to trains, posters, leaflets, stations (and stationery).

I always believed Regional Railways was a classy brand for what had previously been a rather neglected part of British Rail. Interesting to see how much thought went into the branding.
Quite interesting to look at, it even has a shot of the "Shuttle" poster at Queen Street someone was looking for a picture of some months ago!
 

Merle Haggard

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In the initial BR sectorisatiion, passenger services not Inter City or London commuter (Network South East) were assigned to the sector initially called 'Other Provincial Services'. This was then re-named 'Provincial Services', only slightly less down-beat, and finally the Regional Railways launch was to promote a positive image.
The business management organisation was generally introduced on BR in 1989 and gave the businesses shorter lines of communication with the functional departments. Sometimes this had advantage in speeding up finding solutions. As an example, working in another business we heard that R.R. had had some difficulty in persuading a certain maintenance depot to take on extra night-time maintenance work, claiming that they were already over-whelmed and couldn't cope with any more (a not unusual response). Rather than indulge in 'ping-pong' correspondence, Mr Pettitt decided to find out himself, first hand, the scale of the problem. Arriving at the depot in the small hours of a morning he found little maintenance activity but a number of staff asleep in the mess-room...
 

43096

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As an example, working in another business we heard that R.R. had had some difficulty in persuading a certain maintenance depot to take on extra night-time maintenance work, claiming that they were already over-whelmed and couldn't cope with any more (a not unusual response). Rather than indulge in 'ping-pong' correspondence, Mr Pettitt decided to find out himself, first hand, the scale of the problem. Arriving at the depot in the small hours of a morning he found little maintenance activity but a number of staff asleep in the mess-room...
Brilliant - what an excellent example of proper management.
 

LowLevel

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They came so, so close to getting it all right. Who knows what might have happened with a few more years. There have undoubtedly been a number of privatisation success stories but it would be great to have seen what sectorisation with a focus on customers could have brought.
 

Bletchleyite

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They came so, so close to getting it all right. Who knows what might have happened with a few more years. There have undoubtedly been a number of privatisation success stories but it would be great to have seen what sectorisation with a focus on customers could have brought.
I think they had a lot of things right - even if it drifted from the original concept, the NorthWest Express (green-stripe 156) and Alphaline (158) brands were good, too.
 

ainsworth74

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This is the reason why you will find that some of the elements of your new corporate identity are the same as those on Intercity and Network SouthEast. The signing system continues to use Rail Alphabet. The Helvetica typeface continues on all material that provides the customer with information about the how, why and where of getting from A to B.

There are two reasons for this. The first is that we believe these particular elements do their job so well that neither we, nor any other rail network anywhere else in the world, has been able to improve upon them. The second is that the customer who buys rail travel wants to be able to move throughout the British network of railways without effort.

They might start their journey on Regional Railways, continue on Intercity and end the journey on Network SouthEast. So on the one hand, each of these businesses needs to be instantly recognisable; on the other, the customer needs clear and unambiguous directions so as to be able to move fluently from one to the next.

A universal, readily recognisable and uncluttered information system does more to smooth the customer’s path than anything else.
Oh if only the TOCs and, no doubt, their high priced consultants would be of the same view...
 

Helvellyn

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Yes, and Railfreight and Res (Rail express systems, annoyingly without capital E or S), though I couldn't tell you if they are available online anywhere.
The doublearrow site has the Railfreight three tone grey and sub sector brand guidelines available. I am not aware that the Network SouthEast or Rail Express systems brand guidelines are online anywhere.

Interesting. It's been online for a while at http://www.doublearrow.co.uk/regional_railways.htm but it bears repeating.
Not the same document. The OP has linked to what looks quite a classy booklet produced to launch the brand and explain all the elements. What doublearrow has is the loose leaf pages from the design manual. The two together will provide a comprehensive guide to the Regional Railways brand identity.
 

theblackwatch

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Fascinating webpage. I haven't had time to read through it all yet, but will do so later this week. It's certainly something that needs to be retained for historic reference.
 

Merle Haggard

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The double arrow website covers Railfreight, November 1988, but doesn't seem to mention the split (around April '89) into two sectors, Trainload Freight and Railfreight Distribution. Even usually well informed magazines (for example Modern railways) didn't appreciate that there were 6 business sectors, not 5. RfD initially continued the Railfreight style, but with its own variation of the logo ('Squadron Marking' in design-speak), before making subtle changes.
As trivia, the Railfreight section does mention a name from the past, Jane Priestman, as their design consultant.In a previous appointment, one of her important styling changes was to insist that multiple units did not have gangways between units, because it spoilt the otherwise clean appearance of the cab ends. The class 321 was one design to be amended at her request; I'm not sure such niceties were shared by the Euston commuter who joined the crowded rear 4 coaches and then found that they couldn't move forward to the emptier leading 4 (or 8) though.
 

dubscottie

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I think they had a lot of things right - even if it drifted from the original concept, the NorthWest Express (green-stripe 156) and Alphaline (158) brands were good, too.
Those two brands were post April 1994 so were created by a shadow TOC rather than RR under BR. The same applied when the Central TOC decided to paint its 156 in the same style as the 158s.

I did like the green stripe livery. The RR livery seemed to suit anything it was applied to. It made even the class 101s look modern!
 

Wilts Wanderer

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As trivia, the Railfreight section does mention a name from the past, Jane Priestman, as their design consultant.In a previous appointment, one of her important styling changes was to insist that multiple units did not have gangways between units, because it spoilt the otherwise clean appearance of the cab ends. The class 321 was one design to be amended at her request; I'm not sure such niceties were shared by the Euston commuter who joined the crowded rear 4 coaches and then found that they couldn't move forward to the emptier leading 4 (or 8) though.
Classic case of form over function.
 

Merle Haggard

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Not really. Digressing, the trains the 321s replaced generally didn’t have end gangways; indeed for much of their lives many weren’t even fully gangwayed within the set.
My recollection is hazy but my memory is that, on longer distance (Northampton) services, they replaced 317s (which, incidentally, were also air conditioned). However, my comment was aimed particularly at the evening 12 car 321 formations; these had previously been loco-hauled (of course, gangwayed throughout). None of the 321s' predecessors ever worked as 12 cars (with all sets under power).
I don't know why the decision was made to replace the 321s with 350s before the former were life expired but wonder if this was a factor.
 

43096

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My recollection is hazy but my memory is that, on longer distance (Northampton) services, they replaced 317s (which, incidentally, were also air conditioned). However, my comment was aimed particularly at the evening 12 car 321 formations; these had previously been loco-hauled (of course, gangwayed throughout). None of the 321s' predecessors ever worked as 12 cars (with all sets under power).
I don't know why the decision was made to replace the 321s with 350s before the former were life expired but wonder if this was a factor.
I’d forgotten about the 317s out of Euston, was thinking it was straight from 310 to 321.
 

Wilts Wanderer

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321s only started running in 12 car formations under London Midland. Didn’t BR have a 70mph limit on formations with three pantographs?
 

Helvellyn

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My recollection is hazy but my memory is that, on longer distance (Northampton) services, they replaced 317s (which, incidentally, were also air conditioned). However, my comment was aimed particularly at the evening 12 car 321 formations; these had previously been loco-hauled (of course, gangwayed throughout). None of the 321s' predecessors ever worked as 12 cars (with all sets under power).
I don't know why the decision was made to replace the 321s with 350s before the former were life expired but wonder if this was a factor.
The 317s were only on the Euston-Northampton services for a couple of years, having been displaced from MML services by the Class 319s, but were quickly replaced by the 321/4s. However, they weren't air-conditioned. But, the 317/1s (317301-317348) had unique hopper ventilators where the hopper was a metal panel above the Mark 3 sized window. Coupled with the Mark 3 style lighting units it would be easy to think they were not air-conditioned.
 

Merle Haggard

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The 317s were only on the Euston-Northampton services for a couple of years, having been displaced from MML services by the Class 319s, but were quickly replaced by the 321/4s. However, they weren't air-conditioned. But, the 317/1s (317301-317348) had unique hopper ventilators where the hopper was a metal panel above the Mark 3 sized window. Coupled with the Mark 3 style lighting units it would be easy to think they were not air-conditioned.
My assertion that they were air-cond. was based on the following common experience (commuting on them); on Summer mornings, they were very hot on arrival from the sidings, so naturally passengers opened the hopper vents. Guard would then walk through and say that the vents were only for emergency use, opening them confused the air-cond, and close the vents. The interior definitely cooled down then. Maybe just external air used for cooling rather than full air-cond, but they were certainly cooler with hoppers closed rather than open. Seems odd staff were mis-informed, though.

As you say, they were short lived, and replaced by the 321s, very much an inferior replacement.
 

Merle Haggard

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I am sorry to mislead on the 317s' ventilation system - another of my long-held misconceptions corrected on this forum.
However, I do recollect that one could feel a flow of cooler air in them, possibly drawn in from outside, and possibly the term 'air conditioned' was used by staff because they had some sort of fan ventilation. Certainly, road coaches on some express services were described as being 'air-conditioned' when having a similar, but more basic, system relying on the coaches' speed to provide air flow, and these certainly didn't have the means to cool air or reduce humidity.
317s were certainly an improvement on their predecessors, the AM10s. These were heated by bar heaters under the back to back seats relying, as far as I remember, only on convection for heat circulation - and cooling was by opening the droplights, which admitted both cool air and the strong smell of disc brake pads when approaching stations.
 

Helvellyn

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I am sorry to mislead on the 317s' ventilation system - another of my long-held misconceptions corrected on this forum.
However, I do recollect that one could feel a flow of cooler air in them, possibly drawn in from outside, and possibly the term 'air conditioned' was used by staff because they had some sort of fan ventilation. Certainly, road coaches on some express services were described as being 'air-conditioned' when having a similar, but more basic, system relying on the coaches' speed to provide air flow, and these certainly didn't have the means to cool air or reduce humidity.
317s were certainly an improvement on their predecessors, the AM10s. These were heated by bar heaters under the back to back seats relying, as far as I remember, only on convection for heat circulation - and cooling was by opening the droplights, which admitted both cool air and the strong smell of disc brake pads when approaching stations.
I think they were pressure ventilated, and with the smaller non-standard hopper ventilators I can see how it could be thought they were air-conditioned. Plus the 317/1s at ceiling level looked exactly like a Mark 3 down to the lighting gondolas and longitudinal vents running either side.
 

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