Your Favourite current Rolling stock livery

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stewartsigns

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Hi everyone,

Our company Stewart Signs Rail (previously known as HALO RAIL) have long been manufacturers of graphics and liveries to the rail industry.

Having been in the business for many years we've been responsible for quite a significant number of rolling stock rebrands and corporate livery campaigns.

We would love to know what you consider to be the best and the worst Rolling stock liveries to grace the tracks in recent years and why.

Who knows you might just inadvertently influence a future operators corporate image!

BTW: If you'd like to see some of our work for ScotRail, C2c, Northern Rail and Merseyrail amongst others please visit our website http://www.stewartsigns.co.uk/rail we also have a gallery here http://www.stewartsigns.co.uk/gallery/rail/

Interested parties are welcome to follow us on twitter @stewartsignsuk or watch us at work on our You tube channel http://www.youtube.com/user/stewartsignsuk Here you can view our refurbishment video of Class 465s for Southeastern or the recent wrapping of London Tramlink for TfL.

It's my first post in a forum ever so please forgive inevitable the rookie mistakes and thanks for yout time!
 
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sprinterguy

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How recent are we talking here in terms of "recent years"?

Well, for simplicity I'm going to term "recent years" as encompassing the privatisation era. So my favourite liveries of privatisation would have to be:

Intercity operators
Great North Eastern Railway
Great Western Trains
Virgin Trains "inherited stock"
NatEx Midland Mainline teal and tangerine
NatEx Scotrail Caledonian Sleeper purple
Anglia Railways

Regional operators
Scotrail Saltire
NatEx Scotrail "swoosh"
Northern Rail
North West Trains
Northern Spirit
Central Trains
Chiltern Railways
Valley Lines

I'll probably provide some reasoning later when I'm not so busy.
 

Anon Mouse

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The Scotrail livery on class 90's looks pretty good, as does the GBRF Europorte livery on 92's....oh and I like the DBS livery
 

LE Greys

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My favourite current livery is in use by Riviera Trains and most of the coaching stock at Didcot Railway Centre :p

If you want me to be serious, then I'd have to agree with sprinterguy about GNER, GW "Merlin", original MML, Saltire (which looks remarkably like Glasgow Blue Train), Chiltern and Valley Lines. I quite like Southern's slam-door scheme as well, and East Coast's "Silver Jubilee" livery is good. What I don't like is the massive over-use of white (as in Southeastern, Southern modern stock, WAGN original and NXEC). Paint something white, it inevitably goes a yucky grey or yellow before long. Eurostar got away with it, mostly by cleaning their trains a lot. Those horrible "swooshes" used by First and Stagecoach are bad too. They sort-of work on stock with raked-back ends, but not on units with corridors.

Going back a bit, NSE was nice and cheerful, RR was fairly good and Intercity Swallow had a good, businesslike look (if a bit dull). Rail Blue only ever looked good when clean, otherwise it was just drab. Maroon was similar, while crimson & cream was much brighter. Chocolate & cream is excellent, crimson lake was a much nicer shade than maroon, both shades of Southern green were nice, but the best livery ever was the Coronation colour scheme. Garter blue and Marlborough blue, worked perfectly.

<EDIT> How could I forget GC Zephyr (when applied to 180s)?
 
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Ivo

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I quite like the Saltire livery too. Many of the others are somewhat lacking in inspiration in my opinion; the Dynamic Lines one looks good though.

Ouch - two in First's favour :?
 

junglejames

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GNER, Chiltern, Anglia (original), MML, GWT (anything pre Firstgroup), DRS, Intercity, NSE.
In no particular order.
 

LE Greys

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A recent example of my favourite locomotive livery in use today.

Failing that, DRS is usually good, although I quite like Freightliner. Going back, LoadHaul was the best early privatisation loco livery (excluding GNER), with Intercity Swallow for BR days. Rail Blue only worked in Large Logo form, which cancelled out the drabness, although it looked good when clean.
 

Southern

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Best

Connex Yellow/White
"Crèche" livery as seen on 319/2 units
Thameslink Cityflier/Metro
Thameslink Grey "Silhouette" livery (I'm probably in a minority but I quite liked this)
South West Trains Past and Present - the latter was a good choice and shows you don't need to resort to the colour pink to have something stand out ;)
Network South East/Central
Intercity - classy and a true classic.
WAGN livery as seen on 317/6

Worst

FCC (see multicoloured rainbow disaster's 364/365)
Southeastern (just bland and the current changes, not really sure why they were needed)
 

CC 72100

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I'm a fan of the XC livery - would love to see what that looks like on LHCS but that's another debate!

I also like South West trains' white livery (ie. the one used on 444/159s)

Really not a fan of Central trains livery (which can still be found on 150/153s) or Virgin livery
 

yorksrob

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Best is that two tone Southern Green. Northern also has quite a nice maroon and purple and I also liked the old Midland Mainline orange and teal.

Worst was that hideous yellow and grey connex (yuk).
 

sprinterguy

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Failing that, DRS is usually good, although I quite like Freightliner. Going back, LoadHaul was the best early privatisation loco livery (excluding GNER), with Intercity Swallow for BR days. Rail Blue only worked in Large Logo form, which cancelled out the drabness, although it looked good when clean.
Technically, Load Haul was pre-privatisation, being one of the "shadow franchises", or in this case, FOC, set up by British Rail.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
My favourite current livery is in use by Riviera Trains and most of the coaching stock at Didcot Railway Centre :p

If you want me to be serious, then I'd have to agree with sprinterguy about GNER, GW "Merlin", original MML, Saltire (which looks remarkably like Glasgow Blue Train), Chiltern and Valley Lines. I quite like Southern's slam-door scheme as well, and East Coast's "Silver Jubilee" livery is good. What I don't like is the massive over-use of white (as in Southeastern, Southern modern stock, WAGN original and NXEC). Paint something white, it inevitably goes a yucky grey or yellow before long. Eurostar got away with it, mostly by cleaning their trains a lot. Those horrible "swooshes" used by First and Stagecoach are bad too. They sort-of work on stock with raked-back ends, but not on units with corridors.

Going back a bit, NSE was nice and cheerful, RR was fairly good and Intercity Swallow had a good, businesslike look (if a bit dull). Rail Blue only ever looked good when clean, otherwise it was just drab. Maroon was similar, while crimson & cream was much brighter. Chocolate & cream is excellent, crimson lake was a much nicer shade than maroon, both shades of Southern green were nice, but the best livery ever was the Coronation colour scheme. Garter blue and Marlborough blue, worked perfectly.

<EDIT> How could I forget GC Zephyr (when applied to 180s)?
I have to say, we seem to be completely in sync when it comes to livery preferences! I agree wholeheartedly, and am ashamed that I too initially forgot about the Grand Central "Zephyr" livery, which IMO is the first decent livery to grace a 180 and show off its' lines to full effect. I was thoroughly non-plussed with GCs' original all black colour scheme (if you can call it that!) though.

Similar to you, I loath the bus company liveries that have been applied to TOCs: Stagecoach "swirl" on EMT and SWT, and First Group "barbie" livery, as well as National Express "Connecting Lines". Trains should not be thoughtlessly daubed in the same colours that the owning company paints their buses in. Arriva (Wales and the old ATN franchise) also fall into this category, but I actually think that the new ATW Executive livery is rather nice, as there's actually been a little bit of thought gone into it as to how it would suit the trains it is being applied to.

I can't stand Dynamic Lines either, it's an absolutely shocking livery treatment for a rail vehicle and fails to convey any sense of impact while being unnecessarily messy. Just because certain fancy effects are now possible with enhanced vinyl technology (and perhaps this isn't the thread to be saying this!) doesn't mean that they should be used.

Liveries with large unrelieved expanses of white are a definite no-go for me: They completely fail to inspire and become dirty very quickly: EMT, SWT, National Express corporate, the old Connex liveries and the new Greater Anglia scheme all fall into this category. I don't mind Southerns' livery though: The contrasting shades of green in their "roundel" arrangement are very pleasing.

The current fashion for liveries with large areas of unrelieved grey or silver don't do anything for me either: The purple stripe on East Coast is placed too high up and is the first livery to be applied to them that has made the 225s look anything other than sleek and "in trim" (Intercity swallow was best for beneficially accentuating their sharp lines). London Midland is a bit bland for similar reasons, and Virgins' current scheme doesn't do much for me either. However, I am keen on the current Crosscountry livery: I think it is the use of darker colours, and the dramatix "X" symbol that helps to offset the otherwise uninspiring effect of the large expanses of silver-grey.

--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
In general, the liveries that I really like are those that use fairly simple bands of colour and strong contrasts to get their brand across. This would clearly include the current Northern livery (which reminds me somewhat of what an updated Provincial scheme could have looked like), Northern Spirit, Great Western Trains, GNER and Anglia Railways.

I also like liveries that have been designed to be mindful of some sort of heritage related to the operation, or to the geographical area served: So Northern Spirit with the big "N", the "Great North Eastern Railway" title and "Route of the Flying Scotsman" tag, the current Scotrail livery of blue with the white Saltire, the old National Express Scotrail "swoosh" livery that adpated the traditional Scotrail "swoosh" logo that was introduced after sectorisation in BR days, Great Western Trains aiming to make use of a dark green principal body colour and Southern adopting a two-tone green livery. And Valley Lines made use of the colours of the Welsh flag of course and IMO would make a good basis for an all-Wales livery.
 
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SWTCommuter

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Best
GNER
InterCity Swallow
Great Western Trains original green and ivory 'Merlin' livery, before First took over and ruined it with the green and gold fag packet look.
Grand Central
First Great Western dynamic lines

Worst
Virgin red and dark grey as applied to LHCS
First Great Western green and gold
First Great Western Barbie
 

Schnellzug

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FGW Aerodynamic lines, and they may not be the most popular with all, but I rather like London Midland as well. SWT mainline isn't bad, but the EMT version on HSTs and Meridians looks better, I think.
 

LE Greys

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Technically, Load Haul was pre-privatisation, being one of the "shadow franchises", or in this case, FOC, set up by British Rail.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---

I have to say, we seem to be completely in sync when it comes to livery preferences! I agree wholeheartedly, and am ashamed that I too initially forgot about the Grand Central "Zephyr" livery, which IMO is the first decent livery to grace a 180 and show off its' lines to full effect. I was thoroughly non-plussed with GCs' original all black colour scheme (if you can call it that!) though.

Similar to you, I loath the bus company liveries that have been applied to TOCs: Stagecoach "swirl" on EMT and SWT, and First Group "barbie" livery, as well as National Express "Connecting Lines". Trains should not be thoughtlessly daubed in the same colours that the owning company paints their buses in. Arriva (Wales and the old ATN franchise) also fall into this category, but I actually think that the new ATW Executive livery is rather nice, as there's actually been a little bit of thought gone into it as to how it would suit the trains it is being applied to.

I can't stand Dynamic Lines either, it's an absolutely shocking livery treatment for a rail vehicle and fails to convey any sense of impact while being unnecessarily messy. Just because certain fancy effects are now possible with enhanced vinyl technology (and perhaps this isn't the thread to be saying this!) doesn't mean that they should be used.

Liveries with large unrelieved expanses of white are a definite no-go for me: They completely fail to inspire and become dirty very quickly: EMT, SWT, National Express corporate, the old Connex liveries and the new Greater Anglia scheme all fall into this category. I don't mind Southerns' livery though: The contrasting shades of green in their "roundel" arrangement are very pleasing.

The current fashion for liveries with large areas of unrelieved grey or silver don't do anything for me either: The purple stripe on East Coast is placed too high up and is the first livery to be applied to them that has made the 225s look anything other than sleek and "in trim" (Intercity swallow was best for beneficially accentuating their sharp lines). London Midland is a bit bland for similar reasons, and Virgins' current scheme doesn't do much for me either. However, I am keen on the current Crosscountry livery: I think it is the use of darker colours, and the dramatix "X" symbol that helps to offset the otherwise uninspiring effect of the large expanses of silver-grey.

--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
In general, the liveries that I really like are those that use fairly simple bands of colour and strong contrasts to get their brand across. This would clearly include the current Northern livery (which reminds me somewhat of what an updated Provincial scheme could have looked like), Northern Spirit, Great Western Trains, GNER and Anglia Railways.

I also like liveries that have been designed to be mindful of some sort of heritage related to the operation, or to the geographical area served: So Northern Spirit with the big "N", the "Great North Eastern Railway" title and "Route of the Flying Scotsman" tag, the current Scotrail livery of blue with the white Saltire, the old National Express Scotrail "swoosh" livery that adpated the traditional Scotrail "swoosh" logo that was introduced after sectorisation in BR days, Great Western Trains aiming to make use of a dark green principal body colour and Southern adopting a two-tone green livery. And Valley Lines made use of the colours of the Welsh flag of course and IMO would make a good basis for an all-Wales livery.
I think we are in agreement here, or mostly so anyway. I'd prefer if Southern joined up the green bits, but I guess it would look too much like Central then. Still, bigger logos might help. I've sometimes wondered if all these white liveries are trying (and failing) to look like Eurostar.
 

Michael.Y

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No votes for ATW's sea-green and cream effort then? <D

Personally I love the new blue used on the 67s which are about to take over WAG1, and the darker teal used on the refurbed 158s look much better. I just don't feel it's very "Welsh" in the way Valley Lines was.

My favourite livery? Gotta go a long way to beat the simplicity of GNER or Grand Central
 

bignosemac

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Post privatisation:

Best: GWT 'Merlin'

Worst: NXEC grey and white.

Pre privatisation my favourite livery was the Intercity 'Swallow' as applied to the Class 91s.
 

Yew

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EMT have a smart livery, their 158's look brilliant, their Meridians too. The HST's livery isnt too bad, but im not keen on where the power car joins the carriages. I wish their 156/3's where in the 158 livery though.

Im not paticuarly fond of EC' s new livery, they should have done a homage to IC swallow.
 

317666

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Probably NWT blue with gold stars, looks smart but a bit creative as well. I also like WAGN's cream and red doors livery as applied to the 317/6s when they were first refurbished.

Least favourite livery is probably all of the massive SouthEastern jumble on the Networkers and 375s, as it just looks untidy. Also don't like the new Abellio white and red doors livery.
 

150222

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Bear in mind the OP doesn't nessasarily know about train classes so I wouldn't put class numbers in here if I were you.
 
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