Southern Style – After Nationalisation, 1948-1964

Southern Style – After Nationalisation, 1948-1964
locomotive and passenger stock liveries and structure colours

Author : Harvey, John (incorporating work carried out by the late Barry Fletcher)

Publication Year : 2018

publisher : Historical Model Railway Society

ISBN : 9780902835351

Binding : softback

Physical Description : A4, 160 pages, 42 colour and 124 monochrome photographs, 30 line diagrams and loose card with 13 hand prepared paint samples

Following volumes on the L&SWR and LB&SCR, the latest volume in the “Southern Style” series from the HMRS covers the period from immediately after Nationalisation until 1964 when the new British Rail corporate liveries were announced.

It includes carefully prepared paint swatches for the principal colours used by the Southern Region during this period.

This really is the definitive work on the subject. In the period just after Nationalisation several competent observers were keeping detailed notes of all the experimental changes in liveries as the Southern Railway gradually turned into the Southern Region of British Railways. Several of these observers had good contacts inside the railway works.

As a result it has been possible to chronicle just about every change in livery which took place, often to the week for an individual vehicle.

The painters had to become accustomed to new styles of numbers and letters as standards were promulgated from headquarters. Large scale colour samples are included in the book of the principal styles used.

The edicts from the Railway Executive were not always easy to apply to Southern Railway stock, having been devised with large LMS locomotives and modern LMS carriages in mind. As a result there often had to be a good deal of experimentation before satisfactory versions were developed for application at Brighton, Ashford, Eastleigh and Ryde. This applied particularly to lining of locomotives, and the many experimental styles are described and illustrated.

There was also the little matter of cost. The Southern Region was concerned that the liveries being suggested were sometimes expensive to apply and did not last as long as the former Southern Railway green - particularly on the carriages. As is well known, eventually there was dispensation for Regional liveries and the Region was able to go back to green for its locomotive hauled passenger vehicles.

All this is extensively illustrated by monochrome and colour photographs.

The chapter on structures includes numerous documents produced by the Southern Region to guide those responsible on every aspect from waiting room walls to first aid boxes.

The book does not deal with freight stock as there was nothing specific to the Southern Region in the new British Railways liveries for these vehicles.


Author’s preface



Introduction and synopsis of events

British Railways’ painting procedures

The period of transition from Southern Railway to British Railways’ liveries 

The introduction of the “3xxxx” numbering system in Southern style

Experimental Apple Green livery

Gill Sans Medium lettering and numerals on former SR colours

“Blank” tender and tank sides on Black and Green locomotives

British Railways’ Unlined Black, 1948–1957

British Railways’ Lined Black with Red, Grey and Yellow lining and lettering

BR Lined Black with Red, Grey and Yellow lining, the “Blank” look without lettering

BR Lined Black with Red, Grey and Cream lining, the “blank” look without lettering or Crest

BR Black lined Red, Cream and Grey with Crest

BR Black lined Red, Cream and Grey with Demi-lion & Crown Emblem

BR Blue, experimental styles and the finalised lining in black and white

BR Dark Green livery

Unlined Black with Demi-lion and Crown Emblem

Tables showing the various forms of BR livery for the West Country and Battle of Britain class 4-6-2s following renumbering into the 34xxx series

Tables showing the various forms of BR livery for the Merchant Navy class 4-6-2s following renumbering into the 35xxx series

Non-steam locomotives of Southern Railway origin

British Railways (Southern Region) passenger stock liveries

Transitional schemes

British Railways’ experimental liveries

The move to standardised liveries

British Railways’ Southern Region Green, 1956

“Stove fitted” and “Safe fitted” vans’ indication panels

Lettering and numbering of coaching stock


Southern Region coaches in Departmental service

Table of Instructions for BR lettering etc

Southern Region structure colours

Southern Region Information Sheets

Table of Southern Region structures’ colours

The colours used: locomotive colours

Malachite Green

“Old Gold” yellow


Nameplate colours

Mixed traffic “lining” Red, Cream and Grey

BR Locomotive Blue

BR Standard Locomotive Green

BR Lining Orange

Buffer Beam Red

Amber and yellow warning colours

The colours used: passenger stock colours

Southern Railway Malachite Green under British Railways, 1949

BR Crimson Lake

BR Cream

British Railways’ Coach Green No. 11, or “BR Malachite”

“Stove-fitted” indication panels and other painted lettering

Some colours applied to Departmental rolling stock

Structure colours

References and Index


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