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I bought a copy of OPC's "British Railways Locomotives - 1955" by Chris Banks the other day. It has been a bit of an "eye opener" among other things and has prompted me to start this topic to ask a few questions. Perhaps those a bit older than I might remember and be able to answer them. I had blithely thought that modelling early 50s steam was the same as modelling late 50s early 60s steam - wrong! It's more than just a different logo and colour scheme. So here goes:-

Questions:
None of the pictures in the book (mostly taken between '54 and '56) show the elongated BR lion sitting in crown holding wheel emblem. So was this emblem introduced as part of The Modernisation Plan?

Ditto for coach livery. All the coaches appear to be carmine and cream. Was maroon part of The Plan too?

Notes:
At first I thought there was a serious omission in the book. No 55x or 56x sheds. Then I noticed the 20x and 25x shed codes in the London Midland section. So any locos I want to run will need different shed code plates.

Many standard class locomotives had not yet been built! This leads back to my first question. Bachmann are proposing to deliver 9F 92116 with the old logo but 92116 was not in the lists during 1955 nor was it delivered. So was 92116 delivered early enough to be supplied with the old logo?

If I do decide to run a Bachmann standard class 4MT tank, I can run it in pristine condition because 80116 was delivered to York in May 1955 and 80117 to 80121 were delivered to Whitby between May and July. Surely they can't have got too dirty too soon?

There are many photos in the book, many taken in loco depots. Some of the North Eastern shots show glimpses of coaling towers. There may just be enough views to enable a passable scratch built model to be built.

The rear fly leaf is adversing a pair of Engine Shed directories. (a snip at £35 each! :-(() Volume 1 was in the bookshop and seemed pretty comprehensive with track diagrams and so on. But it did not cover my region of interest, so it stayed on the shelf. Does anyone have either or both of these and are they worth pursuing as reference works?

David
 

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As far as I can find out, the 'Hungry Lion' symbol - your 'elongated' one - was the original design by the British Transport Commission (BTC) when the railways and road transport were nationalised. Apparently the idea was to use a similar lion over a road wheel for road vehicles in the control of the BTC, although this never became widespread. (Some books say that this original design was given a far ruder nickname by some railwaymen!) It was applied only to locomotives and electric multiple-unit stock, not to ordinary coaches.

The 'Hungry Lion' was not a recognised heraldic device, and it seems that when changes were made to the BTC around the time of the 1955 modernisation plan, British Railways set up a Design Panel to assist them in developing their public image (what we now would refer to as 'corporate image'). It may have been this Panel that bought out the more correct lion rampart holding a wheel that then featured on locos and rolling stock.

It was also at this time that (under a Conservative government) the various regions of BR were encouraged to revive regional liveries, although this was not part of the Moderrnisation Plan as such.

Some of the history of this is in 'British Rail 1948-78 A Journey by Design' by Brian Haresnape, published in 1979 by Ian Allan Ltd (ISBN 0 7110 0982 1), but alas detailed information on dates of the change of symbol is not mentioned in it.

It is always worth checking the availability of books with your local library service. I'm fortunate in living only ten minutes drive from my county's 'reserve stock' collection, which is open to the public. This has many railway and model railway books now out of print, some quite new, others approaching 90-100 years of age! Most branch libraries now have computers on which one can check what is available, so you may not have to travel far to seek a specific book.

Hope this is of help,
John Webb
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you both for the information. As I was reading John's reply the inclusion of

>'British Rail 1948-78 A Journey by Design' by Brian Haresnape

did not come as a surprise because I realised I should probably check my copy which I haven't read since just after I received it in 1980.

>Local library
That's a great idea. When I was a student, I used to study in the "Official Publications" section because it was quiet and isolated. It was around the time of an anniversary of the terrible accident at Harrow & Whealdstone. Piqued by the coverage in the railway press at the time, I located the official report and read it. A very sad and in some senses, mystifying affair.

David
 
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