The LMS clearly did not see imposing a new corporate image in its stations as a priority, as until 1936 it continued to use the pre-group color schemes, gaining a reputation for shabby & run down looking stations in the process. In practice virtually no stations were repainted by the LMS before 1936, though now that the Furness & NSR came into the Western section they would have used LNWR colors if there was any repainting. Even after the new standard schemes were introduced it took time before all the stations had been treated, so any modeler wanting to represent the LMS pre-war would be best advised to use the color scheme of the appropriate pre-grouping company but with LMS poster boards.
The company began thinking about a new livery for buildings in 1931 when standard colors of ‘stone’ and ‘brown’ were introduced for all signal boxes, the stone color being used on planking and the brown everywhere else. However, the S&T department did not take over responsibility for painting signal boxes until 1933 so for two years things were a bit hit and miss.
Internally the brown was used up to dado level and the stone above, the interior of the roof and the window frames being white. Despite this new standard scheme some boxes on the Central Wales line was painted cream & green to match the stations in 1937 – it was a long way from headquarters! The photograph below of Embsay box shows this livery beautifully. The name board was yellow with black lettering.
Stations did not receive a standard painting scheme until 1936, a full thirteen years after the LMS was formed. Two light colors were introduced, ‘cream’ and ‘Portland Stone’ which were to be used with one of three darker shades, ‘brown’, ‘red’ and ‘green’. The red was a dark shade similar to Midland read as used on LMS loco’s and coaches, and the brown was very similar to the former LNWR color.
The majority of stations were repainted using the red or brown as the darker shade, with the green supposedly being reserved for bucolic stations in the middle of nowhere with the view that the buildings would blend in better with the rural landscape. It was used in Central Wales and the Nailsworth branch which closed to passengers in 1947 and thus never received BR paintwork.
I saw it there on the stations in the mid-1970s. However, all the stations on the Syston to Peterborough line seem to have been painted in green & stone and that certainly isn’t a sleepy branch line, it’s an important cross country route so the color scheme may have been more widely used than had been thought. I have colour pictures of Wymondham, Whissendine, Manton, Luffenham, Ketton, Stamford & Helpston stations in green & stone so it is reasonable to assume the others carried that color scheme too…what’s more other than Melton Mowbray they were not repainted by BR, those that were still open carried LMS colors into the 1960s.
Poster boards on the LMS were always black with the framing and lettering in white; station signs were similarly painted. Running inboards were white on black until 1936, when black lettering on a yellow background was introduced along with the new ‘target’ name boards.
On electrified lines, a color called ‘Golden Brown’ was used with cream or on its own as it resisted the dust from the catenary better than the standard colors.
Finally, an LMS mystery! I have a color photo of Uppingham station taken in the late 1950s (reproduced below) which clearly shows the station building painted in Stone & Sky Blue the poster boards are lettered LMS, and it is certainly the LMS paintwork as it was repainted by BR shortly afterward just before they closed it! The blue is the same shade as was used on BR Scottish region; is this a fourth LMS standard color, or did someone locally take things into their own hands? I received this e-mail which suggests that it was an official color – Confirming your “rogue” LMS station colors at Uppingham of light blue and cream, I can confirm that the wooden station building and signal box at Broadley station on the Rochdale-Bacup line were also painted in this scheme. Passenger services were withdrawn in June 1947, but the buildings survived in these colors until demolished around 1960. The other 5 stations on this branch, which were mainly stone-built rather than wooden, were in LMS dark red or brown when closed. Ian Holt, Rochdale
I would suggest in view of the above that the LMS used red, brown, green or sky blue to be used with either cream or stone as their standard color scheme from 1936 onwards and that the green & blue, while not as common as red or brown, were by no means unusual.
The BS 381C references for the LMS colors are Portland Stone 364, Cream 353, Brown 411, Red 445 and Green 226.
PAINTS FOR MODELLERS
- Portland Stone – Precision ‘LMS cream’ which is mislabelled and is actually the stone shade.
- Cream – I use Precision SR buildings cream. Precision do LMS buildings brown, or Tamiya Flat Brown is fine
- Red Precision – LMS coach red fits the bill.
- Green – Tamiya flat green.
- Faded Red – Humbrol 73 ‘Wine’
BUTTERLY STATION RESTORED TO LMS RED AND STONE COLOURS
AN UNRESTORED CHEST FROM A FORMER NSR STATION IN LMS RED.
EMBSAY SIGNAL BOX RESTORED TO LMS COLOURS INCLUDING THE YELLOW NAME BOARD.
WEMYSS BAY STATION FROM A POSTCARD SHOWING LMS BROWN & CREAM COLOURS.
STAMFORD STATION IN THE MID 1960’s CLEARLY SHOWING THE GREEN & STONE COLOURS ON THE SIGNAL BOX, LOOKING VERY FADED BY THIS DATE. IF THE BUILDINGS HAD BEEN REPAINTED IN 1946 OR 1947 IT WOULD EXPLAIN WHY BR DIDN’T REPAINT THEM.
UPPINGHAM IN ABOUT 1958, CLEARLY SHOWING SKY BLUE PAINTWORK ON THE STATION BUILDING.
THE POSTED BOARDS ARE STILL HEADED ‘LMS’ AND BR REPAINTED THE STATION SHORTLY AFTERWARDS.
THE MIDLAND RAILWAY
The Midland used a very attractive livery for buildings, which was used on everything other than signal boxes. A very pale cream called ‘Denby Pottery Cream’ was used for planking, valencing, etc, with a reddish-brown officially called ‘Venetian Red’ for ironwork, framing, etc. Doors were painted in a deep red, almost certainly the same color as was used on locos and coaches. Window frames were painted white.
Poster boards were back with white framing & lettering, either ‘MIDLAND’ or ‘MIDLAND RAILWAY’. Station signs & running in boards were deep blue with white lettering & framing.
The well known diagonally planked wooden fencing was always creosoted, never painted so should be finished on models in black or very dark brown; gates, however, were cream. Lamposts and the like were finished in the cream & brown.
Signal boxes had a different color scheme to make them stand out on the lineside; the planking was painted Lemon Chrome Yellow, as were signal posts, with the framing, stairs, guttering, finials, etc. finished in the same Venetian Red as on the other buildings. Window frames and internal walls were white. The BS 381C references for these colors are 354 for the Yellow and 412 for Venetian Red. The yellow faded over time to a ‘Cotswold Stone’ buff shade. The name boards were deep blue with white lettering & edging.
PAINTS FOR MODELLERS
For the pale cream I use Tamiya flat white with a little yellow mixed in, and for Venetian Red, I use Tamiya ‘, Red Brown’. The color for the red doors is Precision MR loco or coach Crimson Lake, over a brown undercoat. For signal boxes, I use Tamiya flat yellow for a newly painted box and Tamiya ‘Flesh’ for faded planking. For the blue used on signs & notices, I use Tamiya Royal Blue.
OAKWORTH STATION ON THE KWVR – MIDLAND PERFECTION.
LONDON & NORTH WESTERN RAILWAY
The LNWR standardized it’s the color scheme for buildings early on as it did pretty much everything, and it never changed thereafter. There is more than a suspicion that they simply picked the cheapest pigments and used those!
Planking, valencing, etc. were painted in one of two colors, ‘stone or ‘cream’…the former was a buff shade and was by far the most widely used. Used with these was a darker shade, either Light Brown or Dark Brown. Window frames were always white. These colors were used on all buildings, including signal boxes.
Station poster boards were painted black with white framing, and an enameled plate in dark blue with white lettering was screwed to the top spelling out the company name in full on two lines. Station signs & notices were black with white lettering & framing, as were running in boards.
BC 381C references for the colors
- Stone 361
- Cream 352
- Light Brown 414
- Dark Brown 411
PAINTS FOR MODELLERS
I use Stone and Dark Brown for LNWR buildings as that seems to have been the commonest combination. I use Tamiya ‘Flesh’ for the stone/buff, with Tamiya ‘Flat Brown’ for the dark brown. For the cream, I would use Precision SR buildings cream and for Light Brown Precision GWR dark stone.
LANCASHIRE & YORKSHIRE RAILWAY
The L&YR official paint scheme has not survived, but it is known that a mid-brown was used for doors, ironwork, framing, etc. together with a lighter shade called ‘Tan’ for planking. Window frames were white.
There has been a suggestion that canopy valencing was painted in alternate stripes of tan & white but I have seen only one photograph which may be evidence for this and it seems very unlikely; stripes of tan & brown, however, were commonly used before 1914. In later years valencing was all painted in tan. The photo referred to is of Denby Dale station (p52, ‘West Yorkshire Railway Stations’ Norman Ellis) and the striping does look very pale, but I think it was probably newly painted tan rather than white.
Poster boards, running in boards and station signs were painted in black with white lettering & framing.
PAINTS FOR MODELLERS
To paint an L&Y station I would use Tamiya ‘Deck Tan’ with Tamiya Flat Brown.
FOR SOME REASON THE L&Y SEEMS TO HAVE BEEN VERY WELL SERVED BY THE POSTCARD PRODUCERS. THIS SELECTION GIVE A PRETTY GOOD IMPRESSION OF HOW THINGS LOOKED.
CHESHIRE LINES COMMITTEE
The Cheshire Lines Committee was a joint line that retained its independent joint status until 1948. It was formed originally by the MLSR and the GNR but the Midland became a partner resulting in the joint status after 1923. Although the former CLC lines became part of the LMR of British Railways it was not until 1951 that the responsibility for the painting of the structures was absorbed into the larger region.
The information in this section has kindly been provided by Peter Scott.
The CLC had their own color scheme of light stone (similar to the GWR color) and a mid-brown which was used on all structures including signal boxes. The livery continued to be used through the LMS period and until 1951 under BR. The BSC numbers of the colors are Light Buff 358 and Mid brown 411.
The look of the buildings was similar to the L&Y, but the CLC also used the same colors on station name boards and signal box name boards; all other signs and notices were white on black. Station awnings often had the valencing painted in stripes of alternate colors.
Some station nameboards were replaced using concrete, in which case the lettering was painted black.
Hale station in CLC colors. Photo courtesy of Peter Scott.
It has not been possible to trace any official documentation on the Furness, but what follows is what I believe is correct.
A light cream similar to the Midland shade was used on planking, set off with an attractive red shade called ‘Madder Lake’. This was a translucent pigment so a red oxide undercoat was used which gave a rich red color with a brownish tint to the topcoat. The Madder Lake was used on ironwork, doors, framing, etc. while window frames were either cream or white.
However, the restored waiting room in the photo below, now in use as a boating club shelter on Coniston Water, was restored after the original paint had been revealed and the oldest layers were cream and brown which may indicate that these were the colors used by the FR. However it may also be LMS colors, the underlying paint having been removed when the shelter was repainted – it’s impossible to be sure.
Painting by K. Welch on the rear cover of ‘The Coniston Railway’ (Cumbrian Railways Association), shows the station in buff & brown but I have no idea if the artist had access to official information or indeed when the picture was painted.
The Furness is probably the most frustrating company to try to pin down; it’s just not possible to arrive at definitive livery.
Poster boards are thought to have been Madder Lake with cream or white lettering & edging though they could have been black; it is impossible to be sure from black & white photos. The same applies to station signs & running in boards. Early photo’s of Coniston station show light-colored notices & boards with darker lettering they may have been painted in Lake & Cream, or they may have been enameled in which case they were probably blue & white. This photo was sent to me by Tony Sheffield showing a poster board from Barrow station with an enameled top plate which may have been in common use throughout the system:
Fortunately, it ought to be possible to tell from photographs where these plates were in use.
PAINTS FOR MODELLERS
To paint a Furness building I would use cream mixed from Tamiya flat white with a touch of yellow, and Precision MR Crimson Lake over an undercoat of Tamiya Red Brown.
FURNESS ABBEY STATION, WITH THE STATION IN A TWO TONE LIVERY.
THIS POSTCARD OF SILECROFT CLEARLY SHOWS THE BUILDINGS IN BROWN & QUITE A DEEP CREAM/BUFF SHADE, BUT HOW ACCURATE IT IS I DON’T KNOW.
NORTH STAFFORDSHIRE RAILWAY
Up to around 1900, the NSR used a livery of cream & brown on buildings with the cream being used on planking, etc. in the usual way. Valencing was often painted in alternate stripes of the two colors. The brown may well have been the same color as the ‘Victoria Lake’ used on loco’s & coaches from the late 1880s in which case it was a purple-brown color.
Around 1900 the darker color was changed to Indian Red, a similar pigment to the FR color despite the different name, which was used with the cream as before though some larger buildings away from the public areas were painted in Indian Red all over this should be obvious from a B&W photograph. The Indian Red was used over an undercoat of blue/grey which gave it a dark finish in contrast to the similar top color being used on the Furness. Window frames were white or cream, and when painted window cills were buff, presumably to make them look like stone.
Station running in boards were blue with white lettering & edging, and fencing was white with black ironwork on gates. Poster boards may have been brown, Indian Red or black, with a blue enameled plate on top with ‘NSR’ in white lettering.
PAINTS FOR MODELLERS
For the pre-1900 colors, I would use Precision SR buildings cream with the purple-brown mixed from Tamiya flat brown and a little blue. For the Indian Red, I would use Precision MR Crimson Lake over a grey undercoat.
A postcard of Rudyard Lake; not a lot of help with the colors but NSR cards are thin on the ground.
LEEK & MANIFOLD LIGHT RAILWAY
Although independent from the NSR it makes sense to deal with the Leek & Manifold here. The buildings were finished in a light color which was probably the Primrose Yellow used on the coaches, with brown framing, doors, etc. The preserved Hulme End station, however, is finished in a light cream which may well be correct. The water tank in the postcard of Hulme End below is red oxide which may give an indication of the color used on bridge girders, etc. The station name board is white with black lettering. The corrugated iron roofs are grey.
NORTH LONDON RAILWAY
All that I know is that buildings were painted in ‘pale yellow’ which was presumably set off with a darker shade, brown or dark red.
LONDON, TILBURY & SOUTHEND RAILWAY
The bulk of the woodwork on LTSR stations was a creamy buff, with ironwork, doors, etc. in a mid-green. Footbridges were painted grey as were other metal bridges.
Station signs were green with white or cream lettering & edging and presumably, poster boards also used these colors. The postcard below suggests that running in boards were black & white.
After the MR takeover of the LT&S presumably, stations were repainted in MR colors.
PAINTS FOR MODELLERS
I would use Tamiya ‘Flesh’ for the buff with Tamiya ‘Flat Green’ for the green.
BRITISH RAILWAYS LONDON MIDLAND REGION
The BR color scheme reflected the most widely used LMS colors, red and cream. The cream was the standard BR shade used on all regions (except the North Eastern), and the red was a dark shade similar to the LMS colour. Cream was used on planking and canopy valencing, with the red on ironwork, framing, doors etc. as usual. The official BR specification from 1960 gives the colours as BS 381C ‘Gulf Red’ and ‘Light Biscuit’ in which case the red is brighter than the LMS shade. The paints dried very matt, though, which lessened the impact of this attractive livery.
Poster boards & station signs were red with white lettering, including enameled station signs on which the red was a darker shade.
PAINTS FOR MODELLERS
I use Precision SR buildings cream with Precision BR coach maroon or for faded red paint Humbrol 73 ‘Wine’.