The popular Railfreight sector liveries are growing in popularity with modellers, and two recent OO-gauge releases from Bachmann are a Class 37 and 47 in this colourful scheme, writes Nigel Burkin
Trainload Freight livery and the associated Railfreight Distribution livery (Era 8) were introduced after the creation of business sectors by British Rail in the late 1980s. The base livery consisted of a light lower grey body stripe similar to BR ‘Light Grey’, an upper band of ‘Flint Grey’ and a roof painted in a shade similar to BR ‘Executive Dark Grey’.
‘Warning Panel Yellow’ was applied to the lower part of the front of the locos, together with black to the cab doors and window frames. Class 37s also had black applied to the top of the bonnets.
The base livery was adorned with ‘sector’ badges for the divisions of Trainload Freight, including ‘Trainload Coal’ formed in 1988, and this is applied to the featured Class 37 model of No. 37 049. Trainload divisions were responsible for business within well-defined sectors such as coal, construction materials, petroleum and metals.
There was a little cross-over in places, as demonstrated by the locomotive represented by the model of No. 37 049.
The same base livery was used by Railfreight Distribution, with red and yellow badges applied to the sides of the locomotives.
That business was a little different in that it mopped up everything not covered by the trainload divisions, including wagon load freight, MoD traffic, intermodal and maritime container traffic (Freightliner). It was formed in 1987, and the livery lasted until 1992, when it was gradually replaced with a revised version in time for the opening of the Channel Tunnel.
Railfreight Distribution was one of the last of the BR business sectors to be privatised when the maritime container business was hived off to create Freightliner, and the rump of the wagon load and intermodal business sold to EWS.
Both of the featured diesel locomotive models will be welcomed by modellers of the late 1980s and early 1990s era that immediately preceded rail privatisation.
While the base Trainload Freight livery spanned around six years – comparatively short compared to other eras of BR – many locomotives painted in that livery ‘held out’ well into the 1990s and privatisation, usually shorn of the badges and embellishments such as nameplates and depot plaques, but still bearing the base livery.
For the full article and to view more images, see the September edition of Modelling – available now!
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