HBR Liveries

19th Century liveries are often open to conjecture. It is also notoriously difficult to reproduce accurate colours on a computer screen, so this has not been attempted. Accurate matches should be taken from preserved vehicles, museums, or historical societies.


Locomotives were painted black with slate grey lining with vermilion edges. The black was known as 'invisible green' and consisted of equal mixtures of drop Black and Brunswick green. This resulted in an extremely dark green which could be easily mistaken for black. Tenders and tank sides were lined with ultramarine blue with vermilion edges.

Brass number plates were initially used, but later locomotives used Doncaster-style transfers.

Coaching Stock

Although some sources quote H&BR coaches as being green, the original specification was varnished teak. Solebars and wheel centres were painted teak. Wheel tyres and roofs were white. Lining was yellow or gold.

Non-passenger vehicles were painted teak. Ironwork was black, and the lettering was gold.


Type Colour
General Lead (dark-medium) grey
Refrigerated wagons White