"After a directive from the BRB to paint all motive power BR blue, on the 9th June 1966 the transformation of the entire BR fleet began......."

Rail Blue -
The Story

How the rail blue livery
took over the entire BR
system and treated us all
to a sea of blue for over
ten years!

1958 - 1982

A look at notable events
covering the lives of the
first generation diesel &
electric locomotives.

The Rail Blue Gallery
My own collection of 
photographs with contributed/donated images covering the years 1966 onwards.
  Also includes locomotive fleet lists.

In Close-up
A detailed look at some
of the first generation designs.

Preserved Diesels & Electrics
Dead but not buried! The
pioneers of British Rails
'modern traction' live on today!


The Video Library
Classic archive video clips and film material covering all subjects relevant to the site.

Locations Revisited - 'Then & Now'
A look back at how the original locations of my 1970's photos have changed.....they have!

( Then & Now Part 2)

Ever wondered what a trainspotter actually is? All is explained...and more!

Latest.... Sunday 30th September 2012

Links & Acknowledgments

                                                            Photo courtesy Chris Hall                                                                                                                                                                                                 

In 1955 the then British Transport Commission unveiled the 'Modernisation Programme'; an ambitious scheme to improve British Railways infrastructure, traction and services after the ravages of the then comparatively recent war years. Included in the plan was the replacement of steam locomotives with approximately 2,500 diesel and electric units, a move that brought about the 'first generation modern traction'. Further developments came in the 1960's when British Railways decided it needed a corporate identity. In 1966 the 'rail blue' era was born.....

This website, as its name implies, mainly concentrates on those rail blue days, an era that spanned some fifteen years before it was gradually phased out with the onset of sectorisation and then finally, privitisation of Britain's railways. Included though, are several sections covering the pre-rail blue era; a collective record of that first generation diesel and electric traction.

What you see here was initially meant to be purely a display of my own photographs, but after eight years the site has grown to over 2,000 pages with over 3,200 photographs, many of which have been contributed from private collections. Thanks go to all those people.

Please don't expect to see professional quality images in the main gallery. These are, and intend to be, subjects taken by the rail enthusiasts of the time with a vast diversification of photographic equipment of that age, and as such give a perfect representation of the average 'trainspotters' eye with the limited, pre-digital, equipment available during the rail blue era.

Rail Blue Site Search
Looking for a particular locomotive, location or subject? Rail Blue contains over 1800 pages and over 2500 photographs. The search facility below is dedicated to the site and is more likely to find your particular interest than your browsers search engine.  Note: Enter locomotive numbers as 47484, not 47space484.

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Rail Blue is a private venture and receives no financial contributions or monies for its services whatsoever. Indeed, certain images on this site have been obtained at the expense of myself from private collections and auction sites. Captions to photographs/texts are merely my own comments and do not represent any views of railway companies/historic railway centres/locomotive owners mentioned. All photos/captions/features not credited to others are copyright myself but may be used with my permission. Please ask. Contributed photos remain the copyright of the owners and any contact information given to the Rail Blue site will remain strictly confidential. Rail Blue does not use any cookies or advertising popups.
The site is optomised for Windows browsers with the main pages catering for the ever increasing 1440 x 900 'widescreen' format.


 visitors since December 2002.