Diesel Spectrum - Queensland - The Blue and White Era (BOOK)

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Diesel Spectrum - Queensland - The Blue and White Era (BOOK)


From the time the Queensland Government Railways introduced its first mainline diesel-electric locomotives in November 1952, it adopted a standard livery of blue, white and grey. QR retained these basic colours for nearly forty years - far longer than any other state-run railway system in Australia. Although shunting locomotives of the DH and DL classes were painted green, any locomotive that spent most of its time performing main line work was adorned in this blue, white and grey livery. Over the intervening period, the only significant alteration to this original pattern was the application of stylised 'QR' vermilion-coloured lettering on the body sides of all locomotives.

With the blue, white and grey livery being in use for such a long period of time, many classes of locomotives were destined to wear those colours, albeit with minor variations, from the 1150 class introduced in 1952, to the 2600s built during the mid-1980s.

During the blue, white and grey era on the Queensland government rail system, only four mainline locomotives received colours other than that standard livery. As part of the centenary celebrations of the Queensland Government Railways in 1965, two locomotives were painted gold (in the areas which were previously blue), white and grey. These two units, 1281 and 1461, retained those colours until withdrawn from service. Similarly, in 1988, when Australia celebrated two hundred years of European settlement, Queensland Railways painted two locomotives, 1723 and 2401, in a special livery of green, yellow and white.

Following its formation in 1991, Queensland Rail decided to adopt a new corporate image which, for the locomotive fleet, translated into a new livery. Using bold diagonal bands of deep yellow and maroon, and nicknamed the `Bronco' livery, these new colours first appeared in April 1992. Today, these colours have largely replaced the original blue, white and grey and it is now appropriate to reflect on those colours and the many classes of locomotives which wore them for such a long time.



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