Weekly Photo Challenge: Yellow

Yellow Warning Panels have been a part of the UK railway scene since the early 1960’s
Diesels were initially painted all over in Brunswick Green with a red buffer beam – although some multiple units had whisker stripes added to the front more for decorative purposes than any other reason.

Pressed Steel Multiple Unity with Whisker stripes
Pressed Steel Multiple Unit with Whisker stripes

It was soon discovered that diesel locomotives were more dangerous to track maintenance staff than their steam counterparts, being quieter and not accompanied by billowing clouds of steam – so it was decided to apply small yellow warning panels to the ends of the locomotives

D1048 Western Lady display a Small Yellow Warning Panel
D1048 Western Lady displays a Small Yellow Warning Panel

With the advent of BR’s new blue corporate livery it was decided that the whole of the front of locomotives was to be painted Yellow to improve visibility further…

37085 with Full Yellow End
37085 with Full Yellow End

…Indeed such was the urgency of the situation that some locomotives had Full Yellow Ends applied whilst still retaining their original green livery!

47364 with Full Yellow Ends but retaining her Green livery
47364 with Full Yellow Ends but retaining her Green livery

Having some yellow on the front of trains in the UK remains a requirement to this day although the advent of beam headlights now makes it less important and it is no longer necessary for the whole of the end to be painted yellow

A Class 171 unit demonstrates the current vogue for less than full yellow ends
A Class 171 unit demonstrates the current vogue for less than full yellow ends

Shunters have always been an anomaly – having yellow and black ‘wasp’ stripes applied to their ends

A class 03 with shunters 'wasp' stripes
A class 03 with shunters ‘wasp’ stripes

You can read about the Weekly Photo Challenge at https://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_photo_challenge/yellow/

7 Comments

  1. This was really interesting, Martin. I always think of red as a warning color — but in many ways, yellow is even more so. The current trend here for maintenance workers and even pedestrians is to wear fluorescent yellow vests, or “neon” yellow. They are really visible, even at night!

    1. Hi Judith, I seem to recall a study into which colors were most ‘visible’ to the human eye and a kind of greenish-yellow was found to be best. Currently Network Rail track workers and other staff are issued hazard clothing with a ‘pinkish-orange’ color.

      1. Martin, that’s it exactly. I kept thinking “Yellow” isn’t exactly the color — it is greeny-yellow. Who knows, perhaps they’ll switch Network Trail staffers as well.

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