Colour Schemes carried by the L series Tourist Cars of the NSWGR

Page added 11th January 2000
Minor "adjustments" June 2002

This is a guide to the painting and lining schemes carried by the L type Tourist Cars of the NSWGR during their years of service.  While I have endeavoured to get the shades of colour as close as possible to what I think the originals were, due to the limitations of computer colour these illustrations should not be used for colour matching, but rather as guides to the general arrangements of the schemes and the appropriate lining out.

This page has come about as a by product of a request by Robert Harris on behalf of the 
New South Wales Rail Transport Museum 
for information on colour schemes carried by the L cars as a guide to restoration of the RTM's HFL 420.

A Brief History of the L Cars

Information taken from "Coaching Stock of the NSW Railways" by David Cooke, Don Estell, Keith Seckold and John Beckhaus. 
Published July 1999 by Eveleigh Press, PO Box 345, Matraville NSW 2036.
National Library of Australia ISBN 1 876568 00 3
A book that no modeller of the NSW system should be without.

Converted from members of the 1890 Express type cars during 1929-30, the L cars were designed to provide improved accommodation on a number of accelerated Timetable Daylight trains designed to compete with improving road transport.  The initial 42 cars were marshalled into 7 semi-permanently coupled sets of 6 cars, numbered Set 80 to Set 86.  Four of the sets were painted in new bright colour schemes matched to each new service.  Later on, between 1933 and 1940, further conversions were done, but these remained "independent" cars.

The Colour Schemes

Red and Cream was carried by Sets 80 and 81 between introduction to service in 1929 and January 1937 (Set 80) and March 1937 (Set 81).  These two sets were used on the two fast services that ran daily between Sydney and Newcastle, the Northern Commercial Ltd and the Inter-City Express, until replaced by the Pullman Car conversions in 1934.  They were then used on lesser trains.

The sets were marshalled as follows:

Set 80    HFL 351    BL 354    BL 395    RFL 411    FL 392     HFL 368
Set 81    HFL 380    BL 339    BL 413    RFL 350    FL 340     HFL 365

Green and Cream was carried by Set 82 from introduction till July 1948.  This set was used on the South Coast Daylight Service between Sydney and Nowra till 1938 when it was replaced by the new R car Set 109.  Like Sets 80 and 81, Set 82 continued in service, but on less important trains.

Set 82 was formed of:

HFL 391    BL 329    BL 993   RFL 33   FL 330   HFL 422

Blue and Cream was carried by Set 86 from introduction till September 1939.  This set was used on the Caves Express between Sydney and Mt Victoria till replaced by R car Set 108 in late 1936.  It was then "cascaded" onto lesser trains.

Set 86 consisted of:

HFL 383    BL 338    BL 394    RFL 399    FL 326     HFL 336

Sets 83, 84 and 85, as well as the independent cars, entered service in the then standard Pre-war Russet and Tuscan red scheme, though the lining out was not as elaborate as some of the other classes, though photos exist that suggest that at least some of the L cars were elaborately lined around the windows!  There is still much debate about the correct colour of the window frames during this period, I think they were probably Red, rather than Russet, but I am open to photographic evidence to the contrary!

These three sets were marshalled:

Set 83     HFL 370    BL 327    BL 988    RFL 377    FL 398     HFL 419
Set 84     HFL 405    BL 334    BL 991    RFL 37      FL 333     HFL 407
Set 85     HFL 343    BL 337    BL 356    RFL 418    FL 355     HFL 416

For a full listing of the independent cars, I suggest you buy the book!

From 1946 till 1954 any cars repainted were liveried in the standard Post war Tuscan and Russet scheme.  The main differences between the Post war style and the Pre war style was the deletion of the bottom cream line and the lining on the Guard's ducket.  Photographic evidence suggests that the window frames were Russet during this period.  However, after 1954 any replaced window frames would have been painted Post '54 Red, and photos taken after 1954 show Tuscan and Russet cars with with a mixture of Red and Russet window frames until eventually, all the Russet frames were replaced with Red ones.  The predominance of Red over Russet window frames is a good guide for suggesting the period of a model as well as dating photos of the full sized vehicles! 

From 1954 any repaints were done in the standard Post '54 all over Red with the wide cream band under the windows.  In common with many other cars repainted in the late 1950s, early 1960s, some L cars did not have the thin cream line above the windows.  No L cars were repainted in the Post 1982 Candy scheme, (Thank Heavens!)

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