5at Train

  The Class 5AT Advanced Technology Steam Locomotive Project   

New Generation Steam -- The Ultimate 4-6-0 -- 380 mile range -- An Engineering Legacy 

5AT Livieries Options

Many livery options for the 5AT have been created by artist Robin Barnes whose beautiful paintings are presented elsewhere on this website. In December 2006, at the time of the York conference on "Modern Steam", Robin presented the project with a set of new illustrations including five side elevations of the locomotive coloured in different livery options. Serious consideration of the question of livery options was forced on the "Leading Group" the following month when William Powell, a Model Making student at Bournemouth Arts Institute, offered to make a 1:30 model of the 5AT for his final year project. Accordingly, a ballot was held amongst 15 leading supporters of the project, in which each was asked to nominate his first three preferences (in order) from the first nine options illustrated below.

The result was a very close-run thing until fortuitously Robin produced a new painting (Option 10) which he delivered to Chris Newman and Malcolm Cluett in Sydney, Australia in March 2007 (see Photo pages), and as soon as this option was made available to the voters, its elegant blue with orange stripe and bold 5AT lettering on the tender became the near-unanimous favourite.

Unfortunately, William ran out of time and was forced to finish his model in matt white (see 5AT Models page), so presentation of a model in full livery model will have to await his or someone else's later efforts. Notwithstanding, the vote was not unanimous, and one or two of the voters urged consideration of more radical colour schemes, including one based Virgin's Pendolino trains. That prompted the suggestion that all supporters of the project should be invited to present their ideas in colour rather than in words, and a "colouring-in" template was prepared to facilitate the task.

Mike Horne was first to take up the challenge and produced a very elegant illustration of his Pendolino styling idea (below):

Mike Atkinson has took up the challenge (as of 12 Aug 2007) by sending in several livery suggestions based on "classical" styles that appeal to him. He describes his seven livery suggestions as "one for each part of the country, one for Cross Country and one for Rail Freight. You will find that I have taken inspiration from the Big Four and the Caledonian Railway, to produce 5AT ~ Caledonian, 5AT ~ Great Western, 5AT ~ North Eastern, 5AT ~ Rail Freight, 5AT ~ Southern, 5AT ~ Midland and Northern and 5AT ~ Cross Country. I have done this because I am not too fond of the chosen livery of Blue with 5AT in large letters on the tender, I believe it does not do the locomotive justice and does not make it look British. I am not saying my designs are any better or any worse, but of course they are based on British liveries, thus have an air of classic about them." Mike's livery ideas can be seen below:

Caledonian Railway

2: Great Western

3: North Eastern


4: Rail Freight


5: Southern


6: West Coast Main Line


7: Cross Country

Jonathan Newton of Victoria, Australia, has also added his suggestion based on a Victorian Railways S class locomotive (below)

Andrew George, also of Australia, has added some further suggestions based on four liveries of past and present railways in Australia and the UK (below):

1:  Eastern and Southern

From about late 2003 most of the locomotives I've sketched belong to the fictitious Eastern and Southern railway, which are painted white with red footplates and black accents, namely the smokebox, wheels, cab roof and underframes. However, this livery did not work well when applied to the 5AT, and a similar livery suggestion by Robin Barnes using silver paint was deemed impractical for a steam locomotive. In response I developed another 'Eastern and Southern' livery, which admittedly draws inspiration from the livery applied to Jetstar Airway's aircraft. Instead of silver the base colour is a light grey, with black and orange accents.

2: Highland Railway

In mid 2007 Mike Atkinson submitted seven 5AT livery proposals based on past liveries used on British railways. One livery I feel that should have been included amongst them is a version of William Stroudley's yellow-ochre livery for the Highland Railway. Note the coloured pinstriping and copper trim on the chimney.

3: CountryLink:

CountryLink is an Australian rail company who operates intercity and interstate express services from the state of New South Wales. They have recently been refurbishing their XPlorer railcars and XPT trainsets (a derivative of the British HST 125 trainsets), and have painted them in a striking new colour scheme. I've applied a version of this colour scheme to the 5AT, which features a distinctive cyan stripe along the length of the locomotive. Seeing how CountryLink services run on standard gauge (4'8.5") and that Australia has large coal reserves but little indigenous oil, a single 3,500 HP coal-fired 5AT in place of two 2,010 HP XPT power cars on express trains seems a reasonable proposition. Maybe this is what CountryLink needs to start turning a profit...

4: VLine

Up until recently VLine, who operates broad-gauge (5'3") intercity services within Victoria, used a rather handsome crimson, white and blue livery with black wheels and underframes on their locomotives and rolling stock. From 2006 I've been using a version of this livery on streamlined broad-gauge Hudsons of my own design, and I've found that this latter livery transfers well to the 5AT.

If any other readers would like to submit their own livery ideas, please feel free to use one of the blank templates below and forward it to webmaster@5at.co.uk. (The lower template has the locomotive's framework etc precoloured in grey). To copy a template onto your computer, "right click" on the image and select the "Save Picture As" option.

Note: the actual size of these templates is much larger than shown on this page. Their lines will appear clearer when the images are displayed at full size. Left click on each image to see it in full-size.