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by Mel Haigh

Late Education Officer of
Sir Nigel Gresley Locomotive Trust Ltd.

This series of articles was originally published in the SNGLPT's journal Chime, the first part appearing in issue 119, Spring 2001 under the complete title "An A4 by Any Other Name (Number or Livery) Is Still An A4". As Mel Haigh, the author, explains at the beginning, the series began as replies to specific queries about A4 identities, and developed into a full history of those identities.

Part One

Introduction ~ the origins and meaning of engine numbers ~ new locomotives for a new service ~ the first four A4s.

Part Two

More "streamlined" services ~ the allocation of numbers ~ the 100th Gresley Pacific ~ liveries varied and rationalised.

Part Three

Liveries and embellishments ~ and some thoughts about the names.

Part Four

The birds take flight ~ more on liveries ~ a shuttle service.

Part Five

Standardisation of livery (well, up to a point!) ~ some birds are shot down ~ the austerities of War.

Part Six

Finery and austerity: stainless steel trims and Wartime Black ~ the Thompson renumbering.

Part Seven

All change! ~ new numbers, and Nationalisation.

Part Eight

The British Railways era. Blue, green ~ and why SNG now wears BR blue.

Although Mel wrote "The End", no work of scholarship is ever quite complete. Readers may notice, from time to time, that Mel asked a question, or thanked readers for supplying information new to him. Unfortunately Mel is no longer with us but if you have any fresh information on this topic, we will be delighted to hear from you. Please contact David McIntosh, at:

Note:~ All dates quoted are given in the British format of Day/Month/Year

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