Railway Badge • British Railways • AL1 81 • c1964

Here is a lovely engine badge from the modernisation period of British Rail in the early 1960s. This was the first big AC engine.

And here is a lovely painting of the engine…terrific. Actually, this picture is based on a photo of scale model with the background blocked out. Lovely effect though.

And here is a poster that shows the speeding train…

I’ve been thinking about these enamel badges. In their earliest form, they were sold to raise money for railway orphans…accordingly, the badges showed the most famous engines from the 1920s and 1930s. Usually, these were the big express locos from the routes to the south-west, and up the east coast and west coast main lines to Scotland. Streamlined engines always seem to have been popular, perhaps because they were faster.

So these little badges capture all the speed, glamour and style of old-time railway travel.

Andrew Martin describes these routes in, Belles and Whistles (2014).

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