An attempt has been made to graphically illustrate various locomotives on IR in the pages listed below.
Please note that the illustrations are not exactly upto scale and are not intended as reference points for modelling purposes.
IR has used a large variety of liveries (paint/colour schemes) for its trains, although most of them have been used only for the few special or "prestigious" trains. A dull maroon/rust colour was the overwhelmingly dominant standard for just about all trains except expresses and other special trains. More recently, since the late 1990's, a dark blue paint scheme (with a light blue band about the windows) has begun to appear on a large number of passenger coaches and may be considered the new standard livery for IR trains.
This blue livery has been used almost without exception for all new air-braked stock other than the Rajdhani and Shatabdi coaches. A variant blue livery consisting of dark blue with light blue strips above the windows is also used, mostly for coaches made by RCF.
Very few liveries have been used consistently for particular trains. Several trains had (and have) distinctive liveries; these are sometimes introduced seemingly on an ad hoc basis and removed equally arbitrarily. The exigencies of having to share coaches and split up rakes also means that it is quite common to find trains with coaches of varying paint schemes.
The list below is certainly not a complete one; additions are welcome! In this list, "Extant" indicates whether a livery is currently in use; with extant liveries that were shared by trains that no longer have those liveries or trains that no longer exist, the indication "fmr" ("former") has been attached to such trains.
Some of the liveries below are questionable — we need more accurate information on some of them. The doubtful or incomplete ones are marked "??".
All information here is as of Dec 2003.
|Cream||Orange||Orange||1 Cream (above windows)||No||Asansol Exp. (matching WAM-2)|
|Cream||Cream||Orange||No Stripes||No||?? (SR?)|
|Orange||White||Orange||No Stripes||No||Navjeevan Exp., Tamilnadu Exp., Kerala Exp., Karnataka Exp.|
|Pink||Yellow||Pink||No Stripes||No||Pink City Exp.|
|Red||Cream||Red||2 Red||Yes||Rajdhani Exps., August Kranti Exp., fmr Kurla-Howrah/Nagpur Superdeluxe Exp., fmr AC Expresses (New Delhi to Bombay/Howrah/Madras)|
|Red||Orange||Red||No Stripes||No||No?? Gitanjali Exp.|
|Red||Red||Red||1 Yellow (below windows)||No||??|
|Red||White||Red||2 Red||Yes||Neelachal Exp., Poorva Exp., Sri Jagannath Exp., Puri-Delhi SF Exp., fmr Himgiri Exp., fmr Delhi-Bombay AC / Paschim Exp. fmr Tamilnadu Exp.|
|Red||White||Red||No stripes||No||MG: Vaigai, Pallavan Exps. (matching YDM4A)|
|Yellow||Red||Red||1 Red*, 1 Yellow||No||Gitanjali Exp., Coromandel Exp. (seems to have been a characteristic of SER trains) (* vermillion red)|
|Yellow||Red*||Red*||No stripes||??||?? New Delhi — Amristsar Flying Mail. (* dark red)|
|Red*||Black||Red*||2 Yellow||No||Bombay-Howrah Mail via Nagpur. (*dark red)|
|Red*||Cream||Red*||Black stripes immediately above and below windows||No||Coalfield Exp., Black Diamond Exp., Pataliputra Exp. (*rust red)|
|Brown||Cream||Brown||2 Brown||No||Muzaffarpur, Secunderabad and Cochin Jayanti Janatas.|
|Cream||Cream||Brown||1 Brown (above windows)||No||Udyan Exp.|
|Cream||Brown||Brown||1 Brown above windows,
1 Cream below windows
|Cream||Brown*||Brown*||No stripes||No||Frontier Mail, New Delhi - Howrah AC Exp. Tamilnadu Exp., AP Exp., Kerala Exp., Mumbai-Nagercoil Exp. (*chocolate brown)|
|Cream||Brown*||Brown*||1 Brown* (above windows)||No||Howrah-Kalka Mail (*chocolate brown)|
|Camel Brown||Camel Brown||Camel Brown||1, patterned Brown||Yes||Palace on Wheels (matching Brown WDM2)|
|Oxford Blue||Oxford Blue||Oxford Blue||2 Cream||Yes||Royal Orient|
|Cream||Blue||Blue||No stripes||No||Coalfield Exp.|
|Cream||Blue||Blue||1 Blue (above windows)||Yes||Shatabdi Exps., Karnavati Exp.|
|Cream||Cream||Blue (light)||1 Purple (below windows)||No||fmr Swarna Shatabdi Exp.|
|Cream||Cream||Blue (light)||Tricolour (below windows)||Yes||Lifeline Exp. (hospital train)|
|Blue||Blue||Blue||1 White (above windows)||No||Minar Exp., Bombay Hyderabad Exp., Andhra Pradesh Exp.|
|Blue||Blue||Blue||1 Red (below windows)||No||?? Hyd - Bombay Exp.|
|Blue||White||Blue||2 Blue||Yes||fmr Karnavati Exp., Jamnagar-Ahmedabad Intercity Exp., Vidarbha Exp. Nizamuddin-Bangalore Exp.|
|Blue||White||Blue||1 Red (above windows)||Yes||Deccan Queen (matching WCAM3?) Pragati Exp., Taj Exp., Panchavati Exp., Deccan Exp., Indrayani Exp., Sinhagad Exp., Godavari Exp.
This is the standard CR day train livery now [7/00], except for the Mumbai-Kolhapur Koyna Exp. [8/03]. In the 1990s SCR's Tapovan Exp. used to run with a few coaches in this livery (but with SCR markings).
|Blue||Yellow||Green||1 Green (above windows)
1 yellow (below windows)
|No||Jammu Tawi Superfast|
|Blue||Cream||Blue||No stripes||No||Deccan Queen (matching WCM1), Panchavati Exp., Sinhagad Exp. Mahanagari Exp., Bombay-Secunderabad Exp.,|
|White||White||Blue||1 Blue (above windows)||??||??|
|Green||Blue (light)||Blue||1 white (above windows)||No||Bombay-Nagpur Vidarbha Exp.|
|White||White||Blue||1 Green (above windows)||Yes||Diva-Vasai DMU|
|Blue||Red||Blue||2 White 2 Red||No||Grand Trunk Exp.|
|Blue (light)||Yellow||Blue (light)||No stripes||No||Darjeeling Mail|
|Red||White||Blue||No stripes||Yes||Mysore - H.Nizamuddin Swarnajayanti Exp.|
|Red||Red||Blue||2 Blue (above) 1 Yellow (below)||No||Darjeeling Mail|
|Blue||Blue||Blue||2 Gold Yellow||No||Deccan Queen|
|Yellow||Yellow||Green||1 Green 1 zigzag Yellow||Yes||Sapthagiri Exp.|
|Yellow||Yellow||Green||1 Green (above windows)
1 Yellow (far below windows)
|No||Kerala - Karnataka Exp. Ganga Kaveri Exp.
This livery seems to have been characteristic of SR)
|Orange||Orange||Navy Blue||2 Navy Blue above windows
1 Yellow below windows
|No||Ganga Kaveri Exp.|
|Yellow||Yellow||Green||1 Green 1 Yellow||No||MG Vaigai Exp. and MG Pallavan Exp.|
|Orange||Orange||Green||None||No||MG: Mahalaxmi Exp.|
|Olive Green||Olive Green||Olive Green||2 tricolor. Each orange + sky blue + dark blue||Yes||Wellington Special - military train|
|White||Grey||White||1 Red (at bottom)||No||Deccan Queen, MG: Vaigai and Pallavan Exp.|
|Silver||Silver||Silver||2 Scarlet||No||Deccan Queen|
|Yellow||Yellow||Yellow||1 Red 1 Blue||Yes||Lifeline Express (hospital train) and some accident relief trains.|
A drab olive-green or greenish brown colour is used for special trains used by the Indian military. The coaches and wagons on these trains also tend to have various non-standard markings.
WP's used to be generally all-black. Even those that had coloured side panels or smokebox fronts generally had an all-black boiler body. WG's tended to be all-black except for a white or silver disk on the smokebox in some cases.
Specific colour schemes varied with the sheds. Some steam locos on WR (including WPs) had a brown-black two-tone paint scheme (with matching schemes for the tenders). Locos from SR often had some red panels, with yellow edge trim, or red and yellow trim; rarely, they had blue-grey two-tone paint jobs. A few locos on SCR had a two-tone blue paint scheme. CR favoured green trim on otherwise black loco bodies.
The X class locos of the Nilgiri Mountain Railway (Ooty rack railway) sport a bright blue livery with bright yellow trim. A few of them have (had) devices of different kinds painted on the smoke deflectors or elsewher (e.g., No. 37390 plinthed at Coonoor has a white horse depicted on the deflectors).
The original livery of the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway (DHR) locos is said to have been dark green, with a broad black band flanked by thin red lines. During World War II, the livery was changed to all-black. From 1952 to 1965, the DHR locos were painted a terra-cotta red. After about 1958 or so, with the formation of the North-East Frontier Railway, the locos started to be painted in blue, with two horizontal white stripes, which became their standard livery in later years.
Steam Loco Tenders
- Central Railway: Black on top, apple-green below. Yellow lettering. Locos for the Taj Express sometimes had a cream / blue livery to match the rake.
- Southern: Black on top and scarlet at the bottom for the earlier locos. This gave way to a light grey / brick-red livery later. The NMR X-class locos sported all blue liveries. Yellow lettering.
- South Central: Russet or brick-red at top, apple-green at the bottom. Yellow stripe in middle. Some tenders were all green, and a few were also all blue. Yellow lettering.
- North-Eastern: Brick-red with cream lettering, sometimes Black with a blue band and sky-blue lettering
- Northeast Frontier: Brick-red with cream lettering, sometimes Black with a blue ribbon and sky-blue lettering. The DHR locos now sport sky-blue tenders with white lettering
- Western: Black on top, and brick-red at the bottom. Yellow lettering.
- South-Eastern: Black on top, brick-red on bottom (separated by a yellow stripe) yellow lettering. Sometimes the numerals on the tender were much larger than used by the other zonal railways.
- Eastern: Black top / dark green bottom, yellow or cream lettering. Sometimes a red stripe separated the black and the green; more often it was yellow / cream. (Note: ER electrics inverted the livery with black below and green above.)
- Western: Brown and black
- Northern: Full brick-red, cream or yellow lettering, sometimes a cream/yellow band
When the engine had been withdrawn from active service and was used for shunting and yard duties only, the tender often used to be painted fully black with yellow lettering (with, rarely, a yellow ribbon running across.)
See S. Shankar's page on steam tender liveries for graphical depictions of these colour schemes.
Smokebox decorations and other markings for steam locos
- Smokeboxes (especially of WP locos) often had a star device painted on them. The most common star device for the WP's was an eight-pointed star in which the four rays running vertically and horizontally were larger, while the other four rays between them were smaller.
- ER locos often had a silver star on a red background.
- WR had large white five-pointed stars inside a circle on a black background.
- WR's MG and NG locos often had an eight-pointed star with rays alternately large and small, like the WP's. WR locos also often had a brown-black two-tone paint scheme.
- Occasionally an eight-pointed white star could be seen on non-WP's on NR.
- Some CR locos had the star device made of pressed metal riveted to the smokebox door.
- SER favoured a white or silver solid circle on the smokebox door, or a completely black nose cone, or silver trim around the headlight.
- SR locos tended to have just a white or silver ring around the smokebox door (many ER locos also had just a white ring). Some SR locos, however, also had a bright red painted disk on the smokebox.
- A flower device instead of a star was also common, with petals in various shapes and lengths, and sometimes in colours other than white.
- Locos homed at the Moradabad shed sometimes had two fanciful wings painted on the smokebox.
- Sonepur shed locos often had a bright red background for the star device.
- Dongargarh shed locos often had a silver or white circle or disc on the smokebox, with a smaller red disc on which a many-pointed yellow star was painted. This shed also tended to have very large numerals painted on the loco tenders.
- The Miraj loco shed favoured a 6-pointed star on the smokeboxes of its locos.
- The Bandikui loco shed often decorated its locos' smokeboxes with a white multi-pointed star in a black background, with an interlaced "BK" design in the centre.
- Some locos, those from the Jaipur shed in particular, sported the Hindu religious symbol known as the "Om" on their smokeboxes.
- Rewari shed locos often had white swans on a red background on their smoke deflectors, and a zig-zagging white border on the periphery of the smokebox front.
- When the Neral-Matheran line was run by steam, the locos were often painted bright blue with white trim.
- Other fanciful designs were seen sometimes, such as a pair of stylized eyes on the smokebox.
- Locos from the Jhansi shed usually had green trim bands or stripes.
- The Flying Ranee was hauled by a WP with blue trim.
- TELCO-made YG's and other locos had the maker's logo, "TATA" in white on a narrow red/orange diamond or oblong on the smokebox front.
SCR carriages often have an extra set of yellow bands, above or below the windows.
EMUs/DMUs have a variety of liveries; recent ones have a blue/red livery. Mumbai area EMU's are generally maroon or brown with cream: WR with the brown or maroon on the windows and below, but CR with the brown or maroon only below the windows.
Both WR and CR have recently [1/01] allowed companies to purchase advertisements that cover the entire coach, in effect making the ad the livery. SER EMUs (Howrah-Kharagpur) are also brown/cream.
MG EMUs around Chennai used to be blue/cream; then green/cream; then full silver; later reverting to a plainer red/cream. SR's BG EMUs around Chennai and elsewhere are found in both maroon/cream and green/cream liveries, but recently [11/03] new stock with green/white livery has been seen. ER EMUs (Howrah, Sealdah) have a green livery. New Delhi EMUs also have green livery.
MEMUs often have a green/cream livery, except some recent [2/00] MEMUs seen around Rajahmundry sporting a blue/cream livery. [11/03] MEMUs around Nagpur have an orange / cream livery.
SR DMUs have a yellow-green livery with zig-zag stripes. DEMUs running on the Karwar - Ratnagiri section of KR have a red and blue livery. Most SCR DEMUs have a green/cream livery but recently [10/03] some have been seen with an orange-red / cream livery (Narsapur - Bhimavaram Town).
[7/00] WR has started putting large advertisements on EMUs, the ad forming the paint scheme for the entire coach.
MRTS rakes have a mixture of green/yellow and yellow/maroon liveried coaches.
[10/03] MMTS EMUs in the Hyderabad area sport an off-white / oxford blue livery. They also have a thin blue band that runs around each window.
Several trains currently have locos with matching livery: Rajdhanis, Shatabdis, Chennai-Tirupati Sapthagiri Exp., Deccan Queen (??), Pragati Exp. (??), Palace on Wheels.
The so-called 'Rajdhani' livery (red with central cream band) used for most of the Rajdhani trains has of course been seen on the locos that haul them (WAP-4, WAP-5, etc.), but lately [11/03] has been spotted on locos of other classes including WDM-2 locos (Ernakulam), WAM-4, and even shunters like WDS-6 (again Ernakulam).
Trains that formerly had matching-liveried locos: Asansol Exp., MG Vaigai Exp., MG Pallavan Exp., Pink City Exp., Suryanagari Exp., Panchavati Exp., Sinhagad Exp., Indrayani Exp.
Some new Kazipet WDM-2's have white livery with trim in the colours of the Indian flag. Kazipet locos have a range of colour schemes. A common one, especially for WDM-2's, is mostly green with a dull red at the top or on the short hood. WDM-2C's and WDP-1's have red and cream with blue stripes. [2/04] Some WDP-1's at Tughlakabad now have a full grey shell with a bright red band.
The WDP-2 locos based at Tughlakabad (#15532, #15534, etc.) have a new [2/00] livery of Prussian blue with two white stripes. A variant has a slightly lighter shade of blue for the bottom, and white on top. The words 'Diesel Power' (in Hindi, 'deesal shakti') were painted on the sides, but these are not seen now. [11/01] The white is sometimes replaced by a metallic silver / off-white colour. [2/02] The same livery is also seen on a few Shakurbasti WDM-2 locos -- these don't have a logo, but just the shed code 'SSB' stencilled on the hoods.
Electric goods locos from Tughlakabad have a maroon livery, with some exceptions such as WAG-5 #23376 which has a bright yellow and deep blue livery [11/03].
Some WDP-2's have also been seen in all-white livery with stripes in the colours of the Indian flag.
Some WDMs homed at Kalyan have a blue-green livery (??).
WDS-6 locos based at Kalyan often have the standard IR maroon livery; yellow with a green band is another livery seen for these.
Until the 1970's, the WCM locos on CR were black with a red trim.
A couple of WCM-1 locos had in the 1980's a white paint scheme with a broad blue band along the middle, and a thin red stripe near the bottom of the loco body.
WCM-2, WCM-5 and other WCM series locos are also commonly found with cream (above) / green (below) livery.
Some WCG-2 locos (CR, 1980's) had a navy blue paint job with a single yellow stripe along the middle.
A common scheme for indicating the home shed for a loco is to write out the name in white in a blue circle bounded by a white ring. The name may be in the Devanagari script (Pune, etc.).
Many WDM-2's based at Krishnarajpuram have a dark blue/light blue livery. More recently, a blue-cream livery has been spotted on the WDG class. Locos from this shed also have a graphic device on the front which consists of two concentric circles; the inner one encloses "SWR" in large interlocking letters, and between the two circles runs "Diesel Shed Krishnarajapuram" in Roman script.
Some Pune WDM-3A locos have a livery that's a variation on the Krishnarajapuram livery described above; the blue hues are slightly different.
WDS, WDM, and other locos sometimes have one, two, or three green bands on the hood indicating they are equipped with dual brake systems (Kurla, Pune?), i.e., air brakes are present in addition to the regular brakes. Alternatively, the lower parts of the side of the cab and the short hood may be green.
Golden Rock diesel locos often have a green and cream livery; a few are green and white, such as the WDS-6's now [12/99] homed at Chennai (this may also be the old Arakkonam livery). [10/02] These WDS-6's have been transfered to Tondiarpet and have two-tone blue livery.
Arakkonam locos until recently had a green and cream livery. WAG-5 locos from this shed have a maroon-and-black livery. [5/03] Arakkonam based WAM-4's now have the 'Rajdhani' livery. A cream band separates the orange body in two. They also sport blue colored pantographs! Some WAM-4 locos have been seen [12/04] in silver and red with purple doors.
Tondiarpet locos have recently [3/03] been seen in a rather garish two-tone blue livery.
Some Kanpur locos (WAG-7, etc.) have a bright blue livery with a single white stripe at mid-level.
Some Guntakal locos have been seen [2/02] with a dark blue / light blue livery. (Some Shakurbasti locos also have this livery.) Guntakal locos also have [7/01] a new shed logo that shows a diamond inside a circle.
Erode diesel locos often have a dark blue (or violet?) scheme with cream and light blue trim. Some have a red and cream or off-white livery [4/01]. Note: Erode has adopted certain liveries from elsewhere for its own, leading to some confusion in loco-spotting reports. They have recently adopted a grey/cream/maroon livery for many of their WDM-3A and other diesel locos; this is actually the livery that DCW, Patiala, paints on all locos that they upgrade or rebuild. Erode WAP-4 locos have been painted in red and cream adopting the livery given to WAP-4 #22362 which was the first loco of this class to be given this smart new livery.
Ernakulam diesel locos often have a yellow scheme with either red or green trim.
Gooty diesel locos are sometimes painted orange and blue, although recently [4/00] WDG-2's based at Gooty have been seen with an orange and cream livery, and often have 'Shakti' (= 'power') written on their sides. Gooty WDG-3x locos have been seen with a blue and cream livery.
Ratlam diesels sometimes have a graphic device on the front that consists of a circle inside which is written "Ratlam" in Hindi, with numerous short rays radiating off to either side from it.
Ajni diesels often are half red and half white, with the face being red with white stripes. The newer [2/00] Ajni livery (seen on electrics and others) has cream, blue, and orange bands.
Asansol, and perhaps Sealdah had green-black liveries for electrics in the early '70s. Also occasional maroon paint schemes. (??)
The two WAM-3 locos at Asansol now [8/00] have a blue / red band / black livery. Other Asansol locos (WAG-5) have a cream-orange livery. A few are in deep blue livery with a bold yellow line at mid-height similar to old Golden Rock MG locos.
Some Lallaguda locos have a red paint scheme at the top and bottom and a broad cream band along the middle, without any dips or bends.
Santragachhi locos (WAP-4, etc.) have been seen with a bright red livery covering all but the lower part of the locos, which are painted black.
[5/02] NER's Gonda locos have been seen in orange with cream stripes.
Shunters often have additional stripes or chevrons or lightning flashes or arrow-heads painted in a contrasting colour to the main body of the loco to make them more conspicuous in the yards. However, until recently they did not have any specific livery to distinguish them as shunters. [11/03] But in recent months a trend has been seen where many WDS-4x and WDS-6 shunters are being painted in a yellow livery with a central green band -- this has been seen in different railway zones, so it may be something being adopted IR-wide.
[4/99] The new imported WDG-4 units have a yellow-white livery - white for the cab front (top half), and running as a central band along the length of the loco; turmeric yellow above and below along the length of the loco and for the bottom of the cab. [4/00] Some WDG-4's based at Hubli have a white, beige, and brown livery. [11/03] Newer indigenously built WDG-4 locos have been spotted with a new livery with blue replacing the turmeric yellow of the original imported units (central white band, blue above and below; cab front white at the top). Hubli did not consistently use a logo to mark its locos. When the WDP-4 loco was introduced at Hubli, a graphic representation of the WDP-4 was used as a logo. More recently  this has been replaced by a representation of the stone chariot at Hampi.
In the 1980's WCAM-1's had a white paint job with a broad red band (with smaller green stripes on either side) in the middle. CR WCAM-1's in the late 1970's and early 1980's had a blue-cream livery, although a few of earliest had a white (top), red (middle) and blue (bottom) livery.
[1/00] Some of CR's WCAM-3's are dark blue with a yellow band.
[1/00] Some Kalyan WDM-2's are also dark blue with a yellow band. Some Tughlakabad WDM-2's also sport this livery.
[1/00] A Vijayawada shed WAG5-HB has been spotted with a broad violet-cream-orange band at mid-height and narrow stripes of red, yellow, green, and blue in addition which converge to form a "V" shape in the front; the region around the windshield has a deep violet colour.
[10/03] The first WDM-3D loco was launched with a deep blue livery with cream stripes.
Some WDM-2's and WDS-6's belonging to the public-sector units (Bhilai Steel Plant, etc.) have bright yellow and green livery.
WAM-2 locos based at Howrah have or had a dark-green / bright-green paint scheme with a red stripe along the middle. At least one Howrah WAP-4 (#22064, formerly a WAP-1) has been seen with a smart new white and maroon livery.
Some SR WAM-4's have a maroon and black livery. In the Chennai - Bangalore section some WAM-4's have a green and white livery.
[8/01] Tatanagar locos now sport a graphic device which has an abstract humanoid shape (outstretched limbs) in white within a red disk. The livery consists of a yellow top portion, a thin blue stripe below it, and red below. Some WAG-5 locos from Tatanagar have black and maroon livery.
Raipur WDM-2 locos have blue-red-blue livery.[11/01]
Abu Road WDM-2 locos have a cream and bright red (fire-engine red) livery. On the face of the locomotive, the shed emblem is found with 'ABR' (station code for Abu Road) in a stylistic device.[3/02] Other liveries from this shed include full cream with red pinstripe  and cobalt blue with a wide white stripe .
[5/05] Ludhiana locos have a new livery (proposed): silver-grey base and orange stripes. Similarly, Tughlakabad locos are to get a silver-grey base and cherry-red stripes (contrast with Lucknow that started the use of silver-grey with blue stripes).
[2/02] Malda Town and New Guwahati locos are in the standard maroon livery.
[1/05] Lucknow shed has locos in a white - pistachio green - blue livery. New livery being adopted has a silvery grey base and blue stripes. THe word 'Prabal' is painted on the sides for many diesels. A stylized image of the Rumi Darwaza forms the logo for the shed.
[10/03] It's been observed that all or most of the locos that are upgraded or rebuilt by DCW, Patiala (WDM-2 -> WDM-3A, etc.) are given a grey/cream/maroon livery. These locos often keep this livery long after they have been sent out to sheds in different parts of the country, even if those sheds generally have their own characteristic loco liveries.
Railcars on the Simla line used to be white with blue and red trim.
CARTRAC rakes of CONCOR have orange/cream and blue/cream liveries. [1/05]
The NETRA coach has orange above the windows, red at the windows, and blue below.
The older OHE inspection cars (4-wheeled non-bogie stock) have appeared in many different liveries: maroon, maroon/cream, maroon/yellow, olive green, lemon green, royal blue, dark blue/light blue, and bright yellow. The newer ones (8-wheeled bogie stock) are almost all in a bright green colour (often with a red stripe near the top).