At last, we have the answers to East of the M60’s bus and train livery quiz

If you have been taking part in our bus and train livery, we now have the answers to Guess the Bus and Train Livery Blocks. In true tradition, the answers have arrived a week late.

Guess the Bus and Train Liveries

Question 1: These livery designs were used on which iconic train, designed by Kenneth Grange?

It was the InterCity 125, with each livery block representing the original 1976 livery, the mid-1980s InterCity Executive livery, and the 1988 InterCity Swallow livery.

Question 2: In the mid to late 1980s, British Rail reorganised its freight service into six sectors. With the two-tone grey livery, can you name any of the six sectors or all six of them?

The answers are as follows:

  • Trainload Coal;
  • Trainload Construction;
  • Railfreight Distribution;
  • Railfreight general livery;
  • Trainload Metals;
  • Trainload Petroleum.

Question 3: This was the previous version of which British Rail sector livery?

The answer to that is Railfreight.

Question 4: Which part of England had trains in this livery during the mid to late 1980s? (Extra points for guessing names of that British Rail commuter sector).

It was South East England. The first block shows us the original London and South East Region livery, followed by the Network Southeast livery.

Question 5: This series of liveries was used by British Rail’s Provincial Sector trains. Which diesel trains had the livery styles as seen in our fourth and fifth blocks?

The much loved and equally loathed Class 142 Pacer units. The fifth block was originally seen on Pacer units in the South West of England, whereas the fourth block was seen on Class 142 – 144 Pacer units.

Question 6: Which kind of freight was carried by British Rail trains wearing any of these liveries?


Question 7: Which Passenger Transport Executive’s supported train services used any of these liveries between 1985 and 2001?

West Midlands PTE/Centro.

Question 8: During several visits to this station, I have seen a Pacer unit in the first livery. This was followed by a Class 303 in GMPTE’s Strathclyde inspired livery, then a slam-door Class 308 in the third livery. Where in Tameside would I have wasted most of my youth spotting diesels to Rose Hill and electrics to Glossop?

Guide Bridge station. The Rose Hill Marple services had a flirtation with Pacers before being replaced by older Class 101 DMUs (till 2001). The Class 303s and Class 308s replaced the erstwhile Class 506 EMUs in 1984, upon the line’s switch to 25kV a.c electrification from d.c.

Question 9: These liveries were worn by a train that should have been in squadron service in the mid-1980s – and coming to the end of their lives at the end of this decade. Which tilting train was it?

The Advanced Passenger Train (or the APT).

Question 10: These liveries were seen on the posh trains till 1997, sharing the name of a famous author. You might see them on the Orient Express. What trains used this livery on their named carriages?

Pullman trains.

Question 11: All six of these blocks show us the liveries used by SELNEC and Greater Manchester Transport buses. What livery style is seen in the fifth block?

GM Buses Express livery (or Greater Manchester Transport’s Express livery as it was for its first few months). How we miss the 400 Trans-Lancs Express route.

Question 12: All six of these blocks show us the liveries used by Manchester Corporation buses from 1935 to 1969. If my bus is in the two-tone blue livery, where would I have been travelling to?

Manchester Airport. (Or Manchester International Airport; Ringway Airport even). Manchester Corporation had a special blue livery which ferried air passengers from city centre terminals to Ringway Airport – offering guaranteed connections with scheduled flights and chartered flights.

Question 13: All six of these blocks show us the liveries used by Blackpool Corporation buses from 1955 to 1986. From Talbot Square, which other seaside town has a straight connection with the 14 route?

Fleetwood. (Plus we recommend the Chinese chippy near the tram stop by the library).

Question 14: Which other traditional party political conference venue is noted for its yellow buses, as seen in these blocks?

Bournemouth. A version of these liveries were also seen on the town’s trolleybuses.

Question 15: If Eileen Bilton caught the 42 from Northwich, which municipality’s buses would she have caught in the 1970s and 1980s?

Warrington. More specifically, during the height of Eileen Bilton’s powers, Warrington Borough Transport. Still in municipal ownership, they come under the name of Warrington’s Own Buses.

Question 16: Before being superseded by Cleveland Transit in 1974, which municipal operator did these two liveries belong with?

Teesside Municipal Transport.

Question 17: Which municipal operator, known for its unusual dual door buses, had these liveries on their buses and trolleybuses?

Walsall Corporation. During Edgley Cox’s tenure, they were noted for having unusual dual door buses with a narrow front door and a sliding middle door. Sounds familiar? SHMD [Stalybridge, Hyde, Mossley and Dukinfield Joint Board] had a few Daimler Fleetlines with a similar layout. These buses saw further service with SELNEC and Greater Manchester Transport till 1981.

Question 18: From 1970 to 1990, which nationwide coach operator had this selection of liveries?

Scottish Citylink. Taking you from Gretna Green to Uig (though you will need to change at Buchanan Street Bus Station of course).

Question 19: Which city’s buses had these three liveries from the late-1970s to the noughties?


Question 20: Finally, which deregulation era operator had these three liveries over a twelve-year period?

North Western. The second version of North Western that was spun off from National Bus Company’s Ribble Motor Services operation.

How many did you get?

We didn’t expect you to get every single one right but if you did, you have probably spent too long with this gentleman, who made this geektastic quiz.

Scores on the Doors

20 – 16: don’t be surprised if our paths have crossed at some point. You probably might have stood next to me on a Merseyfailer Pacer unit or took an interest in trains at the age of five. Congratulations are in order: you win the 1986 edition of the Great Britain Train Timetable.

15 – 11: so near, yet so far. Like the person who just about makes the 346 bus, though gets refused entry due to being a few feet away from the stop. Still, you didn’t do too bad: please accept this shop soiled Greater Manchester Transport Bus Guide binder.

10 – 7: some room for improvement, though you probably know a bit more about 1980s bus and train liveries than the average person aboard the 0800 to Manchester Victoria. Please accept this unused Maxpax coffee cup, late of Longsight depot.

6 – 3: obviously not a regular bus and train user of the last three to four decades. Your best bet is to visit the local library (remember them?) and borrow some decent bus and train books. For now, please accept this rather battered copy of Stop The Express for the 48k ZX Spectrum home computer (and don’t forget your Kempston joystick interface).

0 -2: are you Chris Grayling in disguise? You probably know as much about bus operations in the North West of England as the member for Epsom and Ewell. You could right these wrongs by subscribing to Rail Magazine, or by following East of the M60 (from this blog and our Facebook page). As for your prize, please accept this used Shop ‘n’ Save Clippercard.

Before I go…

We hope you enjoyed this quiz and hope these answers have given you some knowledge of bus and train liveries through the ages. Feel free to tell us how you went on. Any suggestions for future quizzes are welcome.

S.V., 03 August 2020.

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