West Midlands Railway
West Midlands and proud
When the London Midland franchise was split in 2017, a chunk of the network was given the name ‘West Midlands Railway’. A new livery had been designed for the brand, but it wasn’t felt to be vibrant or powerful enough. So, they called on me.
Bold, daring, different
The WMR livery works alongside the Bus and Metro livery but has its own unique colour scheme, mixing bold orange with deep purple to create a style like no other. The design is inspired directly by the West Midlands region itself.
A railway the region can be proud of
It was a brave move to give West Midlands Railway a livery like this. It created a fair bit of buzz on social media and in local press, some loved it, other hated it – which was exactly what I wanted. It means people took time to stop, absorb, think and have their preconceptions challenged. To me, the designer, the reasons behind the choice were to try and express the vibrancy, boldness, individuality and memorable experiences the West Midlands provides, and to create a livery like no other in the UK. Big, bright, unashamed and passionate – all words that have been used to describe the scheme, and all words I’d use to describe the cities, towns and places of the region (and of my childhood).
I worked closely with famed industrial designer Andrew Schoenemann on the creation of a new scheme for the interiors of all trains, including new custom moquettes, carpets and dedicated colour schemes, plus new interior customer labelling.
Bright, distinct and... temporary
As part of the plans for the West Midlands franchise, some of the older trains would be replaced by shiny, lovely new rolling stock – but not for a while. So, I pushed for a ‘light’ solution that would rebrand the older trains in a new look, but not break the bank.
The orange ‘faded diamond’ motif was carried over, and plain silver extended to the first set of passenger doors. Elements of the old livery remain but are cleverly adapted to create a new ‘light’ style, missing the purple but with all of the passion.
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