The sets were delivered in lined green with speed whiskers. They had grey/silver roofs, with the cab dome painted white. They carried the blue square coupling code.
In time yellow panels replaced the speed whiskers. Painted as such is M51593 at the front of the 12 noon St Pancras - Luton service, seen to the south east of Luton on Sunday 20th June 1965. Michael Mensing.
Corporate rail blue with yellow ends appeared in the late 1960s. The image shows a pair in blue at Elstree on a Bedford stopper on 4th August 1979. 54A South Dock. They now have the red triangle coupling code.
In the early '80s at least one set appeared with red buffer beams, white cab roofs, the BR double arrow on the headcode box, and the gutter along the whole train was white. This was apparently done in view of possible export to Greece. The set is seen in Cricklewood station in summer 1983. Arno Brooks.
In mid-1983 M51591 was repainted into lined green with full yellow ends, with whiskers edged in black, red buffer beams (back and front), cream white roof, and crests. It worked with plain blue vehicles, and was fitted with a plaque on the outside which read "The first unit 1959-83 1,250,000 miles at St. Pancras - Bedford - St. Pancras". It is seen here arriving at St.Pancras on Saturday 9th July 1983. Iain Reid.
It wasn't until the last few months of service that blue/grey appeared, and this was only on some trailers in anticipation of them being transferred to Tyseley. Eddie Knorn notes: "My notes of 127s record a formation seen in Feb 1983 as: - 51647 (Blue) - 59605 (Blue-Grey) - 59634 Blue-Grey - 51636 Blue. This pair of centre cars were both recorded as having a C3 overhaul at "3000" (ie Swindon) on 6-1-83. From memory, the first two centre cars at Cricklewood in Blue-Grey were 59609 and 59610 that both had a C3 overhaul at "5458" (ie Doncaster) during 10-82. There may have been a couple of 127 cars that predated this as (again from memory) 59595 and 59623 were Tyseley based by that time."
The images shows M59622 at Snailwell in February 1992. Surface Stock.
Initial conversions retained the plain blue livery with yellow ends, with appropriate branding added. Some sets had one car branded "Newspapers", the other "Express Parcels". The image shows a set with "Express Parcels" at Newton Heath on 17th July 1985. Michael Kaye 55A.
The plain blue livery soon had a red band added along the bodyside, edged in white top and bottom. Also soon after the bird appeared on the lower cab front. The set number would have a small A or B added at the end to identify each car. Before withdrawal most (if not all) had the 'Newpaper' lettering painted over. Set 916 (55986 + 55976) is seen at Crewe on the 11th June 1988. Andrew J Crowther.
M51591, which had been returned to green in 1983, entered parcels use. M51610 was painted green to match it, they became set 920 numbered 55966 and 55967. By April 1989 the former had had it's red plaques removed, but the two could still be easily identified. 55966 had a blank headcode box and Express Parcels branding, 55967 was branded Newspapers and displayed four characters in the headcode right till the end. The 'Newspaper' was painted over by October 1988. The pair are seen heading south past the site of Finedon station on the 12th April 1989. Mike Dean.