South Western Railway unveils new identity and livery

Forpeople has designed the new branding for the rail company, which was previously known as South West Trains.

UK rail company South West Trains has rebranded as South Western Railway, after rail operators FirstGroup and Hong Kong-based MTR won the contract for the franchise earlier this year.

Formerly operated by Stagecoach, the rail network runs services across South West England, including to cities such as London, Bristol and Exeter.

Following FirstGroup and MTR taking over South Western Railway franchise in August, the companies’ have now unveiled new branding for the company, which includes a redesigned logo and updated livery.

Designed by London-based consultancy Forpeople, the new logo swaps the all-capitals logotype and bright blue, yellow and red colour palette for a more stripped back, sans-serif, lowercase typeface that appears in black.

£1.2 billion investment

A bright blue, grid-like symbol has also been incorporated within the logo, and appears along with a condensed version of the logo seen on the new livery that uses the acronym “SWR”.

FirstGroup and MTR have also announced they will be investing over £1.2 billion on 90 new trains, refurbished carriages, station improvements and other updates between now and 2024, when the franchise will be up for renewal again.

The £895 million fleet of new trains will include free Wi-Fi, at-seat charging points, real time information screens, air conditioning, along with wider gangways and doors to make boarding and alighting easier.

The new trains will begin to come into service from mid-2019, and will fully roll out by December 2020.

The new branding and livery has now rolled out across all touchpoints.

Hide Comments (11)Show Comments (11)
  • Richard September 12, 2017 at 10:59 am

    Main issue that I have already had first hand experience of is their use of the lines as a texture on various touch-points. I went to use a machine to top up and I genuinely thought that the machine was broken as the screen was covered with lines and no text. A station attendant had to inform me that it was just the new branding and that was not the first time someone had thought the same. Hardly a massive issue, but from a customer perspective if someone hadn’t been their to tell me otherwise I would have been left pretty annoyed thinking that I couldn’t top up. Especially to find out later on that it wasn’t broken in the first place.

  • Martin Henley September 12, 2017 at 11:15 am

    No mention of interior seating etc design colours. I am in mourning for the bright and uplifting reds of South West trains, and despair if the interiors will replicate the dreary First group livery in other First Group networks. Please reassure me.

    • Aimée McLaughlin September 14, 2017 at 12:19 pm

      Hi Martin, thanks for your comment. The train interiors haven’t been redesigned yet, but South Western Railway has said that they will be at a later date. Hope this helps!

  • Ann September 13, 2017 at 3:54 pm

    To echo Martin’s post, it’s so depressing, travelling in a dark train. At least the SWT livery and interior was bright and cheerful and helped lift the rush hour. I travelled on Southeastern Railway recently. The trains were in fact frequent, punctual and clean, but I had to keep reminding myself of this, as the overall impression was of drab dreary-ness – all that dark blue and grey – and that impression transferred itself to my mental image of the service itself.

  • DC September 14, 2017 at 3:50 pm

    Are we to assume by the icon that it is South Western going North Eastern?

    • Carkdale September 24, 2017 at 9:45 pm

      Nope. It’s a (very) simplified representation of their network. The top right corner of the icon is London. The left and bottom ends of the various lines are therefore Reading, Bristol, Exeter, Weymouth, and Portsmouth. Or something. 🙂

  • Will Baxter September 22, 2017 at 8:57 am

    Saw one in the flesh today at Waterloo, looks the business… class!

    Refreshing and modern, rather than the Tonka toy South West Train livery it replaces.

  • Bill T. October 1, 2017 at 3:23 pm

    Right name for the line but a truly awful livery. See the (real) Southern Railway (1923-48) for livery schemes that truly suited this part of England.

  • Pim Sierks January 31, 2018 at 11:07 pm

    Yes , I like the new livery schemes but do we really need those awful yellow panels . The very bright head lights will take care of that .

  • Pim Sierks February 1, 2018 at 2:58 pm

    and when you refurbish the carriages please line the seats up with the windows so we all can look outside.

  • Mikhail March 27, 2018 at 5:55 pm

    Took one today. Wi-if works alright. However, it is unbearably grim and dull as if everyone is going to painstakingly boring business event with no redemption. Would suite well for Soviet officials of late Brezhnev era. Change for the sake of change never achieved anything worthy. I’d rather avoid.

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