A Guide to the Epoque system covering SNCB/NMBS

From time to time, members have been interested in “the Époques”. Recently Train Miniature # 26 has listed the major details of the Époques. A summary with major livery changes is:

Ralph Hanley


Époque I from 1835 to 1926, split into 5 sections:
IA from 1835 to 1853,
IB from 1854 to 1870,
IC from 1871 to 1898,
ID from 1899 to 1914, chocolate brown livery was adopted for the Etat steam engines in 1900
IE from 1914 to 1926.

Époque II from 1926 to 1945, split into 3 sections:
IIA from 1926 to 1931; in 1926 saw the introduction of green livery for passenger coaches and in 1930 green livery with yellow edges replacing the earlier brown for motive power
IIB from 1932 to 1939 in 1937 the autorails became blue / beige,
IIIC from 1939 to 1945.

Époque III from 1946 to 1971, again in 3 sections:
IIIA from 1946 to 1956, in 1946 the autorails became a two tone green, freight became brown and green livery for passenger coaches in 1955
IIIB from 1956 to 1964, in 1957 the blue Benelux sets and red / cream TEE units appeared, in 1962 multi current engines appeared in steel blue whilst single current were in green with some yellow.
IIIC from 1965 to 1971, locos generally assumed a new green livery with yellow lines, and the Autocars became red and yellow.

Époque IV from 1971 to 1990, in two sections:
IVA from 1971 to 1981, in 1973 the Benelux set engines  25.5 became blue, first blue / yellow liveries for electrics in 1976, later with yellow / green for diesels in 1977, also Bordeaux coaches appeared
IVB from 1981 to 1990, blue livery for couchettes in 1984, new look coaches appeared in 1985 in white with lower bands of blue and red; Autorails repainted in blue / yellow.

Époque V from 1990, Memling coaches in 1991, and breaks in 1992, AM’96’s came in New look in 1996, Thalys in Bordeaux / grey in 1997.                                                                                      

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