Externally, the cars were delivered in the lighter "Multiple Unit" green livery with cream lining and whiskers. Pictured is brand new W55006 and W55007 in Leamington Spa station on May 26th, 1958. Michael Mensing.
In time, yellow warning panels were added and if they were repainted it would be into the darker shade of "Loco Green". Pictured is M55004 on August 17, 1965 at the front of a Derby suburban set at Lapworth. Michael Mensing.
In the late 1960s, all-over rail blue became the norm, and at least three passenger vehicles (55000/8 and 56291) and one MPV (55015) were turned out with a yellow panel, retaining the white cab dome and 3" numbers. 55008 is pictured in Birmingham Snow Hill station in Autumn 1969. Pete LG99.
Pictured is SC55005 in Inverness station in April 1977. Alan Rintoul. In this livery it was normal for the BR arrows to be on both in ends, although there were exceptions; such as 55000 which at one point had them on one end only.
The only markings I've noticed carried in plain blue livery is the Greater Glasgow logo applied to 55002. It carried it under the first passenger window on one end in place of the BR arrow, which were not on the other end either. For an image see the 1980 DMU Ian Allan ABC.
In the late 1970s blue and grey livery appeared. Pictured is 55007 in Fraseburgh station on the 16th April 1979. Mike Cooper. In the early blue/grey era it was more common for it to be on one end only, in the late 1980s it seems more common for it to be on both ends.
SC55007 at Haymarket depot on 19/11/83 with a 'Tayway' sticker on the cab, which was a branding for services around Dundee. Hamish Stevenson.
55011 is seen stabled at Tyseley on 04/01/86 complete with WM symbol on the side. It carries set number TS084 in the cab window Andy Cole. At least 55009/12 also carried it, as did 55003, although it had it at the opposite end next to the BR logo.
At least 55004 and 55011 carried Network South East branding, with an emblem on the van side. This is M55011 in Bedford station in April 1988. Mike Cooper.
Throughout the blue grey area the BR logo size seemed fairly consistant, at least 55009 carried a smaller version at one point. Pictured at Vic Berry's on 16/9/87 after arrival for asbestos stripping. Malcolm Clements.
This is probably a short lived mistake. Vehicle numbers normally had a prefix denoting the region they were allocated to (dropped in later years), yet when 55000 was refurbished at Vic Berry's in 1987 this was applied as a suffix: 55000M Andrew J Crowther.
55005 seen near Saltash on the 5th July 1990. Surface Stock.
Circa 1991 55000 and 55012 were painted into Regional Railways colours. 55000 is pictured at Liskeard circa 1993. John Law.
55015 seen at Stirling 14/5/71. The different tone of blue between the nearest cab door and the first 'passenger' door with a droplight signifies where body panels have been altered, removing a window and creating a double door. Through the cab windows we can see mesh has been fitted to the insides of the white painted windows. Under the number is the lettering "Parcel Traffic Only". Hamish Stevenson.
55015 again. Although by this time numbered TDB977177, in this 4/11/83 view at Glasgow Queen St it seems to only carry the number '1'! Hamish Stevenson.
Seen at Aylesbury on the 25th August 2003, 55019 is now sandite car 975042, set 960015. Robert Frise
55012 in Tyne Yd. 5/6/99. Ross Aitken.