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The Transport Treasury archive for high-quality digital images taken from our original negatives and transparencies captured by the cameras of railway and transport enthusiasts through the ages.

| 16 Highworth Close| High Wycombe | Bucks | HP13 7PJ | Tel 01494 708939|  Mobile 07572 104250 |  

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Rail Colour Prints is the collection of colour images currently being produced by David P. Williams of Glasgow. David has written numerous articles in railway magazines such as Railway World, Steam Days, Steam World since the mid 1970s and was a keen photographer of BR subjects in the period 1958-1967 (black & white) followed by industrial steam subjects (black & white and colour) when BR steam came to an end. In the early 1970s his railway photographic activities centred on Germany and especially the Rheine-Embden line (black and white and colour). He does not take photographs of the modern scene and has never taken serious pictures of diesel or electric though there is a tiny representation of these in his collection.

Since retiring in 2003 he has been involved in the digitisation of his extensive negative collection and more recently has been working at the concept of adding colour to black & white railway images. The aim is to reproduce from a monochrome original, the scene which may have been observed through the viewfinder at the time. This is achieved using computer software and the resultant images are identified (and distinguished from colour transparencies) by the term CCM -Computer Coloured Monochrome. An article explaining the process appeared in the July 2013 edition of Steam World.

The Rail Colour Prints Collection is still expanding and currently numbers about 160 images. The negatives which have been brought to life by CCM include images taken by David himself ( eg Duchess of Gloucester at Shap Wells –opposite) but also ones which he has acquired over the years which were taken by other photographers. The many hours of work involved requires the candidate negatives to be of the highest quality and of medium format or larger. This enables really large prints (A2) to be produced which retain sharpness and definition quite unheard of from 35mm transparencies. In fact a good CCM image seems to improve the larger it is seen as fine detail becomes apparent which would not have been visible in a small print, even though it was there.

The CCM technique will be of particular use in creating coloured images from those negatives which predate colour photography (before 1935) and this includes of course anything from the pre-Grouping era. There is a heavy responsibility to ‘get it right’ and much research often goes into finding out the colours that need to be used for certain parts of the picture. If people are present (eg passengers on a platform) the colours of their clothes can only be guessed at so there are limits to how accurate the final result can be. A CCM picture does not claim to do anything more than suggest ‘this is how it may have looked at the time’ but the technique does at least offer a means to provide representative colour views that hitherto would have not have been possible to obtain.

The Transport Treasury has agreed to assist us with the marketing of the CCM images and the full catalogue of images will be available soon to view and order prints.  Digital files will only be made available to publishers on payment of a reproduction fee, please enquire for rates.



A new 13-month calendar for 2015 has been produced by Rail Colour Prints which incorporates CCM images based on original photographs dating from 1922 - 1964. The Calendar is available on Ebay and Can be found by searching there for Rail Colour Prints Calendar 2015. The cost is £7.99 including postage. We have a sample copy in the archive and we have no hesitation in recommending it.  Immerse yourself in railway pictures that you thought you would never see in colour.