After British Rail had operated its last steam worked services in the summer of 1968, it was able to present the modern image it had sought for some years. Although it still owned and operated three narrow gauge steam engines on the Vale of Rheidol railway from Aberystwyth in Wales, all other traction was provided by diesel or electric locomotives or self-powered multiple units (Dmus). British Rail was also dominated by its new corporate image, including the famous logo still seen on stations in Britain, and its 'house colours' of Rail Blue and Pearl Grey, with a small amount of Flame Red. There was a lot of black and white in evidence, using the standardised 'Rail Alphabet'' typeface for all signs and notices. A strident yellow colour was used liberally on the ends of all locomotives and multiple units to provide a visual warning. The emphasis was on uniformity and simplicity, very much in line with the architectural styles of the time.
From about the mid-1970s, little chinks of individuality began to appear, where local depots applied subtle variations to the official livery, sometimes vetoed by management trying to maintain the 'house style' However the original livery,all blue for locomotives with a small British Rail white logo, could look very drab. Eventually, in 1978, a revised livery was launched, keeping to the house colours, but with a large BR logo on the side of many types of locomotive and extended use of the warning yellow wrapping around the bodysides. Gradually nearly all multiple units and non-powered carriages received a band of pearl grey along the window area, a style originally reserved for express vehicles only.