A look behind the new livery for NS by Studio Dumbar
Since 1994, Nederlandse Spoorwegen’s ‘VIRM’ trains have been ubiquitous in every corner of the Netherlands.
Built between 1994 and 2009, the iconic VIRM double decker EMUs (originally designated as ‘DD-IRM’ units) are a familiar sight as they speed across the Netherland’s famously flat countryside in their equally famous yellow and blue Intercity livery.
Well, there have actually been two VIRM Intercity liveries up until now (if you don’t count the one-off ‘OV Chipkaart‘, ‘groenetrein‘ and red ‘London 2012 by NS‘ promo trains). The original colour scheme featured yellow with blue bands ascending up to the top deck, whilst newer and recently refurbished units received a version of the livery with the blue band descending to the lower deck instead.
Anyway – now, there’s a new kid on the block.
Studio Dumbar, the Rotterdam-based design studio founded by Gert Dumbar (who in turn designed the instantly recognisable NS logo), have produced a brand new identity for Intercity VIRM Series 2 & 3 units.
The new design features a striking, bold colour separation between the blue and yellow colours, overlaid with a huge NS ‘arrow’ logo splashed across the bodyside. Gone is the dark grey roof, which previously extended down over the cab windows and around the front of the train, to be replaced with a smooth, flowing curvaceous blue top section which extends to sit across the cab.
The inner sets of doors are picked out in blue, while the outermost sets at each end of the train are yellow, with a blue border which extends down from the swoop.
Studio Dumbar say the basis of the new design is the ‘flow’ of the train – taking inspiration from the speed of the trains as they snake their way across the country. It’s also a nod to the oh-so-satisfying flow of that timeless, beautiful logo.
Studio Dumbar’s affiliation with NS began in with Gert Dumbar, the influential Dutch designer of that very same logo. A scholar of painting and graphic design at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Den Haag, Dumbar founded Studio Dumbar in 1977, nine years after designing the NS logo alongside Gert-Jan Leuvelink at Tel Design.
What do you think about the new look for the NS VIRM sets? Let us know in the comments below, or tweet @transportdsn.
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