Class 47

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The Class 47s (or Brush Type 4s as they were originally known) were British Rail's most numerous main line diesel locomotives, with 512 built between 1962 and 1968.

47815 pictured at Glasgow Works Photo by class47man

The first appearance in Scotland was March 1963 when D1510 was sent to Haymarket Depot of crew training.

Haymarket got its own permanent allocation from October 1965 when nine new locomotives, D1968-76 (later 47268-274,516,517) were delivered to the depot. The locos were mainly used to supplement the Class 55s on the ECML workings.

Brush type 4s were also used on the WCML, but these were mostly LM region locos.

It was not until the mid 1970's that further class 47s were allocated to Scottish depots, with Eastfield and Inverness depots gaining allocations.

By the mid 1980s class 47s had become the most numerous locos in Scotland and were used on all the mainline passenger routes.

Introduction of Class 158s from 1990 saw the fleet size decline rapidly. When pairs of Class 37s took over the Inverness and Aberdeen Sleepers in the Autumn of 1992, the last 47s based in Scotland were transferred away.

The sleepers reverted to 47 haulage in 1995, initially using locos based at Crewe, but a dedicated pool was established by DB Schenker at Motherwell Depot? from 1998-2002.

Class 67s started to be used on the Sleeper duties from April 2001, and took over both portions in June 2002. DB Schenker withdrew its remaining class 47 locomotives in 2004

In British Rail days, Class 47s were banned from the West Highland Line. The class made its first known visit on 09/11/02, with 47798 and 47799 on the Royal Train (top and tail), taking Prince Philip to Spean Bridge, and continuing to Fort William before returning south to Wolverton.

47643 Prepares To Couple Onto Coaching Stock ยป Photo by ScotlandSpotter46

The start of regular working on the West Highland Line did not come until 06/08/05, with 47826 and 47854 (top and tail) on an SRPS railtour from Dundee to Mallaig, which they worked throughout.

Visits of Class 47s to Kyle of Lochalsh are known to have occured in 1979, but regular operation on this route started with a special run of The Royal Scotsman hauled by 47854 on 13/10/05.

Current Operators


47816 in the yard at Railcare Glasgow Photo by class47man

Freightliner used to have a small pool of 47's available for rolling stock transfer duties. The 47's were stood down due to have no OTMR fitted and are stored at Crewe Basford Hall or Barrow Hill. However, 47811 was seen moving around Crewe under its own power in May 2013.

As of 2016, 47830 is the only class 47 operational. normally used for stock movements but it was stored in 2017.

The 47's consisted of:

47811, 47816, 47830

West Coast Railway Company

47245 at the buffer stops on 10th April at Glasgow Central Photo by class47man

Previous numbersCurrent NumberLiveryPoolNotes / Names
D1922 4724547245WCRC Maroon with WCRC logoAWCA
D1617 47036 47562 47672 4776047760WCRC Maroon with WCRC logoAWCA
D1757 47163 47610 47823 4778747787WCRC Maroon with WCRC logoAWCX
D1965 47265 47591 47804 47792 4780447804WCRC Maroon with WCRC logoAWCA
D1976 47274 47637 4782647826WCRC Maroon with WCRC logoAWCA
D1648 47064 47639 4785147851WCRC Maroon with WCRC logoAWCA
D1972 47271 47604 47674 4785447854WCRC Maroon with WCRC logoAWCA

WCRC also have more 47s, mostly stored at carnforth.

a new pool was created in 2013:

AWCA is an operational pool of active WCRC locos
AWCX is an storage pool of stored WCRC locos

normally used on railtours, including SRPS charters and The Royal Scotsman.


The old livery as seen on 47802 and 47501 working 6M22 Photo by Garylennon2001

47802 Stands in the yard Ex Works on the 13th June 2007 in the revised livery

47501, 47790, 47802, 47805, 47810, 47813, 47818, 47828, 47832, 47841 and 47853

DRS 47's are currently being used on the Stobart Pullman railtours unfortunetely in the middle of July 2008 DRS pulled the plug on the Stobart Pullman business and this forced the locomotives into store at Crewe Gresty Bridge (GB). They are mostly used on charters like the northern belle and the cruise saver express.
As of 2017, DRS no longer own any class 47s

FM Rail

47145, 47355, 47703, 47709, 47712, 47832
Locomotives used on charter trains - including the Blue Pullman, and also now a freight service to Mossend.

Note: FM Rail recently went bust and most of its locomotives have been sold off by the creditors to recovers debts

47145, 47355 were sold to West Coast Railway Company
47145 was then sold on to DRS
47703 was sold to Cotswold Rail
47709, 47712 were sold to WCRC and then onto DRS
47832 was passed on to new company Victa Westlink Rail then onto DRS

See also

External Links

The 47s
Class 47 Gallery
The Class 47 List (news)