Class 47/0 to 47/3 locomotives
47004 leaves Bescot with an engineers train at 08:31 on Saturday 18th July 1998. I wasn't able to identify the destination, but I suspect it was
heading in the London direction. This was Old Oak's pet engine at the time, and not often seen in the West Midlands as I recall. As well
as carrying "Old Oak Common" nameplates it also showed the 0F70 headcode, the normal reporting number used for light engines going to Old Oak depot.
87101 and 47015 just about catch the light at Birmingham New St. This shot is from spring 1982.
47051 storms away from Bescot Curve Jct with a 6Z04 empty steel train at 17:58 on Thursday 6th August 1992. Behind the Duff in this
Cardiff-bound special is 37274, which had brought the train into Bescot earlier that afternoon. Bescot Curve Jct is just on the far
side of the M6 motorway, and the locos have just come off the viaduct at Wood Green. Just visible to the right is the Drop Forgings,
probably closed by this time, and subsequently demolished.
47054 heads an eastbound tank train through Manchester Victoria at 10:40 on Wednesday 8th May 1991. This is almost certainly the
Ashton-in-Makerfield - Lindsey empties, and was an opportunist shot taken while I was waiting for a train. A wonderfully
gloomy place was the old Victoria station, even on a sunny day. My notebook tells me that I headed west from Manchester, eventually
arriving at Newton-le-Willows where I bagged shots of 31467 on the 12:27 Liverpool - Manchester V and 20128+20168 on a Fiddlers Ferry
- Parkside empty coal. Thanks to the Birkenhead driver who wrote to identify this train for me.
47105 drifts downhill towards Hailes with the 09:15 Toddington - Cheltenham. This was taken at 09:18 on Saturday 9th April 2005.
The loco has a working boiler and was steaming on this day, although there's no visible evidence of it in this shot. The clear blue
sky didn't last long, so the intensive service between Toddington and Winchcombe on this diesel gala day was very welcome. It allowed
some nice pics to be secured while the light held out.
47105 emerges from Greet tunnel at 14:58 on Saturday 9th September 2006. This is the 14:40 Cheltenham - Toddington service, photographed in
rather weak sun on a day when there was quite a bit of thin cloud around.
47105 again, this time steam-heating the 11:15 Cheltenham - Toddington. It's seen here leaving Gotherington at 11:27 on Saturday 5th
47117 heads north through Kinghorn with an Edinburgh - Dundee working. This photo was taken in September 1986, during the indian
summer of BRCW Type 2 workings in Scotland. As far as I can recall I alighted just this once at Kinghorn, almost certainly from a
southbound train with the sole intention of shooting this northbound train. At the time I would no doubt have been disappointed to
see a 47 appear rather than a Type 2, but now that BR blue 47s are a thing of the past it doesn't matter nearly as much.
47142 stands in the yard at Langley Green on Friday 14th April 1995. This was Good Friday, and the photo was taken at around 10:30. In
my notebook I have this down as 6G21 Washwood Heath - Brierley Hill, although my memory suggests that what happened on this day wasn't the
regular move, and that there were some engineering-related shenanigens going on. What's certain is that this is a train in two portions,
which had arrived from the north and reversed into the yard. The second wagon is a phosphorus tank, and the Cargowaggons either side are
barriers for that tank. The train was divided here and the loco took the first three wagons around the corner to Albright & Wilson.
It then collected the remaining wagons and took them south via a run-round at Stourbridge Jct. By the look of the steel wagons they might
have been going to Round Oak rather than Brierley Hill, but I'm not sure. Incidentally the Freightliner flats were stored out of use, there
was no container traffic at this location. I removed a large lamp post when post-processing this shot.
47150 drags a Midland Mainline HST through Hamstead at 12:11 on Sunday 12th September 2004. This train was a 5Z16 Longsight - Laira ECS,
the first of four such trains which ran on this day. The "Rio" services between St Pancras and Manchester Piccadilly had finished
on the previous day and the HSTs were being transferred to FGW for further use. Why they couldn't travel under their own power was unclear,
but whatever the reason it provided outings for four Freightliner Class 47s. All the best light was in the morning, and the late-running 5Z16
only just made the Birmingham area before the sun went completely.
With a threatening sky in the background 47187 leads a featherweight freight through Hamstead at 17:40 on Friday 24th May 1991.
I'm fairly sure this was 6T42 Brierley Hill - Bescot, diverted from its normal route via Wednesbury. This was because the
diamond crossings which took the single line from Bescot Curve across the main lines at Bescot were out of commission. I made several after-work
visits to Hamstead around this time, the objective being to photograph the Roarer on 6G05 Willesden - Bescot before the Speedlink
network shut up shop in early July. I never failed to see G05, and it never failed to turn up without any traffic. This day was no
exception, my notebook records "85104 (17:21) LE 0G05 Willesden - Bescot". 47187 was the consolation prize.
47188 approaches Golds Hill foot crossing on Tuesday 19th June 1990. The loco is about to pass the trailing connection into
Cashmore's scrapyard, still extant but long since unused by this date. Three trains passed Golds Hill in 40 minutes that summer evening.
First up was 37884 on the 6V69 Wednesbury - Cardiff steel empties at 18:46. Not far behind that was 47289 on 6V70 Cliffe Vale - Exeter at
18:55. Finally 47188 came north with the 6M29 Taunton - Warrington Speedlink at 19:24. Light loads were very common on this train
by 1990, with just two wagons on this occasion (the first is a Cargowaggon twin).
This picture shows 47225 rolling down the hill towards Kingswinford Jct with a well-loaded 6T50 Round Oak - Washwood Heath trip. It was
taken at 09.48 on Thursday 30th August 1990, and the loco will run-round the train at Brierley Hill before heading back to Birmingham via
Walsall and Sutton Park.
On its return north 47225 climbs away from Brierley Hill with 6T50 Round Oak - Washwood Heath. This shot was taken at 10.10 on Thursday
30th August 1990.
47237 heads a slightly late running 6Z63 Cardiff - Shipley empty scrap train past Stoke Works Jct, Bromsgrove, at 1118 on Tuesday
25th November 2008.
This photo shows 47313 with an Ocker Hill - Fawley tank train, leaving Ocker Hill Power Station at 13.23 on Wednesday 13th February
1991. I've included this shot because I'm fairly sure that it shows one of the last batch of trains from Ocker Hill (and by extension
on the remaining stub of the Princes End branch which had closed as a through route in 1981). Indeed it may even be the last train out.
Having been tipped off about this working by the signalman I'd junked work at lunchtime to cover it. Expecting an engine to come up
from Bescot I was surprised to find that the loco off the Brierley Hill T42 trip had gone to Ocker Hill and was taking the tanks to
Bescot. The OCGT power station at Ocker Hill was commissioned in 1979
and replaced the coal-fired station which closed a few years earlier (the cooling towers survived until 1985). The 280MW OCGT
facility was itself closed in the 1990s - see this
National Grid decommissioning document for more
A couple of months later and we see 47313 again. This time it's just drawn up at Duke St, Birkenhead, to allow the train crew to
operate the level crossing. The train is 6G30 Birkenhead North - Washwood Heath, and the time is 11:50 on Friday 19th April 1991.
This service conveyed domestic coal supplies as part of the Speedlink Coal Network, although this particular train was formed of
empties on their way back to Birmingham (and eventually South Wales). The cranes always looked like something out of a sci-fi movie
to me, and the old dockland warehouses were wonderfully atmospheric. While I was waiting to take this picture 31171 passed light
engine at 11:46 en-route from Dee Marsh to Ellesmere Port. Two movements in five minutes would, I guess, have been pretty rare at
this location in 1991.
47316 and 47714 approach Ryecroft with a 1Z71 06:58 Crewe - Kingswear charter. This was a Heartland (Cotswold) Rail charter, and was
photographed at 08:53 on Saturday 14th May 2005.
47320 accelerates away from Pleck Jct on the direct line from Walsall to Wednesbury. The train is 6T50 Lawley St - Round Oak and the
time is 09:01 on Thursday 21st March 1991. The load is steel coil on Freightliner flats - this traffic was imported through one of the
East Anglian ports and reached Lawley St on a Freightliner service before being tripped to Round Oak via 6T50. During the last few
years of its life very little traffic used the lines between Pleck Jct and Bescot Curve Jct, so getting a photograph in good light was
hard work. My modus operandi was to turn up around 08:30 and hang around on the path just the other side of signal WL45 (the one
visible in the picture) hoping that it would turn to green, and then get into position for the shot. Happily on this occasion it
did turn to green, and the train came past in the sun.
47331 stands on the loco Holding Sidings at Bescot. This picture was taken during the Christmas/New Year period of 1981/82, during which
there was a proper snowfall in the West Midlands.
47348 arrives at Honeybourne with the "Honey Monster" railtour on Saturday 29th July 1995. 33019 and 33057 are on the rear
of the train at this point. This shot was taken at 15:20 as the train draws to a stand so that the 33s can lead along the branch
to Long Marston. A member of the traincrew prepares to alight so that he can operate the groundframe. 47348 lasted in traffic until
47351 passes Brewery Sidings with the 6F77 Dean Lane - Appley Bridge Binliner
at 12:54 on Monday 15th April 1991. This shot was taken from the platform end at Miles Platting station, which closed in May 1995. Appley
Bridge is just west of Wigan, but Manchester's rail-borne waste no longer goes there, the destination in later years being Roxby (Scunthorpe).
47355 leads 73107 and a rake of redundant de-icer units through Clapham Jct on Thursday 9th September 2004. The train was a 5Z59
Ramsgate - Immingham special, routed via Kew, South Acton, Willesden High Level, Gospel Oak and Camden Road. My original idea was to do this
at Wandsworth Town, but having had a look I didn't think it would be front lit there. The light was near perfect at Clapham Jct but I bottled the
shot from platform 9 due to the risk of passing trains on the south-western main line. The shot from platform 5/6 is less than ideal, but also
much less prone to being interfered with. In the event a security scare at Waterloo stopped all traffic on the Windsor and south-western lines
for about ten minutes at just the right time. As a consequence 5Z59 had a clear road through Clapham Jct, with the route set three or four
minutes before it arrived - which was bang on time at 12:18.
47355 leads a 1Z14 Swansea - Derby Serco train through the Staffordshire countryside just south of Shenstone. This shot was taken at 17:00
on Thursday 8th June 2006. 1Z14 had been on a jaunt around South Wales, and its route home was via Gloucester, Worcester, Stourbridge, New
St, Aston and Lichfield. The loco on the back is 47145.
47356 is seen from the overbridge at Moor St, Brierley Hill while working the 6G22 Round Oak - Washwood Heath trip. The floodlights in
the background are at Round Oak Stadium, then home of Dudley Town FC. This photo was taken at 11.20 on Tuesday 25th July 1995. Over two
years had elapsed since the line north of Round Oak was closed and 15 months since Railtrack took over stewardship of the railway
infrastructure. Co-incidentally or otherwise the trackbed was beginning to show the weed growth which later came to characterise the
Railtrack era. 47356 was rebuilt as 57001 in 1998, and subsequently ended up in the hands of WCRC.
Another shot at Langley Green. This one was taken at 09:36 on Friday 13th August 1993, and my notebook records it as 47360
propelling the T48 trip from Albright & Wilson at Oldbury into Langley Green yard. The train consists of chlorine tanks, with
barrier wagons and a brakevan at both ends. The loco would have run-round before heading north. If memory serves me correctly the
tanks were still coming from Ellesmere Port at this stage, although towards the end of this traffic it ran from Wilton on Teesside.
On this occasion the yard contains several rakes of Grampus wagons, which I suspect might have been bound for Cooper's scrapyard at
47370 accelerates away from Bescot Curve Jct with 6V70 Cliffe Vale - Exeter, the empty china-clay. This shot was taken at 18:43 on Tuesday
24th July 1990. A good spot for clag this, as the back-end of average-length trains would have just cleared Bescot Curve when the loco
reached Wood Green viaduct. I never cared for this livery though, the mid-grey is such a dull colour, and this loco hasn't even got a
red-stripe to brighten it up a little.
47375 heads north past Elford on Saturday 12th January 2008. The train is a 5Z80 Bristol - Derby ECS, which had run via Newport
(reverse) due to engineering work on the line between Bristol Parkway and Gloucester. 47237 had been used as far as Gloucester,
but was replaced there. Running on a very slack schedule the train left Gloucester 20 minutes late but was well over 30 minutes
up when photographed here at 14:25. Fortunately I'd set out in plenty of time as the A513 was flooded just east of Alrewas where
it goes under the Tamworth line, so I had to turn back and go via Whittington instead.
47376 climbs past Hailes with the 09:00 Winchcombe - Toddington, seen at 09:00 on Saturday 1st April 2006.
Saturday 1st April 2006 again. 47376 returned past Hailes on the 09:30 Toddington - Winchcombe, seen here at 09:37. It was carrying the
"Resistance is futile" headboard. This loco wasn't my main target as I prefer the blue ones, but it was immaculately turned
out and produced my favourite picture from the day - even though I released the shutter a fraction of a second early.