Class 47/4 to 47/9 locomotives
This photo was taken at 12:15 on Sunday 5th February 1995. 47478 is working a weekend engineer's train, and is standing "bang
road" on the down main line just north of Dudley Port station, near the connection into Watery Lane loop. This was one of the
later 47s to retain normal BR blue livery, albeit with the remnants of a silver roof from its days as a Stratford loco. By early 1995
it was effectively a Bescot loco, part of the LBCB departmental pool. It was taken out of traffic later in 1995, but it was 2006
before it was broken up at EMR Kingsbury.
47481 accelerates out of Nottingham at 12:30 on Saturday 31st August 1991. It's working 1L81, the 09:42 Leeds - Yarmouth. Behind
the 47 is 31461, which had just arrived dragging a failed 47973 on 1E85, the 09:57 Sheffield - Skegness. Both of these were
replaced by 47319.
47500 heads north along the down slow line through Hademore (south of Lichfield) at 15:37 on Monday 25th October 2010. The train is 5Z93
Eastleigh - Carnforth ECS.
D1944 and D1935 leave Bescot at 14:38 on Monday 5th February 2018. This was the return leg of an LSL trip from Crewe to Bescot
and back. 5Z69 came south via Shrewsbury, D1944 leading three carriages with D1935 at the rear. Having arrived at Bescot under
dark cloud it was fortuitous that the return journey started 10 minutes late, enabling the cloud to clear a few minutes before
5Z70 set off back north. It was a bit of a surprise to see that D1944 had run-round the train. Having to hold the camera above
my head caused me to misframe this shot and omit the end of the train, but the stellar light and elegant livery makes for a
worthwhile pic nonetheless. D1944 became 47501 under TOPS, and was a D02/BS loco in the early 1970s. In contrast D1935 has
had multiple identities, it was a WR loco when it became 47257 under TOPS. It was then renumbered 47650 after receiving ETH, and
finally 47805 to reflect its extra fuel capacity.
There's a standing joke amongst railway enthusiasts that there were at least half a dozen Class 47s running around with the number
47555, so common did it seem to appear at the head of passenger trains. This particular 555 is heading 1M85, the 14:12 Plymouth - Manchester,
as it approaches Selly Oak on Sunday 7th August 1988. Just south of here the line kinks as it crosses the Worcs & Birmingham
Canal, and the driver applied a brief burst of power once the train was clear of this bend - hence the clag. This picture was taken at
18:40, and as the train was booked to arrive New St at 18:36 it was running about 15 late.
47580 heads a full rake of blue and grey stock through Hamstead at 10:06 on Saturday 27th November 2010. The train is a 1Z32 Leeds - Oxford,
charter, the "Retro Oxford Christmas Extravaganza". It ran via Stalybridge and Stockport then Bescot and Coventry. A dusting
of snow had fallen overnight, combined with a hard frost.
37521 and 47593 worked a 5Z46 Crewe - Long Marston on Wednesday 6th May 2020. This conveyed two BSKs, sandwiched between the locos.
The return 5Z47 Long Marston - Crewe included six ex-Great Western HST trailers between the BSKs, and is seen here passing Bescot at
13:51. The 37 was on the rear. The track in the foreground leading into the shunt neck was as rusty and weed-strewn as I can ever
recall seeing it, reflecting what appears to be negligable use during the coronavirus lockdown.
This is 47602 passing Bescot with a southbound cross-country service at 12:05 on Sunday 12th February 1989. I didn't record which
train this was, but it would have been diverted off the Stour Valley route. Both this and the shot of 47555 above were taken in the
change-over period from blue and grey to the sector liveries. Mixed-up rakes of coaching stock like this were quite common at the time,
which would have been OK by me, if the Inter-City liveries hadn't been so terrible. Shouldn't complain though, at least they're not Voyagers.
47627 leads a Birmingham International - Stafford exhibition train through Hamstead at 12:42 on Thursday 18th September 1997. Loco and
coaches all carry "Celebrations" branding as publicity for the
newly introduced Mars chocolate selection of that name. I'm guessing that I was aware of this move and had gone out especially for it,
although I can't remember and my notebook doesn't help.
47703 climbs away from Walsall with a 5Z31 Oxley - Chaddesden ECS on Friday 30th June 2006. I was doubly lucky to get this shot because despite
the weather forecast there was a lot of cloud around at breakfast time. I had to drag myself out of bed to cover what should have been a 5Z30
Oxley - Norwich ECS. My first piece of good fortune was to have missed a message advising that 5Z30 had been cancelled, because with the
cloud cover building I'd have probably given up and gone home if I had seen it. In the event 5Z30 was replaced by 5Z31, diverted to Derby so
that a second loco could be attached. 5Z31 came past me at 09:26, running about 15 minutes late on the original path, and in a very lucky
patch of sun (there was 95% cloud coverage).
47703 leads a 1Z32 North Walsham - Holyhead (NENTA) charter through Llanfairfechan at
12:46 on Saturday 7th October 2006. A combination of this train, the first Saturday working of the North Wales RHTT, and a very promising
weather forecast enticed me to visit North Wales for the first time that year. It wasn't a very successful expedition with the RHTT
eluding me completely, and the weather being worse than I expected. 1Z32 ran to time, and although there was far more sun than the sky
in this shot suggests, I was very lucky to get it in the light. There was no sun when 47703 rounded the bend, and none after the rear loco
47704 passes Cossington on the down fast at 16:15 on Monday 13th May 1996. My notes suggest that the consist is two normal
parcels vans and five ex-works PCVs, possibly "on test from Derby?". The train had stopped under the bridge in the distance,
before re-starting straight away. That might also suggest some sort of test run.
47707 waits time at Paddington with 1F66, the 19:20 to Oxford. This shot was taken at 19:15 on Tuesday 27th November 1990.
A former Edinburgh/Glasgow push-pull loco, 47707's fresh coat of NSE livery lasted until 1993, when it became an RES parcels loco
and was re-painted into their red livery. Withdrawal came in 1996.
47709 passes Hamstead with a 5Z45 Norwich - Oxley ECS. This shot was taken at 14:25 on Monday 10th April 2006, with the train running about
40 minutes late. The loco and first couple of coaches are only half-lit, but I was lucky to get any sun on a day when there was far more cloud
than had been forecast.
On the morning of Friday 3rd October 2008 47727 worked a 5Z47 Oxley - Long Marston special, and the same afternoon it did a 6Z47 Long
Marston - Stoke Gifford. The latter train is seen passing Croome Perry at 15:24, with four Freightliner coal hoppers in tow.
Only a week remained for the EWS 47s on North Wales passenger trains when this shot was taken at 13:47 on Wednesday 24th March 2004. 47732
is recessed at Chester with the 5D45 ECS from Crewe. The traincrew have just arrived and in a few minutes it will turn using
the triangle at the west end of Chester station, before departing at 15:20 for Manchester where it will form the 17:19 Holyhead service.
47739 and 47727 provide the power for the 6Z48 Burton - Dollands Moor empty steel train, running for the second time on Thursday 19th
March 2009. It was pretty much bang on time when it passed Bentley Heath at 14:42.
47739 trundles along the reversible goods line at Washwood Heath while working 6E07 Washwood Heath - Boston. This shot was taken at
12:29 on Thursday 13th September 2012.
47749 approaches Aldridge with a 6Z47 Stoke Marcroft - Long Marston special conveying ten PGA wagons. This shot was taken
from the bridge on Middlemore Lane West, at 11:23 on Thursday 24th March 2011, Midweek shots from this spot are hard to take due
to the narrow single lane bridge and regular HGV traffic to the nearby industrial estate. Fortunately on this occasion I had a
contact who was able to notify me when the train passed Walsall, meaning that I only needed to be in on the bridge itself for
a minute or so.
Recently re-painted 47757 trundles along the down slow line at Burton-on-Trent. The time is 10:33 on Wednesday 19th March 2003, and the train is
6G78 Toton - Bescot. This service often loaded lightly, but not on this occasion. The loco off this train worked a parcels duty later
in the day, departing light engine from Bescot to New St at about 16:00. Hence the use of a Class 47.
47790 worked a 6Z50 York - Reading special on Wednesday 14th November 2007. This conveyed two RHTT wagons, and was routed via Stockport,
Stafford and Coventry. It was 18 minutes early when photographed approaching Bescot at 12:22, which was a bit annoying as the cloud
was only 10 minutes from clearing the sun. A 6Z51 return working was scheduled for Thursday 15th.
By the time this shot was taken 47790 had been re-painted into Northern Belle livery. Here it is working a 1Z12 Liverpool Lime St -
Cardiff, the Northern Belle running in conjunction with the RHS Flower Show. 47501 was on the rear of this train, and it passed
Wistanstow at 10:50, near enough on time. The hills around Church Stretton are visible in the background, and with no further
trains of interest I headed off to climb one of them,
Caer Caradoc, on the way home.
47790 heads a 1Z48 Coventry - Coventry Northern Belle through Bescot at 12:52 on Wednesday 3rd December 2014. These occasional afternoon dining trips
take a circular route via Shrewsbury, Chester, Crewe and Stafford, or vice-versa. They also pick-up and set-down at Birmingham International.
On Friday 28th September 2007 DRS ran a Carlisle - Euston special, with the return train running on Saturday 29th. This meant that
1Z32 Euston - Carlisle would have to run via the Grand Junction because the Trent Valley was shut for engineering. It's seen here
passing Bescot four minutes late at 16:16. 47501 was attached to the rear of this train, which the headboard suggests was a jolly
for the Eddie Stobart company, one of DRS's more prominent customers. The mauve flowers in the bottom
right of the frame are Sweet Peas using the horrible metal fence as a climbing frame.
Saturday 28th April 2007, and a return 1Z83 York - Tonbridge charter was originally booked to run via the Midland route via Leicester
and Bedford. In the event it was diverted via Birmingham and Oxford, apparently due to the driver not signing the original route. Due
past Tamworth at 17:48 it was running a little late when it passed Wichnor Jct at 18:17. 47805 was the train engine, with 47839 on the rear.
Thanks to GM for the re-routing info.
47805 approaches Bescot with an additional 1A84 Warrington - Willesden mail on Saturday 29th December 2007. This train and a corresponding
northbound working had run on the previous couple of days, routed via Oxford because of engineering work in the Rugby area. 47805 had done
the honours on the previous workings and duly produced on Saturday 29th, this time towing 325008 and 325011. The train was held for 45
minutes at Stafford, apparently awaiting a crew change at Wolverhampton.
Thanks to Pete T for the heads-up and Ron K for explaining the delay.
47805 and 47839 accelerate away from Bordesley Jct with 6Z48 Burton - Dollands Moor. This shot was taken at 13:56 on Thursday 24th
September 2009, when the locos were on-hire to Colas.
47802 and 47805 (nearest the camera) worked 5Z84 Crewe - Eastleigh, the ECS for a boat train on Thursday 13th September 2012. It was
booked via Nuneaton, Coventry and Leamington. However some sort of incident had closed the line at Milverton between Coventry and
Leamington, so it ran via Walsall and Landor St instead. This shot was taken as it headed south past Washwood Heath at 11:19, with
hazy sun burning through some thin cloud.
47805 heads through Hamstead at 11:28 on Thursday 19th December 2013. The train is 5Z83 Crewe - Birmingham International, the ECS for
an afternoon circular Northern Belle to Chester, out via Shrewsbury and Wrexham, back via Crewe and Shrewsbury. 47810 was on the
back. A mixture of deliberate tree planting and natural growth has largely done for the shots that used to be available near the entrance
to the nature reserve. This spot is a couple of hundred yards further south, where a short break in the tree line and a couple of
twin-track cantilever OLE supports provide a small area where phots are just about possible. I was perhaps fortunate on this occasion,
the 11:12 New St - Rugeley was running about five minutes late, and had only just passed when 5Z83 came into view. They would
have crossed near the nature reserve bridge.
47810 powers through Llanfairfechan with 1D87 Euston - Holyhead. This shot was taken at 12:13 on Wednesday 8th September 2004. I was really
out for 47839 on the Arriva diagram, but this shot was the best of the four I took on this day. In the event I was lucky to get this as a
late start from home, coupled with three set of roadworks on the A55, meant that I arrived at Llanfairfechan with only a minute to spare
before 839 came by at 12:01.
47812 climbs towards Ryecroft Jct with a 6Z86 Long Marston - Eastleigh special, photographed at 16:07 on Wednesday 11th April
2018. The train consisted of thirteen bogie steel wagons, and took quite a convoluted route via Worcester, Stourbridge, Walsall
and Washwood Heath. Electrification masts would soon be erected at Ryecroft, removing another location from the already tiny
number where it's possible to take a half-decent photo of a train in the Black Country. The only consolation being that by
spring 2018 freight traffic in the area was at an all-time low, so there was barely anything to photograph anyway. It was a
filthy afternoon, cold and misty with drizzle in the air - perhaps an appropriate occasion to bring down the curtain on this
location. The gallery of four in attendance was the biggest I'd encountered here for many years, the blue 47 tempting others out
for what might be their last go, despite the appalling light. OLE masts duly appeared between Ryecroft and Walsall in late May 2018.
47812 trails on the rear of 1Z33 13:00 Marylebone to Birmingham Snow Hill as it nears journey's end at Small Heath. 47813 was on the front.
Due to the closure of Euston for engineering work this train ran relief services on both Saturday 26th and Sunday 27th August 2017. There were
two round trips from Birmingham each day and this was the return working of the first Sunday trip, photographed at 15:01. That's quite an impressive
forest growing between the down main and the up and down goods loop, near the front of the train.
47813 trails on the rear of 1Z47 15:40 Birmingham Moor St to Marylebone as it trundles through Small Heath. 47812 is leading the rake of Riviera
coaching stock, which is the return train of the one above. It was photographed at 15:42.
47812 heads a 5H70 Castle Donington - Soho barrier move as it crosses the River Tame south of Tame Bridge. A Class 323
was due to be moved from Soho to Tyseley the following day. The train was running 28 early when this shot was taken at
14:57 on Thursday 27th September 2018.
47815 passes Alrewas LC with a 1Z49 Birmingham International - Scarborough charter. This shot was taken at 09:03 on Saturday 25th March 2006.
I'd originally intended to go to Burton for this train and a pair of 50s on a Cardiff - Redmire charter, but changed my mind en route due to the
weather. There was plenty of sun around Lichfield, but a lot of cloud further north. With the wind blowing from the south it looked like
it would definitely clear around Burton, but perhaps not in time. So I elected to sacrifice a shot of the 50s for a better chance of the
green 47 in good light - a decision I was happy with in retrospect. The headboards on this train read "North Birmingham G & T
Express" (centre), and "GWOT on tour" (over the buffer). And sure enough that's the man himself at the first droplight.
Note for anyone thinking of replicating a shot from this spot: a large mobile phone mast has been cloned out of the background.
47815 passes Portway at 14:53 on Tuesday 18th September 2007. The train is a 5Z91 Derby - Laira special, conveying refurbished HST
trailers from Litchurch Lane, and running nearly two hours late.
This was intended to be a picture of 57006, and was taken on Thursday 8th May 2008. Unbeknown to me 47818 had been added to the 6Z72
Stockton - Cardiff scrap train at Derby, something that I only learned about on arrival at Spetchley footbridge. There was some concern
amongst the gallery of four about the cloud drifting around to the south and west, but none of us gave much thought to the brisk warm
wind blowing from the east. At least not until the train passed us at 17:45. The light was fine when the train appeared, but the signal
to the south changed from yellow to green just as it got into range. Normally the black plume of smoke that erupted from 47818 would have
been very welcome, at least for photographic purposes. But on this day it blew straight in front of the train, obscuring quite a bit of
it. As a result I've had to clone out a little of the clag from the rear end of 47818. It's only supposed to be steam photters who have
to worry about the wind direction.
Just half a mile further north 47818 is seen at Bredicot on Saturday 25th April 2009. The train is 5Z46 Loughborough - Landore,
conveying an HST power car (43056) from the Brush works back home to Swansea. It was only three minutes behind
an HST, presumably having emerged from the loop at Bromsgrove.
47830 passes Penmaenmawr with 1D87 Euston - Holyhead on Friday 24th September 2004. The time was 12:28 so the train was running about
15 mins late. This was the penultimate day of Class 47 haulage on the London - Holyhead trains, with 47826 on 1A49 (09:20 Holyhead) and
47830 on 1D87/1A77. Cloud on the coast compromised my choice of locations on this occasion. There was significant cloud to the east and
to the west, but Conwy Bay was mostly clear and both the lunchtime westbound loco-hauleds were sunlit at Penmaenmawr.
Now owned by Freightliner and on-hire to the Rail Operations Group, 47830 leads a 5Z47 Tyseley - Soho unit drag through Small Heath at 14:06
on Monday 12th October 2015. The consist was 323210, which had gone to Tyseley behind 31452 on the previous Saturday.
47830 again, this time leading 5V56 Kilmarnock - Laira through Aldridge at 13:20 on Saturday 9th April 2016. The consist
was a set of refurbished HST trailers for FGW. This was the second green 47 across Sutton Park that day,
47773 had worked a 5Z47 Soho - Tyseley EMU drag a couple of hours earlier.
47839 departs from Rhyl with 1D65, the 10:17 Crewe - Holyhead. This shot was taken at 11:13 on Saturday 9th October 2004. My luck was
definitely in on this day, but this picture demonstrates the fine line between success and failure in weather like this. The
train is racing a cloud and Rhyl station, visible under the bridge, is already in shade. Before the loco reaches the footbridge on
which I'm standing the bridge behind the train will be in shade too. All of us on the footbridge got the shot in the sun,
but it was a mighty close call.
47839 accelerates away from Llandudno Jct with 1K67 12:41 Holyhead - Crewe on Saturday 9th October 2004. This is the return working of
the previous shot. The train had been strengthened to six carriages from the normal four on this occasion. It was bang on time here,
this picture was taken at 13:37. I chose Llandudno Jct because the sun would still be on the nose, but when I arrived the chances of
any sort of light looked pretty low. In the event quite a large hole appeared in the cloud about 20 minutes before the train was due,
and it held out. Better still platform 1 was unavailable for trains from Bangor so 47839 came out of platform 2, which is a better
shot since the lollipop speed restriction signs appeared here. This was the last of my four shots on a day when everything went pretty
much as planned, and the sun played a blinder.
A Paddington - Llandudno "Merrymaker" trip ran on Saturday 7th April 2007, and the outward train ran via the slightly novel
route of High Wycombe, Banbury, Washwood Heath, Sutton Park, Shrewsbury, Wrexham and Chester (reverse). Some sort of problem at the
outset saw the train reversed, putting 47839 at the front and losing 20 minutes on the schedule. This shot shows the train passing
Washwood Heath at 09:56. I was rather fortunate because when I arrived at about 09:10 there were men working on the track near the
fast-to-slow connection. Their presence would have added to the photo, but their two white vans parked to the left of the tracks
certainly wouldn't have. In they event they finished their job at around 09:50, and after a few minutes getting their stuff
together they drove off at about 09:54. Impeccable timing I thought.
47840 coasts towards Stoke Works Jct with a 5Z47 Derby - Laira ECS move conveying refurbished HST trailers for First Great Western. This
train was running about 50 minutes late when photographed at 12:30 on Tuesday 6th March 2007.
A 5Z72 Crewe - Eastleigh ECS was scheduled to run on Thursday 19th March 2009. The consist turned out to be 47843, 47853, four coaches and
47769 trailing at the rear, and it was the best part of an hour late by the time it reached Aldridge at 11:08. This photo is taken from
Middlemore Lane West, which is an awkward spot. The road bridge here is a single lane, and deceptively busy as it leads to an industrial
estate. A separate bridge runs alongside for pedestrians, but it's on the wrong side for this shot. You feel like you're in the way,
particularly when lorries pass by, and in reality you are. The only real redeeming feature is that the landslip which occurred here
in 2008 has eliminated the vegetation to the south side of the line, providing a rare clear spot in the tree line.
47847 and 47815 climb the Lickey incline with a 1Z30 Minehead - York charter. This shot was taken at 10:14 on Saturday 28th April 2007.
The return working of the train above, 47847 and 47815 head towards Wichnor Jct with a 1Z32 York - Minehead charter. Taken at 19:03 on Saturday 28th
47847 heads south through Sutton Bridge Jct at 10:01 on Saturday 22nd May 2004. The train is 1V77 Manchester - Cardiff, loco-hauled
because the FA Cup Final was played at the Millennium Stadium that day. Man Utd beat Millwall 3-0.
47851 heads past Bromsgrove with 1Z79 Skipton - Bath on Saturday 28th April 2007, the same day as the shot of 47847 on the Lickey above.
This train was reported 15 late in the Wakefield area, but passed Bromsgrove at 10:57 against a booked time of 11:05. 47245 was on the
An earlier shot of 47851, departing from Rhyl with 1D87 Euston - Holyhead at 11:51 on Saturday 21st August 2004. This train was
running about 10 mins late, although this was a trivial delay compared with other loco-hauled services on this day (see below). The two-tone
green livery is a favourite of mine. The complementary green hues are particularly attractive, and both they and the yellow on the
front follow the natural contours of the locomotive.
47851 slows on the approach to Aston at 14:22 on Friday 29th March 2002. The train is 5H28 Oxley - Birmingham International, from
where it formed the 15:16 to Manchester Piccadilly.
On Saturday 15th September 2007 47851 worked a 1Z22 Wakefield - Salisbury charter, with 57601 trailing at the back. It was a few minutes
early through Willington, where this shot was taken at 10:50. I misjudged the position of the sun for this one, expecting it to be
on the nose by 11:00 when, at this time of year, 11:20-11:30 is more realistic.
Also out on Saturday 21st August 2004 was 47853 on the revived ATW hire. With insufficient Class 175 units being available again a short-term
loco-hauled diagram was re-instated on the previous Monday. The weekday diagram was two Holyhead - Manchester return trips, but on
Saturday it was two trips from Holyhead to Crewe. On this first Saturday the 08:54 off Holyhead was 45 down leaving Rhyl (this pic), and
running behind 47816 on the 09:20 Holyhead - Euston which was itself about 10 late. It got worse. The return 11:30 from Crewe was nearly 60
down at Rhyl, and the afternoon train was replaced by a unit.
47853 leads 1D37, the 10.00 Manchester Piccadilly - Holyhead, past Penmaenmawr at 12.09 on Friday 24th September 2004. Incredibly this
diagram reverted to loco-haulage again in December 2005, albeit with 57/3s rather than 47s as the traction.
England were playing Wales at Old Trafford on Saturday 9th October 2004, and a number of football extras were run as a consequence.
Most came from South Wales, but a 1Z47 09:33 Holyhead - Manchester Piccadilly also ran. It's seen here heading through Towyn at
10:36, near enough on time, and formed of 47853 plus six Mark 2 carriages. There's a lot of cloud in the background over Colwyn Bay
and beyond, but Rhyl and Abergele were brighter and there was more blue sky than might be imagined from looking at this photo.
47971 was acting as a standby engine when photographed at Duddeston on the morning of Saturday 30th March 1991. As far as I can recall
engineering work was taking place at Proof House Jct, reducing the capacity of the busy lines at the east end of Birmingham New St. 47971
was apparently provided to effect a quick rescue to any train that embarrassed itself in the vicinity. My notes tell me that it was also
present on Friday 29th, but not whether it was needed. The loco is standing alongside Duddeston Wagon Works, still in use at that time.
Duddeston stabling point once stood on the other side of the bridge, accessed via the line on which the 47 is standing.