This week a look at the Class 47 diesels which were built between 1962-68. Originally under the heading of Type 4, Brush Traction at Loughborough built 310 locomotives and BR at Crewe built 202 making a class total of 512. They were equipped with Sulzer engines rated at 2750hp but later de-rated down to 2580hp which significantly improved their reliability whilst losing little in performance.They were the go anywhere loco quite capable of replacing express steam locomotivesor heavy freightbut light enough in weight torun over the lighter laid lines of the UK.

Despite being around 50 years old there are stillaround 30in regular main line service with another 33 that were re-engineered and fitted with EMD engines but using the same body shellthat became Class 57’s. There are also around 20 on Preserved railways mostly in working order.

There are many more liveries but these that follow are the only ones I have that were taken locally. Several of which have been scanned from prints so apologies for a loss of quality on some pictures.


The original livery was in two tone green and here is 47851 “Traction Magazine” on it’s long journey back to Saltburn after a weekend trip to Cornwall.


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The late 60’s saw the locomotives adopting the Corporate blue livery. 47840 North Star rounds the bend at Langstone Rock in 2002 when Virgin at rail enthusiasts requests painted several of their fleet in retro liveries when they were having their swan song before being replaced by Voyagers.


I have included this one as it shows a 47 on a parcels train, something we never see any more on the sea wall. In this case the Teignmouth sea wall at Sprey Point.


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After privatisation there was an explosion of different company liveries and complicated more recently by the retro application of previous corporate ones. Here are an assortment of ones I have photographed (mostly)on the Dawlish sea wall. 47758 “Regency Rail Cruises” at Langstone Rock.


First Western with “fag packet” Livery coaches.


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Fragonset or maybe FM Rail who had taken Fragonset over head a short rake of Mk 2 coaches towards the Rockstone Bridge..


47628 “Sir Daniel Gooch” one of 4 Class 47’s that were given the pseudo GWR livery to celebrate the GWR 150 celebrations of 1985. Photographed at Sprey Point Teignmouth.


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Large logo Blue 47663 passing Cockwood near Starcross


Intercity livery photographed in the days when I was nimble enough to climb to the top of Langstone (or Red) Rock!


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Rail Express Systems (Res) loco’s were usually to be seen on postal train duties but on this occasion in chargeof a day excursion passing Dawlish Warren station.


An unidentified Virgin 47/8 passing Langstone Rock on a Cross Country service.


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Porterbrook surprised the railway world with their purple and silver livery Class 57 rebuild on a trial Plymouth-Paddington service. First Western later ordered 4 Class 57’s

for their Night Riviera sleeper service. With the shocking amount of failures with the sleeper you would question whether that had been a good idea! To be fair it does often seem to be the coaching stock that lets it down. Who knows, perhaps GWR are considering hiring Class 68’s for the job.


DRS branched out from their nuclear train work and can be seen all over the country on hire to various operators. For some time now they have been supplementing the Night Riviera sleeper traction pool. 47813 “Solent” partnering one of the Northern Belle livery 47’s 47832 “Solway Princess” rounds the bend at Langstone Rock with a Pullman train on 4/12/2013


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Solway Princess on the rear on the return journey.


57602 Restormel Castle exits Kennaway tunnel andjoins the sea wallat Dawlish on the Summer Saturday’s only Par-Exeter St Davids service that utilises the day coaches from the Night Riviera.


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The not very inspiring but probably practical dull maroon livery of West Coast Railways 57316 was on the rear of this year’s Gt. Britain 1X tour with steam train 46100 Royal Scot on the front.


Colas 47749 “Demelza” and 47727 “Rebecca” provide a more colourful sight.


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Cotswold Rail 47813 and an Anglia livery 47 in the process of delivering 3 Midland Mainline HST’s to Laira.


Freightliner 47150 heads the convoy of 2 x Class 20’s and a Deltic ontheir way to a Diesel Gala at the South Devon Railway at Buckfastleigh.


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The short lived Hertfordshire Rail Tours Blue Pullman train headed by 47709 “Dionysos” with out of sight 47712 “Artemis” on the rear pass through Dawlish Warren station.


Virgin Thunderbird 57303 “Alan Tracy” heads a right hotchpotch of coaches as it makes it’s way along the Dawlish sea wall stretch.


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This one taken at Penzance Long Rock depot of 57604 Pendennis Castle on the Night Riviera coaching stock in 2012 in it’s GWR style livery.

What goes round comes round!



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