Class 47

The origins of the class come from the Eastern Region declining an offer of allocations of the Peak class because they had reservations about the 1Co-Co1 wheel arrangement and they also preferred a locomotive of a greater horsepower. The Eastern Region had developed a good relationship with Brush during the production of the type 2 to 4 A1A-A1As (subsequently class 31) and this spurred the company to develop a new locomotive for them based around the Peak class equipment. It was the uprating of the Sulzer engine used in the Peaks to 2750 hp that allowed the project to gain momentum not only with Brush but also with other manufacturers competing for the large order of what was emerging as being about 500 locomotives. Brush emerged as the strongest contender and they offered BR a range of alternative designs, some, but not all, based on existing Peak class equipment. A Co-Co design with a new flat fronted load bearing body but using the existing Peak class equipment package was selected. In fact the first 20 used equipment originally intended for part of the final batch of the Peak class.

The agreement between BR and Brush included construction of the design using Brush electrical equipment under licence in BR works. In total 512 locomotives were built, 310 by Brush at Loughborough and 202 at BR's Crewe works.

Having been transferred from Scotrail for use by Network SouthEast, Nº47701 is seen prior to naming (as the first) Old Oak Common Traction and Rolling Stock Depot.

photograph by Jonathan Hall

47701 In sparkling ex-works form this is one of the cab ends of Nº47701.

photograph by Jonathan Hall

An unidentified 47/7 on a west of England working during the final days of loco haulage.

photograph by Jonathan Hall

47565 Unbranded Intercity liveried Nº47565 was also seen stabled at Eastleigh on 7th December 1991.

photograph by Colin Duff

Not strictly of Southern interest, but First Great Western did operate a loco hauled sleeper service out of Waterloo for a while, 47846 (the current incumbent of the name Thor) was also on display at Old Oak Common on 6th August 2000.

photograph by Colin Duff

47798 Nº47798 Prince William is one of the two class 47s dedicated by EWS to Royal Train duties. It was named without ceremony upon the loco's conversion to type 47/7 in July 1995.

photograph by Colin Duff

Freightliner Ltd liveried Nº47206 is seen on the down Southampton line at Worting Junction in May 1998.

photograph by Dave Harris


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This page was last updated 3 December 2002

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