47376 

The 512 built Class 47's - originally known as Brush Type 4 - were first introduced in 1962 and numbered in the series D1500 - D1999. Intended to replace steam locomotives across the BR network, many were equipped with steam heat boilers and vacuum brakes, others like 47376 were built as "freight only locos" without steam heat boilers, unlike her sister 47105 which can steam heat our own rolling stock (much as happens on the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway today).

 

The class was designed by Brush Electrical Engineering Company which, in 1961, had introduced a locomotive often regarded as the prototype for the Class 47's. Called Falcon it was finished in a silver-grey livery and produced 2,700 hp and weighed 115 tons - however, in the urgency to replace steam by 1968, construction of the new Type 4's started before evaluation of Falcon was carried out, with the first order for 20 locomotives, numbered D1500 to D1519. Production continued by Brush, peaking in 1965. In 1964, British Rail also started construction. In all, Brush completed 310 and BR 202. The last, D1961, was delivered in 1968.

 

Eventually, all locomotives on the national network were reclassified and the Brush Type 4's became known ad Class 47. There were several subclasses with detail design and power differences, no 47376 being a Class 47/3. It was completed by Brush at Loughborough in September 1965 as D1895. It became 47376 in February 1974, and eventually became part of the Freightliner fleet in 1995.  It had carried various liveries throughout its long life and became the first to carry the Freightliner 'triple grey' corporate image in August 1995, when it was named Freightliner 1995 as that company's flagship locomotive.

 

The locomotive was purchased from Freightliner in November 2002 and moved to the GWR in June 2003, via the former MOD site at Ashchurch where it received a working engine from fellow Brush Type 4 Fund-owned 47295. The locomotive, with its donated engine, was first started in preservation in July 2003.

 

The class 47s were, by any standards, extremely successful and several remain in service to this day, but none with any passenger train operating companies, sadly there is no regular booked passenger work for the class 47s on our railway network apart from the odd charter or football or rugby additional, locomotive hauled trains have been replaced by Sprinters or Virgin Voyagers which dominate the passenger trains across the UK.