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On the Net: BR Class 47

Once the BR Class 47 could be found everywhere and many enthusiasts looked down on them. Now the last few operational survivors make many nostalgic for the past. Our survey of the Class 47 on the net should bring back some of those memories.

Class 47

Class 47

BR Class 47 Overview

BR introduced the BR Class 47 in 1962 and these 2,750hp (later 2,580hp) Co-Co diesel electric locos worked all over the country on all types of train. When production ceased in 1968 a total of 512 had been built, with construction shared between Brush and Crewe Works.

Initially the class had three sub-types: steam heating (47/0), no heating (47/3) and electric train heating (47/4). Later many other variants were introduced, including push-pull fitted examples (47/7) and those with larger fuel tanks (47/8).

Some of the common nicknames for the class were "Brush Type 4", "Brush 4", "Fifteen-hundreds", "Forty-sevens" and "Duffs". Perhaps the most funny nickname used was "Basils" after puppet Basil Brush.

Mass withdrawals began in 1986, gathered pace throughout the 1990s and tailed off after the early 2000s. Just 24 remain in service at the time of writing, although there are still around 80 extant locomotives, the balance either in preservation or stored. The BR Class 57 fleet consists of a further 33 locos converted from class 47s.


Probably the best BR Class 47 site on the net is class47.co.uk. The site states that "The aim of this web site is to provide a comprehensive study of Brush Sulzer Type 4, or Class 47, locomotives", and it certainly does that with style.

Class47.co.uk has photographs, names, liveries, various data views on the class, preservation details, a message forum and more. Using the numbers link on the home page you can drill down, via the sub-classes to individual locomotives and see that loco’s history, including numbering, depot allocations and scrapping dates.

Class 47 Photos

Many sites on the internet contain class 47 images and photographs, including :

Class 47 Videos and Audio

Other Class 47 Internet Resources