The eclectic Class 47s

Spot the difference:
The eclectic Class 47s

Once British Railways most common mixed-traffic diesel, the Class 47s all looked much the same on the outside - but in fact there were many variations. EVAN GREEN-HUGHES explains all.

Class 47

Above: Carrying work stained BR blue, Class 47/0 47128 passes through Kensington Olympia with a northbound freight from Dover on September 16 1982. John Chalcraft/Railphotoprints.co.uk.

The Brush Type 4, or Class 47 as it was later known, truly was the all-purpose workhorse of the modernisation era. At home on everything from the humble pick-up freight to the most tightly-timed express, these 2,750hp locomotives once dominated the railway scene and could be seen almost everywhere on the network.

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