The Class 47 has to be one of British Rail's most sensible investments. The British Built machines have certainly proved their worth since the initial locos rolled off the construction lines in 1964. No one could have predicted then, that a substantial number of the locomotives would still be working (albeit on lighter duties these days) in 2008. The Brush Type 4 was fitted with a Sulzer 12LDA28 double straight six unit producing 2,750 bhp, but derated in the late 1960's to 2,550 bhp due to cracks appearing within the crankase seem welds. The Class 47 has taken to just about any task asked of it, over the years it's been the subject of hundreds of improvements and modifications to allow the loco to evolve and adapt to the work that they have been asked to do. It's large plain body sides have made it a faculties locomotive to display just about any railway company livery with ease. Although in 2008 a significant amount of the Class are now dead and buried, a small fleet still solider on working weekend charters, and out of course movements. Some even engage in regular freight flows. There is no reason why the locomotives can't survive another 20 years, with the right care, regular and good quality maintainance the humble 'Duff' (as they were nicknamed) can easily perform to the highest standards required. The Brush Type 4 has been a regular visitor to Taunton since their birth nearly 45 years ago. This section aims to cover the sheer variety of workings, locomotives and most importantly .....liveries which have passed through the concrete platforms at Taunton.

Have we missed any liveries? Do you think you have some images which may be of use to Taunton Trains for this section.

Please EMail us and let us know if you think you can help!

In March 1968 Class 47 No.D1611 arrives into Taunton with a southbound passenger service. D1611 carries BR two tone green with central headcode blinds in this image. The locomotive later carried BR Tops numbers of 47032, 47662 and ended its life as 47817 working for Virgin Trains. 47817 was also one of a pair of locos to carry the unquie purple and white livery for Porterbrook leasing.

Photo: Kevin Auger

10th August 1974

47099 stands in the yard at Taunton. At this time it's livery was Two Tone Green with full yellow ends and a centre headcode box. BR had already removed it's original D1686 number in favour of the new TOPS numbering system where it became 47099.

This was it's 2nd of 5 liveries it had before it was scrapped in 1994. Note 'Victor' and 'Vulcan' behind awaiting movement to the WSR.

Photo: Alan Randle

26th July 1975

47144 passes Taunton School on departing Taunton with a lengthy train heading South (Possibly a holiday relief or excursion). 47144 displays corporate BR Blue but with the original headcode box still in place at this time, before it was removed in favor of the two marker lights.

Out shopped as D1737 on May 25th 1964 the loco lasted in traffic until 1998 when it was scrapped.

Photo: Alan Randle

4th June 1977

47367 is seen at Taunton withing the 1V74 09:34 Liecester - Paignton in the original BR two tone green livery. By this time the Class had already seen some modifications. 47367 was no exception, having been fitted with quadruple marker lights as an experiment to aid drivers sight in poor light. 47367 became the last Class 47 to carry the two tone green livery until it was repainted in December 1977. The loco is now preserved at the North Norfolk Railway

Photo: Steve Awford

11th July 1981

47157 hauls 47187 (dead) South through Silk Mills on the 11th July 1981. At this time the loco carried Standard BR Blue, with a black headcode box, but note also the slight livery embellishment of two white painted marker disks on the front of the locomotive. We can only assume this was another BR experiment which was next adopted.

Photo: Alan Randle

28th March 1982

47094 passes under the construction side of the Obridge Flyover on the approach to Taunton.

It was sported a slightly revised version of BR Blue which incorperated a black headcode box and white marker lights. Note the flimsy scaffold and single ladder which spans from top to bottom of the concrete pillar!

Photo: Alan Randle

16th March 1985

BR Corporate Blue was the most widely seen colours of the 1980's. 47033 is seen here at Taunton light engine working on various shunting duties. Curiously the locomotive survived a good 44 years on the railway Network, and looked like it would be rebuilt and used by Cotswold Rail. However in March 2008 the locomotive was finally cut up at TJ Thompson's. The last 8 years of it's life were spent out of service despite an overhaul having started and a new coat of paint being applied.

Photo: Andy Hunt

4th August 1985

47095 is pictured in Platform 1 at Taunton in Ex Works, departmental large logo grey. The all over grey was deemed to be to bland, and on some examples a lower red band was added. This became known as Railfreight Red Stripe.

This loco lead a fairly uneventful life remaining with just one number until it was cut up in 2005. It carried 8 different liveries, it was stored in 1998 and cut up in 2005.

Photo: Gary Stone


47628 'Sir Daniel Gooch' departs from Taunton with a rake of BR Mk1 coaches. The locomotive had not long been painted into its GWR livery at this point.

Sadly their 'celebrity' status at the time was never a guarantee that they would survive into preservation or last longer than other Class 47's.

47628 was cut up at Rotherham in 2006 have been stored since 1997!

Photo: Dave Jones

1st March 1986

BR Blue liveried 47009 is captured in the now Platform 1 at Taunton between duties. Although corporate BR Blue was applied to pretty much all locomotives, some livery embellishments did creep in over the years.

After being transferred South from Scotland, 47009 still carries it's Scottie Dog on the side. It would soon loose this though having been allocated to Stratford where their Class 47's would be adorned with the Cockney Sparrow!

Photo: Alan Randle

BR Blue Class 47 No.47174 is pictrued at Taunton on the 27th March 1986 working the Western Ventuerer charter from Mexborough to Plymouth charter.


Photo: Norman Preedy

28th June 1986

Sctorail livery was exceptionally rare at Taunton in the early years. 47461 'Charles Rennie Mackintosh' is captured at Taunton working a service train from Newcastle to Plymouth. The locomotive remained in this livery until it was damaged in a shunting incident at Liverpool Line Street in 1990. It was subsequently scrapped.

Photo: Alan Randle

24th August 1986

47617 was another example of scottish livery variations which often appeared at Taunton. Carrying BR Large Logo the loco is fitted with yellow snow ploughs and adorned with the scottish 'scottie dog' on the body side.

In 1994 the loco entered the Freight sector pools and only lasted until 1996 in service before it was scrapped in 1998.

Photo: Alan Randle

17th January 1987

47363 stands at Taunton unusually attached to a rake of mail vans. The loco carried BR Large Logo Railfreight Grey but with large numbers, and the Thornaby Depot, Kingfisher motive on the side. It was named 'Billingham Enterprise' at the time of this image.

The loco lasted on the mainline network until 1999 when it was stored. It was then cut up in 2007.

Photo: Alan Randle

No Date

The use of BR Blue on Class 47's was meant to standardize the fleet with one livery, but over the years smaller and local depot modifications started to appear.

On the right, note the 'Red Star' parcels label on the front end of the Class 47, this was only applied to 47567 as it was also named 'RED STAR' after the BR Pacels Network, seen on the centre road at Taunton.

Photo: Andrew Rowland

No Date

In the late 80's early 90's BR revised their corporate image with another livery modification. BR 'Large Logo' (As it became known) gave another livery to the Class 47's. 47546 named 'Avimore Centre' is seen at Taunton and has the added Highland Stag & Snow Ploughs. At the time of this photo the loco was allocated to Eastfield Depot in Scotland! In 1990 the locomotive became a departmental locomotive and was renumbered 47976

Photo: Andrew Rowland

No Date

47621 'Royal County of Berkshire' shows another corperate livery. The first version of BR Intercity livery had chunky yellow ends. It didn't last long and was lost in favour of a slightly revised livery.

47621 lost it's number in 1989, when it was modified to have extended fuel tanks. It became 47839. Later in it's life it worked for Virgin Trains, and still operates today for Rivera Trains on weekend and special excursions.

Photo: Andrew Rowland

22nd January 1988

47637 passes Taunton School on the 22nd January 1988. The locomotive displays Intercity Provincial livery with Scotrail Branding. It was also named 'Springburn' and offset with a Scottie Dog above the nameplate. 47637 later became 47826 when it was fitted with long range fuel tanks. The loco still exists today working for West Coast Railways and is based at Carnforth. It has visited Taunton in recent years on various charters.

Photo: Alan Randle

20th July 1989

47009 is seen again in 1989. Having moved from Gateshead Depot to Stratford in 1986 the locomotive underwent the Stratford treatment, gaining a white roof, black headcode boxes and the obligatory Cockney Sparrow applied to the loco body side.

It's seen here at Taunton East with a short train of vans from Bridgwater heading for Fairwater Yard.

Photo: Alan Randle

22nd July 1989

47063 carried Tainload Construction livery, but was slightly different by way of it's black headcode box.

The loco is pictured heading South at Creech St Michael with a train of polybulks heading for Exeter Riverside. 47063 lasted on the mainline network until 1996 when it was scrapped at Crewe.

Photo: Alan Randle

No Date

47475 was an 'odd ball' of the Class 47 Fleet. Originally painted into a Large Logo Version of Regional Railways for use on passenger trains the loco eventually ended up being transferred to the Parcels sector pool.

The loco was damaged in a shunting incident at Liverpool Lime Street and was eventually cut up in 1990. It seen here heading the 1E41 Plymouth - York parcels through Obridge with 47642.

Photo: Alan Randle


In 1990 a slightly more weather beaten 47327 is seen in the same colour scheme mentioned above. However note the addition on the orange cantrail stripe and black window surrounds.

The locomotive was an early casualty, despite being a regular performer in the South West, just three years after this shot was taken at Norton Fitzwarren the loco had been cut up!

Photo: Dave Jones

15th February 1990

47016 (left) and 47286 (right) are seen shunting at the South end of Fairwater Yard. 47016 carried an additional livery modifcation to the all over Large Logo Grey Railfreight livery. The loco also had black headcode boxes which it kept throughout it's life.

At the time of this image the loco was named 'The Toleman Group' which was carried out at Dagenham Dock in May 1987. It was later named 'Atlas' at Old Oak Common in 1994.

Photo: Alan Randle

21st February 1990

Although 47050 was painted in Grey Large Logo Railfright livery the locomotive carried non standard large loco numbers on the end cabs. During it's life on the rails of the UK the locomotive was never named. It was finally scrapped in 1996.

47050 is pictured here passing Cogload Jn with a Southbound Speedlink service. Note the British Rail Van. A sign of the times!!

Photo: Alan Randle

10th March 1990

47847 is seen approaching Taunton at 40 Steps. It's carrying Standard BR Blue livery but also having been a former resident of Eastfield depot it has the infamous 'Scottie Dog' on the body side. On this date the locomotive had recently been transferred down to Crewe where it was fitted with long range fuel tanks, it subsequently became the property of Bristol Bath Road.

Photo: Alan Randle

18th March 1990

47628 was previously painted in GWR Brunswick Green and named 'Sir Daniel Gooch' as part of the GWR 150 Celebrations. It was a slight let down that it returned to Mainline Intercity in 1990 and entered into the Parcels Sector Pool.

The Intercity liver with the lower cream band would later be revised once more to become white, with the addition of Intercity branding on the upper body side. 47628 lasted until 1999 in service and was finally cut in 2006

Photo: Jeff Treece

24th May 1990

47822 passes Norton Fitzwarren with a Manchester - Plymouth service on the 24th May 1990. The locomotive displays BR Large Logo livery but strangely without the large body side numbers. The locomotive number instead has been picked out in black on the lower cab front.

47822 lives on in body as 57305 as it was one of many Class 47's which under went a complete makeover to become another Class of loco in 2003.

Photo: Alan Randle

9th June 1990

47579 carried the striking livery of Network Southeast but with the added enhancments of white window surrounds and a black headcode box. The locomotive was also named 'James Nightall G C'.

It lasted in Network Southeast until September 1995 when it was then overhauled and entered the parcels sector at 47793. The loco is now preserved at Mangapps Farm in Essex!

Photo: Alan Randle

9th September 1990

47479 'Track 29' is seen at Taunton in the corporate BR Parcels Red hauling the 1C90 South to Plymouth.

This was the first time that bright and vibrant colours began to work their way onto the railway network. Parcels Red was a striking and smart way of promoting Mail by Rail.

Sadly 47479 didn't make it beyond 1992, as it had a serious crash in Cornwall which resulted in it's demise.

Photo: John Mills

22nd September 1990

47976 'Aviemore Centre' departs Taunton on the 22nd September 1990 wearing the bland 'Departmental Grey' livery. This livery was given to locomotives involved in low grade departmental and test work (designed not to be noticed by the public). The livery was eventually considered so drab it was converted into Civil Engineers Dutch.

Photo: Alan Randle

27th September 1990

Although Large Logo livery has been featured elsewhere. This image features more about the locomotive than the livery.

47341 was the only non Electric Train Heating (ETH) locomotive to be painted in BR Large Logo livery. It's seen here passing Taunton with an inspection saloon in tow. 47341 eventually gained Civil Engineers 'Dutch' livery during the late 90's.

Photo: Alan Randle

June/ July 1990

47145 was a very rare and unique visitor to the area, named 'Myrddin Emerys' is seen working North through Norton Fitzwarren during June/ July 1990. 47145 was a Tinsley pet locomotive which has always carried non standard versions of liveries throughout its life. The mixed train was most probably a Exeter Riverside - Bescot service. The loco will feature again in this section, later in it's life.

Photo: Dave Jones

4th October 1990

47007 arrives into Fairwater Yard from Bridgwater with a local freight on the 4th October 1990. The loco is detailed in Railfreight Construction but was the Straford Depot Pet loco and as such was named 'Stratford'.. The depot was famous for it's 'livery tweaks' and 47007 is pitcuted with a red buffer beam and white window surrounds. However the loco only lasted until 1991 when it was withdrawn from service and cut up.

(Photo: Alan Randle)

8th October 1990

47207 'Bulmers of Hereford' hauls 47528 (D1111) 'The Queens Own Mercian Yeomanry', 43168 & 43024 North through 40 Steps.

47207 displays standard Railfright Distribution livery but with the added large three digit loco number on the nose end '207'. At this time 47207 was based at Tinsely (near Sheffield). Stock moves were not common for RFD locomotives, so it's assumed 47528 had failed.

Photo: Alan Randle

22nd November 1990

As part of the Great Western 150 celebrations in 1985, 4 Class 47's were painted into GWR Brunswick Green and named for the event.

47500 'Great Western' is seen passing 40 Steps, Taunton with the 1V46 Manchester - Plymouth 'Intercity' service.

47079, 47484 and 47628 also received similar treatment for the event.

Photo: Jeff Treece

4th December 1990

47375 will feature later in this section, but is shown here in Railfreight Distribution, however with some of the locomotives which were housed a Tinsley 47375 had gained white window surrounds, and a red buffer beam.

It's seen here passing Taunton School heading into Fairwater Yard with the 6C44 from Bridgwater. 47375 still exists today working for Advenza Railfreight!

Photo: Alan Randle

14th February 1991

Two liveries can be seen here at Fairwater Yard. A Unidentified Class 47/8 branded in full Intercity passes a BR Large Logo liveried Class 47 departing from Fairwater Yard.

47481 (Left) only carried a total of three liveries in it's lifetime, and it actually kept it's Large Logo livery until it was stored in 1996 and finally cut up in some 7 years later!

Photo: Jeff Treece

26th February 1991

47492 'The Enterprising Scot' spots another Scottish Intercity livery variation. Seriously off territory 47492 is seen dragging 37359 from Fairwater Yard to Bescot.

The loco became part of the Parcels sector on in 1992 and was repainted in parcels red, however it never got selected to enter the refurbishment program and was subsequently scrapped in 2005.

Photo: Jeff Treece

29th May 1991

47381 details another Railfreight Petroleum modification where the last three loco digits have been added to the nose end of the locomotive between the two marker lights. 47381 was another regular loco to perform through Taunton, seen here passing with the Fawley Tanks heading for Tavistock Jn.

The loco only lasted until the end of 1992 when it was withdrawn. By 1994 it had already been cut up!

Photo: Alan Randle

June 1991

47573 'The London Standard' carried the original Network Southeast livery where the lower bodyside stripes returned up the cab sides to the windows. This livery was short lived and was revised in favour of the image above.

In June 1991 47573 passes Norton Fitzwarren with a Northbound evening parcels service from Plymouth.

Photo: Dave Jones

5th July 1991

47277 was a regular locomotive through Taunton. Based in the Petroleum Pool the loco would often appear on either the Fawley or Heathfiled tanks. 47277 carried standard Trainload Petroleum livery but with very small non standard numbers under each cab window. By this time the loco had also lost it's BR cast arrow from under it's cabs. It's seen here at Taunton East on the approach to Taunton.

Photo: Alan Randle

24th August 1991

47085 details standard Trainload Petroleum livery, with cast depot plates depicting it's home depot as Tinsley near Sheffield.

Quite how the locomotive came to be hauling this HST past Norton Fitzwarren is anyone's guess. Although it may have been in the Exeter area from the Heathfield Fuel train and was called upon to assist a failed HST further North.

Photo: Alan Randle

10th September 1991

47302 approaches Bathpool with the 6V92 Mossend - Exeter Riverside. 47302 displays Railfreight Red Stripe but with the locomotive number added to the nose end in addition to the large logo style numbers on the body side.

Later in the year the loco also gained the unofficial name of 'Meridian' during a routine visit to Tinsley Depot.

Photo: Alan Randle

21st June 1992

Wearing Network Southeast 'revsied' livery 47581 hauls 50046 'Ajax', 50037 'Illustrious' & 50018 'Resolution' North through Taunton from Laira to Leicester. Three coaches were provided at the rear to provide braking.

47581 was the former 'Great Eastern' it carried a total of 9 different liveries from it's delivery in 1964.

The loco ended up working in the Parcels Sector pool painted in Rail Express Systems livery and numbered 47763

Photo: Darren Harris

28th August 1993

47706 was another celebrity in the South West purely because of it's appalling paintwork. Carrying unbranded Scotrail colours 47706 is seen passing Creech St Michael with a Manchester - Paignton service. At this time the loco was allocated to the Crewe based postal locomotive pool. It only lasted until May 1995 when it was scrapped. It was never painted into another livery.

Photo: Alan Randle

September 1993

Another variation on the BR Two Tone Green livery was the short lived version applied to 47833 'Captain Peter Manisty RN'. The loco was launched in January 1993 sporting a revised Intercity/ BR Two Tone Green Livery.

In September 1993 the locomotive is seen passing Norton Fitzwarren with a Southbound Intercity service.

Photo: Dave Jones

April 1994

47367 is pictured in the centre road at Taunton some 17 years after the image taken at the top of this page. Now wearing the revised 'Red Stripe Large Logo Railfreight' livery.

Now unofficially named 'Kenny Cockbrird' and embellished with the Stratford Cockney Sparrow the locomotive is pictured at Taunton on a Southbound clay service heading for Cornwall.

Photo: Dave Jones

Date Unknown

47004 had long become the Old Oak Common pet locomotive. As a result of it's care at Old Oak, the locomotive was repainted into it's original 1960's BR Two Tone Green, with quarter warning panels and snow ploughs in 1994 and even named after the depot.

The loco was often used on local infrastructure trips, driver training and lighter duties. 47004 is seen at Taunton hauling a Mainline Freight Class 37 from Fairwater Yard

Photo: Jeff Treece

16th April 1994

Two examples of the early and late Parcels liveries are captured at 40 Steps on the 16th April 1994.

47575 'City of Hereford' (Parcels Red) leads 47773 (painted in the later Rail Express Systems) North on a rare stock move originating from Laira.

The livery applied to 47773 would later become the standard livery applied to all parcels sector Class 47's.

Photo: Jeff Treece

29th April 1994

Railfeight Distribution was part of the BR Sectorisation for it's Railfreight. The basis for all of the sectors was two tone grey with different symbols to deonte locomotive pools.

In this rare shot 47354 can be seen double heading with 37413 at Norton Fitzwarren on a speedlink service.

Photo: Jeff Treece

June 1994

47834 stands at Taunton is resplendent Royal Condition. This image was taken when Royal Locomotives were treated with some respect. Royal Duties meant enhancements to the Intercity Livery with White Wheels, Silver Buffers and painted pipe work. The two Royal Locomotives 47834 'Fire Fly' and 47835 'Windsor Castle' were always turned out if pristine condition from Bristol Bath Road.

Photo: Dave Jones

29th March 1995

47972 carried Technical Services red and grey livery in 1995 and was named 'The Royal Army Ordnance Corps'. It was used on test trains around the UK and out based at Crewe. The locomotive is pictured passing Creech St Michael heading North on the 29th March 1995.

Sadly the loco now resides at Carnforth as a source of spares to keep other West Coast Railways Class 47's operational.

Photo: Alan Randle

15th June 1995

47513 'Severn' was another Class 47 livery outcast of the fleet. Painted in BR Large Logo livery the loco carried two main differences to the 'standard' BR Blue livery. Just Black window frame surrounds were applied leaving the front end with more yellow showing the normal. The loco carried small non standard numbers on the body side. It's also worth noting that 47513 was named in 1979 and kept it's plates until it was cut up in 2003/2004.

Photo: Alan Randle

21st June 1995

47703 is pictured at Cogload working the 1E41 Plymouth - Newcastle mail while wearing Waterman Railways Black offset with feature nameplate 'Lewis Carroll'. 47703 has certainly carried some names in it's time, 'Saint Mungo' 'The Queen Mother', Lewis Carroll, and 'Hermes' have all adorned this locomotive. It's currently preserved at the Wensleydale Railway after varied operations with Fragonset/ Fm Rail & Cotswold Rail.

Photo: Alan Randle

July 1996

Some Intercity branded locomotives did end up transferring to the Parcels Sector. Those which did, didn't always get painted for some time. An unidentified Class 47 is seen on a parcels train at Norton Fitzwarren in July 1996. Although it's thought this may have been an out of course working as three vans was an odd load for the time! Notice the 'Res (Rail Express Systems) livery which would later be applied to the Class 47's as well.

Photo: Dave Jones

September 1996

Railfreight Distribution changed their livery in 1995, this new livery was far more striking and gave the locomotives a long needed lick of paint.

The revised RFD colours (complete with a blue roof) were widely welcomed by enthusiasts.

In September 1996 47287 leads the 6O92 Exeter Riverside - Dollands Moor, China Clay service up Whiteball bank leaving Devon.

Photo: Dave Jones

13th May 1996

An early pair of colorful liveries appeared in 1996. 47807 and 47817 were chosen by Porterbrook Leasing to carry their house colours around the UK Network. The striking purple and white livery (supposed to symbolise a Swan in flight) took enthusiasts by surprise!

47817 is seen approaching Taunton with the 1M40 Plymouth - Liverpool service.

Photo: Colin J Marsden

During the reign of Rail Express Systems, two of it's Class 47's had the role to haul the Royal Train.

They were specially cared for and were even named 'Prince William' and 'Prince Harry'

47798 is seen approching Taunton on the 10th June 1997 where HRH Prince of Wales exited the train to visit several sites of interest in Somerset.

Photo: Jeff Treece

25th June 1998

47846 'Thor' makes a ghostly appearance at Taunton on the 25th June 1998. During this period First Great Western were still planning their livery for the Class 47's, as such 47846 ended up running around for many months in Grey Undercoat Primer. It later recieved all over green with Merlin Branding as on the powercar behind. 47846 also lives on in body as it became 57308 in 2003 when it was converted to a new class member.

Photo: Alan Randle

July 1998

47976 'Aviemore Centre' (Ref 47546 top of page) is captured on a very rare passenger outing for Virgin Trains.

The Civil Engineers locomotive (painted in the 'Dutch' livery) is seen departing Taunton with a Plymouth bound service.

Two years later the locomotive was scrapped.

Photo: Dave Jones

July 1998

This rare all over EWS Livery on 47627 was as a result of a previous livery embellishment. 47627 had the unlikely task of launching 'Celebrations Chocolates' with a complete take of coaches to match. It only ever made one return trip through Taunton in the unique livery on an overnight postal service before the branding was removed!

The unwrapped locomotive is seen approaching Taunton with a Northbound postal service

Photo: Dave Jones

26th July 1998

47702 was a bit of a social outcast, despite being a former Scottish push pull loco with ETH fitted, it worked for many years as a freight locomotive. Virgin Trains acquired the locomotive to help run their Cross Country operation. It's seen here carrying standard Railfreight Two Tone Grey livery with red nameplates 'County of Suffolk' passing Bathpool. It did also receive a full repaint into Virgin Trains livery but only lasted until 2005 when it was scrapped. Even Virgin at the time went on record as saying "47702 isn't one of our greatest assets" Photo: Alan Randle

5th August 1998

47756 was named 'Royal Mail Tyneside' and carried the standard Rail Express Systems (RES) livery. It's only notable livery variation were it's snow ploughs which the loco had been fitted with.

On the 5th August 1998 47756 is seen climbing Whiteball with the 1S81 Plymouth - Sheildmuir (Glasgow).

Photo: Alan Randle

6th July 1999

47811 is seen approaching Taunton at Taunton East Jn (Obridge) with 1C50 Paddington - Penzance on the 6th July 1999. The First Great Western Class 47's of the time were rarely seen out in daylight so photographs of them wearing the original 'FGW Merlin' livery are rare.

The base green was merely offset by a large merlin logo with Great Western wording. The livery was very short lived.

Photo: Alan Randle

30th August 1999

47816 displays the second revision to the Class 47 first group livery. With the Merlin removed it was firstly replaced with the word 'First' in Gold.

47816 at this time was also named 'Bristol Bath Road Quality Approved'. In later lift the loco would have a gold band added to the bottom quarter of the body side.

Photo: Alan Randle

16th November 2001

Recognizing the sterling service the Class 47's had provided, Virgin Trains painted 5 members of their fleet into classic liveries from the past during 2001.

47847 was transformed into BR Large Logo Blue (Although the loco never carried the livery originally). As a result of their coats of paint, most made it into preservation or found work with other operators. 47847 still carries the same livery as shown in this image some 8 years later!

Photo: Brian Garrett

26th March 2002

I'm not sure this can be included as an actual livery. 47292 was the first Freightliner Heavy Haul locomotive to enter Somerset, Devon and Cornwall. Wearing heavily work stained Two Tone Grey (with shades of BR Blue also clearly visible) 47292 passes Bathpool hauling failed Virgin Trains 47843 on the 1V50 Glasgow - Penzance. Just days later Freightliner Heavy Haul would work another groundbreaking move shown below.

Photo: Alan Randle

29th March 2002

Another milestone was reached in March 2002, with Freightliners first revenue earning working in the South West.

In a rare move, Freightliner won a contract to move an off lease Virgin HST from Laira to Derby. 47289 displays the early Freightliner triple grey livery with red decals. This was a stop gap until a corporate image could be found for it's fleet.

Photo: Brian Garrett

20th May 2002

Class 47's have been utilised for just about anything over they years. On the 20th May 2002, 47733 'Eastern Star' is captured at Taunton dragging a dead Virgin HST.

The 1V65 Newcastle - Plymouth required assistance from Bristol. Although the Class 47 was in the RES Parcels pool at the time, this wouldn't stop if from working other duties as required.

Photo: Brian Garrett

15th June 2002

Don not adjust your monitors, yes a Class 47 carried 'Police Livery'. As part of a partnership between the BTP, Virgin and Rail Safety Groups, Virgin Trains 47829 was out shopped in British Transport Police colours. It operated all over the UK and would regularly turn up in the South West. It's seen here working the Virgin Trains 1V37 Preston - Paignton service at Creech St Michael. 47829 still exists and carries the same livery. It's currently out of service at Crewe.

Photo: Brian Garrett

26th June 2002

47789 'Lidisfarne' in Rail Express Systems livery is seen heading South through Bathpool on the 26th June 2002 with 47749 trailing on the rear of the train. Many Class 47's carried the unofficial Black Headcode boxes over the year, many depots applied and reapplied them over the years. 47789 and 749 were both used on the yearly Glastonbury Special's in 2002 to provide extra capacity to shuttle passengers to Castle Cary for the Glastonbury Festival.

Photo: Alan Randle

Date Unknown

Virgin Trains were the next to enter the livery market, with their striking Red Black and White livery applied to just about everything it operated. 47812 is pictured on the approach to Cogload Jn with a Northbound Virgin Trains service.

Even in 2008 long since the demise of Cross Country 47's a handful of locos still retain the vibrant livery!

Photo: Russell Walker

1st November 2002

You can't get much more cared for than a Royal Class 47. 47798 'Prince William' and 47799 'Prince Henry' ruled the Royal Roost for years hauling various members of the Royal Family around the UK.

47798 was painted in Royal Claret (with lashings of varnish) offset by the EWS central band, and Royal Crest. The loco is seen at Taunton returning the Royal Train from Minehead to Wolverton.

Photo: Chris Perkins

1st March 2003

Another chance to view the striking EWS livery on the Class 47. EWS did a brilliant job at giving the select members of the class a life extension.

47778 was also named 'The Duke of Edinburghs Award'. But only made it until 2004 when it was stored, it's impending fate came in 2006 when it was cut up.

47778 is pictured at Creech St Michael with the 1Z85 Ashford - Par 'EdenEx'

Photo: Brian Garrett

31st May 2003

First Great Western's second livery was widely known as 'fag packet' mainly because of the lines on the coaching stock matching those on a packet of Rothmans Cigarettes.

47832 'Tamar' passes Creech St Michael with the 1C22 Paddington -Penzance. 47832 will feature many more times in this gallery. Native to the South West it's also carried a whopping 15 liveries since delivered new in 1964!

Photo: Brian Garrett

17th June 2003

EWS Painted and overhauled a select amount of Class 47/7's for use on charter work and light duties around the UK. At the time Newton Abbot had a regular Thunderbird Locomotive.

47758 is seen leading 60018 on the 6V70 Cliffe Vale - St Blazey 'China Clay' service through Creech St Michael. Sporting Ex Works EWS livery. The loco was needed at St Blazey, 6V70 provided the perfect opportunity to get it there

Photo: Brian Garrett

8th August 2003

47635 was repainted in 2003 by EWS into it's original BR Large Loco livery, it was also named 'The Lass O' Ballochmyle'.

The pristine restoration at Doncaster made the locomotive an overnight celebrity. Despite only having short range fuel tanks the locomotive was very well traveled. Despite an uncertain future the locomotive seems to have made it into preservation. Sadly the loco's distinctive nameplates were removed in 2004.

Phoro: Brian Garrett

24th August 2003

EWS livery really suited the Class 47. During 2002 / 2003 EWS set about life extension overhauls for some Class members for use on Railtours and Chrarter work. As a result many were given a complete repaint. EWS livery on 47790 was complimented by the fitting of snow ploughs to the locomotive. It's seen here on the 24th August 2003 in Platform 1 at Taunton between railtour duties. After a period out of use in 2004, the loco then moved to DRS where it's still in operation today.

Photo: Alan Randle

10th July 2004

Fragonset Railways also introduced a secondary livery for it's non heat freight locomotives.

47355 was the only loco to ever carry this livery. It's pictured here working South through Taunton with an Norwich - Okehampton charter.

The locomotive now resides at Carnforth out of service, but owned by West Coast Railways. It's possible it may return to the UK network some day soon!

Photo: Mike Rowland

15th August 2004

Two Great Western Liveries are displayed in this image, 47811 leads with the standard Firstgroup Green with a Gold Band, while 47815 wearing it's original BR Two Tone Green livery.

The pair were working a Laira - St Phillips Marsh stock move.

47811 now operates for Freightliner as a Super Shunter at Dagenham Dock. 47815 found work with Riviera Trains after it ended it's service with First Great Western.

Photo: Brian Garrrett

12th September 2004

A slight livery embellishment to the former Virgin Trains Class 47's came in 2004, when Freightliner Heavy Haul leased a selection of former Virgin machines. 47805 had 'Freightliner' banding added under the drivers cab windows at each end of the locomotive.

It's seen passing Creech St Michael hauling an off lease HST from Longsight to Laira.

After use with Freightliner 47805 found a new owner in the shape of Riviera Trains.

Photo: Brian Garrett

10th May 2005

Towards the end of their working life some Class 47's became rather tatty in their appearance. 47732 'Restormel' painted in Rail Express Systems Livery was originally 47580 'County of Essex'. Despite being stored from 2004 through to 2007, the loco has made it into preservation. It's recently been lovingly restored to become 47580 at Tyseley ready to return to the mainline working railway passenger charters. 47732 is pictured at Bishops Lydeard attending a 'Cross Country' Gala Weekend

Photo: Brian Garrett

12th May 2005

47145 'Merddin Emrys' has always been a celebrity locomotive on account of it's slightly non standard livery which was applied at Tinsley. There's been a few variations over the years, but the basic concept of a dark blue body with decals and yellow ends has been 47145's trademark.

The locomotive is seen passing Bathpool on the 12th May 2005 working a stock move for FM Rail.

Photo: Mike Rowland

30th May 2005

After some use with Freightliner Heavy Haul, 47832 was used by Fragonset Railways (later FM Rail), as a temporary measure the locomotive retained it's former Great Western green with gold band, but the lettering 'FRAGONSET' was applied to the bodyside.

The loco is seen approaching Dunster on the West Somerset Railway on a charter returning from Minehead to Mossley Hill.

47832 would soon change it's livery again!

Photo: Brian Garrett

10th June 2005

47150 was one of a handful of Class 47's to receive the full Freightliner Band treatment. 47150 became a bit of a South West favorite towards the end of it's life, but despite being 40 years old was never named!

The loco has been stored at Crewe Basford Hall since 2007. It's future is uncertain. 47150's random South West operations saw it haul two Class 20's and a Deltic from Barrow Hill to the South Devon Railway for their Diesel Gala on the 10th June 2005.

Photo: Brian Garrett

29th August 2005

West Coast Railways now have a sizable fleet of Class 47's having purchased many redundant Class 47's from other operators and leasing companies.

Although painted in the most bland and unimaginative livery possible, it's worth remembering that as least these 40 year old locos are being used and looked after.

47854 passes Creech St Micahel sporting silver bufers with a weekend charter to Penzance

Photo: Brian Garrett

25th January 2006

47813 was a former First Great Western locomotive which found a home with spot hire company Cotswold Rail. Painted in the smart all over grey with yellow wrap round cabs and Cotswold Branding the Cotswold locos work far and wide.

On the 25th January, 47813 was hired back to it's former employer to haul the 1A40 Penzance - Paddington 'Night Riviera' Sleeper service. It's pictured at 2am paused at Taunton.

Photo: Sam Felce

17th January 2006

Direct Rail Services took on a small fleet of previously stored EWS Class 47s. After extensive overhauls and modifications (to suit the companys traction policy) the locos were painted into the DRS house colours.

47298 and 47501 pass Taunton with a driver training move to Plymouth during January 2006. Despite the investment 47298 failed with a Generator Fault in October of the same year, and was famously salvaged and scrapped in May 2007!

Photo: Jeff Treece

20th April 2006

As part of the contracts which Cotswold Rail held in East Anglia to provide locomotives for diversionary drags and spot hire, the company painted two of their locos into two generations of East Anglian liveries! 47714 carried the original 'Anglia' turquoise and white livery, while 47818 ended up with the later 'One Anglia' Gay Rainbow coloured livery. Seriously off territory the pair approach Taunton working a Laira - St Phillips Marsh stock move for First Great Western!

Photo: Jeff Treece

22nd April 2006

Fragonset Railways (later to become FM Rail) utilised the formed Waterman Railways base black but with a lower bodyside red band and Fragonset Griffin crest.

Most of Fragonset's Class 47's were painted in this livery. 47703 was a former Scottish push pull loco which provided an ideal asset for Fragonset on charter trains around the UK. The 47 was formerly named 'Saint Mungo' 'The Queen Mother' and 'Hermes'

Photo: Brian Garrett

13th June 2006

As part of a haulage contract with 'ONE Anglia' Cotswold Rail Painted 47818 in the matching house colours of One. Looking more like a gay pride Class 47, 818 is seen passing Taunton on the 13th June returning 37321 and 20227 to the Midland Railway Centre from the South Devon Railway.

Photo: Jeff Treece

21st June 2006

FM Rail produced another striking livery during 2005/06 when it launched their new high profile dining service. 47712 and 47709 were both chosen to be painted in the 'Blue Pullman' livery.

Both locomotives were former Scottish Push Pull locomotives, and had been part of the Fragonset/ FM Rail Fleet for some time. 47712 is seen approaching Cogload Jn in June 2006 heading back to Kensington Olympia.

Photo: Brian Garrett

25th September 2006

47811 was another former First Great Western locomotive that found work with Freightliner Heavy Haul. The company didn't change their livery but did add their branding over the former 'Great Western' name on the lower bodyside band.

On the 25th September 47811 can be seen arriving into the newly regenerated Fairwater Yard. The loco is now part of the Freightliner 'Super Shunter' fleet.

Photo: Kevin Wills

31st March 2007

47812 was another former Virgin Trains Class 47 which transferred to Riviera Trains. Although originally left in Virgin Trains colours, the loco went 'retro' in December 2005, when to commemorate the 40th birthday of 47812 (Originally Out shopped as D1916) the loco was repainted in BR dual green livery at Old Oak Common. It's a regular on the weekend charter scene, and is pictured on the rear of a tour at Norton Fitzwarren heading for Minehead.

Photo: Brian Garrett

31st March 2007

Former First Great Western 47815, found a new life with Rivera Trains after leaving FGW. The locomotive still retrains repaint into Two Tone Green, and also keeps it's name 'Great Western'.

The loco is a regular on the weekend charter circuit, and can often be seen a few times a year in the Taunton area. It's pictured at Norton Fitzwarren heading for Minehead from North Walsham!

Photo: Brian Garrett

14th April 2007

Another one of the Ex Virgin Trains 'Celebrity' Class 47 repaints, was 47853. This loco received it's original XP64 livery. It's kept the livery every since and is also named 'Rail Express'.

The loco is now looked after and operated by Riviera Trains, which also operates some other infamous Ex Virgin Trains Class 47/8's. The locos are often seen around the UK, and regularly make a visit to the South West on charters

Photo: Brian Garrett

14th April 2007

We don't wish to repeat photos of liveries in this section, but 47847 has undergone some 'slap dash' repairs to it's bodywork since being with it's new operator. From the previous image we have taken in 2001, 47847 has had multiple working jumpers added, a black headcode box painted, and two areas of bodywork touched up in non BR Blue. Despite looking rather shabby these days, the loco solider's on.

Photo: Brian Garrett

14th June 2007

Yes it's 47832 again! In June 2007 47832 was being operated by Victa Westlink Rail, despite a sunning repaint (although the White front ends would have never lasted!) the loco only carried the livery for a matter of months before Victa was wound up.

It's seen at Taunton heading for Bishops Lydeard to star as a static exhibit at a diesel gala weekend.

Photo: John White

22nd October 2007

Colas Rail were another new operator for 2007 and undoubtedly chose one of the boldest and brightest liveries on the railway network. Colas Rail currently operate two Class 47's 47727 'Rebecca' and 47749 'Damelza', a third (47739) is due towards the end of 2008. The Class 47's were all former EWS locomotives stored out of use. Colas proved that even locos which hadn't turned a wheel for 5 years could be bought back to the mainline with a comprehensive overhaul at Eastleigh Works.

Photo: Jeff Treece

19th November 2007

47805 carries the offical Rivierra Trains livery. looking disingtivly like the original BR Blue, Riviera insist their locomotives are painted in 'Oxford Blue' with wrap round yellow cabs. The loco also carries a small bodyside number. As a nice finishing touch the loco also has a Crewe leaping Cat cast plate with Riviera cut within it.

In November 2007, 47805 'Talisman' is seen stabled in Platform 1 at Taunton between driver training duties.

Photo: Brian Garrett

7th May 2008

47769 is the only operational Class 47 to retain full Virgin Trains branding, despite not being operated by Virgin. Sadley the locomotive is not in the best of health, and despite sporadic light engine driver training runs around the UK, it often ends up being towed back! On just such an occasion, 47769 'Resolve' is seen stabled in Platform 1 at Taunton, while it's rescue locomotive 47812 is positioned slightly behind. 47769 also sports multiple jump sockets on the nose end, and a black headcode box.

Photo: Brian Garrett

26th January 2008

During early 2008, a new rail operator emerged. Closly connected with Cotswold Rail, Advenza Freight was freight operations arm of Cotswold. They aquired 47237 from DRS. For a short period the locomotive operated with just a large bodyside number in DRS Dark Blue. This base blue would in time form the Advenza colours.

On January 2008, 47237 is seen approching Cogload Jn with a Laira - Old Oak Common stock move for First Great Western.

Photo: Brian Garrett

25th April 2008

47375 became part of the Cotswold/Advenza Freight fleet in August 2007 from the former FM Rail collapse.

Painted in a base blue with wrap round yellow ends, the loco carries the simple Advenza Freight branding.

It's captured at Norton Fitzwarren on a stock move hauling 33202 and former Freightliner Class 47 47309 to the South Devon Railway.

Photo: Brian Garrett

21st June 2008

47832 changed it's look again in 2008. Despite now being operated by DRS it became the first 'Stobart' branded locomotive, and would work with The Stobart Pullman as a matching locomotive to the coaching stock.

Sadly the whole operation ran into problems with poor ticket sales/ passenger loadings slightly ahead of the credit crunch of 2008. The tour set was de branded and 47832 would get yet another livery!

Photo: Brian Garrett

5th July 2008

47712 was one of the former FM Rail Blue Pullman locomotives. After a long period out of service undergoing overhaul with Direct Rail Services, the locomotives were painted into the DRS 'Compass' livery, and employed on a range of high profile duties.

It's seen here on the rear of a Stobart Pullman service heading for Paignton at 40 Steps

Photo: Brian Garrett

23rd August 2008

We've already featured West Coast Railways, but in 2008 the company took the bold move to use one of their Class 47's to advertise their annual 'Scarborough Spa Express' steam hauled excursions. Saving hundreds of pounds in advertising fees, the locomotive did the job for them as it was deliberately kept in the York area for the duration of the Steam Exclusions. 47826 escaped once during the summer to work a charter to Plymouth with 47851. It's seen here at 40 Steps, Taunton.

Photo: Jeff Treece

30th August 2008

Many Class 47's have made it into preservation, but not many make it back onto the mainline as well. 47773 is now owned by Vintage Trains and operates excursions all over the UK. It's painted in BR Two Tone Green but still carries it's unauthentic Class 47/7 multiple working cables, which were installed during their conversion for RES Mail Traffic. 47773 and 33025 depart Taunton for Kingswear in August 2008

Photo: Brian Garrett

21st March 2009

47818 features again in the Class 47 gallery, this time after the removal of its 'ONE Anglia' colours. The locomotive retained the base blue with Black Upper Band. It had also been named 'Emily'.

The loco is seen passing Whiteball light engine with the 0C99 Bristol Temple Meads - Plymouth.

Photo: Brian Garrett

27th May 2009

47580 was returned to a former livery during 2009, outshopped as 'County of Essex' with Stratford White Roof and wrap around cabs.

It's seen passing Taunton returning D7612, 20118 and 33002 from Eastleigh 100 event to the South Devon Railway.

Photo: John White

13th August 2016

Saturday 13th August 2016 provided the first ever visit of LMS Jubilee No.45699 'Galatea' to Taunton. The locomotive was used by The Railway Touring Company on their 'West Somerset Express' charter to Minehead from London Paddington. Riding on the back of the charter was popular heritage Class 47 No.47580 'County of Essex'. This was also the first visit of the locomotive to the West Somerset Railway. 47580 was also removed from the train at Bishops Lydeard but later operated the tour back to London from Bishops Lydeard.

Photo: Brian Garrett

10th April 2016

Two Tone Green Class 47/8 No.47830 returned from Laira on the 10th April 2016 with the next rake of First Great Western stock being sent for refurbishment. After an overnight stay in Plymouth No.47830 formed the 5S56 11:37 Laira - Carlisle New Yard and continued its trend of early running passing Norton Fitzwarren some 76 minutes ahead of schedule. The formation of stock was as follows: (Barrier) 6330, 42362,  44008, 42026, 42024, 42025, 40811, 40106, 41018, (Barrier) 6338.

Photo: Brian Garrett