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BR Class 47 - 47580
"County of Essex"

Brush Traction
Brush Works
Build Date
1st September 1964
Withdrawal Date
April 2004
Current Number Held
In Service
Owned By
Stratford 47 Group

British Railways Class 47 Diesel-Electric

The British Railway Class 47, also know as Brush Type 4, is a class of diesel-electric locomotive that was built by Brush Falcon Works & Crewe Works between 1962 - 1968, a total of 512 were produced. 

The class was built to be able to work passenger trains, including the Intercity services, and freight workings . They soon became a common sight across the whole country with the majority being allocated to Crewe, Cardiff Canton & Bescot. They quickly, along side the Class 37s, became one of the mainstays of the BR fleet and quickly earnt their reputation as a powerful and reliable class of locomotive. By 1986 only five out of the original 512 had been withdrawn from service, all because of serious accident damage however, with the introduction of new rolling stock and spare parts becoming scarce the decision was made to slowly start withdrawing the class. However, by 1995 only 147 locomotives had been withdrawn, still leaving 360 of the class in service. With the privatisation of the railway may of the class were bought by private operating companies and used for either freight or charters. However, as newer technology became available the class was being replaced as from 1996 to 2006 an average of 15 locomotives were take out of service per year. 


62 out of the 512 produced are still active today, with 31 being preserved across Britain's Heritage      Railways and another 31 still being used by mainline operating companies. A further 33 Class 47s were converted to Class 57's between 1998 & 2004. 


47580 was released from Brush Works on 1st September 1964, originally as D1762, and allocated to Tinsley (41A). In August 1979, it was named "County of Essex" and held this name until August 1993, it was then renamed as "Restormel" in 1995. Over the course of its working life it was transferred to March, Immingham, Finsbury Park, Stratford, Bristol Bath Road, Crewe & Toton. 47580 was then withdrawn from traffic by then owner EWS in April 2004 and then stored at Toton, until the Stratford 47 Group purchased it.

The locomotive is mainline registered and is often operating away with West Coast Railways, from its base at The Mid-Norfolk Railway. The locomotive arrived back at the MNR in July 2021 and since then has received a repaint into its Queen's Platinum Jubilee livery in June 2022 to celebrate the late Queen Elizabeth's Platinum Jubilee. The repaint of 47580 was undercarried inside Dereham Traction & Rolling Stock Restoration & Maintenance Shed, the shed was built with the support of the EU Leader Funding Rural Development Programme (Project Ref. 109532).

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