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Class 47s in the 1980s (Paperback)

From Iverness to Penzance

P&S History > By Century > 20th Century Transport > Trains & Railways

By Ian McLean
Imprint: Key Publishing
Series: Britain's Railways
Pages: 96
Illustrations: 160
ISBN: 9781913295950
Published: 3rd May 2022



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The Class 47 diesel locomotive was a mainstay of British Rail, with 512 built in the 1960s. As such, they were a daily sight throughout the UK, working express passenger and heavy freight trains as well as more mundane local passenger and wagon-load freight all over Britain.

For rail enthusiasts, 'bashing' emerged as the art of trying to ride behind as many locos as possible. Largely due to their prolific numbers, the 47s were often disliked by bashers and the 47s were often given the disparaging nickname 'Duffs', but to those who followed them, they were 'Brush', an abbreviation of Brush Type 4, which was how BR originally referred to them. However, as time passed and other classes of locomotive fell by the wayside, a far greater appreciation of them is now the norm.

This book records 1982 to 1985 and many days spent trying to travel behind all 507 of the Class 47s that were still in traffic at that time. There were triumphs and disasters in the course of these travels, but you got to go the length and breadth of the country and the book contains a wide variety of colour photographs of Class 47s at work from Inverness to Penzance.

"This book is well recommended and will bring back memories for a generation of enthusiasts."

West Somerset Railway Association

An enjoyable book. For the general enthusiast, I recommend it.

The Railway Correspondence and Travel Society, The Railway Observer - October 2022

About Ian McLean

Ian Mclean has had regular columns and written articles for both Traction and Railways Illustrated magazines. He is the co-author of the Class 47 Data File series of books. He is a member of the Brush Type 4 Fund, custodians of 47105 and 47376, and member of the Type 1 Locomotive Group, owners of 47117. He has been employed as a train driver for more than 25 years, working routes from Aberdeen to Plymouth.

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