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47306 / D1787 - Diesel Locomotive

Type: Diesel Locomotive
Operation: BR Class 47 Co-Co Diesel
Number: 47306 / D1787
Name: The Sapper
Built Date: 1964
Built in: Brush
Condition: Under Major Repair
Livery: BR RfD Railfreight Grey


47 306 entered Traffic on the 26th November 1964 as D1787, one of 512 locomotives built at the Brush Locomotive Works, Loughborough and BR Workshops, Crewe.

It was one of the batch, later designated 47/3 that were not fitted with any train heating equipment, and apart from the occasional Summer Saturday’s Extras, passenger work was infrequent.

It was delivered in two tone green with small yellow warning panel, later changed to full yellow ends. All over BR Blue was applied before renumbering in April 1994 to 47306, when it was also named 'The Sapper'.

In 2000, 47306 became a celebrity Railfreight Distribution Loco when it was selected for display at Old Oak Common Open Day, and was overhauled and repainted.

47 306, part of the so called EWS Heritage Fleet, was brought to Cornwall to star in a staff open day at St. Blazey, and made a successful visit to our September Gala in 2002 and then spent 5 years in store at St. Blazey depot. It was sold by EWS towards the end of 2006 to the Harry Needle Railway Company, based at Barrow Hill.

47 306 'The Sapper' arrived at the Bodmin & Wenford Railway for assessment in March 2007. After many man hours, it was successfully started and run. A deal to swap 20166 (runner) and 20197 (spares), was then concluded between Harry Needle and Peter Fitzgerald (owner of the 20's).

The loco has been in traffic since 2008 and the numerous intermittent 'faults' have been worked on. In April 2009, a wiring loom fire, melted a large quantity of cable, which required approximately 300 meters of cable to be replaced.

47306  is currently under overhaul, when it will return in a new livery. The body sides are in good condition; however, the roof sections will all need removing. This will enable major exhaust repairs to be undertaken, amongst other items, to make the loco more water resistant.