Class 47 – Lady Diana Spencer is owned by members of the Crewe Diesel Preservation Group.
An iconic passenger locomotive from the 1980s has been restored and repainted into the historic colour scheme that it was most associated with. Class 47/7 No. 47712, which once carried the name Lady Diana Spencer, is now back in the attractive Chris Green-inspired ScotRail livery that it wore during its time working the intensive Edinburgh-Glasgow push-pull services.
The Brush-built Type 4 diesel has been given considerable attention by members of the Crewe Diesel Preservation Group (CDPG) since its purchase in 2013, after becoming surplus to Direct Rail Services requirements. Initially based at the Crewe Heritage Centre, it moved to the Weardale Railway where the loco has latterly provided traction for the winter season Polar Express charter workings.
During down-time, the opportunity has been taken to re-instate the vacuum-brake system, overhaul numerous components and make cosmetic improvements such as removing the multiple working and re-instating the distinctive front end TDM cables. Much of this effort has only been possible due to the help of Weardale Railway volunteers. The repainting was undertaken by RMS Locotecs Wolsingham workshop. RMS have, in the past, only repainted locomotives from their own group and this is the first job they have done for an external customer.
The result of all this hard work is a fully-operational, reliable, dual-braked, ETH-fitted locomotive. Now that the exterior renovation has been completed, the owning group is actively encouraging invitations for a revitalised 47712 to attend and perform at diesel galas, special events and open days.
The locomotive recently moved to the former Crewe Diesel Depot now owned by Locomotive Services Limited, following the signing of an agreement between the owning group and LSL, for the locomotive to be returned to limited use on the main line for a period of time. It will, however, still be available to attend open days etc. and should be back at the Heritage Centre for the April 6th/7th 2019 Diesel Gala Weekend.
Originally numbered D1948, the locomotive entered traffic in August 1966 before being fitted with electric train heat equipment and renumbered 47505 in 1974. In 1979, it was chosen to become part of the Scottish Class 47/7+DBSO push-pull project and emerged from Crewe Works later that year, wearing the new identity of 47712.
It was named Lady Diana Spencer as a result of a Radio Clyde suggestion competition won by Mr Robert Cooney. The then BRB Chairman, Sir Peter Parker, revealed the plates on April 30, 1981, at Glasgow Queen Street station. ScotRail blue-stripe livery was applied during overhaul at Crewe Works in early 1985, and was carried until overhaul at Doncaster in 1991.
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