11th December 2004

First Great Western
F.G.W. Class 47 Farewell

Locos Used 47811 & 47815
Stock Used 9481+5737+5679+5710+3232+5669+6722+3241

Route:
1Z30 : London Paddington - Penzance
1Z31 : Penzance - London Paddington

Loco(s) Route
47815 (1) London Paddington - Slough - Maidenhead - Reading - Didcot Parkway - Swindon - Chippenham - Trowbridge - Westbury - Fairwood Jn - Castle Cary - Taunton - Tiverton Parkway - Exeter St Davids - Newton Abbot - Totnes - Plymouth (2)
47811 + 47815 Plymouth - Liskeard - Par - Truro - Penzance
47815 + 47811 Penzance - (reverse of outward route) - Castle Cary - Fairwood Jn - Bedwyn - Newbury - Reading - Maidenhead - Slough - London Paddington

Notes :
(1) 47811 on rear.
(2) 47815 developed an AWS fault.


The departure board at Reading (photo: Ralf Edge)


The pair wait to leave Plymouth for Penzance, led by 47811 (photo: Ralf Edge)


The tour on arrival back into London Paddington
(photo: Steve Trillwood - www.railway-images.co.uk)

From the First Great Western Website on the lead-up to the tour:
"Can't get enough Duff? First Great Western will shortly be replacing its last class 47 locomotive. The class has been a mainstay of the region for over thirty years and as a tribute, First Great Western will be running a special London Paddington - Penzance return service. The introduction of the class 57 fleet on First Great Western services will see the last of the company's class 47s replaced. To celebrate the class 47s long history in the Great Western region, on Saturday December 11 there will be one last opportunity to pay tribute to the sterling service they have given. The train operates from London Paddington to Penzance and return. The outward journey will be via Swindon and Melksham and return direct via the Berks and Hants route. The train is planned to be formed of 8 coaches topped and tailed by two class 47s*. Celebrity two-tone green 47 815 should lead from Paddington, with 47 813, supplied courtesy of Cotswold Rail, at the rear. The service is strictly reservation only. If you do not have a reservation you will not be allowed on the train. Due to the huge popularity of these locomotives, tickets are selling very fast for this train. The only tickets left are Super Advanced tickets costing 53 return. These can be purchased using all normal methods.

Timings: For the many of the keen photographers who have contacted First Great Western requesting detailed timings, please see below. Please note, these are the booked timings for the service, but diversions and alterations to timings may occur. Please use these as a guide only. The composition that you had calculated with military precision of a class 47 rounding Horseshoe Cove to the backdrop of the sun setting over Teignmouth may become a class 47 headlight piercing complete darkness, half obscured by a down Voyager."

Sources : various including Richard Rooker

Tour Review
(from Ralf Edge)

The day started early at Paddington noticing that the departure board said to go to the "waiting area" on platform 8. So we did, collected our boarding cards (#1 and #2!) and waited in the fenced off area so they could control boarding as they assured us it'd be VERY busy. Anyway the train arrived into platform 4 so everyone wandering about went to get on and couldn't without collecting a boarding card!! So we left our waiting area and wandered over to the train. A few photos and onto the train.


Boarding Pass No.1 (photo: Ralf Edge)

BUT FGW hadn't labelled the coaches or put out the seat reservations - results CHAOS!! Anyway as the train was only around 1/3 full finding seats wasn't a problem. Despite FGW later coming round with a reservation for every seat!!! But not checking who was sitting where!

A pleasant run to Plymouth followed under mainly overcast skies. 47815 providing the power, which developed an AWS (or was it DSD - both rumoured) fault it was announce the fitter was on the job but they might need to run 811 round (as it was dead on the rear) and pilot with 811. Which they did after and we got away only 44 minutes late.

47811 then powered the train over the Devon hills to Penzance where we arrived sadly 'on top' of a 150 DMU being a nuisance for photographs. We arrived 36 late leaving 24 to eat a Cornish pasty and grab some photos. The train was then propelled back to Long Rock, both locos were run round together and they propelled back into the station in time for departure. Although we left 7 late awaiting the arrival of a 158 DMU. A good run back powered by 815 lead us to Paddington with 811 behind, possibly applying power?? As it was rumoured there was a 2nd driver available... - Does anyone know??

On the whole the tour was a good day out on the train to say good-bye to the FGW 47s, although it was run as a train not a railtour. No timing / commerative booklet or souveneirs and no headboard!!! So it felt like a 'real train' rather than a railtour.

All in all a good day, shame there was little / no sunshine en-route.

Ralf Edge

Timings (Booked & Actual)
(from Richard Rooker & Ralf Edge)

Location Booked Actual   Booked Actual
Paddington 07.18d 07.20   20.10a 20.09
Ladbroke Grove 07/21 07/24   20/07 20/07
Acton West 07/24 07/27   20/02 20/03
Southall 07/27 07/30   19/58 20/01
Heathrow Airport Jn 07/29 07/31   19/58 19/59
Slough 07/34 07/36   19/52 19/53
Maidenhead 07/38 07/40   19/47 19/43
Twyford 07/43 07/45   19/41 19/35
Reading 07.47a ~ 0750d 07.49 ~ 07.52   19.25a ~ 19.36 19.22 ~ 19.27
Didcot Parkway 08/06 08/09  
Wantage Road 08/11 08/15  
Challow 08/14 08/17  
Uffington 08/17 08/19  
Swindon 08/26 08/27  
Wootton Bassett Jn 08/30 08/33  
Chippenham 08/39 08/39  
Thingley Jn 08/40 08/58  
Bradford Jn 08/52 09/07  
Westbury 09/05 09/13  
Southcote Jn   19/19 19/17
Newbury   19/07 19/06
Bedwyn   18/56 18/56
Woodborough   18/46 18/47
Lavinton   18/38 18/41
Heywood Road Jn   18/33 18/36
Fairwood Jn 09/07 09/17   18/31 18/31
Clink Road Jn 09/09 09/21   18/28 18/29
Blatchbridge 09/10 09/22   18/26 18/25
East Somerset Jn ? 09/25   ? 18/24
Castle Cary 09/20 09/31   18/15 18/16
Cogload Jn 09/37 09/45   17/55 17/59
Taunton 09/40 09/47   17/55 17/55
Tiverton Parkway 09/52 10/00   17/43 17/43
Cowley Bridge Jn 10/03 ?   17/30 17/31
Exeter St Davids 10.07a ~ 10.07d 10.11 ~ 10.14   17.28a ~ 17.28d 17.10 ~ 17.28
Dawlish Warren 10/18 10/26   17/02 16/59
Newton Abbot 10/27 10/36   16/46 16/45
Totnes 10/39 10/47   16/28 16/33
Ivybridge 10/55 11/00   16/15 16/21
Hermerdon 11/00 11/05   16/08 16/16
Lipson Jn 11/05 11/11   16/01 16/11
Plymouth 11.07a ~ 11.09d 11.13 ~ 11.53   15.55a ~ 15.58d 16.04 ~ 16.07
St Budeaux Jn 11/14 11/59   15/50 ?
Saltash 11/18 12/02   15/46 15/55
St Germans 11/24 12/08   15/39 15/49
Liskeard 11/34 12/18   15/30 15/40
St Pinnock Viaduct East 11/40 12/23   15/25 ?
Largin 11/41 12/24   15/15 ?
Lostwithiel 11/49 12/31   15/15 15/22
Par 11/55 12/36   15/10 15/17
St Austell 12.04a ~ 12.06d 12.42 ~ 12.43   15.00a ~ 15.02d 15.00 ~ 15.12
Burngullow Jn 12/10 12/47   14/57 15/07
Probus 12/17 12/53   14/57 15/00
Truro 12.24a ~ 12.26d 13.00 ~ 13.01   14.40a ~ 14.42d 14.49 ~ 14.51
Penwithers Jn 12/27 13/03   ? 14/48
Camborne 12/41 13/17   14/26 14/35
St Erth 12/49 13/25   14/17 14/25
Long Rock 12/56 13/28   14/13 ?
Penzance 12.59a 13.35   14.10d 14.17


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