Every loco tells a story, D1949/47506/47707


Somewhere in the Luton area are a few hardened Luton Town FC supporters who unbeknown to them have cleared D1949/47506/47707 for more than several thousand miles. Back in the late 60’s and early 70’s Luton Town FC; like most Division 1/2/3 clubs ran “football specials” to their away games; rather than fleets of road coaches. So for a child bargain fare of £1.25, day trips to Carlisle, Sunderland, Plymouth, Newcastle, Preston  and Cardiff were away fixtures a good crowd of “cranks” looked out for. A good cup run added more destinations. A friendly Luton crowd just the occasional “bovver” from away fans gave a good atmosphere for a cracking day out. At the likes of Seaburn (near Sunderland) it often amused the police escort as 40-50 passengers who had got off the Luton “footex” then stayed on the platform for the next service train to the North!


A LM pet loco for special traffic at the London End of the Midland was D1949 and it is fair to say that D1949 featured on a very large number of Lutonfootex’s”. Said 47 also performed on many “Merrymaker” specials from Luton to the likes of York, Blackpool, Chester ect so this loco always got a reception when viewed on any traffic in the Luton area.


Sample Early/Midland turns.

160966 - 1M47 1015 Glasgow C - Euston (to Crewe)

190469 - 1V20 0706 Bradford - Penzance (at T.Meads)

080570 - Top Link! 1750 St Pancras - Sheffield "Master Cutler"

260272 - 1Z68 1135 Luton - Charlton footex and 1730 charlton - Luton rtn footex

030472 -  1T45 St Pancras-Southport Merrymaker

210772 – 4S53 1911 Kentish T-Glasgow Bridgeton “Tartan Arrow”

140872 – 1E11 1105 St Pancras-Sheffield


However D1949 was eventually transferred to the Western Region in late Aug 72 and lost her steam heat boiler on conversion to ETH only status. Sitting on Bath Spa awaiting a Bristol bound service my spotting book for 20th April 73 recorded 1949 heading East  on a Bristol-Padd turn. A big change from a humble Merrymaker, but it was good to see the old girl again. Renumbering to a bland, blue 47506 followed a few months later.


Sample Western turns

200473 -  1A30 0900 Bristol-Padd

231076 – as 47506 1415 Padd-Swansea


With the HST displacement of many hauled ETH turns 47506 was transferred to Scotland

in April 79 to become a celebrity Push pull loco on the Edinburgh-Glasgow turns. She was then named “Holyrood” .


Sample Scottish turns as 47707

010883  1400 Glasgow-Edinburgh

140387  1S19 2124 (1303) Bristol-Edinburgh x Carstairs




05058447707r.jpg 47707 in blue possibly off an overnight portion at a foggy Waverly, 050584


During her spell as a push pull workhorse 707 was to meet with tragedy near Polmont whilst propelling the 1730 Edinburgh-Glasgow on July 10th 1984. The train’s Driving trailer hit a cow and the train jack-knifed resulting in serious loss of life.   She also caught fire on a push pull turn a few years later but returned to service before transfer back South in April 90 with spells on Padd-Oxford/Newburys and Waterloo-Exeter’s.


200393477070915wlexr.jpg 47707 in NSE livery at Salisbury with the 0915 Waterloo- Exeter SD on 200393


Plastification of these routes saw here adopted by the parcels sector from late March 93. Withdrawal came in Sep 96 but Fragonset Railways purchased her.


Sample “Mule” turns

220892 -1226 Exeter-Waterloo

200393-0915 Waterloo-Exeter


She effectively remained  stored in parcels red livery at Barrow Hill for over 10 years but in February 2010 came the sad news on WNXX that 47707 had been cut at Booths. The 70’s Cricklewood legend has finally being torched.


D1949 gone but not forgotten


With thanks to www.class47.com for filling some of the holes in the gen.