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47077 - North Star

47077 in Pickering Carriage Stable
D1661 entered traffic at Landore in February 1965 and was named North Star at Paddington station on 20th March by the Minister of Labour, Ray Gunter. After being named it worked the 1042 "North Star Special" to Bristol for the naming of D1662 as Isambard Kingdom Brunel. Originally in two-tone green livery with small warning panels, when she was repainted to blue by Old Oak Common staff, the BR double arrow logo was not applied. The loco ran for a number of years before this was "rectified". Renumbered to 47077 under TOPS, the nameplates were removed and replaced at various times such that, on conversion to a 47/4 as 47613 in March 1984, it kept the name, though it was later painted in InterCity livery. In November 1989 it was fitted with long-range fuel tanks and renumbered as 47840. It regained two-tone green livery with small warning panels for a while, before reverting to standard BR Blue and then InterCity swallow liveries, before becoming a Virgin red loco, but not for long!
In 2002 47840 was the final 47 in a batch of Virgin locos to receive heritage liveries and it became blue once again. In this condition it worked the final loco-hauled scheduled train from Penzance (1M56 0846 to Manchester Piccadilly) with large-logo liveried 47847 on 19th August 2002. In 2007 the loco was preserved by the Diesel & Electric Preservation Group, working the outward leg of 1Z47 from Derby to Minehead, by now two-tone green again. After 11 years work on the West Somerset Railway, the loco was stopped for an overhaul which took somewhat longer than it normally would have, due to lockdown but, on 5th June 2021, 47077 emerged in BR Monastral Blue! Deemed too heavy for the WSR until some more track work is carried out, 47077 is on hire to us for a while.