Late in 2001, with their long service soon to be curtailed by the new Voyager units, Virgin repainted four of its class 47 fleet into liveries from their past, a gesture applauded by enthusiasts.
Within a few weeks, the quartet had all appeared on
the coast, arriving at Holyhead on 1D88, the early evening service from Euston,
and returning on 1A46 which departs at 09:19. The first of the four to pass
this way was 47 847, repainted into the BR large logo colour scheme.
It's seen here drawing into platform 3 at Llandudno Junction on 23rd November.
Just four days later, on 27th November, 47 851 pays a visit. Displaying its original number, D1648, at one end, and still looking very clean, only the red driving van trailer tells us it's a recent photograph.
For me, this was even more eagerly anticipated than the two-tone green. D1733 was the test locomotive for the XP64 project, a precursor to the repainting of the entire fleet from green to blue and the introduction of the double arrow symbol which supersed the lion and wheel. Happily, D1733 survived to enter Virgin's fleet as 47 853. Restored to its former unique glory, it waits to leave Bangor on 4th December.
We had only two days to wait before the fourth repaint graced the coast, 47 826 Springburn in the InterCity livery extant immediately prior to rail privatisation.
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