Churchward's last great masterpiece, the 47XX mixed traffic 2-8-0, is among the most iconic locomotives ever produced for the Great Western Railway. Only nine of these huge locomotives were built, primarily for fast overnight freight work, earning them the nickname 'Night Owls'.

Ironically the heyday for the class only came in the post-nationalisation years when the potential of these locomotives for use on heavy Summer Saturday passenger trains was recognised. In regognition of this they were turned out in fully lined BR passenger green livery.

None of the class survived, but over the years many people have expressed a desire to see a 47XX 2-8-0 in action again. Now the Great Western Society is creating a new member of the class, No 4709.

We hope you will enjoy visiting this website regularly to keep up to date with the build progress and discover how you can help.


Rebuilding the ultimate British 2-8-0
Great Western Society 47XX Project
Recreating Churchward's final masterpiece

Website by Knowles Cadbury Brown