Eastfield depot, a few miles north of Glasgow Queen Street station, was one of the largest maintenance facilities in Scotland, opened in the early-1900s by the North British Railway. Its ranking in importance remained during the transition from steam to diesel and throughout the loco-hauled era as home to numerous locomotive types which powered freight and passenger workings across Scotland. One of its principle responsibilities was the provision of traction for the West Highland Line linking Glasgow to the west coast ports of Oban and Mallaig.
Eastfield was keen to mark its individuality and was one of the first to adopt a mascot in the form of the West Highland Terrier, applying the ‘Westie’ emblem to most of its allocation. Unlike the smaller Inverness roster, which seldom strayed far, Eastfield’s more numerous fleet of Class 47/4s would often escape Scotland serving to create more interest in the motif. The standard ‘large logo’ passenger livery was adopted for the class with several repaints undertaken at the shed, often coinciding with naming events.
No. 47636, built as D1920 in 1965, got its electric train heating equipment and new Class 47/4 identity at the end of 1985, having been transferred from the Western Region whilst undergoing conversion at Crewe Works. It was named Sir John de Graeme (after the Scottish Patriot who fought and died at the Battle of Falkirk in 1298) during April, 1986. It spent the rest of the 1980s working off Eastfield but, in 1991, after a short spell at Inverness moved south to Old Oak Common. Here, in increasingly poor external condition but still displaying the ‘westie’, it was regular on NSE’s last loco-hauled commuter trains out of Paddington, becoming a bit of a celebrity. Unlike many of its sisters, overhaul and conversion to a Rail express system Class 47/7 (as No. 47777 Restored) allowed the loco to provide another seven years useful work before being sidelined in 2000.
V2113: Class 47 No. 47636 Sir John de Graeme
- British Rail blue ‘large logo’ livery with black headcodes
- Original bufferbeam fairings intact
- Modified underframe retaining battery boxes only
- No. 1 end recessed opaque lenses, No. 2 end recessed marker lights
- Plated over Universal (rectangular) boiler roof panel.