47077 ‘NORTH STAR’ moves to the NYMR

47077 ‘NORTH STAR’ moves to the NYMR

This page carries photos and short video clips taken by our Chairman Martin Howard and presented here in chronological order, covering the preparation and loading of our Class 47 ‘NORTH STAR’ that took place at Bishops Lydeard on the West Somerset Railway on Thursday 13th January 2022. All photos and videos by Martin Howard © CC BY-NC 3.0.


Before dawn, and in the gloom you may just be able to make out a frosty trailer and ramp ready for loading. The two Allelys lorries and escort van arrived the previous afternoon and managed to get set up in daylight.

Looking in the opposite direction we can see 47077 and Class 33 ‘Crompton’ D6575 (33 057) at rest in Westridge Shed.

A similar view at Westridge only this time you can see Class 09 D4107 lurking behind, ready to push the 47 up to the loading ramp.

A view through the middle of Westridge shed. In the distance the first light of a new day is starting to show.

The loading ramp and prepared trailer with a bit more light available. The winch cable has been laid out ready.

With increasing daylight, time for another view of Westridge shed, this time showing the freshly attached transit banner.

The ramp awaits . . .

Loading supervisor Paul Fleet signals to driver Merv Hebditch as D4107 propels 47077 slowly up to the foot of the ramp.

47077 is now touching the foot of the ramp.

Just the winch cable to attach now. Notice that the banners have been swapped over. In the dark they were put on to the wrong ends!

Winch cable attached and taking the strain, 47077’s first pair of wheels start climbing up the ramp . . .


Bogie 2 (this is the No. 2 end) is now fully on the transition ramp and creeping upwards.

No.1 end bogie is now on the transition ramp. At this point you could say 47077 has now left WSR metals! Allelys’ Dave stands by with a safety scotch (railway terminology for a specially-shaped wedge).

Bogie 2 is now on the trailer having left the modular ramp. Dave is closely following the 3rd wheel with a scotch and Allelys’ team leader Zak (out of sight) is doing the same on the other side. This is to prevent a rollaway in the event of a problem with the winch or its cable.

A view of the winching operation showing the slow and careful rate of winching. Also noticeable from this viewpoint is that the trailer is jacked up at the winch end so that the trailer itself forms part of the ramp.


A closer view of bogie No. 2 as the winching progresses, showing how Dave keeps the scotch (wedge) close to the back of the wheel.



5 axles now on the trailer and just one more to go. A good view of the top end of the modular ramp too.

47077 reaches the top of the ramped trailer and winching has now stopped. The scotch remains in place behind the leading wheel and the whole rig is carefully checked to make sure winching is complete. This end of the trailer will remain jacked up until the loco is secured and the hydraulic hoses that are currently powering the winch can be changed over to power the trailer suspension and steering.

With winching completed, attention turns to the modular ramp and the team start disassembling it.

The big upper section of the modular ramp is carefully swung out of the way to load it on the lorry behind. Dave (on the left) is expertly controlling the lorry-mounted crane with a waist level remote control unit that is just about visible while Zak directs the operation.

47077 is now loaded and the securing chains have been attached on this side. Out of sight on the other side the Allelys team are busy putting more securing chains on.

With the crane stowed away, the complete modular ramp is loaded and secured ready to go to its next job.

A bit of an overhang at the back! The amount of overhang of the trailer at the other end is about the same.

The sun rises over 47077 as the trailer is levelled and preparations are made for departure.

A lower level view showing the trailer levelled and securing chains attached on this side too. 47077 seems to wear a halo to mark the completion of loading. Westridge shed is in the background.

A view from near 47077‘s starting point showing how much room is needed to achieve safe loading. The ramp began at the far side of the level crossing.

With apologies for the loss of definition due to digital zoom, Allelys transporter is now on the move and slowly making its way up the Bishops Lydeard entrance road. 47077 is finally on her way to the NYMR at last!

Moments into the long journey north, the tractor and trailer rig approach the first obstacle on the road, the roundabout at Bishops Lydeard that gives access to the A358.


The tractor unit rolls on the the roundabout. To the left and despite technically having right of way, the northbound motorist on the A358 has wisely paused to let the giant rig continue on its way.

Driver Zak takes the tractor unit as close as possible to the crash barrier to give the trailer room to get round.

How much room does a big rig need? Plenty! Note the first 4 axles of the trailer are steering into the curve. The rear 4 axles are also steering to help the back of the trailer round.

As the tractor unit leaves the roundabout, driver Zak gives a cheery wave to the photographer, engages the next gear and starts to accelerate away towards Taunton and the M5.


Final view of 47077 ‘NORTH STAR’ as the convoy heads for the M5 and Allelys depot at Studley near Redditch for a weekend layover. The journey north is planned to resume on Monday 17th with delivery to the NYMR either the same day or the next, depending on traffic.


Many thanks for Martin and Chris Shields, along with Paul Fleet and Merv Hebditch of the WSR, plus the whole crew from Allelys for being on site early in the morning to get our loco on her way to the North Yorkshire Moors Railway !


We look forward to the return of 47077 (D1661, 47613, 47840) ‘NORTH STAR’ to the West Somerset Railway when she has completed her North Yorkshire duties !


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