British Rail Class 07

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British Rail Class 07
D2991 (07007) shunter at Eastleigh.jpg
D2991 at Eastleigh Works in the 1970s. Still in service at the Works in 2012.
Type and origin
Power type Diesel-electric
Builder Ruston & Hornsby
Serial number 480686–480699
Model LSSE
Build date 1962
Total produced 14
Configuration 0-6-0
UIC class C
Gauge 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm)
Wheel diameter 3 ft 6 in (1.067 m)
Wheelbase 8 ft 7 12 in (2.629 m)
Length 26 ft 9 12 in (8.17 m)
Width 8 ft 6 in (2.591 m)
Height 12 ft 10 in (3.912 m)
Loco weight 42.90 long tons (43.6 t; 48.0 short tons)
Fuel capacity 300 imp gal (1,400 l; 360 US gal)
Prime mover Paxman 6RPHL
Traction motors AEI RTA6652
Train heating None
Train brakes Vacuum, some later Dual (Air & Vacuum)
Performance figures
Maximum speed 27.5 mph (44.3 km/h)
Power output Engine: 275 hp (205 kW)
Tractive effort Maximum: 28,240 lbf (125.6 kN)
Operators British Railways
Number in class 14
Numbers D2985–D2998, later 07001–07014
Axle load class RA 7 (RA 6 from 1969)
Withdrawn May 1973 – July 1977
Disposition Seven preserved, remainder scrapped

The British Rail Class 07 diesel locomotive is an off-centre cab dock shunter used in Southampton Docks, to replace SR USA Class steam locomotives. It is a 0-6-0 diesel-electric shunter built by Ruston & Hornsby in 1962. They were originally numbered D2985-D2998 and later given the TOPS numbers 07001(D2985)-07013(D2997), D2998.


This class was notorious for having the axleboxes run hot when travelling at high speed. This was initially encountered during delivery of the first locomotive, and subsequent deliveries were made by road. A later trial move of one Class 07 to Selhurst depot for tyre profiling also resulted in overheating axlebox problems[1] and all subsequent moves of any distance, particularly those to BREL workshops, were made by road. This is in contrast to other shunter classes that would commonly have had their side-rods removed and traction motors isolated and would then form part of a train heading in the appropriate direction. Class 08s were commonly moved in this fashion at up to 35 mph (56 km/h) – overnight wagon-load trains being utilised if possible.

For operation at Southampton Docks the Class was based in the former steam shed in the Old Docks near the River Itchen, work being carried out there by a fitter sent from Eastleigh.

The members of the class that had TOPS numbering applied were also equipped with high-level air brake pipes, allowing them to move Southern Region Electric Multiple Units, and three locomotives were used at Bournemouth EMU depot for a period.[1] This was not their principal work, but they were often employed around their home-depot on general shunting duties. They were relatively fast for shunters and it was envisaged that they would be used to trip local traffic to/from Southampton docks. Accordingly, they were equipped, from new, with mainline headcode marker lights (six for the SR). In practice they were seldom used for this because of the hot axlebox problem, which also affected the possibility of the class working away from either Southampton Docks or Eastleigh.

Numbers 2988, 2992 and 2998 were withdrawn from BR service without bearing TOPS numbers, and were cut up at Eastleigh works; 2988 in 1973, 2992 and 2998 in 1976.[2][3] 2991, which was allocated the number 07007, was also withdrawn from capital stock before bearing its TOPS number, but remained in use at Eastleigh Works. Of the locos to bear TOPS numbers, 07003 and 07009 were withdrawn in 1976, and sold to P Wood of Queenborough, Kent; 07009 was exported to Italy,[3] and 07003 was sold to British Industrial Sand at Oakmoor, being subsequently scrapped in 1985.[3][4] 07010 was sold directly into preservation, and the remaining locos were sold for industrial use during 1976 and 1977: 07001 to Staveley Limeworks, Buxton; 07002/6/12 to Powell Duffryn, Kidwelly (where 07002 and 07006 were scrapped in the 1980s); 07013 to Dow Chemicals, King's Lynn.[2][5]

Post-BR use[edit]

The locomotives were short-lived and this class had been withdrawn by British Rail by the end of 1977. Several were bought for industrial use and have subsequently passed into preservation. One locomotive, no. 07001, is mainline registered and is owned by Harry Needle Railroad Company (HNRC). All surviving locomotives are listed below.[6]

  • 07001 - Formerly HNRC, now preserved by Heritage Shunters Trust at Peak Rail. Fully operational, currently repainted into a blue livery with 'wasp' ends but without numbering (as of 1 September 2013).
  • 07005 - Preserved at the Great Central Railway
  • 07007 - In use by Knights Rail Services Ltd at Eastleigh Works.[7] Mainline registered in April 2008. Currently painted in Rail Blue livery.
  • 07010 - Preserved on Avon Valley Railway in BR Blue livery. Currently awaiting repairs following electrical failure December 2014. Repainted into BR Blue September 2013.[8]
  • 07011 - Privately owned at St Leonards-on-Sea. Rail Blue livery.
  • 07012 - Formerly HNRC, now preserved at Barrow Hill.
  • 07013 - Formerly HNRC, externally restored in Rail Blue livery[9] Now at the East Lancashire Railway.

Summary of life[edit]

Pre-Tops Number TOPS number Date into Service Date withdrawn Further use or date scrapped
D2985 07001 - - Staveley Limeworks, Buxton, 1976
later Preserved
now owned by HNRC located at Barrow Hill
D2986 07002 - - Powell Duffryn, Kidwelly, 1976,
scrapped on site 1980s
D2987 07003 - - P Wood of Queenborough, Kent, 1976
later British Industrial Sand at Oakmoor
scrapped 1985
D2988 - - - scrapped 1973 at Eastleigh Works
D2989 07005 - - ICI Wilton, Middlesbrough, 1976
now Preserved at the Great Central Railway
D2990 07006 - - Powell Duffryn, Kidwelly, 1976,
scrapped on site 1980s
D2991 07007 - - Knights Rail Services Ltd at Eastleigh Works
D2992 - - - scrapped 1976 at Eastleigh Works
D2993 07009 - - P Wood of Queenborough, Kent, 1976
later exported to Italy, scrapped 1997
D2994 07010 - 10/76 Preserved firstly at West Somerset Railway
now at Avon Valley Railway
D2995 07011 - - Privately owned at St Leonards West Marina depot (East Sussex).
Fitted with high-level brake pipes on one end for shunting demu vehicles.
D2996 07012 - - Powell Duffryn, Kidwelly, 1976,
Currently at Scunthorpe Steelworks
D2997 07013 - 7/77 Dow Chemicals, King's Lynn, 1976
preserved firstly at Barrow Hill, now preserved at the East Lancashire Railway
D2998 - - - scrapped 1976 at Eastleigh Works

Technical details[edit]

  • Engine: Ruston/Paxman 6RPHL Mk. 3, 60° V6, 29.3 litre, 6 cylinder, indirect injection, 4-stroke
  • Main Generator: AEI RTB6652
  • Traction motor: AEI RTA6652, spigot mounted on a double reduction, axle-hung, final drive gearbox

Locomotive (air) and train (vacuum) brakes were fitted from new. Air train braking was added later, in some cases with high-level air brake pipes for use with Southern Region electric multiple units. Originally the class had radio communication sets fitted for use at Southampton Docks, the aerial located on the top right hand corner of the engine bonnet.[1] These were removed when operation at the docks ceased.

Industrial locomotives[edit]

The builders classified these locomotives as LSSE and although other locomotives were built for industrial use to this (and the similarly styled LSSH diesel-hydraulic) specification, none had the same engine output, train brakes or other 'mainline' features.

In fiction[edit]

An example of this class of diesel can be seen on the Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends TV Series, in the form of Salty the Dockyard Diesel who uses the BR number of the preserved D2991.


Class 07 is being made as a kit and a ready-to-run model in OO gauge by announced by Heljan in 2015/7.[10]


  1. ^ a b c Wakelam, Frank (July 1979). "07s at Eastleigh". Railway Modeller. Beer: Peco Publications & Publicity Ltd. 30 (345): 248. 
  2. ^ a b Taylor, Ken. A Decade After. Walsall: Midland Railfans. 
  3. ^ a b c Furness, Ian (2008-09-07). "Disposals: Class 07". WNXX End of the Line: Withdrawn & Stored Locomotives UK. Retrieved 2008-11-27. 
  4. ^ Johnson, Howard (November 1985). "Traction Talk". Rail Enthusiast. Peterborough: EMAP National Publications (50): 43. 
  5. ^ Taylor, Ken. A Decade After (Appendix 1). Walsall: Midland Railfans. 
  6. ^ Furness, Ian (2008-09-07). "Fleet Status: UK Locomotive Database". WNXX End of the Line: Withdrawn & Stored Locomotives UK. Retrieved 2008-11-27. 
  7. ^ Carr, Richard (2008-10-29). "Paxman and Diesel Rail Traction". Richard Carr's Paxman History Pages. Retrieved 2008-12-01. 
  8. ^ "Avon Valley Railway YouTube". 
  9. ^ Wilson, Andrew. "Shunters : 07013". Heritage Shunters Trust. Retrieved 2008-11-27. 
  10. ^ "Class 07 0-6-0 Ruston & Hornsby Dock Shunter". Retrieved 17 November 2012. 

External links[edit]