British Rail Class 08

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British Rail Class 08
08 801 at Penzance station in 1990
Type and origin
Power typeDiesel-electric
BuilderBritish Railways:
Crewe Works
Darlington Works
Derby Works
Doncaster Works
Horwich Works
Build date1952–1962
Total produced996
Specifications
Configuration:
 • Whyte0-6-0DE
 • UICC
Wheel diameter4 ft 6 in (1.372 m)
Wheelbase11 ft 6 in (3.505 m)
Length29 ft 3 in (8.92 m)
Width8 ft 6 in (2.591 m)
Height12 ft 8+58 in (3.877 m)
11 ft 9+58 in (3.597 m) (08/9)
Loco weight49 long tons (49.8 t; 54.9 short tons) to
51 long tons (51.8 t; 57.1 short tons)
Fuel capacity668 imp gal (3,040 L; 802 US gal)
Prime moverEnglish Electric 6KT
GeneratorDC
Traction motorsDC English Electric 506, 2 off
TransmissionDiesel-electric transmission, double reduction gearing
MU workingNot originally fitted, some retrofitted with type Blue Star
Train heatingNone
Train brakesVacuum, later Air & Vacuum or Air only
Performance figures
Maximum speed15 mph (24 km/h) or 20 mph (32 km/h)
Power outputEngine: 350 hp (261 kW)
Tractive effortMaximum: 35,000 lbf (160 kN)
Brakeforce19 long tons-force (190 kN)
Career
OperatorsBritish Railways
InterCity
Network SouthEast
Rail Express Systems
Freightliner
Eurostar
DB Cargo UK
GNER
National Express East Coast
East Coast
Virgin Trains East Coast
LNER
Midland Mainline
East Midlands Trains
East Midlands Railway
Arriva Rail North
Northern Trains
Harry Needle Railroad Company
Foster Yeoman
Mendip Rail
Numbers13000–13116, 13127–13136, 13167–13365;

later: D3000–D3116, D3127–D3136, D3167-D3365 (renumbered from above), D3366–D3438, D3454–D3472, D3503–D3611, D3652–D3664, D3672–D3718, D3722–D4048, D4095–D4098, D4115–D4192;

later 08 001–08 958
Axle load classRoute availability 5 or 6 (see text)
Withdrawn1967–present
Disposition82 preserved, 10 converted to Class 09s, 6 converted to Class 13s, 5 exported to Liberia, 100 in service, remainder scrapped

The British Rail Class 08 is a class of diesel-electric shunting locomotives built by British Railways (BR). As the standard BR general-purpose diesel shunter, the class became a familiar sight at major stations and freight yards. Since their introduction in 1952, however, the nature of rail traffic in Britain has changed considerably. Freight trains are now mostly fixed rakes of wagons, and passenger trains are mostly multiple units or have Driving Van Trailers, neither requiring the attention of a shunting locomotive. Consequently, a large proportion of the class has been withdrawn from mainline use and stored, scrapped, exported or sold to industrial or heritage railways.

As of 2020, around 100 locomotives remained working on industrial sidings and on the main British railway network. On heritage railways, they have become particularly common, appearing on many of the preserved standard-gauge lines in Britain, with over 80 preserved, including the first one built.[1]

History[edit]

08 032 at Foster Yeoman's Torr Works, 2008

The Class 08 design was based on the LMS 12033 series (later TOPS Class 11) design. There were also 26 of the near-identical but higher-geared Class 09, and 171 similar locomotives fitted with different engines and transmissions (some of which became Class 10), which together brought the total number of outwardly-similar machines to 1,193.

The pioneer locomotive, number 13000, was built in 1952 although it did not enter service until 1953.[2][3] Production continued until 1962 with 996 locomotives produced, making it the most numerous of any British shunting locomotive class,[4] and indeed, the most numerous of any British locomotive class overall.[a]

The locomotives were built at the BR's Crewe, Darlington, Derby, Doncaster and Horwich works.[5]

In 1985, three locomotives were reduced in height for use on the Burry Port and Gwendraeth Valley Railway in southwest Wales, and became Class 08/9. The remainder of the class were reclassified as sub-class 08/0. A further two were converted to 08/9s in 1987.[6]

The first locomotive to be withdrawn was D3193 in 1967. Four other 08s were withdrawn before TOPS reclassification in 1973. Withdrawals continued in subsequent decades until by the beginning of the 1990s most of the class had been withdrawn. As part of the privatisation of British Rail in the mid-1990s most of the survivors passed to EWS with some going to passenger operators for use as depot shunters. At the same time as the withdrawals, many were purchased by heritage railways.

In mid-2008, EWS had over 40 class 08s in operation, with a greater number stored. Freightliner also had about five in operation, as did the locomotive company Wabtec. FirstGroup operated fewer than five; additionally, some work at industrial sidings – two for Foster Yeoman, one for Mendip Rail, one for Corus, one at ICI Wilton, two for English China Clays, amongst others. A few other businesses in the rail industry operated single examples.[1]

Exported locomotives[edit]

Sixteen English Electric 0-6-0DE 350 hp locomotives, based on the Class 11/Class 08 design but modified for 1,600 mm (5 ft 3 in) gauge, were built new and exported 1951–53 to Australia, entering service on the Victorian Railways as the F class.

Five Class 08s were exported to Liberia, numbers 3047, 3092, 3094, 3098 and 3100.[7] All five locos remain in Liberia and have been considerably robbed of parts in the intervening years.[8]

In 2007, 08 738 and 08 939 were equipped for multiple operation at Toton TMD and repainted in Euro Cargo Rail livery before being sent to France in April 2009.[9]

Operations[edit]

08 509 in Rail Blue livery at Chesterfield Goods Yard

As the standard general-purpose diesel shunter on BR, almost any duty requiring shunting would involve a Class 08; thus the many locations where two portions of a train were merged, or where additional stock was added to a train, were hauled (briefly) by a Class 08, thus the class was a familiar sight at many major stations and terminals.

Technical description[edit]

The Class 08 design was based on the LMS 12033 series (later TOPS Class 11) design.

The engine is an English Electric (EE) 6 cylinder, 4-stroke, 6KT. Traction motors are two EE 506 motors with double reduction gear drive. The main generator is an EE 801.

Design variations[edit]

There were variations on the basic design, which were given the following TOPS design codes:

TOPS design code Electrical system Max speed Weight Brakes Route availability Notes
08-0AV 90 V 20 mph (32 km/h) 49.8 long tons (50.6 t; 55.8 short tons) vacuum 5
08-0BX 110 V 50.4 long tons (51.2 t; 56.4 short tons) dual
08-0CA 90 V 49.6 long tons (50.4 t; 55.6 short tons) air
08-0DV 15 mph (24 km/h) 49.8 long tons (50.6 t; 55.8 short tons) vacuum
08-0BX 50.4 long tons (51.2 t; 56.4 short tons) dual
08-0FA 49.6 long tons (50.4 t; 55.6 short tons) air
08-0KX 110 V 50.4 long tons (51.2 t; 56.4 short tons) dual
08-0LX Scharfenberg coupler adapter fitted
08-0MA 49.8 long tons (50.6 t; 55.8 short tons) air
08-0NA 90 V fitted with Buckeye couplings
08-0PA 51.0 long tons (51.8 t; 57.1 short tons) 6
08-0QA
08-0RA 110 V
08-0SA 49.0 long tons (49.8 t; 54.9 short tons)

Class 08/9[edit]

08 266 (left) alongside cut-down 08 993 (right) at the Keighley & Worth Valley Railway in 2017, showing the lower height of the 08/9 subclass.

Class 08/9 locomotives were modified from the standard class by being given headlights and cut-down bodywork in which the overall height was reduced to 11’ 10" (3.61 m), for use on the Burry Port and Gwendraeth Valley Railway up to Cwm Mawr. In 2007, three were used on infrastructure trains on the Manchester Metrolink.[6]

TOPS design code Electrical system Max speed Weight Brakes Notes
08-9AV 90 V 15 mph (24 km/h) 49.8 long tons (50.6 t; 55.8 short tons) vacuum brakes 08 991 converted from 08 203
08 992 converted from 08 259
08-9CX 50.4 long tons (51.2 t; 56.4 short tons) dual brakes 08 993 converted from 08 592
08-9DA 49.6 long tons (50.4 t; 55.6 short tons) air brakes 08 994 converted from 08 462
08 995 converted from 08 687

BR Class 13[edit]

Six Class 08 units were adapted for a specialist role at Tinsley Marshalling Yard, where there was a requirement for more powerful shunters. These locomotives were permanently coupled together in pairs as a 'master and slave' (the slave unit with its cab removed) and reclassified as Class 13. All were withdrawn by 1985.[10][11]

Fleet[edit]

A full list of Class 08s operating on the National Rail network[12]
Numbers Owners Location Comments
08220 English Electric Preservation Nottingham Transport Heritage Centre, Ruddington
08308, 08523, 08573, 08613, 08885, 08936 RMS Locotec Weardale Railway, Wolsingham, County Durham
  • 08308 carries the number "23". In 2023 it became a battery powered prototype for Positive Traction of Chesterfield.[13]
  • 08613 carries the symbol "H064"
  • 08885 carries the symbol "H042" and the number "18"
08375 Port of Boston, Lincolnshire
08423, 08788, 08847, 08874 PD Ports, Grangetown, Middlesbrough
  • 08423 carries the name LOCO 2 and the number "14"
  • 08847 carries the name LOCO 1
08588, 08700 Ilford Depot, London
  • 08588 carries the symbol "H047"
08622, 08809 Ketton Cement Works, Rutland
  • 08622 carries the symbol "H028" and the number "19"
  • 08809 carries the number "24"
08648 Inverness Depot, Highlands
08754 Wolverton Works, Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire
  • Carries the symbol "H054"
08756, 08871 Derby RTC, Derbyshire
  • 08871 carries the symbol "H074"
08762 Attero Recycling, Rossington, Doncaster, South Yorkshire
  • Carries the symbol "H067"
08331 Class 20189 Midland Railway, Butterley
08389, 08877, 08924 Harry Needle Railroad Company Tremorfa Steelworks, Cardiff
  • 08924 carries the name CELSA 2
08417, 08428, 08742, 08765, 08782, 08786, 08798, 08799, 08824, 08943 Barrow Hill Roundhouse, Chesterfield, Derbyshire
  • 08824 carries the name IEMD 01
08500, 08578, 08602, 08802, 08818, 08892, 08904 Worksop Depot, Nottinghamshire
  • 08602 carries the number "004"
  • 08818 carries the name Molly and the number "4"
08502, 08676, 08685, 08804 East Kent Light Railway, Shepherdswell
08527, 08630, 08711, 08918, 08994 Nemesis Rail, Burton-on-Trent, Staffordshire
  • 08630 carries the name CELSA 3
08623, 08682, 08714, 08879, 08905 Hope Cement Works, Derbyshire
  • 08682 carries the name Lionheart
08653, 08701, 08706 Battlefield Line Railway, Leicestershire
08834 Allerton Depot, Liverpool
08865 Central Rivers Depot, Barton-under-Needwood, Staffordshire
  • Carries the name GILLY
08868 Arriva Train Care, Crewe, Cheshire
08872 European Metal Recycling, Attercliffe, South Yorkshire
08401, 08571 Ed Murray & Sons Hunslet Engine Company, Barton-under-Needwood, Staffordshire
08445 Daventry International Railfreight Terminal, Northamptonshire
08472, 08596 Craigentinny Depot, Edinburgh
08615, 08823 Shotton Works, Deesside
  • 08615 carries the name UNCLE DAI
  • 08823 carries the name KEVLA
08643 Merehead Rail Terminal, Somerset
08669, 08724, 08853 Doncaster Works, South Yorkshire
  • Carries the name Bob Machin
08405 Railway Support Services Neville Hill Depot, Leeds
08411, 08460, 08536, 08568, 08593, 08632, 08652, 08663, 08709, 08730, 08752, 08921, 08927 Rye Farm, Wishaw, Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands
  • 08460 carries the name SPIRIT OF THE OAK
  • 08568 carries the name St. Rollox
  • 08927 carries the number "D4157"
08441, 08484 Crown Point Depot, Norwich
  • 08484 carries the name CAPTAIN NATHANIEL DARELL
08480, 08511 Felixstowe Terminal, Suffolk
08507 Cholsey & Wallingford Railway, Oxfordshire
08516 Arriva Train Care, Bristol Barton Hill
08580 Garston Car Terminal, Liverpool
08670 Bescot Yard, West Midlands
08683 Eastleigh East Yard, Hampshire
08703 Willesden Euroterminal Stone Terminal, Greater London * Carries the name Jermaine
08738 Chasewater Railway, Staffordshire
08846 Tyseley Depot, Birmingham
  • Carries the number "003"
08899 Whitemoor Yard, March, Cambridgeshire
  • Carries the name Midland Counties Railway/175 1839-2014
08939 Springs Branch Depot, Wigan, Greater Manchester
08410, 08598, 08600, 08774, 08912 AV Dawson Ayrton Rail Terminal, Middlesbrough
  • 08774 carries the name ARTHUR VERNON DAWSON
08418, 08485, 08678 West Coast Railways Carnforth Depot, Lancashire
  • 08678 carries the number "555"
08442, 08735, 08810 Arriva UK Trains Arriva Train Care, Eastleigh, Hampshire
  • 08442 carries the number "0042"
  • 08735 carries the name Geoff Hobbs 42
  • 08810 carries the name RICHARD J. WENHAM/EASTLEIGH DEPOT/DECEMBER 1989 - JULY 1999
08447 Russell Logistics Assentra Rail, Hamilton, Glasgow
08451 Alstom Arlington Fleet Services, Eastleigh, Hampshire
08454, 08721 Widnes Technology Centre, Cheshire
08611, 08696 Wembley Depot, Greater London
08617 Oxley Depot, Wolverhampton
  • Carries the name Steve Purser
08764, 08887, 08954 Polmadie Depot, Glasgow
08790 Longsight Depot, Greater Manchester
  • Carries the name LONGSIGHT TMD
08483, 08780 Locomotive Services Limited Crewe Diesel Depot, Cheshire
  • 08483 carries the name Bungle
  • 08780 carries the name Zippy and the number "D3948"
08631 Weardale Railway, Wolsingham, County Durham
08737 Southall Depot, Greater London
  • Carries the number "D3905"
08499 Transport for Wales Canton Depot, Cardiff
  • Carries the name REDLIGHT
08525, 08690, 08908, 08950 East Midlands Railway Neville Hill Depot, Leeds
  • 08525 carries the name DUNCAN BEDFORD
  • 08690 carries the name DAVID THIRKILL
  • 08950 carries the name DAVID LIGHTFOOT
08530 Freightliner Hunslet Engine Company, Barton-under-Needwood, Staffordshire
08531 Felixstowe Terminal, Suffolk
08575, 08785 Nemesis Rail, Burton-on-Trent, Staffordshire
08585 Southampton Maritime, Hampshire
  • Carries the name Vicky
08624 Trafford Park Terminal, Greater Manchester
  • Carries the name Rambo PAUL RAMSEY
08691, 08891 Ipswich Yard, Suffolk
  • 08691 carries the name Terri
08567 Arlington Fleet Services Arlington Fleet Services, Eastleigh, Hampshire
08605, 08704 Riviera Trains Knottingley Depot, West Yorkshire
  • 08605 carries the name WIGAN 2
08616 West Midlands Trains Tyseley Depot, Birmingham
  • Carries the names TYSELEY 100/Bam Bam and the number "3783"
08805 Soho Depot, Birmingham
  • Carries the name Hunslet[14]
08629 Europhoenix Eastleigh East Yard, Hampshire
08641, 08644, 08836 Great Western Railway Laira Depot, Plymouth
  • 08641 carries the name Pride of Laira
  • 08644 carries the name Laira Diesel Depot/50 years 1962-2012
08645 Long Rock Depot, Penzance, Cornwall
  • Carries the name St. Piran
08822 St Philips Marsh Depot, Bristol
  • Carries the name Dave Mills
08649 Meteor Power Wolverton Works, Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire
  • Carries the name Bradwell
08650, 08933 Mendip Rail Whatley Quarry, Somerset
08787, 08947 Hunslet Engine Company, Barton-under-Needwood, Staffordshire
  • 08787 carries the number "08296"
08743, 08903 SembCorp Utilities Wilton, Middlesbrough
  • 08743 carries the name Bryan Turner
  • 08903 carries the name John W Antill
08783, 08913 European Metal Recycling Kingsbury Recycling Plant, Warwickshire
08850 North Yorkshire Moors Railway
08925 GB Railfreight HNRC, Worksop Depot, Nottinghamshire
08934 Whitemoor Yard, March, Cambridgeshire
  • Carries the number "D4164"
08937 Bardon Aggregates Meldon Quarry, Devon
  • Carries the number "D4167"
08948 Eurostar Temple Mills Depot, Greater London
08956 LORAM Barrow Hill Roundhouse, Chesterfield, Derbyshire
08757, 08922 Unknown Rye Farm, Wishaw, Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands
  • 08757 carries the name EAGLE C.U.R.C.
08784 Nottingham Transport Heritage Centre, Ruddington
08795 Landore Depot, Swansea
08825 Bescot Yard, West Midlands
08870 Great Yarmouth, Norfolk

Preservation[edit]

08 915 at the North Tyneside Steam Railway

Continuing in its designed-for role as a shunter, the Class 08 has been found useful by numerous heritage railways in the UK. With over 70 examples preserved,[1] they are the second most numerous class of preserved locomotive in the UK.

Models[edit]

Several manufacturers have produced models of Class 08 shunters. In OO scale, Wrenn, Tri-ang, Hornby Railways and Bachmann Branchline all produced models. Lima also produced a model in several different liveries, but it was of the near-identical Class 09.

Since 2000, both Bachmann Branchline and Hornby have released much more detailed models, in a variety of liveries and with a variety of appropriate detail variations.

In British N Gauge, Graham Farish produced a relatively crude all-metal version, made in England, lacking outside frames and with a too-wide bonnet that was discontinued in 2007. A more detailed version with outside frames and a scale-width diecast bonnet was unveiled 2008 under the brand Graham Farish by Bachmann following the sale of the company.[15]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ Since the most numerous British main-line (non-shunting) class, the Class 47, numbers 512 examples.[16]
  1. ^ a b c Fleet status (subsection Class 01-14) wnxx.net Archived 20 October 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ BR Standard 0-6-0 Diesel-Electric Shunting Locomotive Railway Gazette 19 June 1953 pages 704/705
  3. ^ New Standard Shunter Diesel Railway Traction July 1953 pages 149-151
  4. ^ British Rail in the 1980s and 1990s: Diesel Locomotives and DMUs, page 13, Kenny Barclay, Amberley Publishing Limited, 2017
  5. ^ Marsden, Colin J. (1981). The Diesel Shunter – A Pictorial Record. Oxford: Oxford Publishing. ISBN 978-0-86093-108-9.
  6. ^ a b British Railways Class 08 Diesel Electric 0-6-0 Shunter No. D3759 / 08 993 Archived 28 September 2019 at the Wayback Machine Keighley & Worth Valley Railway
  7. ^ A brief look at the diesel locomotives built by Derby Locomotive Works from 1932–1967 derbysulzers.com
  8. ^ [1] June 2010 Update
  9. ^ Class 08s in France Today's Railways Europe issue 162 June 2009 page 8
  10. ^ Marsden 1981, pp. 109–109.
  11. ^ Marsden, Colin J. (2018). "Locomotive Directory". Modern Locomotives Illustrated. No. 230. p. 43.
  12. ^ Pritchard, Robert (2022). Locomotives: The complete guide to all Locomotives which operate on the national railway and Eurotunnel networks (36th ed.). Sheffield: Platform 5 Publishing. ISBN 9781909431829.
  13. ^ "British pioneers spark new battery-powered life into centurion shunter". RailTech.com. 20 October 2023. Retrieved 3 November 2023.
  14. ^ "Overhaul for West Midlands '08'". Rail Express. No. 331. December 2023. p. 21.
  15. ^ "Farish Class 08 diesel shunter emerges at Redhill". bachmann.co.uk. 17 May 2008. Archived from the original on 1 October 2011.
  16. ^ Railway Centre York: A Pictorial and Historic Survey, David Mather, Pen and Sword Transport, 2022

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]