British Rail Class 13

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British Rail Class 13
Hump Shunter.jpg
13003 at Tinsley TMD
Type and origin
Power type Diesel-electric
Builder British Railways Darlington Works (builder and rebuilder)
Build date 1965 (rebuilt)
Total produced 3
Configuration 0-6-0+0-6-0
AAR wheel arr. C-C
UIC classification C+C
Gauge 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
Wheel diameter 4 ft 6 in (1.372 m)
Wheelbase 42 ft 1 12 in (12.84 m)
Length 60 ft 1 in (18.31 m)
Width 8 ft 6 in (2.59 m)
Height 12 ft 8 12 in (3.87 m)
Locomotive weight 120 long tons (122 t; 134 short tons)
Fuel capacity 1,336 imp gal (6,070 l; 1,604 US gal)
Prime mover English Electric 6KT, 2 off
Generator DC
Traction motors EE, four off
Transmission Diesel electric, double reduction gearing
Multiple working Not fitted (except control of slave by master)
Performance figures
Maximum speed 20 mph (32 km/h)
Power output Engine: 350 hp (261 kW) × 2
Tractive effort Maximum: 70,000 lbf (311.4 kN)
Train heating None
37 long tons-force (370 kN)
Train brakes Vacuum
Operator(s) British Railways
Number(s) D4500–D4502, later 13001–13003
Axle load class RA 8
Retired 1983–1986
Disposition All scrapped

The British Rail (BR) Class 13 were created in 1965 because of the need to provide more powerful shunters for the Tinsley Marshalling Yard. This was achieved by permanently coupling together two Class 08 shunters as a 'master and slave' (alternatively 'cow and calf') units, the latter with its cab removed. Both units were ballasted to improve traction.

Initially the units were coupled cab-to-cab but it was found more practical to couple master nose to slave cab.

A larger, rigid locomotive could not be used because of the risk of grounding on the marshalling yard hump.


Three pairs were formed as follows:

  • Master unit D4190 and Slave unit D4189 to form D4501, later 13001
  • Master unit D4187 and Slave unit D3697 to form D4502, later 13002
  • Master unit D4188 and Slave unit D3698 to form D4500, later 13003


With the end of hump shunting at Tinsley the class became obsolete. The unique qualities of the locomotives were not required elsewhere and so withdrawal was inevitable; 13002 was withdrawn in 1983, with the remaining two locomotives going with the closure of Tinsley hump in 1985.

None of this unusual class survives.

  • 13001 was scrapped at BREL Swindon Works in May 1985
  • 13002 was scrapped at BREL Swindon Works in October 1983
  • 13003 was scrapped at BREL Doncaster Works in September 1986


  • Strickland, David C. (1983). Locomotive Directory—every single one there has ever been. Camberley, Surrey: Diesel and Electric Group. pp. 53–55. ISBN 0-906375-10-X. 

Further reading[edit]

  • McManus, Michael. Ultimate Allocations, British Railways Locomotives 1948 - 1968. Wirral. Michael McManus. 

External links[edit]