BR Class 08 Shunters No. 08556 & 08850

The basic design of the Class 08 diesel shunter goes back to the 1930s when the LMS were experimenting with the idea, and was more specifically based on the LMS’ 1945 batch of diesel shunters that later became the Class 11s. Built over 10 years between 1952 and 1962, an astonishing 996 examples were turned out by the BR works in Crewe, Darlington, Derby, Doncaster and Horwich and could be seen at every station of any size.

As the changing nature of trains with multiple-units, fixed goods and carriage sets and the decline of wagonload freight over trainload freight, the demand for shunters declined and the first units were withdrawn as early as 1967, but 100 still remain in regular use on the network today, mostly in industrial sidings and depots. A further 60 exist in preservation – including the first-built example - most of them like our examples still earning their keep shunting wagons, coaches and locos, hauling engineering trains and much more.

The NYMR has two Class 08s:

08556 lives at Newbridge Permanent Way depot, where it hauls engineering trains for day-to-day maintenance and repairs as well as working hard over the winter period during scheduled major maintenance.  Built at Darlington in 1959, she spent her working life in London, being allocated to Kings Cross, Finsbury Park and Selhurst depots during a career spanning over 30 years.

08850 lives at the Carriage & Wagon depot at Pickering, shunting coaches into and out of the platforms and sidings, and moving stock around within the depot. She was mostly based in the Western and Southern regions, with a varied career including stints in Bristol, Eastleigh and Cardiff over 31 ½ years.