The British Railways Class 08 0-6-0 diesel electric shunter, developed from the similar LMS design, eventually became British Railways’ largest, and probably most recognised, fleet of locomotives. The last of the LMS designs was completed in June 1952 and October that year the first two locomotives, 13000 and 13001, were sent for trials at Toton, using the same English Electric EE6K 350hp power unit as the LMS designs. 996 units were built between 1952 and 1962 at BR’s workshops in Crewe, Darlington, Derby, Doncaster and Horwich and over 300 still remain in traffic.
Numbering of the class in the 13xxx series continued until June 1957, with 13357, when the ‘1’ was dropped and replaced with the identifier ‘D’. Those 13xxx series locomotives were eventually renumbered by mid-1962, only to be renumbered again from September 1973 under the TOPS scheme as 08xxx. Up to 1957, all locomotives had been delivered in plain black livery, with red buffer beams, after this date the delivery livery was changed to plain green with red buffer beams. Yellow and black chevrons were added on the ends later, with the BR blue livery starting in late 1966.
Locomotive 08644 was delivered from Horwich Works in February 1959 to Newport Pill and is currently owned by First Great Western, being Pilot at Plymouth Laira T&RSMD and was named “Laira Diesel Depot: 50 years 1962-2012” in November 2014
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