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British Railways Class 08

The BR Class 08 is an 0-6-0 diesel-electric shunting locomotive which became the standard for this type of locomotive across the UK rail system by the 1970s, once the majority of other classes (Class 01 - 06, and pre-TOPS types] had been withdrawn.
The Class 08 design was based on the LMS 12033 series (later TOPS Class 11) design, an example of which 12131 can be seen on the North Norfolk Railway..

The first 08, number 13000, was built in 1952. Production continued until 1962; 996 locomotives were produced, making it the most numerous of all British locomotive classes. The 08s were built at Crewe, Darlington, Derby, Doncaster and Horwich locomotive works.

The 08 is powered by an English Electric 6 cylinder, 4-stroke, 6KT. Traction motors are 2 EE 506 motors with double reduction gear drive. The main generator is an EE 801. An 08 has a maximum speed of 15-20 mph, it weighs 50 tonnes and draws a tractive effort of 35,000 lbs.

Since the 1950/60s the nature of rail traffic in the Uk changed considerably with most freight trains becoming fixed rakes of wagons, and passenger trains mostly multiple units. Neither require the attention of a shunting locomotive.

Withdrawals began in 1967 and five never made renumbering into the TOPS scheme in 1973. By 2000 fewer than 300 survived in mainline usage, although some had been exported or sold to industrial or heritage railways. 60 members of the class are preserved including 13000, D3000. These include D3935 and D3940 on the North Norfolk Railway.

Models

Several manufacturers have produced models of the Class 08 shunter. Tri-ang, Hornby Railways and Bachmann Branchline in OO and Lima 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.
Graham Farish/Bachmann have also produced 2 versions in N gauge: a relatively crude version lacking outside frames, followed by a more detailed version with outside frames [2008].

In fiction

Class 08 was the basis for the character ‘Diesel’ in The Railway Series books written by the Rev. W. Awdry, and the subsequent Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends television series. The Class 08 also provided the basis for several other characters in the series, most notably 'Arry & Bert, Splatter & Dodge (Splodge), Paxton and Sidney.

D3935

D3935 was quickly into action during the Railway's highly successful annual Beer Festival [July 13-15] which saw restricted use of platform 2 by service trains. The loco brought trains into platform 1 once the train loco was released outside the station by Sheringham West signalbox.

Bringing D3935 back to life has been a long term project of over 20 years undertaken by previous owner, Phil Ward, who has lovingly returned the loco to "as new" condition. Phil knew the 08 well from his time at Colchester depot.

The shunter was built at Horwich in 1960-61 and first allocated North of the border to Kittybrewster [61A] in April 1961. It moved to Aberdeen (Ferryhill) [61B] in 1967 and to Thornaby in 1971, before heading to South East to Colchester in June 1972, breaking its journey briefly at Stratford.

D3935 remained a Colchester loco for the remainder of its BR service, often to be out-based at Ipswich working among other duties on the Griffon Wharf branch.

It became 08767 in February 1974 as part of BR's TOPS renumbering scheme.

It was withdrawn from service in January 1994 after almost 33 years in BR service and stored at Ipswich wagon works. It was then acquired by the North Norfolk Railway, where it worked during the 1990s before experiencing major mechanical problems. Phil Ward then bought the loco and began the project which has resulted today in such an impressive piece of work.

Neil Sharpe, Society Chairman, who drove the loco from the NNR's Weybourne depot to Sheringham on Thursday to enter service, informed members of the purchase at the Society's AGM held in Sheringham two days later, July 14. "D3935 is in superb condition following its long restoration" he said "so the Society is acquiring an almost new locomotive which will be a useful working asset to the NNR. The Trustees were keen to add a locomotive with such strong links to East Anglia to our stable as it fits the objects of the Society so well."

He told members that the purchase was made possible because of the successful year which the Society had had financially, not only through member support and income from our locomotives, but the result of a large legacy."

Trustees are also delighted that the money invested in purchasing D3935 is to be used to finance a further restoration project. "This is recycling at its best!"

Article contribution by Peter Mayne

Photos Courtesy of Steve Allen

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The Midland and Great Northern Joint Railway Society is the supporting charity of (and major shareholder in) the North Norfolk Railway, which operates a 5¼ mile heritage railway from Sheringham to Holt.

The Society actively works to preserve, display and operate a wide range of historical artefacts which include four steam locomotives and many unique carriages and wagons.

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