Class 03 (British Railways 204hp Diesel-Mechanical)

After purchasing a number of small and smallish fleets of privately built diesel mechanical shunters British Railways finally decided to build a "standard" type, the resulting Class 03 ended up being very similar to the Drewry built Class 04 [1]. The Class 03s served with British Rail for many years, outlasting all other shunters except for the standard diesel-electrics (Class 08/09). Although much of their work disappeared in the 1970s and 1980s as the nature of the freight sector changed they continued to have a role where their small size meant larger locomotives were unsuitable and the last was not withdrawn until 2008 [2].

Information
Number built: 230
Built: 1957-61
Builder: BR Swindon and Doncaster
Engine: Gardner 8L3 diesel
Power: 204 hp (152 kW)
Wheel arrangement: 0-6-0

A good number have seen further use after British Rail with industrial users and no fewer than fifty-five have been preserved. Although primarily for shunting (and trip work) Class 03s did occasionally haul passenger trains though these tended to be special workings such as taking Channel Island boat trains up to Weymouth harbour where the line ran through the streets [3] and unadvertised special services for workers [4].
03 073 at Crewe Heritage Centre

D2059 at Havenstreet, Isle of Wight Steam Railway

03 180 at Rowsley South, Heritage Shunters Trust

D2090 at NRM Shildon

03 099 at Rowsley South, Heritage Shunters Trust


[1] Brian Haresnape, Diesel Shunters (Ian Allan, 1984) p. 56
[2] Colin J. Marsden (ed.), "BR Class 03 0-6-0 DMs", Modern Locomotives Illustrated No 217 February-March 2016 (SR, GW, LNER, LMS & Trial Shunters & Class 03s), p. 67
[3] Haresnape, Shunters p. 20
[4] Michael Welch, Diesels on the Western (Capital Transport, 2013) p. 18