Here today, Gronk tomorrow – 70 years of English Electric
To celebrate 70 years of the British Railways’ English Electric diesel electric shunters (later designated Class 08) we present a selection of images of these heroic machines.
HARD to believe, but it has taken 70 years for the UK to consider introducing a new type of small scale shunting locomotive. Over seven decades the ubiquitous 0-6-0 design, now known to us as Class 08, has held sway across the UK wherever dedicated shunting movements were required.
Just under 1000 machines were built in British Railway facilities at Crewe, Darlington, Derby, Doncaster and Horwich, with construction lasting for a decade, making the class the largest-ever in the UK. As built, the 350hp locos used English Electric EE506 traction motors and a EE6KT prime mover. While many of these hardy workhorses remain on the main UK rail network, in private sidings or as hugely useful motive power on preserved railways, they are beginning to show their age and component replacement is becoming more challenging. It wouldn’t surprise us, though, if these compact wonders are around for some time yet
Alex Bestwick is a Digital Content Editor with a degree in Publishing and Creative Writing from York St John. When he’s not at work, he is usually reading, watching horror movies, or exploring the countryside. [email protected]