Class 03 Diesel at Carnforth

British Rail Class 03 Diesel Locomotive

Discover more about this hard-working diesel-mechanical shunter that saw over a decade of active service in yards in the 1950s and 60s.

Diesel Mechanical Shunter

The British Rail Class 03 Diesel Locomotive was a diesel-mechanical shunter class engine used for empty coaching stock and engine movements around depots.


Built in a 0-6-0 configuration by the British Railways engineering works in Swindon and Doncaster between 1957 and 1962, its short wheelbase and relatively low weight enabled it to work where other engines, like Class 08 shunters, were more restricted.


Over the 1960s, as the network evolved and steam was superseded by electric and diesel locomotion, the need for stock movements reduced at depots and by 1968 the Class 03 locomotives began to be withdrawn from service.


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Posted on Wednesday 29th June 2011 | 12:24 PM

you gotta love em

dave chamberlain


Posted on Saturday 7th January 2012 | 12:10 PM

i do gotta love em why did they go out of service?

John Dallas

RE: John Dallas

Posted on Wednesday 25th January 2012 | 5:39 PM

These were introduced in the 1950s on a massive scale (about 400 were built) and designed to be used in stations for shunting and industrial locations served by rail for the same reason. Then of course the modernisation plan was implemented and the main reason for these engines was lost with the demise of parcels traffic to stations. As industrial sites either closed or no longer used their rail connection, the demand for these shunters was further reduced. With the demise of most locomotive hauled trains by the early 1990s, most class 03 engines were scrapped although some were exported to Europe while around 40 were preserved and in use today on heritage lines.

Naddy Onions

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