Class 08 [Updated]

The Class 08 was a development of earlier diesel shunters built for the "Big 4" railway companies and the early nationalised British Railways especially the LMS Class 11 [1]. It became the standard diesel heavy shunter and over 1,000 of it and the related Classes 09 and 10 were built over a 10 period [2].

Number built: 996
Built: 1952-62
Builder: British Railways Derby, Crewe, Darlington, Doncaster, Horwich
Engine: English Electric 6KT 
Power: 350 hp (261 kW)
Wheel arrangement: 0-6-0

Despite the need for dedicated shunters having reduced considerably over the years there are still plenty of Class 08s in service and they are a fairly common sight on national rails in depots and freight yards, plus over 60 have been preserved and others sold to private companies. The vast majority of the class were of the standard 08/0 sub-class with a small number having cut down cab heights for operating in South Wales known as the 08/9.

One interesting off-shoot was the Class 13 which consisted of pairs of Class 08s permanently coupled, the cab on one of the 08s removed, to form a 700hp shunter for the Tinsley Marshalling Yard, unfortunately none survived withdrawal.
D3201 at Kidderminster SVR

08 825 at Chinnor

Another view of 08 825

[1] Colin J. Marsden, Traction Recognition (Second Edition) (Ian Allan, 2009) p. 6
[2] Brian Haresnape, Diesel Shunters (Ian Allan, 1984) p. 66

Class 35 (Hymek)

After building hundreds of Type 1s and 2s British Rail saw that it needed a more powerful set of Type 3 locos to bridge the gap between the small locos (which often needed to double header) and the large Type 4 locos in it's fleet. The Class 35 was the Western Region diesel-hydraulic version of the Type 3s which began to fill out the BR fleet in the mid-1960s and was seen as the true diesel replacement for types like the famous Hall class of mixed-traffic locos [1].

Number built: 101
Built: 1961-64
Builder: Beyer Peacock (Hymek)
Engine: Maybach MD870
Power: 1, 700 hp (1, 270 kW)
Power: B-B

The Class 35s, which became known as the Hymek - a name derived from the Mekydro hydraulic transmission, were true examples of BR's second generation of diesel locomotive with much effort being taken in the exterior design as well as the interior with input from Ted Wilkes [2] who also advised on the Class 47 hence the similarity in their looks [3].

The Class 35 served throughout the Western Region and proved versatile locomotives though suffered with problems with the hydraulic transmission early on which led to the fleet requiring modifications until they could reach acceptable levels of service [4]. After this they quickly became the most popular and reliable diesel-hydraulic design along with the Westerns [5].

Unfortunately for the Class 35 Western Region was ending its experiment with diesel-hydraulics and withdrawals began in the late 1960s, by the mid-1970s all has been withdrawn from revenue service [6]. Luckily 4 have been preserved.
D7076 at Kidderminster

D7029 at Kidderminster

[1] Brian Haresnape, Western Region Diesel-Hydraulics (Ian Allan, 1982) p. 52
[2] John Jennison & Tony Sheffield, Diesel Hydraulics in the 1960s and 1970s (Ian Allan, 2014) p. 12
[3] Haresnape p. 11
[4] Colin J. Marsden (ed.), Modern Locomotives Illustrated No. 212 April-May 2015 (Class 35 'Hymek') p. 11
[5] Michael Welch, Diesels on the Western (Capital Transport, 2013) p. 68
[6] Jennison & Sheffield p. 88

Class 411 4-CEP [Updated]

The Mark 1 coach based Class 411 4-CEP (Corridor Electro Pneumatic) electric multiple units were built for an extension of the Southern Region third-rail DC electrification network into Kent [1]. Later on they were also used on routes into Hampshire and Sussex. The Class 411s were built alongside the very similar Class 410 4-BEPs which had a buffet [2].

Number built: 110 4-car sets
Built: 1956-63
Builder: BR Eastleigh
Engine: 4 EE507 traction motors (750v DC third rail)
Power: 1, 000 hp (746 kW)
Formation: Original : Driving Motor Brake Standard (DMBS)+Trailer Composite (TC)+
Trailer Standard (TS)+DMBS
Refurbished : Driving Motor Standard Open (DMBO)+
Trailer Brake Composite (TBC)+Trailer Standard Open Lavatory (TSOL)+DMSO
411/4 and /9 : DMSO+TBC+DMSO

The Class 411 fleet was given a mid-life update (and renamed the Class 411/5) in the early 1980s at BR Swindon, changes included removing asbestos and moving the guard's compartment from motor cars to one of the trailers. The trailers also received refurbished Commonwealth bogies from withdrawn loco-hauled coach stock and improved windows [3]. Public address systems and Mark 3 style seats were also installed though some passengers complained that the latter were not as comfortable as the old seats! [4] Nineteen Class 411s were converted to 3-car sets (hence 3-CEP) with the loss of the TSO trailer for use on less busy routes, these were re-designated Class 411/9 [5]. A small number were also fitted with improved high-speed bogies (Class 411/6). Some 4-BEPs were also converted into 4-CEPs by removing the buffer facilities.

The Class 411s survived into the privatisation era and served with the Connex and South West Trains franchises before finally being withdrawn in 2005 [6] after 49 years service making them the longest serving Mark 1 based EMUs. A number of sets and odd-cars have been preserved.
Preserved 1198 at Chinnor

Cab of 1198

7104 leaving Ashford in 1979, photo (c) Martin Addison

[1] Colin J. Marsden, DMU and EMU Recognition Guide (Ian Allan, 2013), p. 312
[2] R.L. Vickers, DC Electric Trains and Locomotives in the British Isles (David & Charles, 1986), p. 79
[3] Brian Haresnape & Alec Swain, Third Rail DC Electric Multiple Units (Ian Allan, 1989), p. 46
[4] John Glover, "EMU Refurbishing", BR Diary 1978-1985 (Ian Allan, 1985), p. 31
[5] Marsden, Recognition Guide, p. 313
[6] 4-car Express Units (4Cep and 4Bep) and Motor Luggage Vans (MLV), Southern Electric Group <>

Photo of 7104 licensed for reuse under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic License.