Class 07 Shunter


photograph by Ray Soper

D2993, which subsequently became Nº07009 under the TOPS renumbering scheme, photographed at Eastleigh Shed. In the background is class 47 Nº D1822.

D2993, which subsequently became Nº07009 under the TOPS renumbering scheme, photographed at Eastleigh Shed. In the background is class 47 Nº D1822.

These locomotives were the replacement Southampton Dock shunters after the demise of the USA Tanks. Like the original B4s and then USA Tanks, they were all stationed at Southampton Dock Shed.

Class 08 and 09 locomotives were unable to operate throughout Southampton Docks, because of various tight curves. Fourteen 0-6-0 disel-electric shunting locomotives were purchased by British Railways from Ruston Paxman in 1962, specially for use in the docks. They had a wheelbase of only 8 ft 7½ in, compared with 11 ft 6 in for an 08, but at 26 ft 9½ in were six inches longer overall. The locomotives were a modified version of a standard Ruston design.

The locomotives were powered by a Paxman 6RPHL Mk III six-cylinder diesel engine, rated at 275 hp at 1,360 rpm. This was coupled to an AEI RTB 6652 generator which fed the single AEI RTA6652 traction motor.

Unusually, for the time, the locomotives were delivered to Southampton by road where the first took up its duties in June 1962. The locomotives were numbered D2985 to D2998, then were allocated numbers 07001 to 07014 under TOPS renumbering but not all locomotives remained in service long enough to be renumbered. Initially, the locomotives were finished in dark green livery and carried British Railways badges of the type use on coaching stock. All were later painted blue.

No longer in service on the proper railway, D2994 is now at Bitton on the Avon Valley Railway. Photographed on 26th September 2010.

photograph by Gregory Beecroft

D2994 A second view of D2994, which had previously been Nº07010 under the TOPS numbering scheme, at Bitton.

photograph by Gregory Beecroft

As dock traffic declined, the locomotives also worked in the Eastleigh area, starting there in June 1964. All were allocated there following the closure of Southampton Docks depot in January 1966.

Withdrawals started in May 1973, when the locomotives were only eleven years old and as they were a modern design, and relatively new, many were sold for industrial use and 07009 was exported to Italy. Only one was acquired for preservation directly from British Rail. This is D2994, which originally went to the Winchester & Alton Railway (as it then was), but is now on the Avon Valley Railway at Bitton, near Bristol. D2991 had a strange escape from the scrapman as following withdrawal it was used as a stationary generator at Eastleigh Works, where it has since been returned to use as a working locomotive, Nº07007. Another five also survive.

One of the survivors photographed at Ludgershall MoD depot during 2007. This is now numbered as MoD Nº433. This is a view 'under the covers' of the engine bay.

photograph by R M Brume

433 A second view of MoD Nº433 at Ludgershall.

photograph by R M Brume

Sister engine MoD Nº428 is also at Ludgershall, but is being stripped for spares to keep Nº433 in traffic. This is another view, from the other side, of the engine compartment.

photograph by R M Brume

4283 A peek inside the cab of MoD Nº428.

photograph by R M Brume

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This page was last updated 29 October 2010

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