THE CLASS 08:


The British Rail Class 08 was a diesel-electric shunting locomotive built for general purpose shunting. They were one of British Rail's most numerous Class's with a total of 996 built for use in the UK. The class were nicknamed 'Gronks' due to their small but powerful design and being a general purpose workhorse for BR. Class 08's could be viewed pottering about their general business at most mainline stations which had a purposeful requirement for the class to be there. The class were built in 1953 and at the time were seen as a cost effective way of marshalling trains. Since their introduction the way rail freight is moved around the UK has changed considerably with most trains now formed in bulk, and fixed formations. Postal services are now all in the hands of multiple units. The only locations which retain Class 08 operation are dedicated engineering yards which have a requirement to shunt wagon rakes. It seems that locomotive owners seem to favour heavy Type 5 locomotives to do the shunting at some yards, preventing the need for a Class 08 being required. As of 2011, around 100 locomotives remain working on industrial sidings and on the main British network. On heritage railways, they have become common, appearing on many of the preserved standard-gauge lines in Britain, with over 60 of the class preserved. The Class 08 has a maximum speed of 15mph and 350hp with huge tractive effort which made them a very powerful locomotive and able to cope with any duties. Class 08's were once numerous at Taunton, because of the large collections of sidings and yards based in the town. They were an ideal local shunting locomotive used to shunt wagons, coaches and were often utilised on local trip workings in the area. Taunton last had a Class 08 based at the station in the mid 90's. Since then there has been no requirement for a shunting locomotive to be based in the town.

BE Blue liveried Class 08 No.D3517 (08402) is pictured at Taunton on the 23rd June 1976.

(Photo: Paul Clarke)

BR Blue Class 08 No.3041 (08029) is pictured stabled on Taunton Shed on the 20th April 1974.

(Photo: Paul Clarke)

BR Blue liveried Class 08 No.3816 (08649) is pictured stabled with a Class 31 on Taunton Shed on the 20th April 1974.

(Photo: Paul Clarke)

Grubby BR Blue Class 08 No.08668 is pictured stabled on Taunton Shed on the 27th July 1974.

(Photo: Paul Clarke)

BR Blue Class 08 No.08402 is pictured stabled on Taunton Shed on the 28th August 1974.

(Photo: Paul Clarke)

BR Blue Class 08 No.08089 is pictured shunting grampus wagons in Fairwater Yard on the 28th October 1974.

(Photo: Paul Clarke)

BR Blue Class 08 No.08322 is pictured stabled in the former Chard Bay Platform on the 29th April 1978 coupled with a syphon van.

(Photo: Paul Clarke)

BR Blue Class 08 No.08668 is pictured in Platform 1 at Taunton on the 21st June 1979 together with several mail vans.

(Photo: Paul Clarke)

Two BR Blue Class 08's are pictured stabled on Taunton Shed. No.08800 and No.08668 are seen on the 1st September 1979.

(Photo: Paul Clarke)

BR Blue Class 08 No.08479 is pictured stabled on Taunton Shed on the 3ed January 1981.

(Photo: Paul Clarke)

BR liveried Class 08 No.08584 is pictured in the depths of the Taunton Concrete Works on the 20th April 1982 shunting wagons for loading at the plant.

(Photo: Russell Elliot)

BR Blue Class 08 No.08840 is seen shunting wagons in Taunton East Yard during October 1984.

(Photo: Pip Davey)

BR Blue Class 08 No.08839 is pictured at Taunton during the British Rail track rationalisation on the 27th April 1986.

(Photo: Steve Awford)

This rare image taken on an unknown date, features two Class 31 locomotives and No.31127 and No.31273 along with Taunton based Class 08 No.08801 located at Cogload Junction on engineering trains. Class 08's rarely ventured out onto the mainline so to be up to 4 miles away from Taunton Station was quiet rare.

(Photo: Ian Baikie)

Two BR Blue Class 08's are pictured stabled in Platform 1 on an unknown date. No.0857 and No.08954

(Photo: Andrew Rowland)

BR Blue Class 08 No.08849 is pictured with a Royal Mail TPO van No.80450 on the 19th June 1988 at Taunton.

(Photo: Jeff Treece)

Two BR Blue Class 08's No.08839 and No.08945 are pictured at Taunton stabled in Platform 1 on the 20th May 1989.

(Photo: John Mills)

Single Class 08 No.08584 is pictured stabled in Platform 1 at Taunton in 1990.

(Photo: Dave Jones)

BER Blue Class 08 No.08576 arrives into Taunton with a mixed rake of wagons from Fairwater Yard on an unknown date.

(Photo: Taunton Trains Collection)

BR Blue Class 08 No.08801 is pictured stabled in Platform 1 on an unknown date.

(Photo: Jeff Treece)

BR Grey Class 08 No.08953 is pictured stabled in Platform 1 at Taunton on the 28th December 1993.

(Photo: Tony Christie)

A second image of No.08953 shows tanks which had been loaded onto specialised wagons at Taunton Cement works before being transferred to Fairwater Yard for onward movement.

(Photo: Neil Higson)

BR Blue Class 08 No.08481 is pictured stabled in Platform 1 at Taunton on the 2nd August 1994.

(Photo: Mike Rowland)

BR Blue Class 08 No.08955 is pictured stabled in Platform 1 at Taunton on an unknown date.

(Photo: Jeff Treece)

Gronks on the Road!  

EWS Grey liveried Class 08 No.08782 is pictured at Taunton Deane Services (Northbound).It's not often we manage to capture road movements of locomotives through This Class 08 had been switched at Fowey with 08907. The last few days of May saw 4 road movements of locos through Taunton on the M5, 08907 being taken to St Blazey, 08782 being returned north, 08644 being taken to Laira Depot and GWR Hall No.4936 'Kinlett Hall' being taken to the Paignton and Dartmouth Steam Railway

(Photo: Runtheredline)

On the 7th January 2004 EWS liveried Class 09 No.09016 was captured in the Taunton Market Car Park before continuing it's journey to Ferrybridge for attention, the loco had previously been based at Tavistock Junction Yard.

(Photo: Brian Garrett)