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Class 08 Gallery

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 utilized 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.

24th April 1988
Two British Rail Class 08's are pictured stabled on shed at Taunton on the 24th April 1988. No.08576 is seen neared the camera.
(Photo: Taunton Trains Collection)


27th April 1986
British Rail knew exactly how to execute engineering works. On the 27th April 1986 Driver Des Alderton shunts on 08839 while Guard Bill Longman (left) strolls up the platform to meet the train. Notice that there are even seacows located in the bay platform, and the Class 47 on the adjacent through road. Network Rail would never think of using a Class 08 for engineering works these days. But in the British Rail era it was quite common to utilise local small shunting locomotives!
(Photo: Steve Awford)


1st October 1984
This image shows Driver Fred Pavitt at the controls of 08840 in Taunton East Yard during October 1984 while carrying out various shunting duties in the yard.
(Photo: Pip Davey)


3rd January 1981
BG Blue Class 08 No.08479 is pictured stabled on Taunton Shed on the 3rd January 1981.
(Photo: Paul Clarke)


1st September 1979
BR Blue Class 08's No.08800 and No.08668 stand at Taunton Shed on the 1st September 1979
(Photo: Paul Clarke)


21st June 1979
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)


28th October 1974
BR Blue Class 08 No.08089 is pictured shunting grampus wagons in Fairwater Yard on the 28th October 1974.
(Photo: Paul Clarke)


28th August 1974
BR Blue Class 08 No.08402 is pictured on the 28th August 1974 stabled on Taunton Shed with an unknown Class 25.
(Photo: Paul Clarke)


27th July 1974
Grubby BR Blue Class 08 No.08668 is pictured standing outside Taunton Shed on the 27th July 1974 inbetween duties.
(Photo: Paul Clarke)


17th July 1974
British Rail Class 08 No.08668 is picturred stabled on Taunton Shed on the 17th July 1974.
(Photo: Paul Clarke)


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



No Date, (Possibly 1988) BR Class 08 No.08849 in Platform 1 at Taunton
(Photo: Taunton Trains Collection)



BR 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 Green Class 08 No.D3463 and WSRA owned 2-6-2 No.4561 are seen stabled at Bishops Lydeard in December 2000. The Class 08 was subsequently sold to the Mid Hants Railway and no longer resides on the line.
(Photo: Brian Garrett)



An Unidentified Class 08 stands at Taunton in the Barnstaple Bay Platform in the early 1960's. Adjacent are several steam locomotives awaiting their next duties. The canopy on the was in the process of being stripped in this image which shows the exposed Victorian steelwork frames.
(Photo: Taunton Trains Collection)


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