British Rail Class 07

British Rail Class 07
D2991 at Eastleigh Works in the 1970s. Still in service at the Works in 2008.
Power type Diesel-electric
Builder Ruston & Hornsby
Serial number 480686–480699
Model LSSE
Build date 1962
Configuration 0-6-0
UIC classification C
Gauge 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm) Standard gauge
Wheel diameter 3 ft 6 in (1.067 m)
Wheelbase 8 ft 7 12 in (2.63 m)
Length 26 ft 9 12 in (8.17 m)
Width 8 ft 6 in (2.59 m)
Height 12 ft 10 in (3.91 m)
Locomotive weight 42.90 long tons (43.6 t)
Fuel capacity 300 imp gal (1,400 l; 360 US gal)
Prime mover Paxman 6RPHL
Traction motors AEI RTA6652
Top speed 27.5 mph (44.3 km/h)
Power output Engine: 275 hp (205 kW)
Tractive effort Maximum: 28,240 lbf (125.6 kN)
Train heating None
Train brakes Vacuum, some later dual (Air & Vacuum)
Career British Railways
Number in class 14
Number D2985–D2998, later 07001–07014
Axle load class RA 7 (RA 6 from 1969)
Retired May 1973 – July 1977

The British Rail Class 07 diesel locomotive is an off-centre cab dock shunter used in Southampton Docks, to replace SR USA Class steam locomotives. It is a 0-6-0 diesel-electric shunter built by Ruston & Hornsby in 1962. They were originally numbered D2985-D2998 and later given the TOPS numbers 07001(D2985)-07013(D2997), D2998.



This class was notorious for having the axleboxes run hot when travelling at high speed. This was initially encountered during delivery of the first locomotive, and subsequent deliveries were made by road. A later trial move of one Class 07 to Selhurst depot for tyre profiling also resulted in overheating axlebox problems[1] and all subsequent moves of any distance, particularly those to BREL workshops, were made by road. This is in contrast to other shunter classes that would commonly have had their side-rods removed and traction motors isolated and would then form part of a train heading in the appropriate direction. Class 08s were commonly moved in this fashion at up to 35 mph (56 km/h) – overnight wagon-load trains being utilised if possible.

For operation at Southampton Docks the Class was based in the former steam shed in the Old Docks near the River Itchen, work being carried out there by a fitter sent from Eastleigh.

The members of the class that had TOPS numbering applied were also equipped with high-level air brake pipes, allowing them to move Southern Region Electric Multiple Units, and three locomotives were used at Bournemouth EMU depot for a period.[1] This was not their principal work, but they were often employed around their home-depot on general shunting duties. They were relatively fast for shunters and it was envisaged that they would be used to trip local traffic to/from Southampton docks. Accordingly they were equipped, from new, with mainline headcode marker lights (six for the SR). In practice they were seldom used for this because of the hot axlebox problem, which also affected the possibility of the class working away from either Southapton Docks or Eastleigh.

Numbers 2988, 2992 and 2998 were withdrawn from BR service without bearing TOPS numbers, and were cut up at Eastleigh works; 2988 in 1973, 2992 and 2998 in 1976.[2][3] 2991, which was allocated the number 07007, was also withdrawn from capital stock before bearing its TOPS number, but remained in use at Eastleigh Works. Of the locos to bear TOPS numbers, 07003 and 07009 were withdrawn in 1976, and sold to P Wood of Queenborough, Kent; 07009 was exported to Italy,[3] and 07003 was sold to British Industrial Sand at Oakmoor, being subsequently scrapped in 1985.[3][4] 07010 was sold directly into preservation, and the remaining locos were sold for industrial use during 1976 and 1977: 07001 to Staveley Limeworks, Buxton; 07002/6/12 to Powell Duffryn, Kidwelly (where 07002 and 07006 were scrapped in the 1980s); 07013 to Dow Chemicals, King's Lynn.[2][5]

Post-BR use

The locomotives were short-lived and this class had been withdrawn by British Rail by the end of 1977. Several were bought for industrial use and have subsequently passed into preservation. One locomotive, no. 07001, is mainline registered and is owned by Harry Needle Railroad Company (HNRC). All surviving locomotives are listed below.[6]

Technical details

  • Engine: Ruston/Paxman 6 cylinder, 4-stroke, 6RPHL
  • Main Generator: AEI RTB6652
  • Traction motor: AEI RTA6652, spigot mounted on a double reduction, axle-hung, final drive gearbox

Locomotive (air) and train (vacuum) brakes were fitted from new. Air train braking was added later, in some cases with high-level air brake pipes for use with Southern Region electric multiple units. Originally the class had radio communication sets fitted for use at Southampton Docks, the aerial located on the top right hand corner of the engine bonnet.[1] These were removed when operation at the docks ceased.

Industrial locomotives

The builders classified these locomotives as LSSE and although other locomotives were built for industrial use to this (and the similarly styled LSSH diesel-hydraulic) specification, none had the same engine output, train brakes or other 'mainline' features.

In fiction

An example of this class of diesel can be seen on the Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends TV Series, in the form of Salty the Dockyard Diesel.


  1. ^ a b c Wakelam, Frank (July 1979). "07s at Eastleigh". Railway Modeller (Beer: Peco Publications & Publicity Ltd) 30 (345): 248. 
  2. ^ a b Taylor, Ken. A Decade After. Walsall: Midland Railfans. 
  3. ^ a b c Furness, Ian (2008-09-07). "Disposals: Class 07". WNXX End of the Line: Withdrawn & Stored Locomotives UK. Retrieved 2008-11-27. 
  4. ^ Johnson, Howard (November 1985). "Traction Talk". Rail Enthusiast (Peterborough: EMAP National Publications) (50): 43. 
  5. ^ Taylor, Ken. A Decade After (Appendix 1). Walsall: Midland Railfans. 
  6. ^ Furness, Ian (2008-09-07). "Fleet Status: UK Locomotive Database". WNXX End of the Line: Withdrawn & Stored Locomotives UK. Retrieved 2008-11-27. 
  7. ^ Carr, Richard (2008-10-29). "Paxman and Diesel Rail Traction". Richard Carr's Paxman History Pages. Retrieved 2008-12-01. 
  8. ^ Stone, Andy. "Locomotive & Rolling Stock". Avon Valley Railway. Retrieved 2008-11-27. 
  9. ^ Wilson, Andrew. "Shunters : 07013". Heritage Shunters Trust. Retrieved 2008-11-27. 

External links

Media related to British Rail Class 07 at Wikimedia Commons

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