British Rail Class 03

Ranked #204 on the list Best Locomotive class of All Time

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About British Rail Class 03

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The British Rail Class 03 locomotive is, together with Class 04, one of BR's most successful smaller 0-6-0 diesel-mechanical shunters. The class, numbering 230 examples, was built by British Railways' Swindon and Doncaster works in 1957-1962 and numbered D2000-D2199 and D2370-D2399 (later 03004 to 03399). D2370 and D2371 were used as departmental locomotives and originally numbered 91 and 92 respectively. Like other shunters of this size, the Class 03 was built for light duties where a larger locomotive was not needed, especially for shunting at locomotive and carriage depots and as station pilots. The reduction over time in the demand for shunting locomotives meant that they were progressively withdrawn from 1968 onwards, many being sold to private industry. However, some remained in service much longer, with two examples on the Isle of Wight lasting until 1993 (mainland examples had gone by 1987). In 1998, one of the Isle of Wight locos, no. 03 179, was re-instated into service by the West Anglia Great Northern Railway Company (WAGN) for service at their Hornsey depot. This remains the last operational Class 03 locomotive on the network. It is named Clive after a depot employee.

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