British Rail Class D3/12

Ranked #135 on the list Best Locomotive class of All Time

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About British Rail Class D3/12

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British Rail class D3/12 was a class of three experimental diesel-electric shunting locomotives designed by Richard Maunsell of the Southern Railway in 1937. They quickly proved their effectiveness, and although they were not immediately replicated due to the advent of the Second World War, the class were the basis for a larger class of similar locomotives introduced by Oliver Bulleid in 1949. Once the UK economy began to improve in the mid 1930s, the Southern Railway had further need for heavy shunting locomotives in its marshalling yards around London. The Z class steam locomotives had proved successful for this task but Maunsell wanted to compare their performance with diesel-electric alternatives. He therefore sought authorisation for the construction of three experimental locomotives for use in the busy Norwood marshalling yard where there was a continuous need for such locomotives. No private manufacturer was in a position to build the new locomotives and so they were jointly constructed by the Southern Railway's Ashford works, who constructed the framing, cabs and bodywork, and English Electric Ltd of Preston, who fitted the traction motors. The three locomotives were also

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