top of page

No. 03078

  • Builder: Doncaster Works

  • Built in: 1959

  • Wheel Arrangement: 0-6-0DM

  • Worked for: British Rail

  • Current Status: Operational

As part of the modernisation of the railways it was thought that a lot of time and money could be saved by replacing the shunting locomotives, which had always been steam, with diesel. Shunting was very common from moving wagons around yards to moving rakes of carriages around in stations.

Steam engines need two people to operate, and take several hours to get ready each day, whereas the diesel engine only requires an individual and a short time to prepare. Eventually, British Railways no longer had a use for shunting engines and they were slowly sold off to industry or preserved.


The Class 03 is powered by a Gardner 8L3 diesel engine coupled to a five speed epicyclic gearbox, which features both air and vacuum train brakes for flexibility. No.03078 was rolled out of Doncaster Works on Christmas Eve 1959 and worked between Darlington, Thornaby and West Hartlepool sheds before being sent to Gateshead in 1968 where it spent the remainder of its career. Its work included station pilot duties (shunting carriages), trips to the staiths at Dunston, and work in Berwick and Team Valley.


Eventually, there was no more use for shunting engines and No.03078 was retired and sold to North Tyneside Council in 1988 for construction work on the new North Tyneside Steam Railway. No.03078 is frequently used for shunting around the railway and occasionally on passenger services. 

Teal, yellow and black diesel engine hauls three open top freight wagons
bottom of page