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D2069 Class 03 Shunter


Class 03 No.D2069 at Doncaster Works Open Day 26th July 2003.

Class 03 diesel shunters were once British Rail’s (BR) most successful 0-6-0 diesel-mechanical shunters and very common in yards all over the country due to their lightweight and short wheel base making them ideal for tight radius curves. 230 were built in the Doncaster and Swindon locomotive works between 1957 and 1962. Later as the need for these shunters diminished on the railway network, many continued useful working lives in Industry. Today almost all of these shunters can be found at heritage railways with at least 56 examples surviving into preservation.




D2069 was finished on the 19th September 1959 and under TOPS became 03069 in October 1973. It was sold to Vic Berry of Leicester 4th January 1984 for use in their scrapyard, then later sold into preservation, on closure of the yard 1st August 1991 to the Gloucester and Warwickshire Railway at Toddington.





Overhaul Progress

Follow the work of the Diesel Team, as Stuart Piddy, Frank Wooldridge, Paul Hale & Matt Thomas, helped with other volunteers overhaul D2069. The team usually meet up on a Wednesday and Friday with some work also done on the Saturday.


April to June 2018

Cab work is still progressing with the front & side windows, having been refurbished, now being re-installed. The brass work on the front window looks superb.









Work on the cab doors continues, with one having been refitted and the other being finished off before being remounted.













Whilst painting the front buffer beam it was noticed one of the buffers looked loose. After dismantling, the internal spring was found to be broken into 4 pieces. In order to get a new spring made a complete one was needed for dimensions, so another buffer was taken apart and that spring was broken too.

In the mean time the buffers and buffer beams have been undercoated and work has started on inspecting the jack shaft bearings, which involved removing the linkage. Although worn they aren’t too bad and so they’ll be left alone for this overhaul.

Finally the builders plate has received a nice new coat of black paint with the letters highlighted in white.










January to March 2018

The old floor continues to be refurbished with the odd bit of fettling required to fit around the new parts of the frame, before then being varnished.


In the meantime painting of the shunter and doors continue, with 3 coats of paint being applied and lightly rubbed down each time. Finally a lacer is applied. This should make the shunter look great once it’s finished an offer plenty of protection against the weather.












November & December 2017

The 03 saw daylight again in November, being moved out of the barn in order for the refurbished ‘bonnet’ (the large panel that sits above the fuel tank) to be fitted back into place using the telehandler. This is probably the largest single panel on the loco so refitting it has made a big difference.






The old floor was temporarily re-laid in the cab by Paul Hale in order to work out how all the pieces fitted together.

The DSD (or deadman’s pedal) can clearly be seen here. Whilst driving the driver must keep this large pedal depressed, otherwise once released, after about 7 second, the air brakes engage and stop the loco. Similar devices, based on a foot or hand pedal were fitted to all diesel locomotives for safety reasons.



Trying to refit all the floor pieces wasn’t easy. Clearly these parts fit around the filler for the sander, but repairing the door frame and lower parts of the cab may mean some of the floor needs modifying.

Once fitted and all the pieces labelled, the floor removed for sanding down and varnishing.







September & October  2017

Work has now shifted to refurbishing the cab and the rest of the body. The newly painted radiator has been fitted back into the front of the loco and 5 of the 10 engine compartment doors have been repainted. The exhaust chimney, has been cleaned up and repainted in black and now waits refitting.

The radiator filler pipe gaskets have now been, fitted and sealed.




In the cab the front window glass has been refitted and the side windows removed. The talented team in the wood shop are now busy making new wooden surrounds for the side windows.





The recently renovated sanders have been refitted under the cab floor and makes a useful pace to stand when working in the rest of the cab







August 2017

Dick Dimmock has been painting the sand boxes for the 03. These are used to store sand, of which a little is released onto the rails just in front of the wheels via a driver control in order to give the loco a better grip especially in wet conditions or when pulling a heavy load.

03_DynamoThe refurbishment of the hood and cab steps continues, with it having received a coat of dark grey primer.

The 03’s dynamo has been stripped and inspected. It was found that the commutator on the armature was badly worn so it was carefully skimmed and reassembled.





July 2017

This month a new cab window has been made by Peter W and the restoration of the body work continues with the ‘hood’ of the loco being repaired and repainted.

Work on the cab steps has also started as these were in a poor state with one step having lost most of it’s grip.

Repairs to the front marker light conduit have been made.


June 2017

03CabControlDesk_640x480A better view of the control desk can be seen here, clearly showing the two sets of controls on either side of the cab. For those interested a description of the controls is below for an 04 shunter, which has the same control desk as our 03 shunter.





May 2017

Now the engine is running and the compressor and exhauster are operating, some of the attention has returned back to repairing some of the faults with the air and vacuum systems used to control the loco and brakes. This is made more complicated by the loco having two sets of controls so it can be driven from either side as the pictures below show.










Notice the large white pipe in the middle which is the vacuum train pipe and is connected to three vacuum brake handles, one in the middle and one on either side. The rest of the white pipes are for the air system and the orange pipes is conduit for the electrical wires.


April 2017

RearOfCab_640x480On the cab, a new piece of sheet steel is made to replace the bottom of the rear panel. Filler is then applied, rubbed down and left ready for painting. This treatment continues on other parts of the body where required.






The cab floor has also been removed to gain better access to parts of the floor supports that need to be cut out and renewed. This reveals the engine’s final drive unit, which delivers the drive to the wheels and controls the forward/reverse direction. Note the little handle which when lifted and rotated 90degrees isolates the final drive from the wheels, which should be used if the loco is to be towed any distance without the engine running.


March 2017

03 engine trail 1st march 2017

Last minute tweaks before start up

The first day of March heralded a momentous day for the 03 shunter as it was the first day it moved under it’s own power for at least 7 years. After being towed out of the shed and the usual last minute tweaks, the engine was started and this time it ran much better as the video shows. Later after sufficient air pressure had been created the loco moved back & forth a little and back into the shed.


February 2017

The refurbished fuel pump was returned and re-fitted back on the engine. The rest of the engine was put back together ready for another trail run.

Work continued on replacing parts of the rotten cab. This month the bracket that ran along the back of the cab was replaced by cutting away a section of the cab side and a new angle bracket welded in place. All that remains is for the cab side to be replaced.

Refitted Fuel Pump Feb17

Refurbished and refitted fuel pump

03 New Angle support Feb17

Rear of cab support bracket replaced










January 2017

Whilst the fuel pump is away for refurbishment, attention has turned back to the loco cab side. The bottom of the cab was rotten and so were the supports behind them. The rotten bits have been cut out, new supports welded into place and a new sheet metal skin welded over the top.












December 2016

Part of the engine and fuel system have been stripped to investigate the cause of the poor running. It has been decided that the fuel pump may be the main problem and so has been disassembled and sent away for refurbishment.


Fuel Pump Assembly


Air Filters


In the mean time, some of the rest of the team have been looking at the cab controls, in particular the air system, which as well as being used for the loco air brakes is also used to control various actuators such as the direction and gears. The air system was know to have a few faults so using an external compressor to provide the air supply the following problems were fixed:

  • The Deadmans pedal (DSD) which had a seized vale core was fixed.
  • Low main reservoir air problem was down to a jammed open blow down valve.
  • Lack of Control Air was due to the low reservoir air. Once this issue had been fixed enough pressure was raised in the main reservoir to allow the control air to come up.
  • The gear selector and direction lever were also adjusted to improve their operation



November 2016

The new silencer has been finished and mounted back on the loco. It just needs to be connected back to the engine and exhaust pipe. In the mean time new water filler pipes that feed the large radiator on the front of the shunter have been fabricated and welded into place.


New silencer fitted back on loco


Newly fabricated water filler pipes










October 2016

After the problems encountered with the trial engine start up the team have decided to renew the fuel injectors but also to investigate other areas of the fuel system including the fuel pump & air filter.

In the mean time work continues in other areas. One problem is the original silencer is well past it’s best so Vince has started to construct a new one from scratch, cutting and bending a tube of sheet steel which is waiting to be welded along the seem. Sitting on the end of the bench is the salvaged filter, which will be reused.


New silencer under construction










September 2016

This month saw the engine rebuilt completed and on the 28th Sept the 03 shunter was moved out of the shed for a trial start up. The engine was found to be very smokey and not running on all 6 cylinders, which might be linked to the injectors but further investigation is required.


D2069 moved outside for a trail start


Trail stating in progress











A short video showing how rough the engine is running can be seen below

August 2016

Good progress has been made this month with the engine rebuilt coming together. The pistons have now all been refitted along with the valves and cylinder heads. Once all the piping up work is complete with fuel lines and exhaust the engine will be ready to be started.


Paul Tucker reassembling the engine


The engine’s pistons, valves and cylinder heads are all refurbished and reinstalled.










Note that towards the top of each cylinder there is an isolation lever. This enables a driver to start the loco on just 4 cylinders rather than the full 8, reducing the load when starting in cold weather.




July 2016

Work to rebuilt the engine progresses with refurbished parts being reassembled when ready.


Refurbished parts of the engine slowing being reassembled











June 2016

This month saw further work at striping the 03’s Gardner 8 cylinder 4-stoke 204bhp engine, to clean and refurbish the parts damaged by water in the sump.


Matt Thomas, stripping D2069’s engine.



Peter White refurbishing the pistons














May 2016

A thorough check of the engine was made before the shunter was due to be started but unfortunately upon removing the crankcase water was found in the sump. Further investigation has shown this has damaged some of the engine components and so the engine is now going to be stripped, cleaned and refurbished. Naturally this is a bit disappointing but the team are determined to repair the damage and return the shunter back to operation.


D2069’s engine












April 2016

Work has started on refurbishing D2069 with some of the framework still to be repaired or replaced and the engine to be checked over before starting. New batteries have been ordered and the water system filled ready for final checks before starting.