‘Class 05’ Diesel shunter DL26

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The ‘class 05’ diesel shunter DL26, nicknamed ‘The Rat’ was built in Hunslet in 1957. It spent most of its working life on National Coal Board railways before being sold the Great Western Society at Didcot in 1987 for use as a yard shunter. However, it was largely replaced in these duties once 08604 arrived at Didcot, since this was a more powerful engine.

The ‘class 05’ was built both for use on the national railways and on industrial sites. It seems that on the national railways it was a limited success and most engines were replaced and withdrawn early. One exception, 05001 ( the only engine to officially carry a class 05 designation) was retained for use on the Isle of Wight railway, where it ran from 1966 to 1985 before being transferred to the island’s preserved railway.

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