Developing the diesel shunter

Amazingly, the diesel shunter has been around now for more than 90 years. EVAN GREEN-HUGHES looks at its development and shows how it can be incorporated into layouts set from pre-nationalisation days onwards.

THERE ARE very few model railways which do not feature shunting as part of their operation. Most of us are fascinated by watching rakes of wagons or coaches being rearranged by a small locomotive and layouts with this feature always attract a lot of attention at exhibitions.

However, there is a general perception that the diesel shunter arrived with the rest of the Modernisation Plan diesels, so much so that very few would consider using one on a layout set in the early 1950s, let alone before then. In fact the use of such machines was well entrenched many years before the general dieselisation of the railways for reasons which are peculiar to the type of work on which they were employed.

Crewe South's Derby Built former LMS shunter 12025 (7112)  shunting inside Crewe Works, 2/10/60. © - Hugh Ballantyne

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