The Class 08, or Class DEJ4 as it was originally designated, owes its genesis to the early experiments carried out by the LMS for diesel-powered shunting engines as early as 1932. By 1945, a standard design of 0-6-0 shunter had been developed, and British Railways adopted this as the mainstay of its shunting fleet albeit afetr implementing further alterations to conform to their standard 'L1' loading guage, thus allowing for great operating versatility in all regions. Construction of the locomotives took place between 1953 and 1968, and the Class 08, as it became designated after October 1968 in the TOPS classification, eventually totalled 894 units. The LMS favoured the use of an English Electric Co diesel power unit and associated electrical equipment in the shunter, where as both the GWR and the LNER had experimented with Brush engines in their development. This did not find favour with BR, although some locomotives appeared with Crossley engines and others with Lister-Blackstone, later to become Class 10 in the TOPS system. It is only the EE Co powered versions that are in service today, powered by English Electric's 6KT six-cylinder engine, with twin type 506 traction motors of same manufacture and fitted with vacum, air or dual brakes.