Ruston and Hornsby Diesel Shunter 402812 Yellow Peril

Ruston and Hornsby Diesel Shunter 402812 Yellow Peril
Ruston Hornsby 402812 Yellow Peril.jpg
402812 'Yellow Peril' at Bewdley in 1975 (David Cooke)
Built By Ruston and Hornsby, Lincoln
Configuration 4-W
Power type 48 h.p.
Status Sold, later scrapped
Loco Number Works No 402812/1957
Built 1957
Designed By Hudswell Clarke
Type 48DS
1995 Arrived on SVR
1981 Sold
Weight 7½ tons

Diesel Locomotives

"Yellow Peril" was the smallest locomotive to work on the SVR. It was resident between 1975 and 1981, and was reportedly scrapped shortly after leaving the SVR.



The locomotive was built by Ruston and Hornsby, Lincoln as Works No 402812 of 1957, one of 204 of the 48DS type locomotives built as Ruston Lot 19. It had 2ft 6in chain-driven wheels and was powered by a 48 h.p. diesel engine. It was delivered new to Taylor Brothers and Company Limited at Trafford Park steelworks. In September 1972 it was transferred to Bilston Steelworks, moving to the Wolverhampton British Steel Corporation's works two months later. It became surplus to BSC's requirements in 1975.[1][2]


402812 arrived at Bewdley by road on 3 September 1975, where it was intended to be used as yard shunter. The pale yellow ‘livery’ led to it acquiring the nickname "Yellow Peril" after a remark by SVR locomotive inspector Jack Beaman. The nickname was apt; the locomotive had an awkward gear box in which first gear did not always work properly and once moving, it could be difficult to stop again, requiring somebody to man the carriage handbrake during shunting operations. On one occasion the locomotive caught fire while working at Bewdley. An SVR driver was reported as saying "When working on it, you took your life into your own hands. It was a lethal machine!"[2]

Despite its small size, limited power and quirky nature, "Yellow Peril" saw regular use on the SVR over the next few years. It could move rakes of 6 coaches in the station area, albeit at walking pace. Other duties involved working engineers’ trains, moving newly arrived rolling stock from Foley Park, hauling the P-Way Department’s weed-killing train in spring 1978 and on one occasion, towing a failed Class 52 diesel into Arley. Eventually, "Yellow Peril" was condemned due to the poor condition of its wheels. It was initially stored at Arley and later taken to Bridgnorth for disposal, from where it left by road for Resco (Railways) Ltd., London in March 1981. SVR News subsequently reported that in early summer 1981 it went from there to the Swanage Railway where, according to the Industrial Railway Society, it was reported to have been scrapped in October 1982[2].

See Also