In 1947 The Drewry Car Co. built an 0-6-0 diesel mechanical shunter that was trailed very successfully on the London North Eastern Railway at Gorton and in East Anglia. This prototype, although not adopted by the LNER due to impending nationalisation, went on to find further employment in Departmental service on the Southern Region, running as DS 1173, and spending much of its life at Hither Green depot. It was renumbered to D2341 in March 1967 but was withdrawn by the following December, and scrapped by Pollock and Brown at Southampton in August 1969.
The success of the trial locomotive, coupled for the need for a smaller design of shunting locomotive that could operate in more restricted areas saw an order placed by British Railways in 1952 for a fleet of 0-6-0 diesel mechanical shunters constructed by Drewry and Vulcan Foundry in Newton-le-Willows.
D2246 was new to traffic in December 1956 and allocated to Neville Hill depot in Leeds, an Eastern Region locomotive throughout its short BR career a significant decline in the volume of traffic for which they were designed for resulted in a surplus of shunting locomotives. Standardisation of the shunting fleet resulted in the 04's declared surplus and withdrawals began in 1968 with all locomotives withdrawn by 1971.
D2246 was purchased in 1968 for further use by the National Coal Board and transfered to Crawley Coal Depot in Sussex. Transferred to Tolworth Coal Concentration Depot in 1980, the locomotive was transferred to West Drayton prior to purchase for preservation by Harry Needle and was moved to Meadowhall near Sheffield. Following closure of the Meadowhall site, the locomotive was loaned to the Elsecar Steam Railway near Barnsley then sold to the DDS in 2001 and moved to the South Devon Railway.
Under the ownership of the DDS the locomotive has been fully restored including a full top end engine overhaul and has worn all of the previous liveries carried throughout its career including side skirts and cow catchers. The locomotive currently wears BR Green with 'wasp stripes' as D2246 and can be found out based at Staverton where it is usually deployed on PW trains as required.