The eighteen year six month career of D5281/25131 saw allocations only to London Midland Region depots.
Built: BR Derby Locomotive Works.
D5281 was new to Toton (16A) on June 26th 1964. Further transfers were:
July 1964 to Derby (16C).
Renumbered April 10th 1974.
After withdrawal 25131 was stored at Toton from February 1983 to October 1983 when it was taken into Departmental stock on October 1st 1983 as 97202. Its new number was added about January 1984. Its Departmental service was brief, being reinstated on paper as 25131 to Toton to effect its disposal to Swindon Works. During the second week of July 25131 (97202), 25144*/25153* were dispatched Toton – Cricklewood* - Swindon July 10th-12th and later dumped at Cocklebury Yard on July 23th 1984, still numbered 97202. It was eventually sold to Vic Berry, Leicester for scrapping, moving to Cocklebury Yard on May 26th 1987, to Oxford Hinksey Yard on June 2nd 1987, them moving behind 20019 & 20197, reaching Berry's Leicester Yard on June 11th 1987. By the last week of June 1987 25131/97202 had been scrapped.
Works visits (records incomplete).
Noted Derby Works August 1964 (rectification?).
The greater versatility of the diesels was illustrated in the use of Burton’s allocation which amongst other jobs handled the Burton - Banbury freights. In the first week of February D5281 was the training locomotive utilising six passenger coaches and a brake van as a load. By mid-February the Banbury – Burton – Toton freights would converted to diesel haulage using Peaks or pairs of Class 25’s. These freights would also be used to incorporate the local workings from Nuneaton shed, allowing closure of that shed (on June 6th) and withdrawal of its few remaining steam engines. Freight on the Derby – Birmingham line was at this time evenly split between steam & diesel haulage.
The Liverpool Division received D5280 - D5282 during July, whilst in November 5280 - 5283 were transferred to the Preston Division, 5281 remained here for the next three and a half years.
Toton based 5281 spent the last days of October working local trips out of Thornaby, due to a shortage of suitable locomotives on Teeside.
During the summer of 1973 5281 was noted on at least two Midland mainline services, during June it was noted on a Sheffield - St. Pancras service with 7616, whilst on September 22nd it worked the 15.00 Sheffield - St. Pancras.
On August 30th the 08.00 Walsall - Yarmouth to Norwich and the return 14.15 Yarmouth - Derby from Norwich were worked by 25131 & 25268.
A Euston - Tywyn day excursion on May 29th was worked roundtrip Wolverhampton - Tywyn by 25131 & 25057. About a month later on June 26th the 08.00 Walsall - Yarmouth to Norwich and the return 14.15 Yarmouth - Derby from Norwich were worked by 25131 & 25145.
July 1st saw 25131 work the 17.00 Derby - Matlock and the 17.50 Matlock - Derby, utilising a rake of nine Mk1 coaches.
On July 24th the 08.00 Walsall - Yarmouth to Norwich and the return 14.15 Yarmouth - Derby from Norwich were worked by 25131 & 25120.
A busy week started on August 28th with 25131 & 25120 working the 08.00 Walsall - Yarmouth to Norwich and the return 14.15 Yarmouth - Derby from Norwich. The following days saw the same pair work roundtrips to Skegness, from Derby (29th & 31st). A roundtrip Leicester - Skegness took place on September 4th with 25131 & 25279.
25131 rescued a failed Peak on September 7th working the 15.30 ex-St Pancras forward from Bedford to Nottingham.
On August 21st the 08.45 Birmingham New Street - Barmouth from/to Shrewsbury was worked by 25131 & 25165.
Class 31’s were still first choice on the Birmingham - Norwich services, but Class 25’s frequently substituted, on August 19th 25131 handled the 10.15 to Norwich.
On September 2nd the Derby - Norwich - Yarmouth - Norwich - Walsall diagram was worked by 25131 & 25130, on the return leg the locomotives were replaced at Peterborough by 31175. Visitors to Kings Lynn off the Whitemoor freight included 25131 on September 11th. 25131 had monumental railtour duty on September 16th working the AC/DC railtour six miles between Manchester Piccadilly & Stockport.
May 7th's Burton - Skegness round trip featured 25131 & 25142.
On July 20th the 17.10 Poole - Nottingham was worked forward from Birmingham New Street (?) by 25131. A couple of days later 25131 & 25157 worked Leicester - Skegness roundtrips on July 23rd & 24th. About a month later and now paired as 25131 & 25135 roundtrips to Skegness were made from Derby on August 26th and Leicester (27th, 29th & 30th).
September 4th’s Southam trip proved a little strenuous for 25243 as it caught fire at the site of Marton station. 25131 & 25135 rescued the train several hours later.
On June 13th the 13.34 Birmingham New Street - York and the return 17.26 York - Birmingham New Street were worked by 25131 & 25260.
On August 2nd the 07.35 Nottingham - Llandudno Town was worked to Derby by 25131. Four days later (4th) the 19.41 Leicester - St. Pancras was worked by 25131 & 45025. On August 23rd 25131 & 25133 worked the Derby - Norwich - Yarmouth - Norwich - Walsall diagram. A week later on August 30th 25131 & 25129 worked the 08.02 Walsall - Yarmouth to Norwich and the return 14.15 Yarmouth - Derby from Norwich.
A roundtrip Leicester - Skegness was worked by 25131 & 25129 on September 1st, whilst on September 4th the same pair worked a Burton - Skegness roundtrip and on September 6th worked the Derby - Norwich - Yarmouth - Norwich - Walsall diagram.
The 04.10 Shrewsbury - Aberystwyth and the 10.07 Aberystwyth - Euston to Wolverhampton were worked by 25131 & 25036 on August 22nd. Four days later (26th) 25131 worked the 13.15 Birmingham New Street - Norwich (throughout?).
On September 19th the 07.40 Euston - Aberystwyth from Wolverhampton and the 16.05 Aberystwyth - Wolverhampton were worked by 25131 & 25124. A week later on a damp September 26th a Bolton - Bewdley railtour was worked from/to Birmingham New Street by 25131 & 25139.
The 12.07 Holyhead - Crewe was worked by 25131 on May 8th. On June 19th the 09.22 Derby - Skegness was worked to Nottingham by 25131, where it was replaced by 20159 & 20173.
The 08.24 Leicester - Skegness and 18.50 Skegness - Leicester were worked by 25131 & 25129 on September 2nd. A week later (9th) a diesel multiple unit failure saw 25131 work the 09.55 Llandudno Town - Blaenau Ffestiniog and the return 11.18 Blaenau Ffestiniog - Llandudno Town.
On October 3rd 25131 was noted southbound at Darlington towing 46017 & 31301 and a couple of brake vans.
On December 6th 25131 (& 25130) were withdrawn, 25131 was taken out of service at Toton. After withdrawal 25131 was renumbered 97202 for use by the C.M. & E.E. It was renumbered back to 25131 in January 1984 and then promptly withdrawn again.
During September 2017 a builder's plate from 25131 sold on ebay for GBP325.99.
Passenger workings courtesy Alan Baylis (www.class25.info)
Page added October 10th 2001