October saw Derby lay down the frames for D7598, the first of order N10001. These machines would later be designated Class 25/3, a total of eighty would eventually be built. They still carried the RTB 15656 generator, now a ten pole machine with a modified assembly that was now incompatible with earlier equipment. The latter half of the 1960's had seen the widespread introduction of solid state electronics with transistors making such equipment accessible and affordable to increasing sectors of industry. Thus these machines were to incorporate an infant electronic control system, whereby speed was detected electronically rather than mechanically. This was then used to activate the field weakening process in the motors, rather than through contacts and relays as in earlier types. Maximum tractive effort was adjusted to 41,500 lb allowing maximum speed between 7 and 80 mph. Only two stages of field weakening were employed, previous machines employed six fields, these were later reduced to two. Mixing of the main generators between class 25/0 & 25/3 was not allowed.
D7598, 7599 & 7560 were constructed at Derby during the winter of 1965/66, part of a batch of thirteen machines (D7598 - 7610) destined for Tinsley (41A), all were released to traffic during February 1966.
In June D7600 moved to Barrow Hill (41E) then south to Finsbury Park (34G) in August. In October all three moved north to Eastfield (65A).
In September the Scottish Region swapped D7598 - 7601/11/12 for D7576 - 79/81/83/84, the latter being boiler equipped, allowing them to replace the ailing NBL types on the Glasgow - Dundee run, with D7598 - 7600 moving to the Midland Lines. D7598 was then immediately transferred to the Birmingham Division (D02).
7599 visited Crewe Works for repairs during October whilst 7600 was noted at Derby Works in November. 7599 & 7600 joined 7598 at the Birmingham Division (D02) in December.
Derby Works was host to 7598 & 7599 during April for repairs.
7600 moved to the Liverpool Division (D08) in May.
7598 moved back to the Birmigham Division (D02) during January, then on to the Nottingham Division (D16) in February.
On June 29th 5242 & 7598 worked the 02.29 Toton - Eastleigh throughout, the normal exchange of power at Banbury did not occur as there were no replacements available. The Type 2's returned on the 14.30 Eastleigh - Washwood Heath.
In July 7600 moved to the Manchester Division (D09), joined there in October by 7598 & 7599.
March saw a move west to the Liverpool Division (D08) for 7599, then it was back to the Manchester Division in October. At this time 7598 transferred to the Nottingham Division (D16).
Transfers in 1973 sent 7600 to the London Division (D01) in March, 7598 went to Kingmoor in May, 7599 to Springs Branch in July, joined there by 7598 in August.
During August 25249 paid a visit to Derby for repairs, once released it was transferred to Kingmoor.
Crewe Works was visited by 7598 during March & April, whilst 25250 moved to Cricklewood in June.
During January 25249 returned again to Springs Branch, then it was off to Longsight in October.
25248 transferred to Crewe in January, then Springs Branch in May.
On May 7th a Manchester - Spalding special ran behind 25248 & 25253.
July 23rd took 25284 & 25250 westwards on the 12.20 Birmingham - Newquay as far as Plymouth.
25248 moved to Toton in October whilst 25250 was under repair at Derby Works during September & October.
Stone traffic from Mountsorrell to Kennett had recently transitioned to new, air braked high capacity wagons. The second trip on October 4th ran behind 25249 & 25301 with twenty four wagons.
Further south the new GLC Freightliner Refuse Terminal at Brent received a trial run on November 8th with 25249 in charge, regular service to Stewartby commenced November 23rd behind 45045.
The local 'derby' between Derby County & Nottingham Forest on April 14th found 25248 & 25073 working a football special from Nottingham. In front of the record crowd for the season (30,256) the Rams lost 2 to 1.
||As mentioned in the notes above 25248 & 25073 worked a Nottingham Forest - Derby County football special on April 14th 1979. As with most football specials at Derby, Platform One was used.
On August 2nd the Leicester - Blackpool service arrived behind 25248 & 25280, this was a recently established diagram for a pair of Class 25's, the outward trip made via Stoke & Crewe, returning via Chesterfield.
When an afternoon Manchester - Paddington service failed at Coventry on October 13th the nearest help was 25248 & 25305, the pair working all the way to Paddington. They returned north on the 19.00 Paddington - Manchester!
A general repair for 25249 was carried out at Derby from October to December.
The summer season trains began on May 24th with the 08.02 Walsall - Yarmouth in the hands of 25248 & 25274, likewise the 07.35 Nottingham - Llandudno and 13.00 return was again diagrammed for a single Class 25. The following day 25274 & 25248 worked the 08.25 Leicester - Skegness & 18.30 return.
The 11.35 Poole - Newcastle on July 17th was noted at Sheffield behind 25249 & 25279. November found 25249 now transferred back to Springs Branch depot.
25248 runs light engine through Crewe station on October 25th 1980.
25250 was at Derby Works in May & June for N4 repairs.
It was a trip to the seaside on August 15th when 25262 & 25248 worked the 10.10 Euston - Aberystwyth forward from Wolverhampton, returning later in the day with a service as far as Wolverhampton.
On September 18th 25248 assisted the dmu working the 15.50 Banbury - Marylebone,
||25249 keeps company at Springs Branch depot with the brakedown crane and several Class 47's on February 21st 1981.
Photograph courtesy Tony Sayer.
||Toton plays host to a rather work weary 25250 on March 14th 1981.
Photograph courtesy Tony Sayer.
||Possibly 25250's last visit to Derby Works, seen here May 9th 1981 in company with several HST power cars.
Photograph courtesy Tony Sayer.
||55010 and 25250 stand at York on December 12th 1981. This Deltic was the first to achieve two million miles in service. How many miles the Class 25 ran is not known, but it is a safe bet that 25250's travels on the BR saw it visit more seaside resorts than that of the Deltic.
Photograph courtesy Tony Sayer.
On January 22nd the 11.30 Ditton - Corby BOC special was hauled by 25250 & 40127, a combination more normally associated with the Sheffield BOC working.
||25249 strikes a fine pose at Cockshute on February 6th 1982.
Photograph courtesy Jerry Glover.
||A portrait of 25248 at Preston on August 27th 1982. The paint job and number position suggests 25248's last Works repair was carried out at Crewe Works, probably in the mid 1970's. This is the last summer in service for 25248, within a few months it will be withdrawn.
Photograph courtesy P Ryan.
Crewe was the new home of 25249 from October.
25248 was withdrawn from service in November and stored at Crewe.
On February 3rd withdrawn 25093 & 25248 moved from Crewe to Derby, by October 25248 had been dumped at Etches Park.
25250 moved to Crewe in June though on July 7th it was noted on the 18.18 Birmingham - Norwich.
25249 arrived at Ipswich with five tanks from Langport on May 14th, 47242 took the train forward to Parkeston whilst 25249 returned light to March.
Despite the increasing numbers of Class 31's available over the WCML the Bank Holiday diversion of the Euston - Aberystwyth services north of Rugby used pairs of Class 25's. The 07.35 used 25117 & 25237, the 10.10 featured 40135, due to be relieved by 25249 & 25306 at Birmingham, but instead working through to Aberystwyth. In the opposite direction 25250 & 25287 took the 10.10 ex Aberystwyth as far as Nuneaton.
25250 was transferred to Crewe during January.
In the late evening of January 25th both 25249 & 25257 failed near Roade working a Stanlow - Salfords oil train. Bletchley provided
two more Class 25's and a fitter to resolve the problem, with the train finally getting past Bletchley in the early hours of 26th.
The Ditton - Broughton Lane BOC tanks continued with its familiar pair of Classes 25 & 40, so noted were 40196 & 25254 (April 28th), 40155 & 25059
(May 5th) & 40001 & 25209 (May 15th) whilst an extra working on April 29th produced 25249 & 25262.
25250's stay at Crewe was brief, it was retired during May and initially stored at Crewe. 25242 & 25250 were moved from Crewe to Swindon between June 29th & July 7th.
On June 16th 25249 & 25303 worked the 07.44 Shrewsbury - Aberystwyth, returning with the 10.10 to Euston as far as Shrewsbury. 25249 covered the same diagram on June 23rd, this time attached to 25284.
A working once familiar to the Class 25's was seeing a greater
use of other classes, the 18.12 Manchester - St Pancras parcels, as far as Derby. Noted during August were 25185 (1st), 25316 (20th) & 25249 (22nd) as were a number of the fast disappearing Class 40's.
November 8th saw a number of Class 25's on front line passenger duty. 25199 was noted at Huddersfield in charge of 08.47 Holyhead - Newcastle whilst 25058 assisted failed 45136
on the 15.10 Bangor - Scarborough. On the same day at Leeds 25249 & 31434 were noted arriving on an afternoon service from Lancaster.
||A miserable rainy day in October 1984 finds 25250 at Swindon, it had arrived here early in July, by January 1985 it would be no more.
Photograph courtesy EA Woods
25250 was finally broken up at Swindon during January.
Not only were the Class 25's fading fast but some of their long-standing traffic flows were also disappearing. Thus it was left for 25249 to handle the last London Brick Company 'Fletliner' on January 25, the 4F53 12.40 Stewartby - Garston brick train. Traffic formerly sent to Kings Cross, Trafford Park & Garston now moved by road. On February 23rd a shortage of electric locomotives found 25249 & 25303 in charge of the early morning Ditton - North Wembley BOC tanks. On May 4th a diverted early morning Willesden - Coatbridge freightliner was noted through Newcastle behind 25249 & 25259. Two days later the same pair passed through Huddersfield on oil tankers.
On July 23rd 45060 hauled the third large consist of locomotives from Derby Works to Swindon Works as the 9X12 17.05 movement comprising 25093, 25105/164, 25234/248/260, 25312/319.
||Classic traction at Preston on a very wet Sunday October 6th 1985. 25249 has charge of a parcels train whilst much water pours from the guttering of a local dmu.
Photograph courtesy Steve Houlker.
25248 was finally disposed of at Swindon during April.
On May 27th strong winds brought the overhead wires down on the WCML, with a number of services being diverted. The 09.50 Paignton - Glasgow traveled via Newcastle with the leg to Carlisle covered by 25249.
Noted on June 25th the 16.46 Carlisle - Leeds arrived very late behind 25249 towing 31271 & 47474. The failure of the 08.17 Holyhead - Newcastle at Chester behind 45040 on July 10th was cause for 25249
to take over as far as Manchester, where 47110 substituted. The following day 25249 was noted in charge of a block tank working on the Cumbrian coast line.
||A surprise working following damage on the WCML was 25249 working the Carlisle - Newcastle leg of a Paignton
- Glasgow working diverted to the ECML, May 27th 1986.
Thanks to Paul Fuller for this fine shot of this most unusual working.
||Class 25 No. 25249 crosses a small stream at Meathop near
Grange-over-Sands on the evening of July 11th 1986 en route to Whitehaven. As steam on British Railways ended its days in North West England in 1967/68 so the Class 25's would find their final duties carried out in the same area some twenty years later.
Photograph courtesy John Broughton.
||From the same vantage point, 25249 is captured heading west towards Grange-over-Sands.
And such was the versatility of these machines that on the previous day 25249 had come to the rescue of failed 45040 working the 08.17 Holyhead - Newcastle at Chester, the Class 25
assisting as far as Manchester, where big sister 47110 substituted.
Photograph courtesy John Broughton
Four Type 2's were used on the last Class 25 hauled railtour, Hertfordshire Railtours 'Mersey Ratcatcher' (1Z30) of September 28, 1986. The tour started in Euston behind 25313 & 25249 running as far as
Birmingham International where 86237 took over for the trip to Birmingham New Street. This odd move was created due to construction at New Street closing the west end of the station making run rounds difficult.
25313 & 25249 came back on the train heading off to Leicester, Derby, and over the Hope Valley line to Manchester and Liverpool Lime Street. Here 25904 & 25910 made the short run down to Crewe, via Chester, where
the original pair took up the final run to Euston via the Trent Valley line, completing a day of 490 miles of 25 haulage.
Photograph courtesy Paul Bettany
25249 (& 25313 out of sight) stand at Birmingham New Street awaiting the right away with the last Class 25 railtour, September 28th 1986. Engineering work at New Street prevented the Type 2's from running around their train here,
hence they had been removed at Birmingham International with 86237 working the short hop to New Street, with the 25's following and regaining the train here.
||From the publicity about the final railtour, a map of the route.
Thanks to Mark Bennett for this fine piece of memorabilia.
For 25249 Christmas 1986 and the New Year were spent at Crewe Diesel Depot. The locomotive had been out of traffic since the evening of December 16th awaiting a 'C' exam and exhaust system repairs. It was not until January 15th that 25249 was finally back out on the road, being noted at Workington on the evening of January 16th.
On January 24 & 25th 25249 was active in the Warrington area, including jobs to Over & Wharton and Deanside. On the evening of 27th the locomotive was at Derby Etches Park scheduled for the 1M38 to Crewe. After arrival at Crewe Depot investigation was made into a reported 'low power' problem. However repairs were not forthcoming with the locomotive taken out of service on January 28th.
Movement to Vic Berry's, Leicester with 25199, 25244 & 25906 took place on June 3rd, with the end coming for 25249 by the end of the month.
(With thanks to Neil Cannon for making available the TOPS reports for 1987).