D7653, 7653, 25303
D7653, 7653, 25303|
Photograph courtesy Tony Sayer
Its a fine summers day afternoon at Derby, July 28th 1976. The station is alive to the workings of the London - Sheffield and NE/SW services all very much in the hands of Class 45/46/47's. The local freight traffic is in the hands of the Class 20/25's and the ever present manouvreing of locomotives on/off the fuelling point continues around the clock. Seen
here in just such a manouevre is 25303 captured on film in front of the familiar Works buildings and clock tower.
D7651 - D7654 were delivered to the Midland Lines from Beyer Peacock during May & June. They were towards the end of a batch of thirty five locomotives that were split between delivery to Tinsley (41A) and the Nottingham Division (D16).
During August D7653 transferred to the Birmingham Division (D02).
As part of the move to finish steam in the North West D7653 went to Longsight (9A) in May.
After a year in the Manchester area for D7653 it was off to the Nottingham Division (D16) during May.
In November 7652 - 7654 went to the Liverpool Division (D08).
7653 visited Derby Works during December.
With the end of the summer timetable it was off to Longsight for 7653 in September.
25303 received a classified repair at Derby Works in October with dual brake equipment being fitted.
25302 & 25303 were reunited at Toton when the latter was transfered here in January.
A brief visit was made to Derby Works during February by 25303. The summer Yarmouth services from Walsall & Derby this year featured various Class 31's and Class 47's, though 25303 & 25309 worked the Derby service on June 17th.
||From the doorway of a passing express, oil-stained 25303 is seen heading north at Church Fenton on September 2nd 1978 with a train of oil tanks.
A general repair was for 25303 carried out at Derby from April - June.
The North Wales coast was host to 25301 on June 23rd when it worked a round trip Manchester Victoria - Bangor working, then returning with the 17.42 Manchester Victoria - Llandudno Jct. Three days later it worked the 11.50 Cardiff - Crewe throughout. The 27th found 25304 & 25275 working the 07.40 Euston - Aberyswyth forward from Wolverhampton and returning with 16.05 to Wolverhampton.
||A damp day at Toton, October 17th 1981 finds 25303 awaiting its next duty.
Photograph courtesy Tony Sayer.
The long distance 'Skirl of The Pipes' railtour working its southbound leg on May 9th utilised 25303 & 25080 between Carlisle & Farrington Jct, somewhere on the trip 25080 became a failure. Near the end of the month, (29th) 25303 was used to drag 31189 and the 09.49 Norwich - Birmingham forward from Syston Jct after the Class 31 failed.
The Norwich - Birmingham services were still regularly visited by the Class 25's, on March 1st 25303 handled the 07.40 ex Norwich from Leicester after the booked Class 31 failed. After seven years at Toton 25303 moved to Crewe in March, to be joined there by 25302.
25303 was sent out on August 27th's 07.05 Liverpool - Scarborough, making it as far as York, it returned westbound the same day on the 17.10 to Manchester Victoria.
On March 26th 45113 failed at Chesterfield on the 08.20 Leeds - Birmingham, 56112 took the train forward to Derby where 25303 took over for the last leg to Birmingham.
The only recorded use of 25303 over the summer dated Cambrian passenger workings was on June 16th when it worked the 2J61 07.44 Shrewsbury - Aberystwyth and return 1A46 10.10 Aberystwyth - Euston (as far as Wolverhampton) with 25249.
The next day the same pair worked a return Nottingham - Llandudno Town excursion via Chesterfield & Manchester.
Short distance workings for 25303 in September included a Blackpool - Preston trip on 20th and a very short Wigan North Western - Lostock Jct drag for a diverted WCML service on 30th.
On February 23rd a shortage of electric locomotives found 25249 & 25303 in charge of the early morning Ditton - North Wembley BOC tanks. According to the detailed orientated amongst us (you know who you are!), 25303 was recorded as having the highest passenger mileage of any Class 25 during 1985, with a total of 1,723 miles.
Photograph courtesy Dave Craik, as used on the "Class 25's Action 85" book produced by Alan Baylis.
25303 & 25323 run through the Dovey Valley, shortly after leaving Machynlleth on September 29th's North Walsham - Aberystwyth 'Cambrian Explorer'. The previous day this adventurous pair had worked a York - Taunton relief as far as Bristol!
Photograph courtesy Mike Macdonald.
Just prior to 25303's strenuous passenger workings at the end of May it is captured here at Haymarket on May 15th laying over between turns and between a Class 27 & 40.
|25303's remarkable passenger haulage during the summer of 1985
||06.15 Edinburgh - Kirkcaldy
||08.16 Cardenden - Edinburgh
||07.30 Aberdeen - Penzance
||Edinburgh - Carstairs
||07.25 Nottingham - Edinburgh
||Carstairs - Edinburgh
||15.10 Edinburgh - Nottingham
||Edinburgh - Carstairs
||07.34 Poole - Edinburgh
||Carstairs - Edinburgh
||17.55 Edinburgh - Dunbar
||18.42 Dunbar - Edinburgh
||07.15 Edinburgh - Dundee
||09.30 Dundee - Edinburgh
||08.40 Carlisle - Glasgow
||15.45 Glasgow - Carlisle
||06.05 Barrow - Carlisle
||Throughout, with 25323 hauling failed DMU
||16.45 Euston - Blackpool
||Preston - Blackpool
||18.15 Glasgow Central - Liverpool
||Preston - Liverpool
||07.40 Glasgow Central - Carlisle
||10.41 Exeter - Edinburgh (relief)
||Carstairs - Edinburgh, with 25283
||17.40 Carlisle - Glasgow
||15.45 Glasgow - Carlisle
||15.45 Glasgow - Carlisle
||07.47 Carlisle - Newcastle
||Throughout, hauling failed DMU
||14.25 York - Taunton
||York - Bristol, with 25323
||03.30 North Walsham - Aberystwyth
||Abbey Foregate Jct - Aberystwyth & return, with 25323
||18.07 Harwich - Wolverhampton
||Nuneaton - Wolverhampton, assisting failed 31435
Obviously perhaps the September 27th & 28th outings for 25303 & 25323 were the most interesting with them working a relief 14.25 York - Taunton on September 27th as far as Bristol, 37176 & 37236 taking over from here. This would be the last significant passenger working of a pair of Class 25s over a great chunk of the NE/SW route, both NE of Birmingham & SW of Birmingham. It is remarkable that the locomotives were able to complete most of the working without being prematurely removed. For those enthusiasts fortunate enough to ride any or part of this working, may the memories not fade too quickly. One can imagine the departure from York as the two Type 2s threaded the pointwork at the south end anxious to be on their way, with the opportunity, hopefully, for some 90 mph running before the speed restricted track of South Yorkshire. The entry into Sheffield, the run up to Bradway Tunnel, the descent into Chesterfield, more high speed running alongside the freight lines to Clay Cross, through the tunnel and down into familiar Derbyshire, eventually alongside the Derwent, past very familiar haunts until the power is eased off as Derby approaches. The train has been running for almost two hours, does Control have a replacement waiting at Derby?
The answer is no, the Class 25s have a few more miles to run. More opportunities for high speed running lie ahead, no other global purchaser of the Sulzer six cylinder engine built for traction purposes can offer what 25303 & 25323 are doing on this run. Other operators may have taken them on much longer journeys, in hotter and colder climates, at greater altitude, but pairs of locomotives running at 90mph+ for significant amounts of time truly belongs only to the Class 25s. The approaches to Birmingham require slowing for the complex trackwork and junctions ahead, were there any Class 25s on Saltley depot this day? Has Saltley provided a replacement locomotive for changeover at New Street? Power is eased off as the train approaches New Street, there's no mistaking the echo of the engines off the roof and sides of the tunnel. If the locomotives are to be changed surely it will be here. But there is no shunter waiting to uncouple the 25s, no locomotive on the center road, just the revelation of even more classic mileage ahead.
No matter, the train continues further south-west, through more tunnels, out into the suburbia of Birmingham, rejoining the Camp Hill line at Kings Norton. Up ahead is the descent of Lickey, then between Bromsgove & Cleeve, 29 miles of running above 80mph, with a top speed of 93.5mph noted at Defford. A stop is made at Cheltenham, the magic 90mph is again attained around Coaley, then the speed is moderated for Westerleigh Junction, Bristol Parkway & Bristol itself. For the Class 25s the journey ends at Temple Meads, hopefully the memories travelled much further.
But all is not lost, by the next day the pair have returned to the West Midlands and were diagrammed for a North Walsham - Aberystwyth charter, taking the train on from Shrewsbury Abbey Foregate Junction to the coast.
1986 & 1987
25303's active service ended on February 24th, being initially stored at Crewe. It was sold to Vic Berry, Leicester and reached their yard on January 26th 1987. By the middle of May 1987 it had been scrapped.
|| It's May 1st 1987 and 25303 sits in Vic Berry's yard at Leicester, within earshot of the Midland line over which 25303 would have travelled countless times. By the end of the month 25303 will be just a memory.
Photograph courtesy Martin Bray.
The attached log is borrowed from the previously mentioned "Class 25's Action 85" and highlights the latter half of the York - Bristol working on September 27th 1985. Obviously the twenty odd miles from Droitwich Road to Cleeve represent a fine memory of the Class 25's in the twilight of their careers. It is also a testimony to the 6LDA engine - although the Class 25's were not the last locomotives to carry the 6LDA, they were pretty close to the end of production orders. By the mid-1960s research and development had moved on from the LDA series & Sulzer were soon to leave the rail traction market. With a great portion of the world's 6LDA powered locomotives operating at slower speeds dictated by indifferent/marginal track conditions this log represents a solid performance in service on British Rail, with speeds unattained elsewhere in the world by the 6LDA.
||0.00 ||- / -||Five Ways
||26||- / -
||4:56 ||57||430 / 610
||58 ||790 / 990
||67||1290 / 1520
||7:59 ||42|| - / -
||55 ||1430 / 1570
||61||1580 / 1780
||13:10 ||72||1530 / 1840
||76 ||1100 / 1440
||80||- / -
||Stoke Works Jct
||17:27 ||82||- / -
||90 ||1000 / 1490
||90||1040 / 1570
||23:18 ||91|| 870 / 1410
||88 ||560 / 1100
||90||860 / 1400
||28:04 ||93.5||770 / 1340
||92||360 / 930
||30:36 ||87|| 730 / 1270
||90 ||970 / 1490
||82||680 / 1180
||38:14 ||0|| - / -
||0||- / -
||3:07 ||65||1680 / 1870
||75 ||1510 / 1800
||79|| - / -
||Gloucester South Jct
||6:45 ||53|| - / -
||58 ||1170 / 1360
||70||1480 / 1740
||11:25 ||71||1350 / 1660
||73 ||1150 / 1480
||84|| 1360 / 1750
||14:54 ||86|| 810 / 1280
||90 ||980 / 1490
||88||1140 / 1670
||21:34 ||83|| 1040 / 1510
||82 ||1450 / 1880
||77||870 / 1260
||26:44 ||69||460 / 790
||Westerleigh West Jct
||37|| - / -
||30:26 ||61|| 1390 / 1530
||74 ||1620 / 1910
||0|| - / -
||40 late ||0|| - / -
||46 ||1330 / 1430
||58|| - / -
||4:18 ||59|| - / -
||51|| - / -
||6:12 ||25|| - / - (signal check)
||Dr. Days Bridge Jct
||14 || - / - (signal stop)
||BRISTOL TEMPLE MEADS
||0 || - / -
This is believed to be the AEI makers plate from the main generator last carried by 25303 prior to its withdrawal.
Photograph courtesy Steve Morris
The date of this view at Cardiff Canton is sometime in September 1985 so I must presume it is close to the dates when this pair were active on the NE/SW route and over the Cambrian line.
Page created February 2nd 2002
Page updated April 18th 2014
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