It took six years for all 327 Class 25s to enter service (April 1961 - April 1967). The entire Class would remain intact for slightly over four years (April 1967 - May 1971) when 5278 was withdrawn with accident damage. A number of Class 25s had received accidents repairs during this period but it would be 5278 that became the first to be deemed uneconomic to repair. The first four withdrawals were all from accident damage, it would not be until January 1976 when the first Class 25s were withdrawn surplus to requirements, when five were taken out of service.
1 : May 1971
The first withdrawal was typical of many of the Modernisation Plan era diesels and electrics that were withdrawn prematurely - that is sustaining severe collision and/or fire damage which would make repairs uneconomic. D5278 was at work in the Peak Forest area when it rolled away with its train into something immoveable. The locomotive sustained major damage to its cabs & cab floors (this alone would make repairs uneconomic) and to much of the underframe equipment, bogies, fuel tanks etc. The locomotive languished at Peak Forest for about six months prior to being broken up on-site by G Cohen, Tinsley during October 1971.
2 : March 1972
The second Class 25 withdrawn also sustained major damage in an accident, this time at Lenton South Junction. 7605 was hauling the 01.30 Liverpool - Nottingham parcels train on December 16th 1971 when it collided with a pair of Class 20s heading towards Trent Junction with a Bestwood Park - Derby coal train. Again the damage sustained was considerable, perhaps more so than that of D5278. Regretably BR staff were killed in the collision, the accident receiving national coverage in the press. Official withdrawal did not come until March 1972, by June 1972 the remains had been disposed of at Derby Works.
Repair costs were estimated at least £300,000, which was about four times of the cost of the locomotive when new. The No.1 cab had been demolished by the leading Class 20, No.8115, which would be repaired at Crewe Locomotive Works. Even more badly damaged was 7605's No.2 cab which took the full force of the parcels vehicles, these had ridden up over the locomotive frame and demolished the cab and the boiler room.
3 : October 1975
The third Class 25 to be withdrawn also succumbed to accident damage (though I know not where), but it was of a much less severe nature than 5278 or 7605. This was an indication that times were changing, much of the Class 24 fleet had been withdrawn several months earlier, so the writing was on the wall that the downsizing of the diesel fleet was to continue. And of course accident damage sustained by those locomotive classes determined to have a limited future were easy candiates for withdrawal. 25045 lingered at Derby for almost five years before being broken up during August 1979.
The last classified repair for 25045 should have taken place during the first half of 1970, so it would certainly have been due for a classified at the time of its withdrawal. This was one of only two Class 25/1s to retain their cabfront gangway doors at the time of its withdrawal.
4 : December 1975
The first of the Darlington built Class 25/0s to be withdrawn also sustained accident damage, of a moderate nature but still enough to see it withdrawn. 25015 was initially received at Derby Works for evaluation, but was later towed to Doncaster for final breaking. This was one of the few Class 25s not to have its central gangway doors sheeted over. 25015 had received its last classified repair at Derby between July and October 1971, it was due its next classified when withdrawn.
This would be the only Class 25/0 broken up at Doncaster, completed during January 1977.
5 - 9 : January 1976
25016 broken up Swindon Works by December 1976.
With the English Electric powered locomotives destined to be the survivors in the Type 1 - Type 3 power range, it came as no surprise that once the vast majority of the Class 24s had been withdrawn a start would be made into making inroads to the Class 25 fleet. The obvious candidates were the Class 25/0 subgroup, these were non-boilered and none were dual brake equipped. These first five examples were no doubt due for shopping. All were withdrawn from Tinsley and stored at Barrow Hill. the first three went directly to Swindon Works for scrapping, whilst the latter two headed north to Glasgow, presumably to become a nearby parts source for the other Class 25/0s operating out of Eastfield and Haymarket.
During March the Class 25/0s which had been withdrawn during January 1976 and stored at Barrow Hill were moved to their places of scrapping:
25015 left Derby Works on June 10th 1976 for Doncaster Works, via Toton. Interestingly the also withdrawn & accident damaged 24086 made exactly the same trip the day before, one wonders why a single movement of both locomotives together was not considered?
10 & 11 : August 1976
After eight months without any Class 25 withdrawals two more fell by the wayside, both with collision damage, another Class 25/0 and a Class 25/1. The latter, coupled to 25174 was involved in an accident at Aylesbury on August 5th 1976, with 25174 coming off the worst with a crushed cab after being hit by runaway wagons. Whatever damage 25030 suffered was not as visible, but enough to warrant the refusal of repairs. 25030 had been one of the first Class 25s to visit Devon and Cornwall as replacement for the diesel hydraulic Type 2s.
25003 broken up Glasgow Works by January 1978.
12 & 13 : September 1976
The next two withdrawals had connections to the previous two, firstly 25004 followed on numerically from withdrawn sister 25003 and secondly accident victim 25174 was connected with 25030, both these having been involved in the same accident. 25030 & 25174 were initially taken to Cricklewood, then on August 9th both headed north moved to Derby Works, 25030 for scrapping and 25174 for evaluation. They arrived just in time for the Annual Works Open Day, with 25174 parked in the Works arrival sidings, a location where its crushed cab was visible to most visitors who toured the Works.
25004 broken up Glasgow Works by September 1977.
14 : November 1976
Another accident damaged locomotive that came to the end of the line was 25018 which sustained major damage at Ayr in a runaway accident. It was soon evacuated to Glasgow Works, being broken up there during September 1978. Its last classified repair had been at Derby during January 1973.
25018 broken up Glasgow Works by August 1978.
15 : February 1977
The slow withdrawal of Class 25s continued on into 1977, again the Class 25/0s were the primary candidates, particularly as they came due for shopping. By year's end inroads were to be made into non-accident damaged Class 25/1s, with the Scottish Region examples being most prevalent.
25012 became the first Class 25 withdrawal for 1977, by September 1977 it had been scrapped at Glasgow Works. It underwent a major repair at Derby from July - September 1971, but judging by its final condition at Glasow when withdrawn it must have at least received another repaint since 1971.
25012 broken up Glasgow Works by September 1977.
16 : April 1977
In April the highest numbered of the Class 25/0's, 25025 was taken out of service following fire damage, it was broken up at Glasgow Works during April 1978. The final paint job on 25025 suggests it was last received by Glasgow for repair possibly during the spring of 1973 or the autumn of 1974.
25025 broken up Glasgow Works by April 1978.
17 : July 1977
The next casualty was 25014, taken out of service during June, withdrawn in July and broken up very quickly at Glasgow Works during September.
25014 was one of several Class 25/0s put to store during February 1976, then reinstated in June 1976 and working for another year before final withdrawal in July 1977.
25014 broken up Glasgow Works by September 1977.
18 : August 1977
25029 was definately a well travelled machine, a characteristic that followed it into retirement. Its last year had been spent allocated to Toton. After withdrawal it would be moved to Derby Works where it would stay only briefly before heading north to Glasgow Works, presumably as a parts source, it would be broken up there during January 1978.
25029 broken up Glasgow Works by January 1978.
19 & 20 : December 1977
The end of the year closed with two more Class 25s going to the wall, both from the Scottish Region. Both were quickly dealt with by Glasgow, 25031 broken up in June and 25096 in August 1978. The withdrawal of 25096 would indicate that any Class 25 would be a candidate for withdrawal, it appears 25096 may have been due a classified repair. It also seems to be a safe bet that 25031 was also overdue a classified repair.
25031 broken up Glasgow Works by May 1978.
21 : May 1978
The New Year brought a brief reprieve for the Class 25's with a four month period without any withdrawals.
It would be left for the Scottish Region to withdraw the first dual-braked Class 25, in this case 25077, believed due to the locomotive sustaining fire damage - an occurrence with the Class 25's that was infrequent. 25077 had been dual-braked during a classified repair at Glasgow Works during April/May 1977, which should have given it an extended period of continued service but for the fire damage incurred. 25077 would linger for a short time at Glasgow Works before being scrapped in September 1978.
25077 broken up Glasgow Works by September 1978.
22 : June 1978
25295 would become the newest Class 25 to date to be withdrawn, it received moderate collision damage (at ??) which in better times would have been repaired without a second thought. Instead 25295 would return to Derby Works and spend over three years there before being broken up during October 1981. This was the second dual-braked equipped locomotive to be withdrawn and was also the first of the Beyer Peacock built machines to be retired.
25295 broken up Derby Works by October 1981.
23 - 25 : October 1978
Three more Scottish Region Class 25s succumbed at the end of the summer timetable. 25091 & 25098 were surplus to requirements, 25171 was not so fortunate. It had run away with a ballast train in the vicinity of Arbroath on September 22nd 1978, being diverted into the goods yard there and collided with a rock face at the end of a siding. Not surprisingly it suffered major damage and was broken up in the goods yard by BR staff during January 1979.
25091 is one of a few Class 25's that were allocated to depots on all five of BRs Regions (ER, LMR, ScR, SR & WR), it having spent a short time in 1964 on loan to Hither Green.
All three of these machines were vacuum braked.
25171 was only the 2nd Class 25 (after 5278) to be broken up away from a BR Workshops.
25091 broken up Glasgow Works by October 1979.
26 : November 1978
25165 became another Class 25 withdrawn due to collision damage, sustaining moderate damage to one cab & bufferbeam at ?? It would return to Derby Works after withdrawal, where it ended its days during September 1979.
25165 broken up Derby Works by September 1979.
After the withdrawal of 25165, fifteen months would pass before the next Class 25 was withdrawn from service.
27 - 29 : March 1980
1979 proved to be a good year for the Class 25s - there were no withdrawals!! However British Rail were facing an increasing backlog of machines out of service awaiting repairs. One attempt to ease this crisis was to send a number of locomotives to Swindon Works for unclassified repairs. Amongst the Classes handled there were a number of Class 25s - to assist Swindon a number of out of service Class 25s were withdrawn and sent to Swindon to provide a parts source.
For this puprose three Class 25s - 25111, 25147 & 25252 were withdrawn and sent down to Swindon. Two were definately long overdue for shopping, whilst 25147 was barely two years out of a repair at Derby, presumably stopped requiring an expensive repair. They did not linger long at Swindon, by October 1980 all three were scrapped. None of these three were dual-braked. These movements drew Swindon more significantly into the scrapping arena, during 1976 it had disposed of the three Class 25/0s sent down from Barrow Hill - now it would play a most significant job in disposing of the Class 25s. So much so that Derby & Glasgow would gradually fade from the picture.
These three withdrawals, coupled to events affecting the remainder of the BR diesel fleet, clearly marked an escalation in the trimming of the BR fleet - it would take seven more years to see the entire Class 25 fleet withdrawn, this point is quite significant in their decline.
25111 broken up Swindon Works by October 1980.
30 & 31 : May 1980
These two machines were retired surplus to requirements, with both due for shopping. 25102 had been the last Class 25 to carry two-tone green livery, it also went directly to Swindon after withdrawal at Crewe. Swindon disposed of it quickly, by October 1980 it was no more. 25092 lingered at Derby for two years prior to being scrapped in June 1982. 25092 was in that group of locomotives which were extremely well travelled with many transfers. Its allocations included both Laira & Inverness, but it would end its days allocated to Cricklewood.
25092 broken up Derby Works by June 1982.
32 : June 1980
The remaining Class 25/0s had avoided any withdrawals since 25014 during July 1977. Most of the remaining 25/0s had been through Glasgow Works for a variety of repairs during 1977/78, giving them the opportunity to continue in service for a while longer. By the summer of July 1980 their time was running out.
25008 had been outshopped by Glasgow during July 1979, this should have allowed it to operate to the end of the Class 25/0's service career. Unfortunately 25008 sustained collision damage, leading to its immediate withdrawal and return to Glasgow Works for scrapping, which ocurred very quickly, by August 1980 it was no more.
25102 broken up Glasgow Works by August 1980.
33 - 36 : July 1980
The continued withdrawal of the Scottish examples did not let up during the busier summer months, with three falling by the wayside during July. 25009 had last recieved a repair at Glasgow during November 1977, thus its withdrawal was not unexpected. Likewise 25068's last repair had been at Glasgow during September 1976, so it too was overdue and is believed to have been withdrawn with fire damage. Also due for shopping was 25108, its last repair had also taken place at Glasgow during September 1976. These three Scottish machines were all scrapped at Glasgow Works, the last succumbing during August 1981.
25009 would be the last Class 25/0 to be sent to Glasgow Works for breaking up, all remaining Class 25/0s would make the long trip to Swindon Works to be dealt with.
Like the Scottish examples Cricklewood's dual brake equipped 25204 was also overdue for shopping, having last seen Derby Works during May 1974. After withdrawal 25204 moved north to Crewe for spares removal, then south to Swindon for scrapping, completed in October 1980.
25009 broken up Glasgow Works by September 1980.
Movements in August 1980 included:
25252 as the 9Z50 12.00 Toton - Swindon on August 14th 1980.
37 - 45 : September 1980