From the time since they were constructed there was always the risk of any locomotive getting into a contretemps with others, or for those machines with a glint of wanderlust in their cab windows to choose to beat their own path, often with dramatic results. This is not to make light of those railway workers that were injured or lost their lives in service to the railways, rather a look at the results of the unexpected happenings.
High winds plagued the east of England during the last week of October, on 27th D5020 was struck by a falling tree whilst on the East Suffolk lines.
At about 2.45am on November 10th whilst hauling a coal train from Snowdon Colliery D5000 lost control of its train at Faversham. The train ran through a sand drag, demolished the buffer stops, with the locomotive completely derailed and fouling the main line. The impact severely damaged a short length of the up main line, causing single line working to accommodate the morning rush hour. The engineers then obtained complete possession, having D5000 rerailed by late afternoon, with all lines open by late in the evening. Engines in attendance were 31874 & 31583 with two cranes.
December 17th 1960: D5095 working the 12.53am Whitemoor - Broxbourne coal train hit a derailed vehicle in the 7.14pm Romford - Whitemoor parcels at Stretham Fen, Cambridgeshire at about 2.40am. D5095 suffered considerable cab damage whilst the force of the impact derailed the locomotive and sent it down an eight foot high embankment.
May 1961: D5030 noted at Stratford depot with major collision damage to the No.2 cab on the secondman's side, Works attention would definately be required.
On July 27th on the Northallerton - Eaglescliffe line a rear end collision involving two freight trains led to the death of a guard, minor injuries to other railwaymen and damage to D5160. A Tees Yard - Washwood Heath freight led by a Class 37 was rear-ended by a Tees Yard - Northallerton local freight led by D5160 propelling a brake tender. The brake van of the Washwood Heath train was demolished, eventually catching fire, the guard was rescued from this wreckage but died after reaching the hospital. The next vehicle, a 40ton bogie bolster wagon derailed across all lines, the next two vehicles also sustained damage. The brake tender being propelled by D5160 having caused severe damage to the brake van was derailed towards the cess and over-ridden by D5160. The locomotive was derailed all wheels and sustained major cab damage as it demolished the brake tender, impact speed was about 30mph and some wagons in the local freight train sustained minor damage. Primary responsibility for the accident lay with the driver of the local freight, though there were other circumstances which required that the other train crew bear some of the responsibility.
On October 17th D5155 on the returning St Johnís Chapel freight hit a dumper truck on Broadwood level crossing. Rescue came in the shape of Cl 5 76045 off the Stanhope freight, taking the damaged diesel and its train as far as Stanhope, from there Q6 63343 took the entourage onto to Bishop Auckland.
On the last day of 1963 D5000 was noted at Willesden with collision damage to the driver's side of one cab, a quantity of the cab side panel had been peeled back.
An unidentified Brush 2 hauling a Norwich - Bishopsgate goods on February 17th, became derailed on the London side of Shenfield station, blocking both mainlines, strewing wreckage over Ĺ mile with much damage to the permanent way. Bearing down rapidly on the scene was the 11.50pm Liverpool Street - Ipswich with D5041 in charge, which suffered considerable damage in the ensuing derailment. The lines were reopened within twenty four hours with a 20 mph speed limit. D5041 required a visit to Doncaster for repair, being noted there in March.
Trouble befell D5195 on April 24th whilst working the final leg of the ĎDevonianí from Leeds City South to Bradford, a regular working for these machines. In a conflicting move at Leeds City Junction a collision ensued with the 17.36 Leeds City North - Knottingley dmu, derailing a number of vehicles, leaving D5195 with a very battered cab. This locomotive was later removed to Derby Works for repair.
An unfortunate arrival at Derby late in November was newly built D7634, received for repairs to minor collision damage.
February 10th brought chaos and destruction to the Midland lines. At Flitwick twelve loaded wagons hauled by D5218 ran into a stationary D5383 immediately north of the station. Most of the train was derailed, necessitating the attendance of D7503 and the Cricklewood crane. The lines was cleared by midnight, hindered additionally by a snowfall. The damaged locomotives were removed to Bedford, prior to heading north to Derby Works.
The recently improved LM electric service suffered a major disruption on February 28th following a collision at the south end of Stechford station, at the junction of the Aston loop line. The 13.15 Manchester - Coventry powered by green liveried AM4 026 traveling at about 70mph ran into the side of D5002 running light as part of a run-round manouevre, coming off the down line of the Aston loop. The almost stationary locomotive and the AM4 met on the diamond crossing, the locomotive sustained only minor damage, the high speed of the passenger train derailed all the coaches, the leading two coaches were thrown onto their sides demolishing two gantries and a signal. They were seriously damaged and contained most of the passengers, the emu driver, W D Burt of Stoke on Trent was killed in the wreck along with eight other passengers. Four other Stoke drivers learning the road were seriously injured. All lines were blocked with much damage to the overhead equipment. It took the permanent way department three days of hard work to clear the wreckage and make the lines reusable. The leading coach of the AM4 unit, M75670 was cut up on site whilst 70493, 61638 & 75690 were removed to Wolverton where the badly damaged 70493 languished, not being broken up until 1976.
Another collision bedeviled the West Coast mainline, this time at Rugeley on August 5th. Here the 07.35 Stafford - Rugby, waiting at the platform was run into from the rear by a runaway Trentham - Lea Hall coal train. The impact lifted the rear coach into the air, the cab of the coal train locomotive, D5090, was badly crushed, requiring the assistance of the fire department to free the driver. The damaged diesel was removed to Derby Works for evaluation and repair.
November brought bad news for the BR Sulzer Type 2 fleet with the withdrawal of the first of the class, Eastfield based D5051. It had been working coal empties to Waterside when fire broke out. It was eventually removed to Inverurie for spares recovery with the remains being broken up by August 1968. This would be the only member of the class broken up here.
Destruction and death occurred on September 9th at Castlecary when green liveried, headlight equipped D5122, running light ran into the rear of the lightly loaded 08.46 Glasgow - Edinburgh dmu. The Type 2 had just worked the 07.20 Perth - Glasgow and was returning north. The two crew on the locomotive were killed. The actions of the dmu crew prevented the fire spreading to the other coaches. Fire damaged blue & grey liveried SC79092 and the diesel locomotive were removed to Bonnybridge sidings, with the latter moving on to Eastfield on September 24th being withdrawn that same month. By early October the machine had reached Glasgow Works for stripping. This was the second of the Class 24ís to be withdrawn, though it would linger in a heavily stripped state at Glasgow Works until finally broken up in March 1971.
During October 1968 both 5155 & 5204 were at Derby Works with collision damage.
Chaos reigned at Chester in the early hours of July 9th after the 02.25 Birkenhead - Etruria iron ore train, weighing approximately 1,000 tons and hauled by 1617 was reported out of control and diverted into the diesel depot to avoid the station area. Two locomotives and eleven wagons were derailed, with 5031/43/93 & 5138/39 extensively damaged. The crew escaped major injury, though were treated for shock, not surprisingly. The latter four machines were quickly placed to store at Chester and then withdrawn during August, joining stored machines 5007/10/17/19 already there. No doubt because of the loss of these five Type 2ís it was not unexpected that a number of the stored examples would be returned to traffic, those reinstated were 5010/11/16/17.
On March 6th the WCML at Stafford sustained serious delays when 5080 hauling three tankers caught fire. This led to the power being switched off with major delays on both sides of the obstruction. 151 assisted E3118 into Wolverhampton High Level where the Peak ran round and took the train on to Crewe via Shrewsbury, running about two hours late, power was finally restored about 10.30pm. Type 2 had reached Derby Works by April for repairs.
July brought another withdrawal for the Class 24 fleet, 5088, another Crewe based machine. On May 1st whilst working the 4A19 14:33 Chester - Camden freight the locomotive caught fire at Beeston Castle. The locomotive was removed to Derby Works for inspection and withdrawn there on June 26th.
Whilst the Sulzer 2ís were not involved in these events a notice put out by the LMR authorities advised that in a recent six month period 702 locomotives were damaged in collisions and derailments, just on the LMR alone. Photographs accompanying this notice featured Peaks & Class 25ís!
May 1971 saw the first withdrawal of a Class 25, retired from the Manchester Division was green liveried 5278, having suffered considerable damage in a head on collision in the Great Rocks area. This had been one of the original batch of Class 25ís (5274 - 5279) allocated since August 1964 to handle the ICI company limestone trains. The damage sustained to 5278 made it unfit to travel, being broken up at Peak Forest by G Cohenís of Kettering during Oct 1971.
A shunting accident at Inverness between 5131 and 6855 late in July led to the Type 2 being put on decision. Retirement finally came in September being noted at Glasgow Works by early October, where it was quickly broken up.
On November 27th two engineers trains collided on the Up fast line north of Sharnbrook station. The two locomotives, 1623 & 5250 received serious damage being surrounded by a large heap of debris from all the derailed ballast wagons. The cause of the accident was an inadequate braking force on the Class 47 causing the overloaded spoil train to run away, both locomotives were removed to Bedford, and were still there at Christmas. Three cranes were in use to clear the wreckage, 78 having brought in the Toton crane.
The second Class 25 to be withdrawn was green liveried accident damaged 7605. At 06.15 on December 16 in a violent collision at Lenton South Junction (Nottingham) ladder crossover, the 01.30 Liverpool - Nottingham parcels train, hauled by 7605, collided head on with a southbound coal train led by 8115 & 8142. Regrettably both drivers and the guard of the parcels train were killed. The severely damaged 7605 was initially moved to Beeston Freightliner terminal, then onto Derby Works where it was withdrawn in March 1972 and broken up the following month. This was the shortest lived of any Class 24/25, with a working life of six years and three months. The inquiry established to investigate the incident failed to positively identify the cause, but believed the driver of the parcels train had cancelled a number of AWS warnings without heeding the signal aspects displayed.
7646 was noted during March at Derby Works with collision damage.
7635 & 7636 were noted during September at Derby Works with collision damage.
During the evening of May 8th 5028 in charge 38 wagons on the 19.30 Ellesmere Port - Mold Jcn, via Helsby ran away at Guilden station, eventually colliding, in platform 11 at Chester station with dmuís 51195 & 56229. The diesel ended up partially on top of the railcars, the third wagon, a sulphur oil tanker exploded bringing down parts of the roof. Most remarkably amidst all the destruction no serious injuries were reported. The battered remains of 5028 along with the wrecked dmuís were removed to the goods yard official withdrawal came on June 4th.
September 1972 - 5157 noted at Eastfield depot with considerable damage to one cab and bufferbeam.
On September 20th 5149 caught fire on an Auchinleck - Killoch colliery train, with condemnation coming in October, other ScR machines withdrawn that month were 5067/68, & 5114.
Pioneer 24005 (D5000) was noted at Polmadie late in January with severe damage to one cab.
A rather singed 5008 waits in Glasgow Works for attention on April 5th 1974. The Class 24's were not known to suffer seriously from traction motor fires, though this fire appears to have begun in the vicinity of the bogie, perhaps a traction motor fire or a fire started due to heavy braking igniting oil soaked debris on the bogies. Whatever the cause 5008 was fortunate to receive any type of serious repair, the end was near for the majority of the class.
December 27th found 24134 in trouble at Bagillt whilst running light to Chester. A bulldozer had been driven onto the line by vandals which derailed the locomotive, damaging the bogie. The Class 24 was removed to Derby Works for repair.
25290 was at Crewe Works for repair from January to April 1975 having sustained moderate damage to the 'A' end cab.
25274 damaged in a collision at St Blazey was towed to Bristol on January 2nd behind 50018, later heading north attached to 46053 & 08668/937.
April 1976 - 25222 at Derby Works with a damaged cab.
On November 8th the 7S64 20.10 Carlisle - Falkland Jct freight, five wagons and a brake van ran through a red signal opposite Ayr depot, derailing at the catch points. 25018 rolled over onto its side, becoming wedged against 20125 which was leaving the depot. Damage to the Type 2 was GBP26,000 enough to see it withdrawn during November.
The accident that befell 25018 occurred at a location which appears to have suffered more than its fair share of derailments/runaways. On February 14th 1963 Class 5MT 45481 ran away with a mineral train on the Dalmellington branch. Not expecting to 'survive' joining the mainline at Dalrymple Jct (because of catch points) the crew jumped off the locomotive. However the route had been set so the train continued to head north, still coasting downhill towards Ayr. At Ayr No2 some wagons became derailed but the locomotive and one wagon collided with an empty three car DMU underneath a bridge in Ayr station. Cranes from Polmadie and Hurlford were required to extricate 45481 and Sc51042 from each other under the bridge.
And on October 22nd 1963 Clayton D8545 ran away with a brake van, eventually coming to rest after having crashed through a headshunt. The locomotive leant precariously towards the running lines, again the Polmadie & Hurlford cranes were brought into to clean up the mess.
Late on the evening of July 7th the Euston carriage pilot, 25203, over-ran a signal derailing itself and three vans. As well as suffering cab damage it severed signal cables and electrical lines causing a blackout at Euston station. Principal delays were caused to the sleeper services, next morning six platforms were useable, by midday normal working had resumed.
June 1978 - 25295 at Derby Works with cab and side damage.
September 22nd turned out to be the final day for 25171. Whilst hauling a ten wagon ballast train southbound at Arbroath the train ran out of control and was diverted into the goods yard since both main lines were occupied. It demolished the buffer stops and impacted the retaining wall causing major structural damage to the locomotive, not helped by two of the now derailed ballast wagons demolishing the rear of 25171. The guard and driverís assistant jumped to safety, the driver taking refuge in the engine room.
25043 arrived at Derby Works late in February with collision damage on the driver's side of the cab at No.1 end.
Regrettably from April 10th 24081 would be the last remaining Class 24 in service following the withdrawal of 24063 the previous day. Whilst working the 14.20 Bidston Dock Ė Shotwick iron ore service the locomotive collided, at Shotwick, with some wagons from the local trip working hauled by 25158. All was not lost for 24063 however as it would later surrender its power unit to the Derby Research locomotive, 24061.
25218 received a crushed cab in a shunting incident at Stonebridge Park on March 19th. It would be shipped to Swindon for repairs to the damaged cab.
Another Cricklewood machine, 25204 with collision damage had spent some time stored at Willesden depot, it was removed to Crewe for spares removal before making its last trip to Swindon on August 12th.
On May 12th 85022, running light at Speke Jct, collided with 25316 & 25313 working the 00.19 Garston Ė Forders brickliner. 25316 sustained damage and moved to Derby Works two days later.
June 1982 - 25150 withdrawn from Longsight with a dropped cab, noted at Derby Works the same month. The locomotive had been part of a permanent way job working on the Midland mainline south of Leicester, during the operations the Class 25 ran into one of the track machines, with the Class 25 seemingly coming off the worst.
On September 3rd the operational career of 25151 came to a violent end at Hillhouse Yard (Huddersfield). Whilst working the Oakley Ė Healey Mills sand train, control of the train was lost at Slaithwaite, prompt action by the signalman diverted the runaway into Hillhouse yard, much damage being caused when the locomotive struck a ferry van, the crew having leapt to safety prior to the impact. Not surprisingly the locomotive was quickly withdrawn. In October 1982 Toton obtained 25151 for use in rerailing exercises, such machines were normally kept for a short while before scrapping but remarkably this loco remained at Toton until August 1988.
On April 22nd 25033 and 25050 collided with each other at Birkenhead, resulting in the withdrawal of both machines.
On August 17th 25243 caught fire near Bletchley whilst working the Kings Cross Ė Tring cement empties, the fire brigade taking seventy minutes to deal with the fire. Rescue came in the shape of 25089, though for 25243 the damage proved fatal with retirement taking place during September.
November 25th found 25277 on duty at Euston handling the eveningís ecs movements. After drawing forward from the stock for the 22.10 sleeper, the stock rolled forward hitting the locomotive, derailing the Class 25 and two sleepers. Rerailing was completed by 8am the next morning, though some outbound overnight services were inconvenienced. Although the damage suffered by 25277 was minor it was enough to bring about withdrawal following a trip to Derby Works.
25289 was withdrawn after a shunting accident at Preston station on January 14th 1984. The No.1 end cab suffered minor damage to the lower half of the cab front. In days gone by this would have been very repairable, but it was the deathknell for 25289.
October 1985 25058, with 25213 nearly ends up in a Stoke on Trent street.
Undated - pending research
Page last updated February 16th 2013.