5061, 24061, rdb968007
D5061, 5061, 24061
RDB968007 & 97201 'Experiment'
One of the four preserved Class 24s

Photographer not known at this time.
D5061 is seen here in pretty much 'as delivered' condition with its roof mounted water filler cover still intact, though it has gained an electrification flash, therefore probably its early 1960 in this view. Although the photograph came with no information the location is Ely North Junction, just visible is Ely cathedral to the left of the signal gantry. This view was previously thought to be the junction at Westerfield.

This distant signal post on the extreme left was removed when the junction signal outside the box was renewed as a colourlight. This created a rather interesting signal as it was cleared to green by the up starter or the down March starter, basically cleared to green by signals in completely opposite directions...

The fifteen year seven month career of 5061/24061 saw allocations to Eastern Region, London Midland Region & Scottish Region depots.

Built Crewe Locomotive Works.
Shortened fuel tank & full size water tank (retained until withdrawn).
Four upper and four lower air filters on non-BIS side, three upper and four lower on BIS side.
Gangway doors never removed.
Roof modification (above generator/brake cubicle): raised narrow panel containing the engine exhaust.
Time between last Classified repair and withdrawal: ?? months.


The frames for D5061 were laid down at Crewe Works during October 1959, D5061 was new to March (31B) on January 15th 1960. Further transfers were:

October 1960 to Willesden (1A) on loan.
November 1960 to Rugby (2A).
March 1961 to Willesden (1A).
July 1961 to Finsbury Park (34G).
August 1966 to Haymarket (64B) on loan, made permanent September 1966.
January 1968 to Longsight (9A) on loan.
June 1968 to Manchester Division (D09).
September 1968 to Stoke Division (D05).
May 1973 to Crewe.
August 10th 1975 - withdrawn.

Renumbered March 5th 1974.

After withdrawal 24061 was stored at Crewe until November 1975 when it moved to Derby (noted Derby Works at least by November 14th 1975). It was transferred to Departmental stock and allocated the number RDB968007 during July 1976. 97201 was withdrawn from Research stock on December 10th 1987.

Works Visits

Works visits (records incomplete).

Noted Derby Works April - June 1961.
Noted Stratford Works March 1962.
Noted Doncaster Works June 1963.
Noted in reasonably ex-works condition October 1966.
Noted Derby Works August & September 1968 (collision).
Noted Derby Works August 1970.
Noted Derby Works August 1974.


The frames for D5061 were laid down at Crewe in the autumn of 1959, with D5061 ready for traffic in January, being allocated to March (31B) as part of the East Anglian dieselisation program. By November D5059-61/63-65 had moved across to the LMR shed at Willesden (1A). During December D5061 moved north to Rugby (2A).

Photograph courtesy British Railways.
D5061 from the No.2 end, almost complete at Crewe Works, captured by a BR photogapher as the locomotive is readied for receiving its bogies.

Photograph courtesy British Railways.
D5061 from the No.1 end, almost complete at Crewe Works, captured by a BR photogapher as the locomotive is readied for receiving its bogies.

The stay for D5061 in the Rugby area was brief, it returned to Willesden (1A) during March, but very quickly moved on to Finsbury Park (34G) the same month. At Finsbury Park the work included numerous duties over the Great Northern lines, no doubt to cover the loss of the North British & BRCW Type 2s recently transferred to Scotland.

A Works visit took D5061 to Derby from April to June.

Condition month??: green livery with frame level stripe; gangway doors in place, shortened fuel tank, full size water tank, ridge sided sandboxes, three rung bogie mounted footsteps, no blanking plates, hand/footholds present, engine exhaust in original position, cantrail filler cover present.

A visit to Stratford took place during March, possibly to have stop-cock equipment fitted for working over the Metropolitan Widened lines.

D5061 worked the 18.10 Kings Cross - Welwyn on September 25th.

After five years working in the London area D5061 headed north to Haymarket (64B), being noted there with D5065 on August 4th. D5061 was used on the empty coaching stock duties around Edinburgh and on locals to Carlisle, Hawick & Carstairs. This move allowed the Claytons to transfer across the Firth of Forth to assist in replacing steam in the Thornton/Dunfermline/Dundee area.

On October 30th D5061 was stabled at St Margarets, Edinburgh.

Condition October: green with frame level stripe and small yellow warning panels, curved upper corners, bottom of panel covers frame level stripe, ridge sided sandboxes, two rung bogie mounted footsteps.

D5061 worked the 17.35 Glasgow Queen Street - Aberdeen on December 15th.

D5061 worked the 07.10 Aberdeen - Glasgow Queen Street on December 17th.

D5061 worked the 14.55 Edinburgh - Carlisle on August 8th.

On August 13th D5063 & D5061 were in charge of an Edinburgh - Aberdeen service throughout.

After some eighteen months working the Scottish lines D5061 returned south as part of the final campaign to finish steam working in the north west, initially allocated to Longsight (9A) during February. Later this became the Manchester Division (D09) when the LMR Divisonal allocations were adopted in June.

On the eastern side of the country the Easter holidays brought many extras including D5061 + D5276 noted on April 11th on a Manchester - Newcastle express.

On May 18th D5061 worked the 09.00 Liverpool - Glasgow as far as Preston. On May 29th D5061 was noted on an Ashton Moss - Leeds van train.

Condition June: green livery with small yellow warning panel, curved upper corners, bottom of panel covers frame level stripe; gangway doors in place, shortened fuel tank, full size water tank, ridge sided sandboxes, two rung bogie mounted footsteps, blanking plates fitted, hand/footholds partially plated over.

A visit to Derby Works took place for 5061 during August & September for collision damage repairs. Following its releaase from the Works 5061 was transferred to the Stoke Division (D05) joining a large fleet of Class 24s recently arrived from the southern end of the LMR.

Photograph collection of webmaster.
This view shows D5061 at Derby Locomotive Works during the summer of 1968, awaiting repairs. It still carries its 34G steam style shed plate. Repairs were estimated at GBP2,500.

Visitors to Derby included 5061 for repair during the summer. At the time of the Works Open Day on August 29th 5061 was being used to show visitors how the power unit was removed/replaced in the locomotive.

At about 5.45pm on January 29th 5061 was noted passing Chester with a down van train.

5061 was allocated to Crewe when the LMR Divisional allocations were discontinued during May.

Renumbering of 5061 took place in March.

At about 6.15pm on May 1st 24061 was noted passing Ashton Moss with a down freight.

24061 was present at Derby Locomotive Works during August.

Along with a great many others 24061 fell victim to the mass withdrawals of the Class 24 fleet during the summer of 1975, with 24061 being withdrawn in August.

24061 was initially stored at Crewe, however the sudden abandonment of many serviceable Class 24s allowed the Research Department at Derby to take a look at replacing their two venerable machines, the Baby Deltic 5901 and the MetroVick 5705, with something a little more reliable. Their choice was 24061, which from an external viewpoint looked a little the worse for wear, and was one of those examples that had not had its gangway doors sheeted over. Presumably its internal workings were in better condition. By October 24061 was noted at Derby Works.

24061 was renumbered RDB968007 during July.

24061 was parked in the Derby Locomotive Works holding sidings on September 4th.

RDB968007 with three Research vehicles was noted the week of November 15th making multiple trips between Totnes & Plymouth.

During January 18th - 20th RDB968007 visited the Redmire branch with three Research vehicles.

Between March 8th & 10th RDB968007 was active on the Redmire branch, whilst on March 11th RDB968007 was noted passing Newark (ECML) with a test train.

An Open Day at Derby Research Center for staff on September 24th included locomotives RDB968007 & 56001 and HST power car 43062.


RDB968007 stands at Derby Works, August 5th, 1978. The locomotive was still in the same position one week later, the date of the annual Derby Locomotive Works Open Day.

On July 2nd 24063 departed Crewe for the final time, as the 9Z50 09.00 Crewe - Tinsley freight, adding RDB968007 (24061) & 74010 at Derby. The cavalcade reached Doncaster Works on July 4th allowing for an engine swap between the two Class 24s. By the end of the month 24063 had been reduced to scrap, the last of this class to be broken up here.

Its August 5th, 1979 and RDB968007 has reached Doncaster Works, not to be scrapped but to have the power unit transferred in from accident damaged 24063.

After its return from Doncaster Works the Class 24 was renumbered 97201, whilst still in blue/yellow livery. It appears to have spent some time parked in the Derby Locomotive Works holding sidings, being noted there on November 3rd.

A visit to Toton on March 1st found 968007 inside Toton shed undergoing a repaint, prior to renumbering to 97201.

On April 26th 97201 was under repair at Toton, the cab fronts appeared recently repainted but the bodywork was shabby.

Photograph courtesy Malcolm Lowe.
97201 inside Toton depot on July 2nd 1980 in the process of receiving its red & blue livery.

Photograph courtesy Adrian Healey.
Its now July 4th 1980 and 97201 resplendent in its new livery is out on test for a run up to Westhouses and back.

97201 noted at Derby London Road curve in fresh paint on July 17th with the name 'Experiment' on the BIS side.

On August 9th 97201 'Experiment' as noted at Toton depot in a very fresh coat of Research Department blue/red livery. It is presumed that the boiler was reinstated to service and the bufferbeam steam heat connections were refitted whilst at Toton.

On September 22nd freshly painted 97201 'Experiment' was stabled at York depot.

Photograph courtesy Adrian Healey.
Sitting in the morning sun at Etches Park, Derby on October 29th 1980 97201 glistens with its shiny paintwork, giving no doubt that this is a Research Department locomotive. Although the locomotive is carrying a nameplate here, this appears to have been of a temporary nature and possibly only one nameplate was ever fitted, alternating between either side of the locomotive when it was fitted. When displayed at Cardiff Canton Open Day on July 6th 1985 the nameplate was carried in the same position as in the view above, but eight weeks later when on display at Coalville Open Day on September 1st, the nameplate was fitted to the other side of the locomotive. Photographs from both these events reveal that only one plate was fitted to the Class 24 and the attaching of the plate to the bodyside was effected without any trace of the method of attachment being noted, i.e. no bolt holes or similar. When the Class 24 was in day to day use by the Research Center, the nameplate was not fitted.

On January 26th 97201 and Research vehicles were noted at Crewe.

97201 was noted running light engine at Derby on March 31st.

On August 3rd 97201 was westbound at Stenson Junction with two Research vehicles.

97201 was noted northbound at Derby on September 13th with some Research stock.

On December 16th 97201 and Research vehicles were noted approcahing Derby from the south-west.

On October 5th 97201 was noted at Bedford with a Research test train.

97201 was noted parked on the London Road curve, Derby on November 26th.

On a snowy January 22nd 97201 was noted parked on the London Road curve, Derby.

97201 was noted at York depot on February 5th. 97201 hauled a Derby - Carlisle (via York, Berwick & Edinburgh) test train on February 12/13th. 97201 and three Research vehicles were noted at Heaton South Junction on February 20th. 97201 and Research vehicles were noted at Carlisle on February 21st.

Shortly after mid-day on a very gloomy March 13th 97201 was noted passing Watford with a working from Carlisle, eventually destined for Derby. On March 19th 97201 was noted at Preston with a Research train.

On April 3rd 97201 was noted passing Morpeth & Durham with three Research vehicles. On April 4th 97201 and Research vehicles were northbound at Cricklewood.

On October 12th 97201 and three Research vehicles were noted at Derby station.

On November 15th a structure gauging train worked from Derby RTC to Ipswich, it had been diagrammed for 97201 but the presence of air-braked stock in the formation saw it worked by 31294.

On November 26th 97201 and three Research vehicles were noted at Edinburgh Waverley.

An Open Day at Cardiff Canton on July 6th produced a considerable variety of exhibits including 25322 and 97201 (ex 24061), the latter being used for cab rides. 25322 had arrived dead behind 47290 working the Garston - Severn Tunnel Junction car carriers. On July 16th 97403 & 97201 (46035 & 24061) were noted passing through Derby with three Research Department vehicles.

Another Open Day for 97201 was at a very warm Coalville Open Day on September 1st.

On September 24th 97201 & 97403 (ex 24061 & 46035) were noted passing Walton propelling a special adhesion test train on the Merseyrail network, on its way to Ormskirk. The train was comprised of the two locomotives and three Research Department vehicles, a laboratory coach, a short wheel base van and an auto trailer. This train had made the trip from Derby Research on September 23rd and returned there on September 25th.

On December 10th 97201 & 97403 with three Research vehicles was noted at Manchester Victoria.

On January 31st 97201 & 97403 handled a test train from Derby to Bristol.

On February 18th & 19th 97201 & 97403 were noted passing through Crewe station. On February 21st 97201 & 97403 were noted with a test train at Derby.

On March 19th 97201 & 97403 (with 97201 leading) were noted on the WCML at Low Gill and Crewe with three test coaches.

On March 25th 97201 & 97403 with three test coaches visited the Sutton Colliery branch, possibly in conjunction with some Class 58 testing. The Research train then returned to Derby.

On May 12th 975076 (ex E34500) Auto-Trailer & Tribology stock with 97403 & 97201 were noted passing through Crewe.

June 1st saw the well attended Coalville Open Day featuring many exhibits including 25912 'Tamworth Castle', 97201 and 97403.

On July 4th 97201 was present at the MRT 'Diesel Spectacular' at Butterley. Time had now run out for this machine, it lacked train air brakes and the almost complete rundown of the Class 25 fleet saw it withdrawn during July. Tragically it was replaced by a piece of junk, 31298, transferred from Immingham and renumbered 97203.

97201 was noted at Crewe on May 12th.

97201 was on display at Coalville Mantle Lane Open Day on May 31st and at Worksop Open Day on June 6th.

When 25244 left Vic Berry's September 23rd, destined for the Swanage Railway it was assisted on the journey by being hauled by 97201 (with 97403 & D4) en route to the Basingstoke Railshow (26th & 27th).

Photograph courtesy Stephen Houlker.
97201 was definately a favourite on the Open Day circuit, it is seen here at Coalville Open Day on May 31st 1987.

Photograph courtesy Chris Ward.
An undated dull & damp day finds both of the Research locomotives together with a short train of Research stock.

1988 - 1991

On May 26th 97403, 97201 & 97204 were stabled on London Road curve, Derby, possibly waiting for a move south for the Bedford Rail Day on May 28th.

During November 1988 97201 was sent to Vic Berry's, Leicester for a cost estimate with regard to the removal of asbestos. The locomotive was put up for tender, bids were placed but it was not until June 1989 that the process moved to the next stage with a deposit placed to allow commencement of the asbestos removal. Again the locomotive drifted off into obscurity, with Vic Berry eventually contacting BR for storage charges! Shortly afterwards Vic Berry's business went into receivership followed by more delays and worries for its intended owner, Dave Edleston. Fortunately the identified issues between Vic Berry and BR were quickly resolved allowing for the locomotive to leave Vic Berry's yard by road on July 19th 1991, just in time to allow for its display at the Midland Railway Center 'Diesel Spectacular' on July 20th/21st 1991. Despite its extended stay at Leicester there was still life left in the locomotive's batteries when they were tested at Butterley.

Photograph courtesy Graham Turner

Now preserved 97201 stands at Butterley during August 1991, some thirty one years after emerging new from Crewe, and now displaying a livery certainly far removed from it original Brunswick green and grey.

97201 was on display at Worksop Open Day on September 1st 1991.

On September 13th 1991 97201 & 45135 were resplendent in fresh paint on show at a rail event in Cambridge.

During 1997 D5061 worked 36 miles on the NYMR.

flk 0222 (4)

Page added April 17th 2000.
Last updated February 12th 2022.

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