The twenty year seven month career of D5081/24081 was spent entirely on the London Midland Region apart from its very brief (paper only?) allocation to the Eastern Region.
Built Crewe Locomotive Works (from batch 5076 - 5093).
The frames for D5081 were laid down at Crewe Works during January 1960, D5081 was new to March (31B) on March 9th 1960. Further transfers were:
March 1960 to Willesden (1A), on loan.
Renumbered February 27th 1974.
Although 24081 was withdrawn on October 5th 1980, it had been at Steamport, Southport since September 17th 1980.
Works visits (records incomplete).
Noted Derby Works March 1962.
April 27th & 28th saw Marylebone Goods yard hosting an exhibition for the Institute of Transport Congress. On display were D269, D5081, E5012, E3037, EMU coaches Sc75591 (026) & E61441 (413) and DMU M59666. A similar exhibition at Stoke on Trent during May to recognise the city's golden Jubilee included amongst other machines D5081.
During November D5081 moved to Watford (1C), where it would remain for the next four years.
On November 11th D5081 & D5085 were noted in Scotland having arrived on the Luton - Bonnybridge car train.
Condition April: small yellow warning panels with curved upper corners, blanking plates fitted, shortened fuel & water tanks.
Condition July: ex-works in green with small yellow warning panels, curved upper corners, blanking plates fitted, shortened fuel & water tanks.
On July 10th ex-works D5081 was noted at Carlisle arriving with a Blackpool bound special on the first Saturday of 'Glasgow Fair' week. Black Five No. 45012 would take over the train for the run to Blackpool. D5081 had also been noted in the Perth area in ex-works condition during July.
Condition July: green livery (no stripe, light grey roof) with full yellow ends (paint seems reasonably fresh), BR double arrow centered on bodysides, gangway doors in place, shortened fuel & water tanks, blanking plates in place, no bodyside valencing, hand/footholds plated over.
A Shrewsbury - Gourock excursion on July 10th suffered a failure shortly after departure with 25193 & 24081 requiring assistance from 37040, the cavalcade being replaced at Warrington by 81004.
Condition October, No.1 end drivers side, modified yellow paint around side window (see view above). This embellishment is believed to have existed until July 1979 when a repaint of 24081 took place.
On May 26th 24081 was noted passing Saltney Junction with a lengthy mixed freight from Croes Newydd yard to Mold Junction on May 26th. June 8th & 14th saw 24023 & 24081 on the Shotwick iron ore workings.
Condition August: blue/yellow livery, gangway doors sheeted over, shortened fuel tank, no water tank, blanking plates fitted, hand/footholds plated over, three-rung bogie mounted footsteps, ridge sided sanddboxes, bufferbeam steam pipe connection removed.
Late into March the two remaining Class 24s 24063 & 24081 were still soldiering on, observed on the Oakamoor sand train were 24081 & 25215 (28th) and 24063 & 25159 (29th).
During April 24081 was a regular visitor to Hereford. It arrived with 25211 on 8th with the 21.30 Grange Junction (Stoke) - Margam, returning north on April 9th with the 15.10 Radyr - Shotwick. On April 12th a train of continuously welded rail from Hookagate arrived at Hereford behind 24081, which was removed to the stabling point and departed on April 13th with the 12.45 Penzance - Crewe parcels. On 15th & 21st it arrived with a continuously welded rail train from Hookagate, the latter time with 25159. The pair returned north from Hereford the same day (21st) with empty continuously welded rail wagons from Severn Tunnel Junction to Hookagate.
On July 26th 1979 24081 was captured on film running through Wrexham station, here it would do some shunting, leaving with a short parcels train (see views above).
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 - Shotwick iron ore service the locomotive collided, at Shotwick, with some wagons from the local trip working hauled by 25158. The third week of July marked the 100th anniversary of the Blaneau Ffestiniog branch, a display on 22nd at Llandudno featured 24081, 40186, refurbished 50986 & 56221 and a BR cinema coach. The one remaining Class 24 was noticeable by its absence this summer on passenger workings, however on August 2nd 24081 rescued 40129 at Colwyn Bay on the 18.05 Holyhead - Euston, taking the service as far as Crewe.
On October 30th 24081 was noted passing Stoke on Trent with a rake of empty wagons for either Oakamoor or Caldon.
Nuneaton stabling point held an Open Day event on May 4th, 24081 being one of the honoured visitors. Crewe Works Open Day followed on September 22nd, and in October 1980 it attended a joint BR/Steamport exhibition at Southport. It was failed here with flat batteries and retired, ending its remarkable eighteen month run as the sole Class 24 in service. From here, with a service life of just over twenty years, it was quickly rescued for preservation. Withdrawn at the same time were interestingly the last three remaining Class 31/0's, 31004/08/19, two 06's, four 25's and six 76's whilst 56084 was delivered new to Tinsley.
And since November 2000 24081 will have spent more time in preservation than in active service for British Railways.
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Page created May 6th 2000.