Severe gales on the evening of January 2nd affected much of the country with wind speeds consistently above 50mph. These high winds brought down the wires in the Berkswell area, a diesel multiple unit shuttle substituting between Coventry and Birmingham. 25251 & 25277 assisted 87023 with an empty coaching stock working through the affected area on the morning of 3rd, whilst 25236 arrived with a re-wiring train, though full service was not restored until January 4th. Such was the intensity of the storm that the majority of electric services into New Street were halted, whilst diesels substituted for many northbound workings. Delays of three to four hours were frequent. Not helping the matter was the derailment of 25242 on an engineers train south of Nuneaton, also on 2nd. This severely impacted the Leicester services, however the arrival of 25047 with the Saltley breakdown crane saw the line cleared by the evening. A little further south at Worcester the driver and guard of 1055 'Western Advocate' lost their lives when their light engine ran into the rear of a Curzon Street - Worcester parcels on 3rd, the storm having affected communications in the area.
In North Wales flooding between Bettws-y-Coed and Llanwrst trapped a two car dmu whilst the last service from Blaneau on 2nd ran into a fallen tree damaging M56163. Bus services substituted until 10th due to the seventeen washouts reported, 24081 was noted on 6th with a ballast train. On the Cambrian lines storms washed away Gogarth halt, flooding the section between Dovey Jct & Aberdovey, with the sea washing away the track between Tonfanau & Tywyn. An emergency service resumed on 12th. The line was also breached near Borth trapping two dmu's at Aberystwyth for several months. On the east coast an extremely high tide on January 3rd washed away the line near Cleethorpes station with many houses in the vicinity being inundated with floodwater. It was not until 10th that services were resumed. The tide that night was reputedly higher in some places than that of the great storm of 1953. At Mablethorpe & Sutton on the Sea over four feet of floodwaters were recorded. In the Newcastle area business was brisk following the closure of the WCML due to the wires having been brought down on the evening of 2nd in the Shap area. Many trains were diverted from Carlisle using quite a variety of Type 4 power. When the 15.45 Euston - Glasgow brought the wires down near Shap no more northbound services ran, those trapped in the Lancaster/Preston area were either terminated or resumed the next morning (3rd), passengers being accommodated locally. Southbound workings were either diverted via Newcastle or simply cancelled, especially due to the stock dislocations. Not that the vicinity of the ECML was without its problems, a caravan site near Doncaster was destroyed and a wind gust of 104mph was recorded at Peterborough!
A stranger to Clacton on January 5th was 25205 hauling emu 312118 having arrived via Ipswich and Colchester from ?? Further north January 11th saw 24047 arrive at Tyne Yard with a freight from Healey Mills, the Class 24 later working south with a car train for Morris Cowley. Tyne Yard local workings were often covered by visiting Class 25's, on February 25th three Midland Type 2's were noted on such workings.
The 17.10 Edingburgh - Berwick continued to run with a wide variety of power, December 29th featured 24121, 27109 on January 5th, 27117 (6th), 27112 (10th), stored (?) 24094 on January 12th, 55002 (13th), 47461 (14th), stored (?) 24069 (19th).
On January 23rd the first batch of withdrawn Class 24's from Scotland headed south, with 24003/12/18/96 comprising a St Rollox - Doncaster special. By February 1st 24012 was on site at Doncaster Works, possibly the first Class 24 to visit the Works since the mid 1960's when various ER & LM examples were overhauled here. January had also seen eighteen further Class 24's put to store including pioneer 24005 (D5000), along with five Class 25/0's. Tinsley's remaining serviceable Class 25/0's transferred to Eastfield in February leaving the ER without any Class 25's on its books, a number of Class 31's were transferred to Tinsley to cover this loss. The loss of the Class 24's at Crewe saw a number of Class 25's transferred in including ten from the WR. Also withdrawn at this time was 20074, the first of its Type to be retired and half a dozen Class 40's.
Mainline running was the order of the day on January 24th when 25158 & 25167 rescued failed 47027 on the 13.30 Paddington - Paignton service, all three were replaced at Exeter.
January 31st found 26029 on fire whilst hauling the 04.35 Edinburgh - Glasgow, rescue coming in the shape of 24115.
A new contract to move pipes from Leith Docks to several long distance locations including Derby, Wisbech and Salisbury, and shorter hauls to Carlisle, Darlington, Law Jct, Maud & Montrose would provide much work for pairs of Haymarket Class 25's. The Leith - Salisbury diagram involved the Scottish Type 2's working as far as Didcot, examples noted were 25011 & 25026 (March 13th) and 25002 & 25317 (March 27th), 25018 & 25031 (April 10th), 25026 & 25092 (April 24th), the locomotives generally returning north light, at least as far as the Birmingham area. On the WCML pairs of Springs Branch Class 25's were diagrammed for the Widnes - Polmadie BOC workings. And in the Cardiff area increased iron ore workings led to greater use of Class 25's on local workings, being frequently used west of Margam.
February on the Scottish Region was bleak: fifteen more Class 24's were condemned and four Class 25/0's were stored whilst below the border the first examples were cut up, 24042 at Swindon and 24012 at Doncaster. One of the recently withdrawn machines, 24112, had spent its entire life at Inverness. There was little better news from the Crewe area, a further nine Class 24's were placed in store, their loss being covered by Class 25's transferred in, including several from the WR, which in turn were covered by reshuffling several Class 31's. Movement of withdrawn stock continued, Barrow Hill was cleared of its stored Class 25/0's, three to Swindon & two to Glasgow. More Class 24's arrived at Carlisle for storage, whilst six already there were moved to Glasgow Works for component recovery.
On 18th February the 07.45 Cardiff - Newcastle arrived at its destination behind 25037 & 25239, presumably having deputised for a failure. The Type 2's returned south separately on parcels workings. Two days later four Royal Train coaches were brought into Edinburgh by 25048 & 25053. Another, and most unusual event was the use of 25099 on the air conditioned 08.48 St Pancras - Sheffield and 13.00 return on February 25th. That same day 24116 handled an Edinburgh - Dundee football special.
March brought despicable acts against the railways through the use of explosive devices on passenger trains. On March 4th a bomb exploded on an empty 4EPB 5343 at Borough Market, a passing Gravesend train sustaining injuries and damage to the passengers and vehicles. On March 15th an LT Underground Metropolitan line train was the target of a bomb at West Ham station, the next day a similar explosion occurred at Wood Green on the Piccadilly line. Mercifully no passengers were killed in these incidents, but the driver of the train at West Ham was shot dead whilst pursuing the alledged bomber.
March 20th's 13.10 Edinburgh - Inverness used 25229 & 25234, the Saturday working of this train being noted for its variety of motive power. A week later the Whitemoor - Royston tanks was noted at Cambridge behind 25288 & 25276, obviously March were short of power that morning.
The month of April saw the Widnes - Polmadie BOC working feature mixed pairs of locomotives including 25202 & 40135 (2nd) and 25282 & 40055 (24th).
Twenty wagons in a Tutbury - Tring freight derailed near Leighton Buzzard on April 8th. The locomotives, 25124 & 25132 remained on the track, a broken spring being blamed for the derailment.
The week prior to Easter saw the re-instatement of service between Aberystwyth and Dovey Jct following the severe flooding in January. Only one excursion ran during the Easter period, a mystery excursion from Lichfield with 24087 & 24133 on April 19th. Recent changes on the Aberystwyth - Shrewsbury line saw the mail train 'replaced' by a Cross Country dmu set, the former service from York now terminating at Shrewsbury. The freight still ran daily, alternating between Aberystwyth and Pwllheli/Porthmadog with the return to Shrewsbury. April 17th found 25039 in charge of the 10.15 Birmingham - Norwich, normally a dmu working but during the Easter holiday period these services were loco hauled, and then generally by Class 31's. On arrival at Norwich 25039 was declared a failure, not returning west until 20th on the 12.52 to Birmingham. The 17th saw an Alfreton - Yarmouth excursion hauled by 25076 & 25218. The Bletchley - Bedford dmu failed on April 20th, with 25242 pressed into service to finish the working. Similarly 25066 was pressed into service on April 29th's 17.05 Shrewsbury - Wolverhampton service due to a shortage of dmu's.
April 6th found the double headed 16.35 Inverness - Glasgow Queen Street in trouble at Kingussie when leading locomotive 26034 failed, being removed and replaced by 25029 off a northbound freight. However 25029 was later detached at Stirling after parts from it hit a freight train near Dunblane, leaving 24121 to carry on alone reaching Glasgow two hours late. The next day these same two trains were involved in further locomotive exchanges when 47424 working the northbound 'Clansman' caught fire at Dalnaspidal. 26027 was removed from the Glasgow working to assist the 'Clansman' northwards, whilst 24107 off the freight was added to the Glasgow train for the run south. On April 19th the 21.00 Edinburgh - Glasgow Queen Street arrived twenty minutes late behind 25237, its return working the 22.00 to Edinburgh was only thirteen minutes late leaving, in charge of 24106. The next day 24124 failed before departure on the 17.10 Edinburgh - Berwick, a swift substitution made use of 25229 standing in the station. A week later (27th) 25237 was back in the news after catching fire whilst hauling an engineer's saloon through Cumbernauld. 37144 completed the journey to Huntly. Haymarket were noted making use of stored 25014 as a CMEE training vehicle.
24085 & 24133 worked a Crewe - Holyhead railtour on April 24th, whilst a week later on May 1st 24054 & 24133 handled the Crewe - Llandudno leg of an excursion from Euston. Further north (stored) 24094 powered May 7th's 17.10 Edinburgh - Berwick service.
In the Exeter area Class 25 diagrams included the afternoon Chard Junction - Exeter milk train, then a local evening Exeter - Newton Abbott passenger, using the stock from a Waterloo service. A pair of Class 25s also handled the overnight St Blazey - Temple Mills freight as far as Exeter. Elsewhere on the Western Region the Port Talbot - Llanwern iron ore trains had been increased to 27 100 tonne bogies wagons, capable of loading 2,000 tons of iron and requiring the use of three Class 37s to handle the 46 mile journey. This was now the heaviset freight service on British Rail.
An east - west cross country working which occasionally featured Class 25s was the evening Norwich - Liverpool Lime Street parcels, 25134 was noted on May 4th and 25266 & 25269 the next day. Other Class 25 workings in the area included 25049 (10th) and 25239 (17th) on the daily Whitemoor - Kings Lynn freight round trip.
Engineer's saloon 45026 made circular tours in the Birmingham area on May 17th & 25th, on the former date 25040 was the motive power. A one off working took place of May 24th when 24074 was worked from Crewe to Cashmores Yard at Great Bridge for scrap, one of only two Class 24's from the current batch of withdrawals to go to a private scrapper.. In anticipation of the closure of the Cheltenham - Honeybourne route day an unidentified Class 25 on May 25th made a test trip between Derby & Long Marston, via Stratford with a Warflat wagon. The train returned the following day, the Class 25 having stabled overnight at Stratford. Two days later 25046 made it all the way to Parkeston Quay on a freight from Whitemoor, the Class 25 returned light to Ipswich before taking another freight west.
A long time passenger service disappeared from the timetables at the beginning of May; the through service from St Pancras to Glasgow, and its southbound counterpart (formerly the 'Thames- Clyde Express') ceased on May 1st (2nd?), the last Up working noted arriving at Leeds behind 45073. It was replaced by a Nottingham - Glasgow service effective May 3rd, which like its predecessor would remain Class 45 hauled.
With the arrival of the summer timetable came numerous stock alterations. The last of the LMR Class 50s moved to the Western Region, reducing further the usefulness of the few remaining Westerns. Another dozen Class 24s went to store with the consequent re-allocation of Class 25s to cover these, this led to Inverness & Bristol losing their Class 25 allocations. For Bristol a number of Class 31s were moved in from the Eastern Region, which entertained quite a number of internal transfers, in addition to the storage of some of its Class 31/0s. A reshuffle of diesel multiple units in the Exeter area led to more local services being hauled by Class 25s. However within a month Inverness would regain an allocation of three Class 25s (from the LMR), with three from Eastfield moving south. The last two Class 25s in green livery, 25043 & 25102 succumbed to blue paint during the summer, with the former being the last green Class 25. Derby Works also seemed loathe to break up condemned locomotives, a clear out in early June sent 24086 & 25015 to Doncaster Works whilst 25124 took 08179 & 08236 to Swindon Works. The movement of 24086 left Derby without any Class 24s present for the first time in eighteen years, although 24061 (just renumbered RDB 968007) could be seen across the lines at the Research Department. Doncaster had recently received Baby Deltic 5901 from Derby and a number of Class 31/0s from Stratford for scrapping, bringing together for a last time locomotives (Classes 23/24 & 31) used to dieselise the Great Eastern in the late 1950s.
The summer extra's again relied on Class 25's in the Midlands, the Walsall - Yarmouth using 25075 & 25210 (May 29th) and 25113 & 25125 (June 19th). The Nottingham - Llandudno appeared to flipflop between Class 25 & 47 haulage, on July 10th this service produced 25205 & 25074! The 09.20 Derby - Skegness service, now known as the 'Jolly Fisherman' proved to be very popular with its cheap GBP1.80 fare. The loadings were so heavy that a relief was provided leaving Derby at 09.05, frequently in the hands of pairs of Toton Class 20s.
An engineer's special hauled by 25068 & 25072 ran on June 3rd from Walsall to Willesden via Tyseley & Banbury, included in the formation was a track recording coach. The same day saw a Leamington - Aberystwyth excursion behind 25055 & 25264. On the return working the latter failed at Upton Magna, both being replaced by 47488. Elsewhere on this day the 17.20 Llandudno - Manchester used 24047 as a replacement for 47205 which had arrived from Manchester but sustained collision damage at Llandudno(?). Two days later 25305 worked the 9.56 Ryhl - Crewe relief and its 12.10 return, whilst in the south-west 25223 handled an Exeter - Plymouth relief to provide connections from the extremely late arrival of a Waterloo service.
The derailment of a wagon in a southbound freight near Wamphray on June 19th provided authorities with a hectic time on this busy summer Saturday. Stopping services between Carlisle and Glasgow continued over the WCML, all others went via the GSW route. This led to an imbalance of power at Carlisle with many diesels filling in, the only Type 2's noted were 25232 & 25240 on the 14.10 Glasgow - Euston as far as Carlisle. June 21st marked the beginning of one of the most memorable summers of the century. The year had already been one of the driest on record with drought threatening much of the country. As the warm front moved north on 21st temperatures over 90F would blanket much of the country, between June 23rd & July 2nd somewhere in the country would reach 90F. Occasional thunderstorms did occur but the extreme prolonged heat and the low humidity quickly mitigated its effects. The hot dry weather continued through July, Cheltenham reaching 35.9F on July 2nd and Braemar 30F on July 8th, the generally cloudless sky producing some high sunshine periods especially for the coastal resorts.
On June 27th the derailment of a track maintenance machine near Pitlochry delayed the 08.50 Edinburgh - Inverness with 25005 & 25033 reported six hours late!
Further tests with Warflat wagons took place between Derby & Long Marston, 25205 was noted on July 1st, 25095 on July 27th.
The summer holiday 'weeks' in a number of the Midland towns brought increased traffic to the regular services and the usual extras. Leicester's holiday period commenced July 4th with a heavily strengthened London service and extras to Skegness with 25176 & 25178 and to Yarmouth with 25165 & 25280. The Leamington/Coventry area started their holiday week on July 11th and featured amongst others 25038 & 25145 to Rhyl (21st), 25073 & 25074 to Aberystwyth (23rd). Also strengthened was the 12.42 Manchester - Llandudno and 18.42 return, for the summer period becoming loco hauled, with occasional Class 25's appearing, so noted was 25061 on July 16th. Longsight Class 25's were diagrammed to handle the Saturday's only Manchester - Lincoln leg of the service to Yarmouth, but during July this occurred only once on 17th with 25090 & 25146. Their return working should be the 09.15 ex Yarmouth.
An unusual duty for 25062 on July 9th was to inspect the line between Inverness and Carr Bridge for effects from a major forest fire in the Daviot Moor area. Having reached Carr Bridge it was used to pilot 40072 on a northbound passenger service, at Tomatin the pilot rejoined 25086 on a southbound working. Damage to the railway property was minimal, mostly burnt grass and shrubbery.
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.
July saw a further twenty two Class 24's withdrawn, although most were already in store. Included in this group was 24032 on July 17, however it would not languish in a rusting scrapline like many of her sisters. Five days after withdrawal the loco traveled from Bescot under its own power having been sold for scrap to T J Thomson of Stockton. En route it hauled 03096 from York to Thornaby before running light to Stockton. It's sale and movement was quite unusual as it all happened in less than a week, movement was under its own power and it was to a private breaker. The first Class 25 to be withdrawn without accident damage was Springs Branch's 25287, although its retirement was brief, being re-instated in September. This may have resulted from the decision to withdraw accident damaged 25030 & 25174 after they were hit by runaway wagons at Aylesbury on August 5th.
Another BR cheap fare offer during August, this time between Dun Laoghaire and Llandudno proved more popular than anticipated leading to a Class 24 being stationed at Holyhead to provide a connecting service to Llandudno to guarantee the shoppers three hours at the resort. The initial plan had intended to use buses but congestion on the local roads and the volume of day trippers saw these plans changed. Class 24 passenger workings were now quite rare in the North Wales region, and this summer the Class 25's were not well represented either. One that did make the news was 25058 on July 27th which ran into difficulties at Colwyn Bay whilst working the 12.42 Manchester - Llandudno, barely making it to Llandudno Jct where 25148 took over, also handling the 18.42 return.
Signs of the future took place during August, on 4th the first of the new Class 56's, 56001/002 arrived from Romania via the Harwich ferry whilst from August 9th HST services commenced on the WR, initially between Paddington & Bristol, with services to Swansea to be implemented in September. A stranger at Cardiff on August 12th was 24036 having arrived on an overnight freight from Bescot with 46022. It went light to Severn Tunnel Jct to work the morning freight to Gloucester, handling other local trips before dragging 45059 to Saltley later that day. Kingmoor's 25200 arrived at Exeter on August 13th with the regular freight from Severn Tunnel Jct, the next day it was in use on passenger services over the Barnstaple branch! Also noted passing through Exeter this day was the Nottingham - Paignton behind 25211 & 25029.
On August 10th 24112 came to the assistance of 40123 at Dalwhinnie working the 09.35 Glasgow/Edinburgh - Inverness service, whilst a little further south 25079 became a failure at Gleneagles on the 09.52 Dundee - Glasgow Queen St, rescued by 37149. The next day the 12.15 Inverness - Glasgow used 24129 & 24130 instead of the booked Class 26's. 24106 powered August 19th's 17.15 Edinburgh - Glasgow Queen Street (via Grahamston), normally a dmu turn. The Gunnie - Pennyffordd cement working still gave paired Class 25's a good run under the WCML wires, August 16th found 25043 & 25136 in charge of the round trip working. The gas pipe trains often took the Type 2's south of the border, another such working involved the Grange Jct - Shotwick which utilised 25019 & 25172 on August 19th. The iron ore trains in the Shotwick/Bidston Dock area were now in the hands of Class 25's following the general demise of the Crewe based Class 24's. However 24047 & 24080 were frequent performers on these trains during early September.
On August 18th D1071 is recorded as sustaining a minor collision with a Class 25 at Bescot.
At the end of August 24054 & 24142 were pulled from the deadlines at Basford Hall and sent to the Western Region for further use as carriage heating units. On August 31st they arrived at Exeter Riverside about 4.30pm behind 45012 possibly as part of a milk train or fitted freight (6V53 Down Stoke - St. Blazey china clay empties from Bescot is a candidate), then 45012 tripped the Class 24s to Exeter stabling point, where they were noted on September 3rd coupled to a BV ready for onwards transit to Laira. August continued the dry hot weather of June & July, with temperatures of 90F being achieved in many places. The 27th produced some memorable thunderstorms.
25062 and the Dundee breakdown crane were in attendance at Perth stabling point on September 11th to assist in the rerailing of 26025 which had fallen on its side after running through trap points!
Visiting Scottish Type 2's 25079 & 25083 were borrowed by Derby on September 18th to work a football special to Norwich.
After the 'Indian Summer' of June - August and its associated drought related problems, September brought much needed rain. A North East gale delivered five inches of rain to much of the north on 11th, Cornwall endured much flooding on 25th whilst extremely heavy rain (three inches in three hours) in the Glasgow area during the evening of 28th caused widespread disruption to road and rail traffic. Glasgow Queen Street was flooded to a depth of four feet, partly caused by a cutting wall collapse. Regrettably the station contained three passenger trains and five Class 27's, all needed a thorough drying out after the waters subsided. September had also seen much activity for the few remaining Class 24's, their demise was imminent since more Class 25's were expected on transfer from the WR. Amongst many freight and parcels workings 24113 & 26027 worked the 13.10 Edinburgh - Inverness passenger (11th), 1E83 Edinburgh - Newcastle (?) had 24115 (15th), 24106 (17th), this day also found 24115 & 24120 on 07.40 Aberdeen - Edinburgh, whilst the last day of the month saw 24120 & 24104 on 12.30 Aberdeen - Edinburgh.
25044 and breakdown train were noted at Wigan station on the afternoon of October 2 repairing the damage caused by 82005 bringing down the wires and loosing its pantograph, the flying debris narrowly missing waiting passengers. This caused heavy delays on the WCML, not helped by the many specials visiting the Blackpool Illuminations. So noted were 25075 & 25076 from Burton on Trent. Further south 25155 hauled an InterCity dmu set as the 06.30 Crewe - Cardiff passenger, this route was frequently seeing loco hauled substitutions due to the poor reliability of the dmu's, with many away at Works.
On October 12th a Bishopston - Mossend ammunition train derailed all but four of the thirty three wagons just south of Hamilton Central station. The locomotive, 25008 remained on the tracks. The majority of the wagons derailed in Barncluith tunnel, the Army taking three days to safely remove all the explosives, with a further four days required to relay the track and replace the overhead equipment.
An Ideal Home Exhibition at the NEC opened on October 16th with many visitors arriving by train. A number of specials ran that day including 24087 & 24133 from Aberystwyth.
By October 22nd all the remaining ScR Class 24's were officially stored at several locations, the majority at Millerhill, leaving the remaining eleven active members all based at Crewe. However their retirement was not entirely because of their unserviceability. 24121 was revived from store at Polmadie on October 22nd to work a Glasgow - Ayr service due to a death on the tracks disrupting the regular dmu servives. Likewise 24115 was used extensively between late October and early December. It had been reactivated from Kingmoor, needing only a broken window to be fixed, then spending its time in eastern Scotland visiting most depots between Aberdeen & Millerhill. Passenger workings included rescuing 27011 after it failed near Dundee working the 15.10 Aberdeen - Glasgow on November 23rd, the 25th found it in charge of the 1E83 17.10 Edinburgh - Berwick. December 4th saw it working with 26043 on the Edinburgh - Carstairs leg of an SRPS excursion to London. October also saw considerable fleet reallocations with several Class 25's transferring to the ScR. The continuing arrival of the HST's on the WR allowed gradual cascading of stock, with the airbraked/dual heated coaches improving service quality on secondary routes. This also led to locomotive reallocations to cover these workings.
On October 27th 55016 working the 08.50 Aberdeen - Kings Cross near Cockburnspath suffered a major internal explosion causing considerable damage to one cab and engine compartment. Help arrived in the shape of 40152, albeit now over three hours late due to attendance by the fire department, whilst 25006 arrived to take the Deltic back to Haymarket.
The 10.56 Cambridge - Doncaster service with Norwich based E51276 & 56128 became a failure in March station on November 3rd, rescue came in the shape of 25212 which took the unit onto Doncaster.
A proposal to electrify the St Pancras - Bedford lines was given approval by the House of Commons on November 8th. The same day the signalman controlling the Low Moor signal box had an amazing escape following the demolition of the box by a number of vehicles derailing from the 7A09 Carlisle - Willesden freight. The Kingmoor and Wigan cranes were brought in by 40137 & 25284 to assist with clearing the lines. As these lines were being cleared elsewhere 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.
In South Wales the use of Class 25's for working regular diagrams was finished, Class 37's now taking up these diagrams out of Cardiff and Newport, though Class 25's would frequently deputise for a non available Class 37. A number of workings brought foreign Type 2's into the area, on November 23rd 25289(HA) arrived with the 22.58 6V88 Warrington - Margam ingot train, the next day it was the turn of 25096(IS). And from November 22nd the Cardiff - Crewe service would see its InterCity dmu sets replaced by locomotive hauled coaches.
A cold spell at the beginning of December affected the WCML services north of the border. Freezing of water in the air compressors affected operation of the pantographs, taking over one hundred electrics out of service. On the night of December 4th the 1S29 23.00 Euston - Glasgow overnight sleeper failed at Murthat with a frozen compressor on the locomotive, rescue came in the shape of 84009, which also succumbed near Beattock. The Class 20 bankers were sent out to bring the train into Beattock where 47427 was commandeered to finish the run to Glasgow. Whilst this and other trains were standing additional difficulties were experienced with the freezing up of the brakes. The appalling weather made the task of freeing the trains no small task not helped by the irresponsible action of a number of passengers leaving the train to find other methods of reaching their destination. The train finally reached Glasgow almost ten hours late.
Christmas at Tyne Yard found 25063 & 25220 (both LA) laying over after they worked the 3E07 21.40 Bristol - Sunderland parcels of December 23rd.
New Year's Eve found the 1G33 8.04 Perth - Edinburgh dmu on fire at Bathgate Jct. 25072 was used to shunt the damaged vehicles into the up loop, then took the lead coach onto Edinburgh, just over one hundred minutes late. The fire completely gutted Dundee based SC51540, withdrawal coming in January. 25072 had also been noted on the 11.22 Dundee - Edinburgh and 13.20 return, usually a dmu working, but now operating with a rake of Mk 1 coaches, normally hauled by a Class 25 or 26.