black & white Class 24 & 25, derby works, british railways
B & W views from the late 1960's & early 1970's
Views from contributor Tony Sayer

From the considerable archives of Tony Sayer comes a fine selection of 'pre-TOPS' & 'post-TOPS' black & white views.


Our opening shot is a location that will always be associated with the Sulzer engined locomotives - Derby Works. It is a reflection of the widespread allocation of the BR/Sulzer Type 2's that they received overhauls and unclassified repairs at many BR Workshops. These included Derby, Crewe, Doncaster, Eastleigh, Glasgow, Inverurie, Swindon, Stratford and Darlington. In this view from August 31st 1968 the contents of the main erecting are noted by many enthusiasts.

Pioneer D5000 stands at Leeds City on July 27 1971. At the beginning of 1969 the future looked bleak for the first twenty Class 24's with a number already stored or withdrawn. However a serious accident at Chester and a shortage of locomotives on the Eastern Region saw all these reinstated apart from 5005. For 5000 the next two years (Oct 69 - Oct 71) were spent at Holbeck, before heading north to Polmadie for a stay of just over three years.
One of the original batch to escape being sidelined during early 1969 was 5009, seen here at Crewe on August 15th 1969, though its faded & workstained paintwork suggest it might have been a certain candidate for early withdrawal. This was the last of the original build to receive a heavy repair, at Glasgow in May/June of 1975. It was withdrawn in July, but commonsense saw it soon re-instated, until finally retired in July 1976.
A very short parcels working runs through Crewe behind 5011 on August 9th 1971. Between April 1967 and November 1968 5000 - 5066 were transferred to the Stoke Division (D05), for many this would be their final transfer and as such they would become synonymous with the Chester/Crewe/Stoke area. 24011 however did move on, to Polmadie in October 1971, remaining in Scotland until withdrawn, along with many others in the summer of 1975.
Derby Works Open Day on August 31st 1968 finds 5028 under repair. It appears there has been considerable re-skinning around the radiator panel. 5028 would become the only Class 24 to be broken up at Crewe Works, during September 1971 after it was seriously damaged in a runaway, collision and fire at Chester station.
5053 at Crewe Depot on March 30th 1970. This was one of a handful of Class 24's to receive the two tone green livery that was more commonly found on the Class 25's. This livery was applied during the summer of 1965 and only by Derby Works, later that year outshopped Class 24's reverted to the more normal solid Brunswick green livery.
Displaying all the trappings of an Inverness Type 2 - miniature snow-ploughs, headlights, tablet catcher, modified boiler room grille, winterised headcode panel, 5117 stands at Kyle of Lochalsh August 9th 1972. 5117 would spend its entire fifteen year career on the Scottish Region. Although overhauled at Glasgow in May/June 1975 it suffered collision damage in March 1976 and was promptly withdrawn.
A fine view of the diesel stabling point at Cambridge Road (St Pancras) on July 12th 1969. The Type 2 on the right is 5230. Along with the BRCW Type 2's - there may be one behind 5230, these were the locomotives that dieselised much of the Midland mainline south of Leicester.
From the above scene comes a close-up of 5230. After spending its first nine years operating from various Midland depots, a move was made to the Western Region in January 1972. It returned to the LMR in May 1978. During the summer of 1980 it recieved its final repair, an intermediate, at Derby. A further five years service ended in September 1985 with the locomotive being withdrawn, remaining dumped at Toton before being sent to MC Metals, Glasgow and scrapped September 1993.
From inside the fuelling shed at Saltley on April 23rd 1973 can be seen a Class 47 and 5243, with a Class 08 shunter on the extreme right. During the 1970's the Class 25's operated on all routes throughout the Birmingham area, including a number of secondary passenger services. On the GWR route to London several were known to have worked through to Paddington on passenger services whilst others reached Eastleigh on freights from Bescot.
For many years engineering trains in the Birmingham area would invariably be powered by Classes 24 or 25. Seen here on May 27th 1969 a worked stained, green liveried 5270 spends time at Birmingham New Street station assisting the permanent way department with some duties. Clearly visible is the original style and location of engine exhaust - the circular port to the right of the boiler compartment.
Another splendid Sulzer line up, this time at Newton Heath on August 15th 1970, with (left to right) 5298, 174, 5200 & 5133 on display.
Its a damp overcast April 23rd 1973 and Saltley has a fine lineup of Class 25's. On the left is 5243 whilst over on the extreme right is recently outshopped 7592, the only boilered Class 25 to have its boiler water tank removed during an overhaul.
Banked by a pair of Cardiff based English Electric Types 3's (including 6941) Class 25 7628 has an easy task of climbing the Lickey Incline. The use of pairs of Class 25's on many 1970's dated summer Saturday extras to/from the Western Region meant there was plenty of opportunities to savour a pair of 6LDA28B's on the two mile 1:37 grade.
Locomotives after the TOPS renumbering

A pair of Class 24's led by 24044 pass Leamington on September 25th 1975. The former Great Western mainline was no stranger to the Class 24's, they were frequent visitors on freights to Banbury, whilst seasonal excursions to the Aberystwyth/Barmouth area frequently employed pairs of Class 24's throughout. For 24044 the days were waning, only four months remained prior to withdrawal in January 1976, followed by a tow to Swindon for cutting up.
Ground zero during the 1970's for the LMR Class 24's was Crewe, similar to Toton and its fleet of Class 20's. Here 24046 is close to the depot on September 25th 1975. It fell victim to the big purge during this summer, stored & re-instated in August, stored in October, re-instated in December, finally stored in February 1976 and retired for the last time in July 1976! Then it was off to Swindon for the coup-de-grace.
At the west end of Dunfermline yard on a fine summers day, June 10th 1976 24106 heads out with another load of coal wagons. 24106 missed the big purge in the summer of 1975, although was briefly stored in October. After re-instatement to Haymarket the final withdrawal came in December 1976, though the locomotive had been out of use for several months prior to official retirement.
24110 rests at Perth on June 9th 1976. Originally allocated to Gateshead (52A), D5110 spent much time on the Consett iron ore workings, the paired Class 24's replacing Tyne Dock's 9F's. When Consett closed this batch of 24's migrated north of the border, with 24110 spending time at Haymarket & Inverness. Withdrawn in the autumn of 1976 and stored at Millerhill, a move was made to Doncaster, finally being broken up in April 1977.
During the autumn of 1974 24112 made its final visit to Glasgow Works for repairs. Seen here on September 26th 1974 there has been considerable attention to the lower bodywork around the cab. Interestingly the BR emblem is positioned on the far cab side rather than the more normal position behind the cab. Two years later the locomotive was out of service, stored at Millerhill, prior to a tow down to Doncaster for breaking.
In July 1975 25001 made its last move, north from Tinsley to Eastfield. Seen here at Motherwell on October 29th 1977 the locomotive last saw a repair at Derby, evidenced by the position of the numbers and classification sticker.
Its now April 13th 1980 and 25001 is seen at its home depot, Eastfield. Since the previous picture 25001 has undergone a repair at Glasgow Works, noticeable by the re-positioned number and a stencilled paint date barely visible on the cab front. By September 1980 25001 would be withdrawn, by Christmas 1980 only scrap would remain at Swindon.
After its transfer to Eastfield 25004 barely lasted a year in service before being retired in September 1976, only the second of the Eastfield 25/0's to be withdrawn, 25003 being the first, a month earlier in August 1976. 25004 ended its days at Glasgow Works during September 1977.
The substantial shed at Motherwell provides the backdrop for 25005 as it rests between duties on June 5th 1976. December 1980 saw the few remaining Class 25/0's retired, 25005 being one of that group. After the long journey to Swindon Works 25005 met its end during August 1981.
When Tinsley sent its 25/0's northwards the worst of the batch went directly to Swindon for scrap. A couple that reached Eastfield were not in the best of condition (25003/004) whilst most others received a repair at Glasgow Works. Seen here on October 29th 1977 is 25009 freshly repainted and soon to go back on the road. By July 1980 withdrawal had arrived and Glasgow Works cut the locomotive up that September.
A fine portrait of 25010 at Glasgow Works on February 18th 1978. The nearest cab has gained the roof from a Class 25/1, a condition that befell several of the Class 25/0's. 25010 would survive to the very end for the Class 25/0's - December 1980. Retired in working order it was used to tow three others down to Swindon Works, finally meeting its demise there in May 1981.
The allocations of 25029 took it to nearly all the Regions of BR. Seen here at Millerhill on June 6th 1976, 25029 was within days of re-allocation to Toton. It would spend about a year here before being withdrawn, sadly marking the retirement of the first Class 25/1's not withdrawn due to accident damage. Home depots included Gateshead, Leeds, Severn Tunnel Jct, Cardiff, Laira, Haymarket & Toton, before being broken up at Glasgow in January 1978.
Oxford stabling point plays host to 25031 and un-identified sister on April 6th 1976. Scottish Type 2's were frequent visitors to this line on workings from Leith destined for points south. The locomotives would return north to Saltley to take up northbound workings. 25031 was one of the earlier Class 25 casualties, withdrawn from Eastfield in December 1977 and scrapped at Glasgow Works by May 1978.
A contrast in styling seen here on October 29th 1977 as 37004 and 25044 await their next turns of duty at Eastfield. 25044 had spent June - August under repair at Glasgow Works, hence the relatively fresh looking paint on the cab front. 25044 would remain in service until July 1985, lingering withdrawn until July 1986 when Doncaster's cutters did their job.
Pictured here just about midway through its twenty two year career on BR 25060 approaches Larkhill with a permanent way train September 8th 1976. Withdrawn at Crewe in December 1985 the New Year saw a tow to Doncaster. However the Plant ceased the scrapping of locomotives leading to 25060 (and others) moving to Goole for storage. Vic Berry then stepped in and after a further move to Leicester the end came in April 1987.
25062 and train crew wait at Edinburgh Waverley for 'time' on June 5th 1976. The Scottish Region boiler equipped Type 2's were well travelled on a variety of passenger turns. Three days later 25062 was noted at Fort William in charge of a passenger service to Glasgow.
On a chilly February 19th 1978 25065 sits in the snow at Haymarket depot. The winter of '78 proved to be a tough one, at the end of January much of Scotland succumbed to heavy snowfalls with major disruption to all forms of transport. The lines out of Inverness saw a number of services trapped in snowdrifts. The cold weather returned with a vengance in Scotland on February 12th, it would not be until February 23 before a thaw set in.
The well equipped Reddish workshops provide the backdrop to typical Class 25 & 40 visitors, 40009 & 25080, seen here on October 11th 1981. 25080 was one of the last Class 25's to receive a classified intermediate repair at Derby Works, during the summer of 1980.
Class 25's from the 25090 - 25099 batch were some of the most re-allocated locomotives on BR. 25096 was no exception, after ten years randomly moving about the LMR 25096 then saw the delights of Eastfield & Haymarket, a brief return to Bescot, then Bristol & Laira before heading north again to Scotland, this tour including a stay at Inverness. Seen here at St Erth on September 15th 1975, 25096 has about two years left in service.
On the ECML at Newham, Northumbria 25099 leans into the curve with a train of empty carflats June 24th 1976. 25099 was one of those to be dual braked, received whilst under repair at Derby the previous summer. However this failed to prolong its career by much, by December 1980 the locomotive was retired, quickly moved to Swindon and but a memory by February 1981.
On April 24th 1982 a fine vintage 1972 Coventry built Singer Gazelle sits next to a April 1964 Derby built 25113. The first car I ever owned was a chesnut brown 1972 Hillman Hunter. It spent many a Sunday touring the Manchester area sheds, including many visits to Longsight. By the time of this view it was just so much rust becoming the inevitable uneconomic-to-repair MOT failure. Happy Days & Fond Memories!!!
25122 stands alongside Newcastle station on February 25th 1976 with a trainload of engineers material.
During their construction parts of the Class 25's were treated with asbestos, a decade later treatment was necessary as the locomotives passed through the Works to have it removed. On March 18th 1978 25135 is seen part way through the treatment, complete with plastic sheeting over various openings in the bodysides.
A visit to Derby Works on October 27th 1981 finds 25148 dumped on Etches Park with considerable cab damage. By this time it was pretty much certain that any type of accident damage to the Class 25's would see immediate withdrawal, often with a trip to Derby Works for component exchange to keep the dwindling fleet going a little longer. Despite a long stay at Derby it was eventually dragged off to Swindon for scrapping.
During the early 1970's Class 25's were transferred to South Wales to cover a number of duties including their use in pairs on the heavy iron ore trains. This seemed an odd choice due to the known weaknesses of their AEI traction motors. Sure enough these arduous workings brought about a multitude of failures, usually related to the motors or the electrical control equipment. Seen here at Ebbw Jct on July 25th 1976 is 25155.
Although the allocation for Reddish was entirely electric traction the Class 25's were frequent visitors to the depot, due to its heavy lifting equipment and its wheel lathe. Seen here on February 21st 1981 25188 stands in front of the main building. 25188 has another eighteen months of active service left, prior to the tow down to Swindon for breaking.
25194's illustrious career began as a featured exhibit at Marylebone Goods Yard in May 1965 at the 7th Int'l Congress of Combustion Engines. For the next twenty years it remained an LMR locomotive, mostly attached to one of the depots adjacent to the WCML. Class 25's were no strangers to the North East, witness 25194 passing Gateshead depot on January 29th 1981, with an interesting mix of motive power in the background.
OK, so I can't resist a good portrait of yet another Class 25. This time its 25208 at Toton on May 9th 1981. Although not equipped with boilers many of Toton's Class 25/3's were favourites for summer passenger work, visiting such exotic places as Skegness, Yarmouth, Blackpool, Llandudno, Aberystwyth, Paignton and Weston Super Mare to name but a few.
Derby Works, 8 Shop, April 7th 1976, a busy scene with two Peaks and a slightly bent 25222 receiving attention. This was a tricky time for the Class 25's, several were received at Derby during the summer of 1976 with collision damage and repairs were not forthcoming. 25222 survived to see another day, not being withdrawn until December 1980.
The Class 25's were sent to the West of England during 1971 to replace the NBL 63xx series hydraulics on many local duties. Seen here on a taxing duty of one PMV 25223 heads through Truro on September 15th 1976. 25223 ended its days at Laira in October 1980, the following month it was dispatched to Swindon & quickly broken up.
25238 sets out from Dunfermline Townhill with a solitary brake van on September 15th 1976 heading for its next assignment. This was one of the earliest boiler equipped Scottish casualties, being withdrawn in October 1980 from Eastfield. It would however survive three more years in limbo before ending its days at Swindon.
Its June 13th 1981 and 25241 stands at Polmadie having been withdrawn for about a month. Interestingly the nearest filter grille has been replaced by a solid chevron covered 'plate'. A number of Scottish Type 2's had at leat one filter aperture blanked off, but never this colourfully. For 25241 all that remained was a quick trip down to Swindon, for cutting up during September 1981.
A fine portrait of 25244 at the back of Perth station on June 13th 1981. This view well highlights the hinged air filters, unique to those dual braked Class 25's sporting the early style body. After withdrawal from Crewe during July 1986 25244 eventually reached preservation, one of three Darlington built Class 25's to do so.
Another fine contrast in locomotives, this time 55010 and 25250 at York on December 12th 1981. This Deltic was the first to achieve two million miles in service. How many miles the Class 25 ran is not known, but it is a safe bet that 25250's travels on the BR saw it visit more seaside resorts than that of the Deltic.
A view of horizontal lines, of rails, Class 25's, coaches, and various structures. Its March 14th 1981 and 25260 sits on the London Road curve south of Derby station. Behind the coaching stock is the fuelling shed roof and then the impressive brick built 7 Shop of Derby Works.
Its April 24th 1982 and 25266 strikes a fine pose outside the old steam shed at Northwich. When new 25266 was one of thirteen Class 25's delivered new to Eastfield, the only time Scottish depots received brand new Class 25's.
Although most enthusiasts could be found at the south end of Derby station some interesting views could be obtained at the north end. Seen here on July 28th 1976 is 25267 dropping down on to to shed. This summer would prove to be hot, a fine 'Indian Summer' covered much of the country during July and August. This was one of the Class 25's to be broken up at Derby Works.
A battered and work weary 25273 drifts through Leamington on April 21st 1975. By June it would be at Crewe Works for overhaul and a fresh coat of paint. The Class 25's were very familiar to the Birmingham - Banbury route, having been noted in charge of the Middlesborough - Banbury iron ore trains during 1965. For 25273 withdrawl came in February 1981, cut up at Swindon during April 1982.
York could always be guaranteed to provide a fine variety of LMR & ER locomotives either running through the station or at the nearby depot, in this view its November 27th 1981 with 25297 lined up with a Class 46 & Class 40. The Class 25 would outlive the two Type 4's, though what York Minster looks down on today is very different, with the arrival of electrification and the retirement of Modernisation Plan diesel fleet.
More wintry sunshine warms 25297 on a snowy January 10th 1982. Fortune will shine briefly on 25297 when it is chosen to become one of the dozen Class 25/9's. These specially selected locomotives actually survived longer than the dedicated traffic flows that they were meant to haul, by September 1986 25907 will be retired.
A weak wintry sun reflects off 25306 at Crewe station on December 4th 1977, whilst apparently in charge of an engineers train.
Although the Scottish Region had been without an allocation of Class 25's for a while, they were still frequent visitors, as here with 25309 at Polmadie on September 17th 1983. One or two of the last Class 25 workings would take place on the Scottish Region during March 1987. 25309 would become 25909 in December 1985 and would eventually be preserved.
1982 came in with quite a cold snowy spell over much of the country. Seen here at Leicester on January 9th 1982 is 25309 with a good coating of ice over parts of the roof. 25309 was the last of the batch to be built by Beyer Peacock, and the last new Class 25 to be delivered in green livery.
25312 heads a line up of withdrawn Class 76's at Guide Bridge on April 24th 1982. 25312's career was also just about over, during May it suffered collision damage in the Northampton area, it was removed to Derby Works and promptly withdrawn. However it would linger until August 1985 when the cutters at Swindon finally completed the task.
In general the Class 25's missed the paintbox revolution of the late 1980's & 1990's that occurred to much of the former BR fleet. The only exceptions for the Class 25's were the ETHEL units and 25322, which became instantly recogniseable as an imitation Ice Cream Van, painted in celebration of the Tamworth Rail Days, when 25322 was already withdrawn. Seen here at Crewe on June 17th 1984 attached to 25282.

Tony has provided many more views of the Classes 24/25, as time permits further selections will be added.

Page updated July 18th 2009 (some pictures rescanned/resized and text revisions).

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