The twenty one year seven month career of D7628/25278 included allocations to Eastern Region & London Midland Region depots with almost twenty years spent continuously allocated to a great variety of LMR depots.
Built: Beyer Peacock Gorton Ltd, Works No.8038.
D7628 was new to Tinsley on August 12th 1965. Further transfers were:
April 1966 to Wath (41C).
Renumbered January 29th 1974.
25278 was the 317th Class 25 to be withdrawn.
After withdrawal 25278 was stored at Basford Hall before moving to Leicester Humberstone Road on July 8th 1987 and into Vic Berrys yard on July 9th 1987. On January 25th 1988 25278 & 25191 were moved to Leicester Humberstone Road then Toton, Tinsley & York on January 26th, Tees Yard on January 27th and to Grossmont on January 29th 1988 and into preservation.
Works visits (records incomplete).
Noted Crewe Works June - August 1969 (General repair?).
On August 14th, if the reporting is correct D7628 was noted at York with the 13.50 Scarborough - Bristol Temple Meads, was this D7628's first passenger working, it is not known how far the locomotive worked. On August 31st D7628 worked the 07.03am Sheffield Midland - Manchester via Chinley stopping service.
During the evening of August 7th 25278 was noted at Heaton Norris Junction on an up freight.
On August 24th 25278 worked the 9.00am Llandudno Town York.
25278 was present at Derby Works during October & November, this repair included the fitting of dual braking equipment. Shortly after outshopping 25278 was transferred to Springs Branch in December.
On November 1st the 13.45 Derby - St Pancras was worked to Leicester by Class 45 No.68 and 25278, was this the Works running-in turn for 25278?
On August 2nd the 23.40 Stirling - Kensington Olympia motorail used 25278 forward from Mitre Bridge Junction.
It was off to the seaside with 25303 on September 13th working the 08.02 Walsall - Yarmouth as far as Norwich and coming back with the return 14.30 Yarmouth - Walsall from Norwich. The next day this same pair were in use between Dorridge & Bewdley working the 'John Mynors Memorial' charter both ways - steam locomotives 5051 and 2857 worked the Didcot - Dorridge portions of the railtour.
25278 was back at Derby Works during October for a General repair, it would not be released until January 1981.
The last from Glasgow were 25234 Intermediate October 1980 & 25062 General June 1980.
Whilst 25278 had been in Derby undergoing its final classified repair, thirty five of her sisters were taken out of service. It is also ironic that 25278 was outshopped at the same time as 46011, the last Class 46 to receive a classified repair. Visits would still be made to these workshops but only for repairs of a lesser nature. Eventually only exams upto a C were given with a repair limit not to exceed GBP 1,000. Of those last twenty seven Class 25's overhauled only four would be in service at the end, six years later: 25057/265/276 (as 25903) and 25278.
In the March area the Mountsorrel Kennett stone trains were frequently double headed, so noted were 25283 & 25298 (Jan 29th), 25301 & 25278 (Feb 10th & 12th), pairs of Class 31s were also noted on this train.
25278 came to the rescue of 45115 on May 11th when the Class 45 expired at Luton working the 12.04 St. Pancras - Derby. 25278 took the train on to Derby.
On June 2nd 25278 & 25321 were northbound at Herefound with the Cranmore - Ellesmere Port bitumen tanks.
25278 & 25254 were active on July 25th/26th on Cambrian metals. On July 25th they worked the 10.10 Euston - Aberystwyth forward from Birmingham New Street coming back with the 18.00 Aberystwyth - Wolverhampton. The next day they worked an excursion from Gloucester forward from Wolverhampton to Aberystwyth and return.
25278 was stabled at Machynlleth on August 20th.
Engineering work on September 13th found 25278 & 25326 dragging the 00.25 Manchester Piccadilly - Euston between Bletchley & Willesden. Two weeks later on September 27th more engineering work, this time between Coventry and Rugby found 25278 & 25324 assisting four services over the de-energised section between lunch time & early afternoon.
During 1982/83 Bletchley depot maintained a special pool of locomotives to work the heavy brick trains between Fletton sidings and Wembley. Where possible these locomotives were kept on local trip workings in between their use on the brick trains and also the Tring cement trains. Class 25's that went through this pool included 25266/276/278, 25301/312/314. 25266 was probably the worst of these locomotives, failing numerous times with 'low power', particularly on the cement trains. Bletchley allocation stickers were applied to these locomotives during A & B examinations but were constantly being removed.
August 6th & 7th were busy days for 25278 & 25134. On 6th they took over the 12.46 Portsmouth - Leeds at Birmingham New Street working through to Leeds, returning to New Street with the 21.56 Leeds - Portsmouth. The next day (7th) the same pair were on the Derby - Norwich (for Yarmouth) - Derby, working forward from Norwich to Yarmouth on the 07.10 Chesterfield - Yarmouth service and returning to Norwich with the 13.46 Yarmouth - Leeds before taking the train to Derby.
On November 25th the Prince & Princess of Wales traveled from Euston to Central Wales by Royal Train. From Shrewsbury to Aberdovey/Towyn 25259 & 25278 were in charge, with 25044 on standby. An overnight stop was made at Rossett prior to the Royal party visiting Wrexham & Hawarden on 26th.
The choice of 25278 for the above mentioned railtour was made by Bletchley rolling stock inspector Jimmy Brown & TME Keith Jackson. The excellent external condition was created by Bletchley apprentice Jerry Roberts. It took three evenings to clean the locomotive by hand using meths to clean and polish the bodywork. The cab fronts received a fresh coat of yellow paint. The silver paint applied to 25278 for its Royal Train working during the previous November still lingered on the buffers, these were cleaned and repainted. Even the control desk in the cabs were given a thorough cleaning.
After seven years allocated to Cricklewood 25278 was transferred north to Crewe during June.
On October 8th 25278 & 25259 worked the Broughton Lane to Ditton British Oxygen tanks, this was frequently a Class 25/40 combination.
On January 13th 25278 was noted arriving at Glasgow Central dragging a failed 47108 with a service from Carlisle. The next day (14th) 25284 & 25278 were noted at Carlisle station with a short parcels train.
A late night working for 25278 on February 21st was the 22.58 Crewe - Preston via Chester.
When 86216 failed at Lichfield City on May 10th working the 15.50 Liverpool - Euston 25278 was on hand to drag the train to Nuneaton, where 25194 & 31201 took over!
Diesel multiple unit troubles in the Carlisle/Newcastle area on June 13th led to 25278 handling four diesel multiple unit workings starting with the 08.55 Carlisle - Newcastle. The Class 25 returned to Carlisle in time to take up the 15.40 Carlisle - Newcastle followed by the 17.25 Newcastle - Durham and the return 17.54 working to Newcastle.
June 21sts Tyne Yard Carlisle Speedlink featured 27059 & 25278, the Class 27 having arrived on the Stranraer Speedlink.
Cambrian metals were traversed on September 8th with 25278 & 25287 working the 07.44 Shrewsbury - Aberystwyth. The train hit a car on a crossing just outside Aberystwyth. Despite this incident the locomotives were able to work 10.10 Aberystwyth - Euston as far as Wolverhampton.
On March 16th 25278 & 25309 worked the early morning Ditton North Wembley BOC tanks, presumably due to a shortage of electric locomotives. Noted March 30th at Northampton with a parcels coach.
On June 8th the 05.30 Wolverhampton - Harwich utilised 25278 as far as Leicester. Two days later (10th) 25278 worked the 16.40 Norwich - Birmingham New Street forward from Leicester after 25089 had been failed.
25278 made a brief appearance on June 22nd dragging a Milton Keynes - Manchester Piccadilly service from Macclesfield to Manchester Piccadilly due to the power being switched off for engineering works.
It was off to Blackpool for 25278 on July 5th working the 16.45 Euston - Blackpool forward from Preston. It returned south the next day with the 06.30 Blackpool - Euston as far as Preston. 25278's next passenger working, one week later on July 12th was a little more adventurous, working the 1V46 12.55 York - Cardiff relief service throughout! Presumably Control at York did not have many spare locomotives to handle this Friday afternoon relief and the use of 25278 would provide an easy way to remove this Class 25 from their operating area. For any enthusiasts out there on this Friday afternoon it must have made a fine sight as it drew up at the stations along the route. As a native of Derby I can just imagine sitting on a barrow at the south end of Platform 4 pondering what might be in charge of this York - Cardiff relief as its imminent arrival would be hailed by the station announcer.
Once identified it would also be of interest in that 25278 was alone in handling this train and remarkable that at each major station the potential was out there for this little locomotive to be replaced. But it never was. In this day and age (2008) of instant global information/communications, the happenings of 25278 on this day a generation ago must have brought a smile to the enthusiasts witnessing this little scene play out along the route. Its been many years since I was spotting at the south end of Derby station, but I can just imagine 25278 ticking over near the end of Platform 4 awaiting departure. There would be a low hum from the point motors as the route was set for the Birmingham direction. The red signal would change to green, the 'W' would appear in the indicator box. The driver would look back down the platform, the last carriage doors would slam solidly shut, the guard would roll out the green flag and give a firm blow on his whistle. The 'Right Away' would appear, the cab door would then slam shut, the urgency of the engine exhaust would change, the brakes would release and for any Class 25 enthusiasts present this was a little bit of heaven here on earth. That unmistakeable sound would echo across the station as 25278 drew its train out of Platform 4, across the pointwork for the London lines and under London Road bridge and on towards Peartree & Normanton. Pretty soon all vestiges of this event would be gone and the station would return to its slumbers until the next arrival brought everything to life.
Would 25278 make it all the way to Cardiff? I suspect most would have said no, it'll surely get replaced at Birmingham New Street, or fail en-route. But the little locomotive held together for the 232 miles and Control left it alone - happy days!
On July 13th (assumed) 25278 worked the six coach 15.18 Cardiff - Manchester Piccadilly.
On August 10th 25278 worked 11 loaded bogie ballast wagons from Mountsorrel to??
25278 was noted at Leicester on September 12th.
On November 19th 25278 was noted at Hooton on the 'Target 10' turn, on November 21st it was noted at March depot with 25268, whilst on November 23rd the same pair worked the roundtrip Stanlow - Neville Hill bogie oil tanks.
When two Class 31s (31259 & 31271) were transferred to Carlisle during, this allowed 25176 & 25278 to be transferred down to Crewe, 25278's last transfer.
On April 21st 25278 worked the ten wagon 6S81 Tyne Yard - Mossend Speedlink. On April 29th 31218 & 25278 were noted hauling an HST set southbound through Belper.
May 3rd saw 25278 & 25266 at Carlisle northbound with a parcels (?) train. The next day (Sunday 4th) the same pair were noted at Blea Moor, possibly for use in the event of failures of diverted services over the Settle & Carlisle.
Because of engineering work on the West Coast main line all trains on May 3rd were rerouted over the Settle & Carlisle line, this included 25266 & 25278 with a diverted northbound 12 vehicle parcels train.
On June 17th 25278 was noted southbound at Litchfield Trent Valley with ballast empties comprised of catfish, dogfish, sealion, mermaids and turbots. Five days later (22nd) 25278 was at Worcester depot with 37224.
25278 was noted at Manchester Victoria on August 13th.
On August 21st the 13.00 Carlisle - Leeds was not a happy service having suffered the failure of the diesel multiple unite and its would-be rescuer, 31174. At Hellifield 25278 was added to drag everything to Leeds.
25278 was in front line service over Shap on September 6th when overhead line damage required the 13.10 Glasgow Central - Euston to be dragged between Carlisle & Lancaster. Presumably this was an urgent request on this Saturday afternoon and 25278 was the nearest available locomotive. The remaining Class 25's were still very active over the WCML on a variety of freight workings but by this time their use on passenger duties over Shap were virtually non-existant. So it must have come as a bit of a surprise to find the Class 87 and its train being coupled on to by 25278 at Carlisle. Were any last minute tickets purchased to capture this potential last ride behind a Class 25 over Shap? Who knows, but 25278 did its job in getting the train to Lancaster.
The southbound Gulf Oil tanks were still bringing Class 25s into Hereford, where they were exchanged for Class 37s, so noted on October 28th was 25059 and November 4th with 25278, the latter with 11 bogie oil tanks. On November 6th 25278 was noted northbound light engine at Hereford to assist a Waterston - Weaste oil tank train which had slipped to a stand at Craven Arms, the Class 25 assisting through to Shrewsbury.
On December 7th 25278 hauled the 18.20 Glasgow Central - Manchester Victoria forward from Preston.
Sometime during 1986 the locomotive acquired the painted name 'Castell Powys/Powis Castle'.
Leicester was the location for 25278 at midday on 22nd having arrived on the 7T91. In the early hours of 25th 25278 reached Bedford having worked in on the 9X17. By the evening of the 27th it was back at Leicester and allocated to work the 1E77 to Peterborough and then return light to Leicester. It was then a trip north, arriving on the evening of 29th on 9L18 and then running on to Carnforth stabling point.
On January 27th (or 26th) 37430 failed at Caersws on the 07.22 Aberystwyth - Euston. 25278 was on hand to take the train to Shrewsbury where it too failed and 20163 took the train forward, still with the Class 37 & 25 attached.
On the morning of January 31st 25278 arrived at Nottingham PCD having worked the 1M65 22.37 ex Glasgow Central from ?? It was then allocated to the 1E94 to Sheffield.
The last recorded passenger working for 25278 was on February 1st when it hauled the 17.52 Liverpool - Cleethorpes from Sheffield to Doncaster.
25278 spent about a week in the Carlisle area, much of it attached to 25173. Late on February 10th it was booked to work the 6S56 to Dumfries with 25173 and returning with the 6M80 to Carlisle. These turns were also worked on February 11th & 12th. By midday on 14th 25278 was at Ayr. On the 18th it was noted arriving at Carlisle with the 6E95, and then being allocated on the 6S56 to Dumfries and 6M80 return. It was then allocated to the 19th's 3S07 02.50 Carlisle - Ayr.
By the evening of February 20th 25278 was at Carnforth and allocated to 21st's 9L42 to Preston. By teatime on 23rd 25278 was at Polmadie. It was diagrammed for 24th's 1M65 22.37 Glasgow Central - Nottingham as far as Carlisle where it was allocated to the 8X55 to Sellafield with 25173.
In the early hours of March 1st 25278 was at Oxenholme on the 8L65. Late on the 3rd 25278 was noted at Falkland Junction on the 6E95 Stranraer Town - Tees freight (to Carlisle?). Following this it was allocated to the 6S56 06.39 Carlisle - Dumfries. On the evening of the 6th it covered the 6E95 turn from Falkland Junction to Carlisle again. By lunchtime on 7th it was at Carnforth.
On March 10th 25278 worked a Sellafield Bridgwater nuclear flask train, taking up the return working on 11th. On March 12th 25278 was noted working an engineer's train on the Chester - Crewe line. During March 14th 25278 was noted with loaded stone tipplers at Stafford whilst later the same day 25278 was noted at Stafford working an eight coach engineers overhead line equipment train. It was next noted at Crewe on March 16th having come from the Longport Pinnox branch. It was diagrammed for jobs CE94 to Crewe & 8L76 Bescot - Crewe Basford Hall freight. On the afternoon of 17th 25278 was sent to Chester and was back at Crewe by early evening. A short while later 25278 was taken out of service.
Retirement & Preservation
By at least April 29th 25278 had moved to Basford Hall for storage. The last movement for 25278 came when it travelled with 25191, 25212 & 25313 as the Crewe Vic Berry, Leicester on July 8/9th, 1987. The locomotive remained intact until at least late into January 1988. On January 25th 1988 25278 was removed from Vic Berry's yard beginning its journey into preservation at the North Yorkshire Moors Railway, arriving at Grosmont on January 29th. This trip from Vic Berry's was in company with also preserved 25191.
During 1997 D7628 worked 1,492 miles on the NYMR.
The NYMR eventually were allowed to operate steam services over BR metals to Whitby & Battersby. Whilst steam locomotives were primarily used on these services a contingency plan was drawn up to provide for a diesel locomotive in the event of a failure or non-availability of a certified steam locomotive. 7628 / 25278 was selected to be the back-up locomotive. Thus during the last quarter of 1999 the locomotive was certified by Railtrack for running upto 60mph.
During 2007 its certification for main line running was for a maximum speed of 45mph with Train Protection & Warning System (TPWS) equipment fitted. A test run was completed on June 15th 2007, running from Grosmont to Whitby, Battersby, then back to Grosmont. On a limited basis during July & August it top & tailed a number of steam services to Whitby. Its first scheduled run alone occurred on October 6th 2007 working the 'Rat Resurrection' railtour to Whitby, followed by occasional outings to Whitby & Battersby. From 2008 the Class 25 became a regular performer on the Whitby services with at least one daily diagram being diagrammed for the Class 25. During 2015 the Class 25 was in use for more than 160 days, running over 7,100 miles.
With thanks to Alan Baylis for the passenger workings and to Neil Cannon for the TOPS details. And to the photographers who have made available the views on this page.
Page added April 9th 2008.