1961 class 24, class 25, class 45 information history

Page updated July 2018

The New Year revealed a depressing scene at Derby Works with only seven locomotives undergoing repair. The only Class 25 present for repair was 25262, category N4. However the Works would soon see the influx of a number of Scottish Type 2s for repair, caused by a maintenance backlog in Scotland and the effects of the continuing harsh weather. At Swindon interest had been shown by London Transport in possibly acquiring three Class 25 locomotives, however nothing concrete materialised from this idea, although possibly 25246 & 25305 were set aside in the North Yard following from this enquiry. January's locomotive transfers totaled over 120, mostly reallocations within the Eastern Region, however Toton received 31129/152, 31204/287, 31300/326 from a variety of ER depots, with 31326 actually being reinstated from store at Swindon Works. And of course January witnessed the withdrawal of the last members of the Deltic fleet. The final run taking place on January 2nd with 55015 handling the northbound run of the 'Deltic Scotsman Farewell', 55022 working the southbound leg and 55009 on standby at Peterborough. This end of an era brought much press and TV coverage including a mention on 'News At Ten'. On January 4th York lost its mainline allocation of locomotives, with its Class 55s withdrawn and Classes 31 & 47 sent elsewhere.

The mild spell over the New Year did not last, heavy rain swept south on January 3rd, followed by much colder temperatures. The first ASLEF led industrial action of the year saw strikes on January 4th/5th, the ASLEF disruption occurring on two weekdays each week for six weeks. Heavy snow fell in the Far North on the 7th spreading south over the next two days. Many of the local Euston services were particularly affected due to a shortage of Class 310 electric multiple units. The arctic weather destroyed the BR Euston/Broad Street - Watford Junction services, the Bakerloo service was suspended until the weather improved, the four sets of 1938 Tube stock laying over at Croxley Green depot. However the ASLEF operated Class 501 units blocked the Tube stock from operating on the days of industrial action. Typical of many journeys on this day was the 17.15 Birmingham New Street - Leicester, departure was an hour late, with Nuneaton reached after three hours, the Derby suburban unit lacked toilet facilities. 25042 worked a service over the Crewe - Cardiff route on January 5th.

In the midst of all this coldness, on January 5th 27041 set fire to itself at the fuelling point at Eastfield. Apparently none the worse for wear 27041 later set fire to itself at Huntly, this time working January 22nd's 21.04 Aberdeen - Inverness service. The Class 27 was removed from the train and later towed back to Aberdeen. This unlucky machine would reach the end of the year in store at Glasgow Works with collision damage!

January 8th also claimed a Barmouth - Aberystwyth multiple unit trapped in a snowdrift near Tonfanau, the few passengers spending a chilly night with the train until rescued by the RAF the next morning. A rescue train from the south became stuck south of Tywyn, whilst a snowplough sent from Crewe faired little better between Tonfanau & Llwyngwril, all obstructions were cleared by 10th. Further north at Talybont the leading vehicle of a two car multiple unit derailed, passengers were able to return in the trailing vehicle to Porthmadog, heavy lifting gear being required to re-rail the front car. Near the Welsh border at Newport (Salop) the nighttime temperature on 10th fell to -26C, an English record, further north at Braemar the thermometer fell to -27.2C, equaling the British record.

A late afternoon Manchester - Newcastle relief ran behind 25051 & 25152 on January 10th, one hopes the boiler in 25051 was operating. In Scotland an emergency timetable was instituted including the withdrawal of all sleeping cars and a reduction in the number of overnight services. On the same day (10th) Mk 3 sleepers were introduced on the Kings Cross - Aberdeen services. The cold overnight temperatures on 11th crippled the push-pull sets with only two being serviceable, diesel multiple units having to fill in where possible. The emergency timetable halved the Class 26 hauled Edinburgh - Dundee services, whilst the Glasgow - Dundee runs were cancelled except in the rush hours. The shortage of locomotives led to incoming foreign power being borrowed with a number of the named WR Class 47s being particularly well used north of the border. The harsh weather stopped use of the BSC terminal at Hunterston, sufficient to divert the traffic to road hauliers, a matter which was not quickly rectified, causing an outcry from the local authorities between there and Ravenscraig.

In the West Country the long distance services on the 9th were reduced to a shambles. At Exeter the 06.35 Bristol - Plymouth behind 45132 was 280 minutes late, the HST powered 07.20 Paddington - Bristol - Paignton service was over 400 minutes late, whilst 47535 on the 00.05 Paddington - Penzance was over 700 minutes late. The Carmarthen - Milford Haven line succumbed to drifting snow on 9th, remaining closed for two days. The Central Wales line was hit by blizzards on the 8th, the line remaining closed for ten days. A number of lines in the Welsh valleys suffered similar closures, most freight traffic having been stopped since the 8th, priority being given to the passenger services and just simply keeping the lines open. On 9th the first Paddington - Swansea (diverted via Bristol) took about twelve hours to complete its journey, the 08.42 Swansea - Paddington reached the capital early in the evening! Freezing conditions late on the 10th severely curtailed the few working local services.

On the Southern Region heavy snow crippled services between Eastleigh & Bournemouth, after clearing the casualties it was necessary to institute a diesel hauled service due to the severe icing conditions, these continued until 10th. Inter-regional services into this area also suffered badly, not helped by the rolling stock dislocations. The Central Division's woes began on January 4th, with an ASLEF ban on overtime & rest day working, the cold weather took over on 6th, followed by the prolonged blizzard on 8th, with the local services bearing the brunt of the disruptions. The South Eastern Division despite the severe weather and isolated equipment failures ran a near normal service until the evening of 11th when a series of failures led to passengers abandoning the trains near Herne Hill. Traction current had to be switched off, with the consequent delays affecting services for the rest of the evening.

With no services running on January 13th/14th, two days of extremely low temperatures assisted in the formation of massive icicles in Kilsby tunnel, causing rerouting of service via Northampton. Further north frozen coal stocks created difficulties at various East Midlands collieries, with many of the wagon doors freezing solid. In the Huddersfield area large icicles and major ice accumulations in local tunnels had to be cleared prior to the re-starting of services on January 15th. From this date the weather eased although the melting snows left flooding in its wake.

The woes of the Southern Region were not helped on January 16th by a violent rear end collision at East Croydon between a Three Bridges - New Cross engineers train and a Brighton - London Bridge parcels service. The driver of 73115 was rescued after some eight hours trapped in the cab, the second man could not be found in the wreckage, not surprisingly because he'd signed on and gone home, a state of affairs quickly picked up by the national newspapers. Further west the blizzards seriously damaged signaling on the Salisbury - Exeter line. A temporary timetable was instituted until the end of January when repairs were completed.

Also on January 16th at Bristol Bath Road 47143 & 47293 were in multiple with a snowplough at each end, there still remained much snow on the ground.

On January 22nd the 11.30 Ditton - Corby BOC special was hauled by 25250 & 40127, a combination more normally associated with the Sheffield BOC working.

January 28th was another day of ASLEF woes, the strike would not be settled until February 18th when the BRB accepted the demands of the union. Progress in dealing with these demands had been so slow that one Nottingham ASLEF driver showed up for work on a strike day in protest at the slow resolution of the strike. He worked a very lightly loaded Derby - Lincoln round trip under the protection of a British Transport policeman and a number of journalists! Even after the strike ended the network was still plagued by sporadic localised industrial action which coupled with the bad weather affecting stock and permanent way alike left the travelling public with a very poor opinion of parts of the railway system.

From February 1st Tyne Yard would no longer carry out locomotive maintenance or fuelling, these duties would be carried out by Gateshead.

25135 came to the rescue of a Walsall - Chesterfield football special after 46035 failed at Derby on February 6th. Two days later the 18.15 Birmingham - Norwich utilised 25034. Late in February lifting of the Three Spires Junction - Gosford Green branch began, the demolition train on February 23rd was handled by 25256.

The combination of Class 25s and electric multiple units were prevelant during February, the 2nd saw 25027 & 25195 haul 507009 from Hall Road to Tyseley. On 17th 47425 failed whilst working the Wigan breakdown crane to an electric multiple unit derailment at New Brighton, 25221 came to the rescue. During the evening of 21st 25069 was noted southbound through Huntingdon with 313001 in tow. And on March 1st 507022 moved to Allerton for wheel turning using 25130.

An Open Day of sorts at Doncaster Works on an overcast February 27th was staged to allow enthusiasts a last chance to celebrate the life and times of the Class 55 Deltics. At short notice and with minimal advertising many enthusiasts witnessed the fifteen remaining Deltics located about the Workshops. The seven 'missing' Deltics had already been scrapped at Doncaster.

The arrival of March brought gale force winds to the Scottish Region during the night of 2nd/3rd. Much catenary was brought down south of Carstairs, leading to diesel haulage for several days, strangers filling in included 45037 & 46016. Trees down on the East Kilbride branch interrupted services and seas covered the line at Craigendoran Junction. Class 25s could still be seen at Glasgow Central on passenger workings, principally the 8.40 from Carlisle (via GSW) and 12.40 return. Noted in March were 25057 (6th), 25219 (9th, 11th, 18th) and 25062 (15th), 25027 (24th & 25th) although 25219 was declared a failure on two of the days! April saw 25218 used on 2nd, whilst Classes 26/27 were well represented.

From March 1st Class 45s were in use for crew training between Edge Hill - Earlestown - Lowton Junction - Bamfurlong Junction - Ince Moss, 45128 was so noted on March 3rd and 45140 on March 8th.

The allocation of further Class 31s to Toton inevitably brought greater chances of Class 25/31 parings, so noted on March 5th was 31131 & 25309 on a Toton - Acton working and 31228 & 25243 on an Acton - Toton job. Noticeable now was the use of these recently transferred machines on many local workings out of Toton. On the Crewe - Cardiff line a number of Class 25s filled in for missing/failed Class 33s, 25027 worked March 4th's 19.10 Crewe - Cardiff whilst an unidentified Class 25 rescued an out of fuel 33001 at Bromfield on March 11th's 16.02 Crewe - Cardiff. Three days later the 15.02 Manchester - Bristol parcels failed at Shrewsbury behind 25314, nearby 25318 & 25319 on a Cranmore - Ellesmere Port tank train took the parcels forward to Hereford. Here 25318 continued south, still with 25314 attached, whilst 25319 returned north to continue on with the tank train. The use of Class 33/1s on this route was rare, if they did show up they tended not to complete the diagram, as happened to 33104 on March 26th. After spending a day and a half on the regular diagram 33104 jumped ship onto the 15.02 Manchester - Bristol parcels, leaving the 16.02 Crewe - Cardiff in the hands of 25067. On March 28th the Wolverhampton - Euston services were diverted via Nuneaton with diesels covering the non-electrified section, 25269 had to fill in on the 13.00 ex Wolverhampton due to the late running of 56101 covering another service.

During the last week of March 45110 was noted in the Liverpool area on driver training duties.

With the Class 56s representing BRs only new diesels in the past decade there was clearly a major need to review the motive power needs in the aging Type 1-3 range. Plans called for an initial 32 Class 20s and 24 Class 31s to be given overhauls, including major refurbishment, dual braking and for some of the Class 31s the addition of electric train heating equipment. In addition the dual braking program for the class 37s which had ceased in 1978 recommenced during 1982. A number of the selected Classes 20 & 31s had sat side by side with Class 25s in Swindon Works during 1981/82, now they would make the journey to the other BR workshops for repair. Also reinstated were six Class 31s, their new home being Toton, as quickly as they arrived condemned Class 25s moved south to Swindon. Strangely Tyseley sent condemned 25290 to Swindon in error, it being quickly rerouted to Derby, such were the vagaries of the condemned fleet!

At the beginning of April the use of Kensington Olympia as a Motorail terminal ended with services to the north using Euston and services to the west using Paddington. Additionally the twice weekly Stirling - Brockenhurst/Dover Motorail would be cancelled due to unprofitability.

Cleethorpes was host to two unusual machines on April 8th. Firstly 50030 filled in for a failure on the 06.20 service to Kings Cross and the 08.26 to Doncaster ran behind 25086, normally a Class 40 working. Further north on April 14th a York - Crewe Works 'hospital' train featured 25027 hauling 47404, 47129, 47441 & 40106! The Foss Islands branch, home to the Rowntree factory saw the local trip working receive Type 1 & 2 haulage during May, 25032 (13th) & 25193 (14th) noted in lieu of the regular York Class 08.

The Mountsorrel - Radlett 'Redland' stone working regularly required two Type 4 machines to handle the forty eight loaded wagons, however on May 14th 25212 & 25207 were in charge of forty seven wagons. The West Midlands saw plenty of Type 2s on passenger specials during late April/early May. On April 24th a St Pancras - Bewdley special worked forward from Birmingham behind 25050 & 25199, that same day 25058 & 25084 took over a Norwich - Weston super Mare excursion also from New Street. On May 8th an eleven coach Sutton Coldfield - York school special utlilised 25044 & 25133, the latter failing en route, 25044 successfully reaching York unaided. On the same day a Five Ways - Chester church special ran behind 25072 & 25138. On scheduled services the Birmingham - Norwich featured 25044 (April 28th) & 25072 (May 2nd), whilst 25042 & 31226 handled a Birmingham - Norwich service on May 1st, 25042 returning with the regular diagram to Birmingham, the next day handling a Birmingham - Leeds service!

On the North Wales mainline April 24th found Type 2s in abundance on Manchester - Bangor passenger workings. 25093 worked the 7.42 Manchester - Bangor and 11.03 return, the 9.42 (and 13.38 return) & 17.42 Manchester - Bangor had 25067, whilst 25120 powered the 15.42 Manchester - Bangor, on the 19.25 return working 25086 took over at Llandudno Junction. Despite the continuing inroads made to the Class 40 fleet they were also still common on the North Wales workings.

Service changes in the Midlands saw the arrival of more MKII air-conditioned stock for the Midland Mainline, these services now going no further than Sheffield, cut back were those services to Leeds & Manchester. May 15th also saw the last runs of certain locomotive hauled NE/SW services, suitable headboard adorned locomotives powered the many 'last' runs prior to HSTs taking over the next day. This included the end of steam heat on the NE/SW services with the 06.37 Leeds - Paignton powered by 45033 carrying an appropriate headboard to mark the occasion. Only five services now remained locomotive hauled on the NE/SW route. Also changed was the daily Nottingham - Glasgow service, routed now via Preston & the WCML rather than the Settle & Carlisle. On Sunday May 16th the last northbound Nottingham - Glasgow (via the S&C) was noted at Leeds with 45005, the last Glasgow - Nottingham (via the S&C) was noted behind 47463. On the stock side of things a handful more Class 25s were withdrawn or considered unserviceable. On the Scottish Region a swapping of Class 37s took place between Eastfield/Motherwell & Landore whilst nine were moved from Eastfield to Inverness. In turn Inverness sent seven Class 26s to Haymarket joining seven Class 27s transferred in from Eastfield. In the middle of all of this activity Haymarket released six Class 25s to Eastfield, receiving four different examples in return! Further south seven more Class 31s arrived at Toton, this time from the Western Region, whilst a number of those that had arrived earlier in the year were now receiving extensive overhauls at Doncaster. Late April saw the brief return of Class 25s to Glasgow Works for minor repairs, so noted were 25059 & 25237 (N4) and 25247 (N1). However by late May operational Class 25s would be gone for good from Glasgow Works.

Poor availability of diesel multiple units saw the Glasgow - Stranraer services convert to locomotive haulage at the start of the summer timetable, including the use of Class 27s. Likewise in the Swansea area the Class 33s took over most of non-HST powered passenger services.

On May 26th 25198 was noted at Consett East with scrap wagons, possibly the last Class 25 to visit Consett.

The visit by the Pope to various venues at the end of May led to many extra services being laid on to handle the large crowds. On May 31st the Pope visited Manchester, a half hourly service provided from Blackpool, with Class 40s predominating, although 25032, 25130/189 & 25282 were noted. The visit to Cardiff saw many specials run, mostly in the hands of Classes 37/45/47, no Class 25s were noted amidst all the extras. However the class were still frequent visitors through Hereford, usually on freights, noted were 25282 on a Severn Tunnel Junction - Walton (May 25th), 25193 on a Manchester - Bristol parcels and Haymarket based 25072 spent several days in the area. In the York area many specials ran on May 31st for the Pope's visit, like Cardiff no Class 25s were recorded. The following day however, with the Pope at Bellahouston Park, Glasgow many specials ran including 25057 handling an eight coach special from Cumbernauld, other specials used almost every class the Scottish Region had available.

A stranger on the south coast was 45063 on June 3rd, arriving at Brighton with the 07.30 Manchester - Brighton, returning with the 15.00 to Manchester.

June 5th's 20.52 Sheffield - Derby had superpower in the shape of 25157 & 25297. On June 12th 25145 clearly had an adventure when it worked the 08.35 Birmingham - Paddington returning with the 12.50 Paddington - Liverpool.

June 24th found 25060 running through Westbury with 47901 in tow en route to Bristol. Also on June 24th 45149 worked the 09.50 Newcastle - Poole from Sheffield to Reading, it then ran light to Paddington to take up the 17.41 to Manchester via High Wycombe, not a working normally associated with the Class 45s. Two days later (June 26th) 25075 was noted southbound through Darlington with a Corkerhill - Chesterton weedkilling train. Perhaps because of the NUR action 25057 worked June 30th's 21.05 Edinburgh - Kings Cross as far as Newcastle, returning north with a parcels working.

Late June and early July saw the NUR (June 28th & 29th) & ASLEF (July 4th - 18th) stage separate but devastating stoppages. All Regions were affected, services that did run were usually of a local nature and somewhat sporadic. Presumably the predominance of local services were basic out and back turns, avoiding the stranding of crews away from their home depots. In addition some local services operated with longer trains than normal. At Paddington, like many of the London terminii, a minimum of local services were running, there were no long distance services on the strike days. Seriously impacted were the many holiday makers who either re-arranged their journeys or more likely took to the various forms of road transport. The annual Open Day at Coalville on July 12th, timed to coincide with the 150th anniversary of the Leicester & Swannington Railway was a casualty of the industrial action.

Following the recent examples (25184, 25262, 25308) of unserviceable Class 25s being returned to service it was perhaps no surprise that Swindon should re-activate 25305 late in July. It had been out of traffic for sixteen months, parts were taken from 25246 to make 25305 roadworthy. This reinstatement left all the remaining Class 25s at Swindon Works in the 'condemned for scrapping' category. And as equally odd was the release of 25325 from Derby after five months of repairs to it's accident damaged cab! 25170 withdrawn during April had been sent to Derby Works from Reddish for generator repairs, however on inspecting the locomotive the repairs were cancelled, and returned to condemned status! During June the honour of being the longest retired Class 25 passed from 25092 (withdrawn May 1980) to 25023, as the former was broken up at Derby.

A Derby - Aberystwyth excursion on July 28th ran throughout behind 25167 & 25224, however the recent reduction of run round facilities at Aberystwyth caused problems to the regular diesel multiple unit service when this excursion arrived late. On 31st 25279 worked the 08.35 Birmingham - Paddington and 12.50 return Liverpool working, going as far as New Street, a fire having incapacitated the booked Class 50. The same day Tinsley provided 25072 for the 08.57 Sheffield - Llandudno, the Type 2 being replaced at Huddersfield. On August 6th Saltley diagrammed 25134 & 25278 for the 12.46 Portsmouth Harbour - Leeds north of New Street. Likewise the next day 25242 powered the 10.55 Weymouth - Leeds northward.

The surplus of Type 4s and the recently arrived Class 31s on the Midland did not prevent the use of the Class 25s on some odd workings during August. The 12.35 Northfleet - Toton merry-go-round saw 25202 & 25206 (10th) and 25034 & 25079 (17th), other pairs handled the Toton - Acton workings. Passenger services also featured Class 25 haulage, August 13th's 8.28 St Pancras - Nottingham used 25313 & 45138 whilst the next day's 08.10 St Pancras - Leicester used 25326.

The final two HST power cars, 43197 & 43198 were completed at Crewe Works on August 13th.

A lengthy run on August saw a Truro - Liverpool relief worked throughout by 46029.

On August 14th York turned out 25153 & 25221 to work the 9.00am to Llandudno in place of the more normal Class 40, whilst sister locomotive 25154 was noted at Sheffield the previous day working the Manchester - Harwich. Several days later on 17th 25123 worked the 15.02 Manchester - Bristol parcels, with the train containing a number of preserved vehicles. A new freight working was introduced from August 16th, with uncoated gas pipes travelling between Leith & Heysham, again in the hands of pairs of Class 25s, so noted were 25308 & 25309 on August 16th. August 27th's 16.52 Bangor - Manchester used 25054 whilst other Class 25s frequently powered a relief to the 10.21 Holyhead - Euston, from Llandudno, returning from Crewe at 15.10.

The general shortage of electric locomotives on the WCML found numerous freights reaching the London area behind various diesels. Passenger services also felt the shortage, on September 3rd 25315 made very heavy weather of the eleven coach 07.36 Northampton - Euston, the slow line was taken at Ledburn to allow the Class 86 powered 07.46 ex Northampton to pass!! A couple of days later on 3rd the operational career of 25151 came to a violent end at Hillhouse Yard (Huddersfield). Whilst working the Oakley - Healey Mills sand train, control of the train was lost at Slaithwaite, prompt action by the signalman diverted the runaway into Hillhouse yard, much damage being caused when the locomotive struck a ferry van, the crew having leapt to safety prior to the impact. Not surprisingly the locomotive was quickly withdrawn. In October 1982 Toton obtained 25151 for use in rerailing exercises, such machines were normally kept for a short period before scrapping but remarkably this locomotive remained at Toton until August 1988. Further north 25234 was noted on September 8th attached to High Speed Recording coach 999550 at Clayhill carriage sidings.

On September 19th 25037 & 25044 piloted two electric services in & out of Manchester.

The completion of the Crown Point (Norwich) carriage depot led to a significant shake up of the various train heating units with a number of the former Class 31 & BTH units condemned. Mid September saw TDB968008 (ex 24054) moved from Newton Abbott to Cambridge (arriving December) to act as a spare whilst withdrawn TDB968009 (ex 24142) was moved to Stratford for spares removal prior to being sold for scrap. On 15th 25305 finally left Swindon in working order, one of the few ever to do so, with its new home to be Bescot. 25104 which had spent several months at Derby undergoing repairs was quickly withdrawn once released from the Works, its brief respite ending at Crewe Depot! Looking forward the recently announced 1983 overhaul programme now identified the locomotives to receive the general repairs and dual braking scheduled for at least thirty two Class 20s and twenty four Class 31s, many of which had spent time withdrawn at Swindon.

With a view to increasing train lengths 20163 & 20196 were tested on September 27th on Northwich - Tunstead ICI trains. By lengthening the trains it was hoped to withdraw one roundtrip daily. The original pair of Class 20s were replaced during the period of the tests.

On September 30th Cricklewood based 25075 powered the 17.17 Edinburgh - Dundee whilst the 15.02 Manchester - Bristol parcels again conveyed preserved stock, this time haulage provided by 25304. Other Western Region Class 25 workings included 25120 & 25060 on September 13th's Ellesmere Port - Drayton tanks, whilst October 2nd found 25044 in charge of 08.35 Birmingham - Paddington! Much further north on the same day 25086 was in charge of the 10.20 Manchester Victoria - Newcastle service.

October 4th saw further upgrading of the Midland Mainline services, an influx of HSTs taking over about half the diagrams, relieving the problems associated with the summer shortage of Class 45/1s. A through daily Leeds - St Pancras service was resurrected, whilst the last headboard adorned up 'Master Cutler' ran on October 1st behind 45137. The HSTs have no provision for the fitting of headboards. The new timetable alterations also brought a major shakeup in the locomotive transfers for October. WR Class 31s transferred to March allowed a further seven Class 31s to move to Toton. The WR also sent seven Class 37s to Eastfield, no doubt these were just part of the major reshuffle that affected the ScR Class 25s with the entire allocation of twenty two machines from Eastfield & Haymarket moving south of the border, the majority destined for Crewe. Additionally all thirty three Springs Branch 25s were moved to Crewe as were their twenty Class 40s! This reshuffling allowed twenty six Class 25s to be retired between October and December 1982. The only Class 25s now remaining in Scotland were 25028/46 and recently arrived 25160, all withdrawn at Polmadie. The timetable change also saw the loss of the Class 25s on the early evening Manchester Piccadilly - St Pancras parcels, this had been a solid Class 25 working for some time. The Class 25 only worked through to Derby, here it was replaced by a Class 45/1. Class 40s would now replace the Class 25s although the latter would occasionally appear on the working.

The withdrawal on October 11th of 25310 (CW) at Tyseley with bogie damage should have been recorded as just one more casualty, especially as it had run for eight years since its last classified repair. However late in December it journeyed to Aberdeen Ferryhill where the local staff would convert the machine to a non-powered electric generator vehicle. It would be renumbered ADB 97250 and named 'ETHEL 1'. The use of Mk III sleepers on the Fort William service had caused an operational dilemma as this service was operated by steam heat 37/0s and the 37/4 conversions were still some ways off. In light of these changes it is not known why the recently released eth equipped Class 27/2s were not utilised for this service.

Another long time haunt of the Class 25s, the ICI Tunstead - Northwich stone trains saw testing of Class 20s on these trains on September 28th-30th. Twenty two hoppers and a brake van were worked on the first day, later increased to twenty four hoppers, 20163 & 20196 were loaned from Toton for these trials, which apparently were successful.

The winter timetable changes included a couple of booked turns, at least on paper, that would produce pairs of Class 45s. These included the 19.19 Derby - St Pancras (Saturdays) and the weekday 05.52 Derby - St Pancras. On Mondays the 00.19 Derby - Nottingham - St Pancras was booked for two Class 45 between Nottingham & Leicester, the second Class 45 then remained at Leicester until added to the 10.19 Derby - St Pancras. On Sundays two Class 45/1s were diammed for the 13.05 Nottingham - St. Pancras and the 15.40 Derby - St Pancras.

The LT/NLR section of Richmond (SR) station was visited by 25069 and an inspection/instruction saloon on the afternoon of October 12th, its stay was brief prior to heading off towards Kew Gardens. 25083 & 25219 took over a Bridgnorth - York school special at Bewdley from 4930 'Hagley Hall' on October 16th. A week later (22nd) the 12.46FO Portsmouth - Leeds went north from Birmingham behind 25180 & a Class 31, this train was frequently in the hands of Type 2s, and often arrived from the south behind a Class 33.

Despite the loss of the ScR allocation of Class 25s they were still frequent visitors to Glasgow, 25224 worked the 17.30 Glasgow - Carlisle on October 20th & 21st. More normal power for these services over the GSW featured eth equipped Class 47s.

Blea Moor was an unfortunate place for 47455 to fail whilst working a charter on October 30th. The train had stopped to detach pilot 31115 (from Hellifield), but was unable to restart, ninety minutes passed until 25189 & 25176 arrived taking the train on to Culgaith, where they were replaced by 37048 for the run to Carlisle. The previous day 25228 was in charge of the Hexham pick up goods.

On November 1st the Bedford - Garston 'Fletliner' having stopped at Sharnbrook was unable to restart due to wheelslip problems with 25309, requiring the assistance of 31129 to reach Wellingborough. Later that afternoon both locomotives ran south light engines. The next day 25286 arrived at Peterborough in charge of the 15.12 Manchester - Harwich service, however 31420 substituted here for the remainder of the journey.

The daily Whitemoor - Bury St Edmunds freight utilised whatever March depot might have available, on November 5th 25257 handled the turn, Classes 31 & 40 were also regular performers. Much further north non-boilered 25134 handled the 8.40 Carlisle - Glasgow on November 6th, 25245 worked the 13.45 ex-Glasgow on November 22nd, returning with the 8.40 ex Carlisle the next day.

During November a Class 45/1 was noted at Chester, providing crew training, with the Class 45/1s expected to be used on the North Wales services from May 1983.

25060 & 25120 spent some time in the North East in early November, the 8th found them in charge of the Haverton Hill - Stevenston tanks whilst the next day they crossed the Pennines towards Carlisle with a Parkeston - Mossend working. On 13th 25042 arrived in Newcastle with the 19.35 postal from Bristol. Another gas pipe project in November brought pairs of Class 25s from Leith South to St Helens or Warrington, the trains of twenty six bolsters required banking between Garswood & Shaw Street. Noted on November 3rd were 25176 & 25078 banked by 25109 whilst the next day produced 25059 & 25180 banked by 40090.

On November 25th the Prince & Princess of Wales travelled from Euston to Central Wales by Royal Train. From Shrewsbury to Aberdovey/Towyn 25259 & 25278 were in charge, with 25044 on standby. Due to restrictions on Barmouth Bridge the train went no further north than Morfa Mawddach. An overnight stop was made at Rossett prior to the Royal party visiting Wrexham & Hawarden on 26th. This is believed to be the last use of the Class 25s on Royal Train workings. On the same day (25th) the Royal couple visited the Talyllyn Railway and travelled between Pendre & Rhydryonen, Prince Charles travelled on the footplate, Princess Diana in the Corris coach.

On November 27th 25083 made one of those unusual trips by working a Manchester - Bournemouth newspaper train throughout, and then managing to return with the empties. At the opposite end of the country November 30th's 13.45 Glasgow - Carlisle produced 25218.

The withdrawal of 25093 during November was unremarkable apart from it being British Rail's most transferred machine to date, with twenty eight moves to its credit. Following its withdrawal the honour passed to 47556 with twenty four moves.

The 12.46FO Portsmouth - Leeds used 25224 north of Birmingham on December 3rd, the next day this machine was in charge of the 10.15 Birmingham - Norwich and 16.45 return. The 15.02 Manchester - Bristol parcels provided consistent work for the Class 25s although the run on December 14th was marred by the failure of 25144 at Hereford, rescue coming in the shape of 37233.

On December 6th the 08.16 Newcastle - Aberdeen and the 17.16 Edinburgh - Newcastle were worked by 45143, the Class 45/1s being somewhat rare at Aberdeen.

On December 8th the 7.45 Scarborough - Liverpool Lime Street failed at St Helens Junction behind 47414, the train was eventually propelled into Lime Street by 25324! That night the late running 22.55 Euston - Glasgow hauled by 81016 became derailed at speed near Linslade with the locomotive suffering considerable damage, the booked driver being killed, although most of the train was also derailed serious injuries to passengers were few. A consequence of this was the use of hauled stock, including MK III vehicles on the Sheffield - Manchester Piccadilly multiple unit service, locomotives used included 25221, 25325, 31279 & 40192.

BR Railfreight took delivery of 58001 at Doncaster Works on December 9th, though it would be at least a year before it entered revenue earning service.

The 18.30 Barrow - Liverpool utilised a number of locomotives at year's end, 25236 (Dec 28th), 25245 (Jan 6th) & 40084 (Jan 8th). The complete closure of the Shell/BP distribution depot at Heysham at Christmas saw the loss of the Stanlow & Grangemouth workings, both once familiar workings for the Class 25s. Further east the freight traffic over the Settle & Carlisle was now reduced to two Healey Mills - Carlisle workings and these were expected to be rerouted in May 1983 over the ECML.

The beginning of December saw 25131 withdrawn, it was stored at Toton and renumbered 97202 for use by the C.M. & E.E.. It was renumbered back to 25131 in January 1984 and then promptly withdrawn again. The move of ADB968008 (24054) and the two former Class 31 train heating units to Cambridge proved to be shortlived due to the excessive noise created especially with the close proximity of a residential neighbourhood. By mid-December all three machines had moved to March. As the year drew to a close just under half the class (162) remained in service. Derby Locomotive Works had seven receiving attention, whilst fourteen lay there withdrawn. Swindon had 27 examples present, whilst Glasgow had none, although Aberdeen had future Ethel unit 25310 under repair. Additionally thirty one withdrawn 25s lay scattered around the country at various depots, including 25177 & 25214 at Stratford, keeping company with condemned eth vehicle 24142.

Another loss occurring during 1982 was the phasing out of those freight trains which were partially braked (otherwise known as a fitted head).

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