Thornaby was the first depot to receive the new BR/Sulzer Type 2 with the uprated 1,250hp engine. Twenty five would be delivered all from the nearby Darlington Works and were used alongside a number of BRCW Class 27's and English Electric Class 37's to assist in the removal of steam from Teeside.
Although fitted with the up-rated 1,250hp engine the body shell was almost unchanged from the earlier Class 24 builds. Intended for freight service none of this batch were equipped with boilers, this detail being visible in the lack of a water tank slung under the frame.
During December D5156 & D5157 moved to Gateshead (52A) in exchange for D5112 & D5113.
The work that the Type 2's took over at Thornaby was un-glamorous, especially with their lack of passenger workings and all this is reflected in their absence from reporting of the contemporary railway scene. However on August 29th a Teeside - Skipton ammonia tank working was tested with D5377 and brake tender, with a possible future plan to dieselise this turn.
In the early hours of July 31st D5160 was involved in a fatal accident which revealed troubling issues related to the locomotive and its crew. D5160 & brake tender was in charge of the 1.0am Class 8 freight from Tees Yard to Northallerton, travelling ahead of it was the 1.30am Class 8 freight from Tees Yard to Washwood Heath hauled by a Class 37 and brake tender.
Just north of Rounton Gates signal box the Northallerton bound freight rear ended the Washwood Heath train, impact speed was approxiamately 30mph, the leading train was barely moving having just started to pull away from a signal stop. D5160 had been propelling a 35ton brake tender, which demolished and set fire to the brake van of the leading train. The wagon next to the brake van, a 40ton bolster wagon carrying rolled steel lost its bogies and was thrown upside down across both running lines. The brake tender was demolished in the collision, D5160 rode over it sustaining severe damage to the cab.
The guard of the Washwood Heath train was severely injured in the collision and died shortly after reaching the hospital. The investigation showed the driver of D5160 to be a troubled man. He was approaching retirement age and had been driving diesels for about five months. He had suffered from dizzy spells for about fifteen months prior to the accident, since transferring to diesels his stomach had troubled him, unable to keep down food after he had been driving diesels. Cooking smells also upset him, at the time of the accident the second man was in the rear cab cooking up his breakfast of bacon and eggs on the hotplate. At this time all nightime diesel workings were doubled manned to provide protection for the crews in case of drowsiness brought on by the more comfortable environment found in the diesel cabs. The second man had been in the rear cab for about fifteen minutes and had not monitored any of the signals. Additionally the guard of the train admitted to only a casual observance of the signals on that trip.
The driver could remember nothing of the final moments of the journey, either because of a spell of dizzyness or drowsiness imparing his actions. Equally as disturbing was the operation of the deadman's pedal, which although found to be in proper working order after the collision appeared to have been operational by the action of a downward pressure lower than that prescribed by the manufacturer - if the driver had fallen asleep the weight of his legs would normally have been inadequate to keep the pedal depressed. In the case of the pedal in D5160 it was operating outside of its designed specifications and allowed the locomotive to operate with the driver incapacitated, therefore making the device virtually of no use.
During August D5160 was noted in Darlington Works & Yard presumably for accident repairs.
During October the remaining steam locomotives at Thornaby were placed in store. This however proved to be premature as there were still insufficient diesels to cover all the diagrams. This situation was not helped by the loaning of four Type 2s to West Auckland shed from October 7th. They were to be used on eight of the depot's twenty diagrams. These goods turns included workings to Wear Valley (2), Tow Law, Waterhouse (Esh) and Tyne Yard. All the other turns involved the numerous mineral workings to Teeside. The first week of November found D5158/63/70/72 working these turns.
On October 17th whilst returning from St John's Chapel D5155 collided with a dump truck on Broadwood level crossing. 76045 was used to rescue the train whilst 63343 later brought home the damaged Type 2.
During September D5156 & D5157 returned to Thornaby from Gateshead.
By the beginning of March the Thornably steam allocation comprised seventeen locomotives: V2-4; Q6-5; J27-3; WD 2-8-0--3; LMS Class 4 2-6-0 --2. Dieselisation was hoped to be completed with the arrival of at least five Clayton Type 1s, D8588 had arrived on March 20th.
A second attempt to completely dieselise Thornaby occurred on December 13 when 65859 was moved to Darlington (51A), leaving Thornaby with no active steam allocation.
The allocation for Thornaby as at October 30 was: 237-240/46/73, 399, 1889, 2070/76/77, 2107/53/54, 2306/07/16/17/20/31/38, 3137-51, 3876, 5151-75, 5370-78, 6755-57/59-74/76-80, 8588-91.
On February 5 D5158 was noted southbound through Northallerton hauling three scrap steam locomotives (48392, 76040 & a V1).
D5248 - D5255 were all transferred to Leeds Holbeck (55A); in May (D5248 - D5253) and June (D5254 & D5255).
At the end of the summer two of Thornaby's Type 2's were noted carrying two styles of experimental flourescent warning panels on the cab fronts. D5158 carried a green panel whilst D5159 carried a red panel, being so noted on September 6 whilst working ammonia tanks from Haverton Hill.
At the end of the year D5154 & D5155 were transferred to York (50A), whilst their loss was covered by incoming D5176 & D5178.
During June D5166 - D5169 moved to Gateshead (52A). D5168 was noted in July freshly repainted in blue livery.
Further transfers in September found D5151 moving to Gateshead (52A) whilst D5154 & D5155 returned to Thornaby, who then sent D5176 & D5178 back to Leeds Holbeck (55A).
An Open Day at Holbeck on October 30, as a tribute to the few remaining Jubilees found over seventy locomotives on 'display', evenly split between steam and diesel types. Included in the diesels was Thornaby based D5173.
November proved a hectic month as resources were gathered to finally remove the last remnants of steam in the North West. As part of this re-shuffling of resources D5151 - D5156 were loaned to Carlisle Kingmoor (12A), whilst Gateshead returned D5166 - D5169. The latter two of that batch were soon moved elsewhere with D5168 - D5172 going to Leeds Holbeck (55A) late in November.
Thornaby's allocation at year end was: 237-40/73, 2046/57/67/68/70/76-78/93/99, 2107/49/53/54, 2205, 2306/07/16/17/20/31/38, 3137-3150/82, 3672, 3942/43, 5157-5167, 6755-80/85-87, 8310-15.
Of the original twenty five Class 25's sent to Thornaby D5151 - D5156 were now at Springs Branch (8F) and D5168 - D5175 were at Holbeck (55A).
Thornaby's allocation at year end was: 1101/02, 1758/59/69/70/90/97, 1880/81, 2046/57/61/65/67/68/70/76/77/93/99, 2107/49/53/54/55, 2205/43, 3141/43-45/49, 3242, 3321, 3406, 3503/04, 3672, 3913/42/43, 5157-5165, 6711/12/55-80/85/86, 6820-24/27/29, 8599-8604.
5151 - 5156 were now at the Manchester Division (D09) and 5166 - 5175 were at Holbeck (55A).
During May 5165 moved to Holbeck (55A).
At year end 5157 - 5164 remained at Thornaby, 5151 - 5156 were still part of the Manchester Division (D09) and 5165 - 5175 were at Holbeck (55A).
At year end 5157 - 5166 remained at Thornaby, 5151 - 5156 were still part of the Manchester Division (D09) and 5167 - 5175 were at Holbeck (55A).
During May the first Class 31's (5534 & 5819) arrived at Thornaby for driver training, by August 5159 & 5160 had moved to Holbeck (55A).
The timetable changes in October brought a vast re-organisation to the BR diesel fleet. A major clear out of the remaining Scottish NBL & Clayton types as well as heavy pruning of parts of the WR hydraulic fleet led to over one hundred and twenty withdrawals and a much greater number of transfers between depots. Five of Thornaby's seven remaining Type 2's moved on : 5157 & 5161 to Eastfield (65A) and 5162 - 5164 to Holbeck (55A). for 5161 - 5164 this was their first move away from Thornaby. This left only 5165 & 5166 still remaining at the Teeside depot.
During November 5167, 5170, 5172 returned from Holbeck to Thornaby. As the year closed out the original twenty five Type 2's were now spread across three regions and five depots as follows:
The October 1972 timetable changes saw the Class 25/0's split between Tinsley (5151 - 5161) and Eastfield/Haymarket (5162 - 5175). By Feb 1975 all the Scottish examples had moved south to Tinsley, bringing the entire Class together for the last time. Their time together was brief, between August 1975 and February 1976 nineteen returned north to Eastfield to cover the major withdrawals of the Class 24's. Of the six locomotives that remained behind, five were in store at Barrow Hill, the other withdrawn at Derby Works with collision damage.
The remaining locomotives suffered a chequered fate. Some went through Glasgow Works for classified repairs whilst others fell by the wayside, providing valuable spares for the Scottish Type 2 fleet. The hardy survivors lasted until December 1980, after withdrawal making the long journey down to Swindon Works for breaking up. None reached preservation.
Undated and other views
Views below are either undated views relating to the Class 25's allocated to Thornaby or visitors to the depot in the shape of other depots Classes 25/45/46's. Because of strong traffic flows and the location of Thornaby, it would be host to the Class 25's up until their demise in March 1987 and to August 1988 when the final Class 45's were taken out of service.
Page added July 24th 2001.