Photographs of Class 25s

Often I think overlooked, the Class 25s were a mainstay of the railway scene in the late 70s and early 80s where they could be found almost everywhere except the Southern Region.  Together with their less powerful Class 24 sisters the two classes had a build total of 477, but by the time I started taking slides the run down was well and truly underway: the last Class 24 disappeared in 1980 and at the beginning of 1984 only around 120 of the original total of 327 Class 25s were still in service.  By far the most comprehensive resource devoted to these locomotives is the Derby Sulzers web site - thoroughly recommended!

Click here for the full image (173kb) We start in the Manchester area on 12 April 1984.  Part of the reason for the trip was to get some photos of Class 25s and the first one, 25211, was sighted at Manchester Victoria station on pilot duties.  This was a regular location for stabling a Class 25 - I think also to act as a banker for Miles Platting bank if necessary - although another trip 3 months later saw this duty having been usurped by a Class 31.

Click here for the full image (137kb) Speaking of Miles Platting bank, 25230 drifts down the bank running westbound light engine on 12 April 1984.

Click here for the full image (178kb) Looking in the other direction, 25230 is passing through Manchester Victoria on 12 April 1984.  Comparing this locomotive with 25211 on the right illustrates the two different body designs of the Class 25.

Click here for the full image (149kb) A trip to Guide Bridge on 12 April 1984 yielded 25210 passing through with an eastbound pw train.

Click here for the full image (152kb) On the journey between Manchester and Guide Bridge on 12 April 1984, 25258 is seen shunting at Ashburys.

Click here for the full image (139kb) During the mid 1980s Carlisle was a good place to see Class 25s, partly no doubt because Kingmoor had an allocation of the locomotives.  In this view, on 26 June 1984 25254 enters the station from the south with a freight train.

Click here for the full image (154kb) Due to their relatively small power output pairs of Class 25s were often employed on heavier trains.  On 26 June 1984 25296+25283 await a path south from Carlisle with an oil train.

Click here for the full image (154kb) A little later on 26 June 1984 25283+25296 are seen approaching Carlisle station from the south with a train of oil tankers.  I suspect that the locomotives must have been visiting the oil depot at Dalston on the Cumbrian Coast line to have reappeared so soon.

Click here for the full image (154kb) Also on 26 June 1984 25307 passes through Carlisle station with a northbound engineers' train.

Click here for the full image (138kb) The final view from 26 June 1984 sees 25278 running southbound light engine at Carlisle station.

Click here for the full image (118kb) By 1984 there were no Class 25s allocated to Scottish depots.  Although there were still regular visits north of the border (like the pairing of 40001+25235 on the same day as this view) the 'permanent' residents in Scotland were withdrawn locomotives - like this pair, 25028 and 25318 pictured at Glasgow Works on 30 June 1984.  25028 had been withdrawn in December 1980 whilst 25318 had at this time been withdrawn for almost 2 years and both would not be cut up until June 1987!

Click here for the full image (173kb) In 1984 Class 25 passenger turns were a bit of a rarity, with the only reliable work being the Cambrian services on Summer Saturdays.  That being said, locomotives did turn up as substitutes from time to time, like 25191 here on 12 July 1984 having arrived at Preston from Blackpool North (Thanks to the 1980s Timewarp gen web site this was 1G10 1838 Blackpool - Birmingham New St, which corresponds with the clock out of shot on the cropped version of my photo - it's amazing what you can find on the internet!).

Click here for the full image (171kb) 25191 is relieved from its passenger duty, running south off its train at Preston station on 12 July 1984.

Click here for the full image (157kb) 25286 approaches Carlisle station on 24 July 1984 with a northbound freight.

Click here for the full image (105kb) On a dull 17 November 1984 in failing light 25044 is stabled at Ayr depot.  South-west Scotland was familiar territory for the class, with some examples taking over from steam in Ayshire.  Even after the class was no longer shedded in Scotland the proximity of Carlisle Kingmoor meant that right up to the end examples could be seen on the G&SW route and around Ayr and Stranraer.

Click here for the full image (203kb) A stop off at Arpley looking for some of the last remaining Class 40s on 4 January 1985 yielded 25209 running light around the yard.

Click here for the full image (132kb) By the time we had got back to Warrington Bank Quay station, 25209 had picked up a freight and was heading for Widnes and Ditton on 4 January 1985.

Click here for the full image (115kb) On the evening of 21 March 1985 25072 was stabled at Carlisle station.  By this stage there were only around 90 locomotives left in traffic.  This locomotive would not see out the year, being withdrawn in December, although fortunately it has been preserved and is (at April 2007) undergoing restoration at the Caledonian Railway by their Diesel Group.

Click here for the full image (123kb) The summer of 1985 (21 July) sees 25285 stabled at Millerhill.  By this time although visits to Scotland were not rare, they were by no means frequent on the east side of the country and this memory of times past was an unusual sight at Millerhill.  There is another view of this locomotive in one of my pages of photographs taken around Edinburgh.

Click here for the full image (150kb) Taken from a passing train 25265 sits patiently at Dumfries on 20 July 1986 with a ballast train.  This locomotive was one of a batch delivered new to Eastfield, and there is a wealth of information on the Derby Sulzers site about these locomotives.  25265 would have been no stranger to this area but by this time she had less than 9 months service, which did last to almost the bitter end.  Happily this is another locomotive which has been preserved, at the Great Central Railway.

Click here for the full image (157kb) Later on the same day, 25265 makes a rather smoky northbound trip through Carlisle station.

Click here for the full image (176kb) And so the end came.  On its last day in traffic, 17 March 1987, 25278 potters around Crewe station with a short freight train.  This is another locomotive which made it into preservation, at the North Yorkshire Moors Railway.

Click here for the full image (144kb) Class 25s are perhaps ideal locomotives for preserved lines, being lightweight go anywhere machines.  It is perhaps then not surprising that 20 locomotives have been preserved, although their withdrawal took place at a time when the diesel preservation movement was not as well advanced as it is now.  The SRPS Diesel Group has preserved 25235, which was an Eastfield machine in a past life, and is seen here at Bo'ness during the May 2001 Diesel Gala.