Class 25

D5185 Woodthorpe 12 September 2009

With a heavy load for a diminutive Class 25, D5185 Castell Dinas Bran passes Woodthorpe on 12 September 2009 with the 2A07 10:20 Loughborough to Leicester North service, during the Great Central Railway's Diesel Gala. The incorrect headcode is intentional.

D5185 Woodthorpe 12 September 2009

D5185 Castell Dinas Bran passes under Woodthorpe bridge on 12 September 2009 with the 2C37 16:00 Loughborough to Quorn & Woodhouse service, during the Great Central Railway's Diesel Gala. Class 27 D5401 can be seen on the rear of the train. It will later work back with the 2D32 16:20 train from Rothley.

D5185 Thurcaston 19 March 2017

D5185 passes Thurcaston on 19 March 2017 with the 2A03 09:00 Loughborough to Leicester North service, during the Great Central Railway's Diesel Gala. This was deputising for Class 33 D6535, which had failed the previous day.

D5185 Thurcaston 19 March 2017

A very tight fit! D5185 viewed through the trees at Thurcaston on 19 March 2017, as it works the 2B03 09:45 Leicester North to Loughborough service, during the Great Central Railway's Diesel Gala. I thought I would try a different angle here, but had no real way of knowing beforehand whether the gap between the trees was long enough for a Class 25.

25034 & 25044 Wendlebury (Langford Lane) 23 February 1985

On a very dull and misty 23 February 1985, 25034 & 25044 pass the site of Wendlebury Halt (on the Oxford to Bicester line) with the Railway Enthusiasts Society 1Z26 07:30 St Pancras to Derby 'North Midlander' railtour. This tour traversed this former LMS route as far as Bletchley, before heading up the West Coast Mainline to Stafford, where this classic motive power combination was exchanged for the equally vintage 45048. Wendlebury Halt had a very brief existence, opening in 1905 and closing as early as 1926. Even that doesn't tell the whole story, as it was temporarily closed during the First World War.

25042 Oxford (Walton Well Road) 23 August 1985

A very rare working at Oxford, that was about to become even more unusual. Class 25s were very scarce visitors to Oxford by 1985, so the sight of 25042 working a Derby to Old Oak Common ECS was rare enough, but shortly after I took this picture of it passing Walton Well Road, on the approach to Oxford station, the ECS turned into a revenue earning train! Due to the failure of the 06:05 Hereford to Paddington service, some quick thinking railway employee commandeered the 25 which was conveniently heading in the right direction with a set of coaches, to form a substitute 08:20 Oxford to Reading relief train. A Class 25 on a twelve coach train is something you didn't see every day!

25051 Hinksey 14 June 1983 Having worked down from the West Midlands with the 6V19 06:32 Bescot to Oxford Speedlink service on 14 June 1983, 25051 crosses over from the up main line into Hinksey Yard, prior to heading back north light engine. Normally I wouldn't bother taking a light engine movement such as this, but a Class 25 in perfect lighting is always worth recording.
D5217 Market Bosworth 10 March 1996

In weak spring sunshine, D5217 approaches Market Bosworth on the Battlefield Line with the 13:00 Shackerstone to Shenton service on 10 March 1996 during the line's Diesel Gala. This loco had been withdrawn from BR service as 25067 as long ago as 1982, but had languished at Bescot and Swindon, before finally entering preservation in 1985.

D5217 Market Bosworth 8 March 1997

D5217 arrives at Market Bosworth station on 8 March 1997 with the 10:30 Shenton to Shackerstone service, during the Battlefield Line's Diesel Gala. A dull day has allowed a view that would otherwise be looking into the sun, showing the station building, goods shed, and signal box.

D5217 Congerstone 19 September 2009

The Battlefield Line's resident class 25, D5217 was slightly overshadowed by all the more glamorous motive power during the line's Diesel Gala on 19 September 2009. It is pictured passing a fine crop of maize near Congerstone with the 16:15 Shackerstone to Shenton service.

25109 & 25057 Rangeworthy 5 May 1986

In gloomy conditions on 5 May 1986, 25109 & 25057 pass Rangeworthy with the F & W Railtours 06:50 Crewe to Onllwyn 'Valley Explorer' railtour. Note the two different Class 25 body types, with 25057 having the original design with grilles scattered all over the bodyside, while 25109 has all the grilles arranged neatly at cantrail level. The most noticeable aspect of this picture is how open the location is, with virtually no lineside vegetation to speak of. However, it wasn't long before those few lineside bushes multiplied considerably!

D7523, 31420 & 31466 Minehead 28 June 1997

After working in to Minehead coupled inside 31466 & 31420 with the Pathfinder Tours 'Minehead Mariner'; railtour on 28 June 1997, D7523 John F Kennedy got the chance to lead the tour on the return leg, at least as far as Williton. It is pictured here making a very noisy departure from Minehead along with 31420 & 31466, running as the 1Z52 16:00 Minehead to York.

25205 Bayston Hill 3 July 1985

25205 approaches Bayston Hill with a ballast train for the Crewe station remodeling on 3 July 1985. A few minutes earlier it had passed in the opposite direction, after emerging from Bayston Hill Quarry. After running around it would now pass the quarry again on its way north. 25205 was withdrawn the following year, and after two unsuccessful sales for spares, was finally broken up at M.C. Metal Processing at Springburn in June 1995.

25209 Oxford North Junction 12 February 1985

25209 passes Oxford North Junction with the 6V19 06:32 Bescot to Didcot Speedlink on 12 February 1985. A perfect combination of classic traction, interesting mixed freight train, sunshine and snow, what more could you ask for? 25209 was withdrawn in December 1985 and cut up at M. C. Metal Processing at Springburn in March 1992. The line to Bicester, which in 1985 was still purely a freight only route, can be seen diverging to the right in the background. The overgrown area between the stream and the allotments is the site of the former down relief line, which extended from here to Wolvercote Junction. It was the longest of the running loops in the area added during the Second World War, with a capacity of 455 wagons. 

25235 & 47602 Orleton 18 June 1984

25235 is unusually paired with 47602 as it passes Orleton on 18 June 1984 with an unidentified northbound working (possibly a late running 6M81 06:45 Severn Tunnel Junction  to Walton Old Junction Speedlink?). The 47 was not under power, as it would have obviously have needed a separate driver, as Class 25s and 47s cannot work in multiple.

D7612 Didbrook 9 July 2010

D7612 from the South Devon Railway visited the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway for their three Diesel Gala in July 2010. It is pictured with the first train of the event - the 10:00 Toddington to Gotherington service, passing Didbrook on Friday 9 July. Although no Class 25s are based on the GWR, there have been visits to previous diesel galas in the past.

D7612 Dixton 11 July 2010

D7612 accelerates away from Gotherington with the 13:25 train to Toddington, and passes a large patch of Rosebay Willowherb at Dixton, during the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway's Diesel Gala on 11 July 2010. The Class 25 was the star attraction at the gala, supplementing the line's resident extensive diesel fleet, one of which (47376) can be seen on the rear of the train.

D7612 Hailes 11 July 2010

The highlight of the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railways Diesel Gala over the weekend of 9 - 11 July 2010 was the use of visiting Class 25 D7612 from the South Devon Railway. It is pictured here passing Hailes with the late running 15:30 Toddington to Gotherington service on 11 July 2010, with the line's resident 47376 on the rear of the train.

D7612 Toddington 11 July 2010

Visiting D7612 arrives at Toddington with the 16:43 Stanway Viaduct to Gotherington service on 11 July 2010, during the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway's Diesel Gala. Throughout the day the visiting Potter Group Class 08 shunters were providing a brake van shuttle service between Toddington and Stanway Viaduct, but this was the only down train of the day to originate from the viaduct and travel all the way through to Gotherington.

D7612 Greet Tunnel 2 October 2010

D7612 emerges from Greet Tunnel and approaches Winchcombe's home signals whilst working the 12:45 Gotherington to Toddington service, during the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway's Diesel Gala on 2 October 2010. A mostly sunny day until around midday, when as if from nowhere the cloud appeared and built up rapidly. All the photographers stood at this spot thought this was going to be hopeless, but just before D7612 emerged from the tunnel it actually brightened up a little (look, the loco is casting a shadow!), before totally collapsing for most of the rest of the day.

25265 & 25051 Church Lawford 2 June 1984

25265 & 25051 pass Church Lawford on Saturday 2 June 1984 with an eastbound freightliner. I must apologise for the poor framing of this picture, both the unacceptable overhead viewpoint, with the wires obstructing the view, and the fact that I seemed to have pressed the shutter slightly too late! However, it was a grab shot, as the train was approaching as I arrived at the bridge. This is the only time I saw a pair of 'Rats' working a freightliner, and judging by the scarcity of published pictures, with the exception of single locos on the Holyhead and Beeston workings, 25s were not particularly common on freightliners.

25265 Loughnorough Central 12 May 2001

25265 stands underneath the impressive bracket signal to the south of Loughborough Central station, on the Great Central Railway, with a mixed engineer's train, during the East Midlands Railway Photographic Society's 'Rat Catcher' photo charter on 12 May 2001.

25265 Woodthorpe 11 May 2001

25265 passes Woodthorpe on 11 May 2001 with a short engineer's train, complete with crane, during the East Midlands Railway Photographic Society's 'Rat Catcher' photo charter. The Great Central Railway's Class 25 is recreating a scene from the late 1970s, with the headcode wound to show 0000.

25265 Loughborough Central 11 May 2001

25265 stands at Loughborough Central station, on the Great Central Railway, with a rake of 16 ton coal wagons, during the East Midlands Railway Photographic Society's 'Rat Catcher' photo charter. The date is 12 May 2001.

25268 Oxford 11 July 1984

Although taken in poor light, this scene at Oxford on 11 July 1984 is full of interest. 25268 weaves across towards Oxford South Yard, after passing through the station with the 6V19 06:32 Bescot to Oxford Speedlink. Bescot was liable to chuck out any available locomotive for this working, which usually only had a moderate load such as this. Class's 20, 25, 31, 37, 45 & 47 all made regular appearances. If a train followed this exact course today it would be traveling across the car park! The sidings were removed in the 1990s to make way for a massive expansion of Oxford station's car park, thereby virtually ruining this once excellent photographic viewpoint from the Osney Lane footbridge. As for 25268, it managed to survive to the very end of Class 25 operations in 1987 (by then numbered 25902), but was cut up at Vic Berry's, Leicester in the same year, after spending a short while in the famous stack of locos.

25278 Hargrave 12 March 1987

With 15 March 1987 being rumoured to be the date when all remaining Class 25s would be switched off, a trip was made to the Chester area three days before to try to photograph some of the remaining members. At Hargrave 25278 (unofficially named Castell Harlech / Harlech Castle) duly obliged with this Crewe to Chester engineers train. It was day of very weak spring sunshine, with remnants of snow still visible in the fields. Note the seagulls on the extreme left, who seem to be permanent residents at this location.

25278 Hargrave 12 March 1987

Less than two hours after 25278 Castell Harlech / Harlech Castle had passed Hargrave on 12 March 1987 heading towards Chester, it was on its way back to Crewe with a slightly shorter engineers train. Of course in the intervening time the sun had moved round, so that neither picture of it has the sun on the front! 25278 along with several others of the class survived past the official switch off date, but only by one day. On 16 March it ran out of A exam hours after working a Bescot to Crewe freight, however happily it has survived in preservation. Waverton church can just be seen through the mist in the background.

D7628 Whitby 5 June 2015

The secondman of D7628 Sybilla takes a break at Whitby on 5 June 2015, prior to working the 12:45 service to Pickering. This loco has been at the North Yorkshire Moors Railways since it was withdrawn in 1987. The last time I saw it was on the last official day of Class 25 operation, when it passed at Hargrave twice within a couple of hours.

D7633 Lydney Junction 19 August 2006

D7633 quietly rusts amid the brambles at Lydney Junction on 19 August 2006. Despite appearance though, it was still an operational loco at this time. After nearly two decades of preservation its once immaculate two tone green livery is certainly in need of a repaint. Lydney St Mary's parish church dominates the background.

25297 Banbury 24 April 1984

25297 heads north from Banbury with the 6T45 Banbury to Fenny Compton Speedlink trip working on 24 April 1984. The loco had earlier worked down from Bescot on the 8T45 05:23 Bescot to Banbury. This view is historic for two reasons, not only are the 25s long gone, but this also shows the uninterrupted view south from the Grimsbury Road bridge, before the opening of the Hennef Way bypass. The start of construction of the new bridge can clearly be seen.

D7659 Woodthorpe 2 April 1995

D7659 (formally 25309) passes Woodthorpe with the 15:30 Loughborough to Leicester service during the Great Central Railway's Diesel Gala on 2 April 1995. This loco has visited a number of sites since preservation, and has been seen in all liveries and carrying all of its BR numbers, including 25909 which it carried during its final months in BR service during 1986.

D7659 Hailes 9 November 1996

D7659 visited the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway in 1996, as was the star attraction at the autumn diesel gala. It is pictured here passing Hailes with the 10:00 Toddington to Far Stanley service on 9 November 1996. This is one of the few times when its use on the line corresponded with some good weather - at least when I was there!

D7659 Toddington 22 December 1996

D7659 stands in the yard at Toddington on 22 December 1996 in company with Class 31 D5541, which has since been scrapped. The 25 was visiting the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway for a short period but most of the time when it actually worked trains the weather was dire! Note the once all too common problem of an ambiguous headcode, either caused by mis-winding or through vibration once the train is in motion.

25313 & 25249 Berkswell 28 September 1986

25313 & 25249 pass Berkswell on 28 September 1986 with the Hertfordshire Railtours Euston to Liverpool Lime Street 'Mersey Ratcatcher' railtour. With the imminent threat of complete withdrawal of the class, a number of railtours were being organised around this time, with this one supposedly being the official Class 25 farewell tour.

D7672 Cattal 27 May 1990

D7672 Tamworth Castle accelerates away from Cattal station on 27 May 1990 with the York to Leeds (via Harrogate) section of the Hertfordshire Railtours 'Modern Railways 500' railtour. I had seen this train earlier in the day at Colton being hauled by the unique 89001. Quite why this picture is taken from the 'wrong' side for the light I cannot now recall, but presumably the view from the correct side of this bridge is either very restricted, or doesn't show the station in the background. For once, I think it works reasonably well.

D7672 Skipton 27 October 1990

D7672 Tamworth Castle leaves Skipton in failing light on 27 October 1990 with the Pathfinder Tours 1Z38 Rylstone to Swindon 'Rylstone Cowboy' railtour. The Class 25 would work the train as far as Morecambe. It was a good job that the train was only moving very slowly, as this was really pushing the limits of Pentax 6x7 photography. 1/125sec f2.4 (lens wide open) on the atrociously grainy Ektachrome 400 film!

D7672 Lostock Hall 29 December 1990

D7672 Tamworth Castle passes Lostock Hall with the Hertfordshire Railtours 'Copy Pit Pullman' railtour on 29 December 1990. The tour had started from Euston, with the 25 taking over at Preston for the run to Leeds. Following its withdrawal in 1989 the erstwhile 25322 (which had been running as 25912 since 1985) was given a repaint into two tone green at Leeds Holbeck depot and officially named Tamworth Castle, a name which it carried unofficially for a number of years.

D7672 Marsden 16 February 1991

D7672 Tamworth Castle is about to plunge into the three mile long Standedge Tunnel at Marsden with the Pathfinder Tours 1Z38 Swindon to Hellifield 'Sulzer Salute' railtour on 16 February 1991. Ten Mk 1 coaches is quite a load for a Class 25, but this didn't seem to present any problems on the day, just plenty of noise! Note the Huddersfield Canal just behind the loco, which also burrows under the Pennines at this point. Standedge Railway Tunnel is the third longest in this country, after the Severn and Totley tunnels.

D7672 Hellifield 16 February 1991

D7672 Tamworth Castle stands at Hellifield on 16 February 1991 after arriving with the Pathfinder Tours 1Z38 'Sulzer Salute' railtour from Swindon. The 'Rat' had worked the train from Sheffield, with 47829 being used to bring the train up from the south. This was in the good old days when photo stops saw photographers swarming all over the tracks to get their pictures, long before the creeping tide of health & safety caught up with yet another imaginary 'potential risk'!

D7672 Mostyn 30 March 1991

Four years after the rest of the class was withdrawn by BR, D7672 Tamworth Castle finally retired from the national network on 30 March 1991. The Hertfordshire Railtours 1Z45 07:20 Kings Cross to Holyhead 'Rat Requiem' railtour is pictured passing Mostyn, with the unmistakable outline of the grounded 'Duke of Lancaster' ship in the background. The 'Rat' had taken over the train at Leeds. With only 1,250 hp available, ten coaches is a bit of a load!

D7672 Abergele 30 March 1991

In appropriately funereal weather, D7672 Tamworth Castle passes through Abergele on 30 March 1991 with the Hertfordshire Railtours 1Z45 15:02 Holyhead to Kings Cross 'Rat Requiem'. For the homeward run a wreath has been added to the front end, along with the two headboards which read: 'The Rat Requiem Final Journey D7672 30-3-1991' & 'Premier Depot Holbeck 55A'.

25327 Awre 3 April 1982

A miserable day at Awre (between Gloucester and Chepstow) on 3 April 1982. 25327 passes with what appears to be a very late running diverted 6V35 17:26 Ince to Carmarthen UKF fertiliser train. Confirmation anyone? 25327 was the final Class 25 to be delivered (as D7677) in April 1967. It was withdrawn in February 1984, and after being stored at Crewe and Swindon, was moved to Vic Berry's at Leicester in 1987, where it joined numerous classmates in the famous stack, before being broken up in March 1988.