HNRC aims Class 25s at main line
Harry Needle Railroad Company has bought D7633 (25283), which is currently out of service at the Dean Forest Railway.
It will join 25057 in the HNRC fleet, with both locomotives destined for a main line return.
HNRC Managing Director Harry Needle confirmed that both will be restored to main line condition and that both will be dual-braked with steam heat boilers, with a contract lined up for their work. He declined to say what that work will be.
Needle also owns 25313. It is stored at Wensleydale Railway, and is not part of the company’s main line plans.
The locomotives will be moved by road to Barrow Hill for restoration - both will need to be equipped with all the relevant safety systems required for the main line. Neither has run on the national network since 1987.
They will also be the first Class 25s capable of operating nationally on the main line since D7622 (25322) Tamworth Castle was withdrawn in 1991. The North Yorkshire Moors Railway’s D7628 (25278) Syballa is passed to run on the main line, but only between Pickering, Whitby and Battersby.
D7633 was built by Beyer Peacock at Gorton, Manchester, in 1965. It was renumbered 25283, and in 1985 became 25904. It was withdrawn in February 1987.
The Severn Valley Railway’s P-Way Department acquired it that year for engineers’ train duties, although it was also used on passenger services. It failed in December 2000 with several faults, including wiring. It was sold in 2003 and moved to the Dean Forest Railway, where it remains stored. It was hauling trains up to the late 2000s.