Published: 20-02-2009 photo #5944 0 comments 0 votes
Photographed on 7 February 2009 on a siding at the Great Central Railway, Loughborough.
D5185 was built in May 1963 from Darlington, earning the distinction of being the last main line locomotive to be constructed in the works. The class first appeared in 1961, most being constructed in British Rail's Derby or Darlington works. A handful were constructed under a subcontract by Beyer-Peacock in Gorton (Manchester).
Weighing about 70 tons, they were 50ft long, with a maximum tractive effort of 46,500 lbs and a top speed of 90mph. This Class was put to work on smaller passenger trains and trip freights. They were also seen regularly operating in multiple on heavier trains.
They earned themselves the nickname "rats" - quite simply because they got everywhere. From Scotland to the Welsh branches and right across England this distinctive design could be found on passenger and freight work.
D5185 was initially shedded at Toton (fairly close to Loughborough) then Holbeck and Tinsley in the 1970s. Spells at Edinburgh and Crewe followed.
Along the way she was given the number 25 035 as part of the BR T.O.P.S. classification system and was named "Castell Dinas Bran" (the ruined castle in Wales which overlooks Llangollen). The name was painted on rather than the more conventional plates leading to speculation it was an unofficial title, perhaps granted at Crewe. However proper plates bearing this name are now carried.
She was eventually withdrawn from service during her time at Crewe but not before notching up another milepost. In March 1987 she was the last member of the class to haul a BR passenger train - covering for a failed locomotive.
Now the oldest surviving member of the class (though plenty of others have reached the relative safety of preservation) she spent a good deal of time at the Northampton and Lamport railway.