30925 Cheltenham (SR E925, SR 925 & BR 30925)

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925 Cheltenham was delivered from Eastleigh Works in April 1934 and initially allocated to Fratton (Portsmouth) where it worked on the Waterloo and Portsmouth direct line. Following electrification of the Portsmouth line, the batch of ten Schools class engines was transferred to Bournemouth where they worked heavy Waterloo trains including the 108 minute non-stop run of the pre-war “Bournemouth Limited”.

While in Eastleigh Works in May 1941, 925 was fitted with a Lemaitre multiple jet blastpipe but, as a hole hadn’t been cut in the smokebox for a larger diameter chimney, the new blastpipe was removed; this was because a decision had been made not to modify any more locomotives at that time. Twenty “Schools” had been modified between February 1939 and March 1941; the remaining twenty, including 925, remained unmodified for the rest of their working lives.

In April 1945 925 was transferred to Dover when, with its fellow class members, it was displaced by Merchant Navy and Lord Nelson class engines, upon the delivery of the second Merchant Navy batch. Upon arrival, Dover set to work polishing 924-7 before sending them out; within 48 hours they were the cleanest engines on the Eastern Section since 1942.

BR motive power depot allocations since 1948.

Date ArrivedDepot
January 1948Dover Marine
April 1951Bricklayers Arms
February 1961Stewarts Lane
August 1961Basingstoke

It was transferred to Bricklayers Arms in May 1951, when there were so many Southern Region transfers for the start of the summer timetable that RO (The Railway Correspondence and Travel Society monthly magazine The Railway Observer) issued a special allocation supplement for that region.

During the early 1960s 30925 was used to haul a number of RCTS enthusiasts’ rail tours.

30925 had run 1,127,788 miles between April 1934 and December 1962, one of the highest mileages achieved for its class.

After withdrawal from BR service, 30925 was stored at various locations, initially at Fratton shed. In July 1963 there were eight withdrawn Southern Region engines, including 30925, stored there; most of these have since been preserved. 30925 was still at Fratton in August 1964. It was later stored at Preston Park.

When it appeared unlikely that restoration would be achieved by British Rail it was transferred on loan to the Standard Gauge Steam Trust, Tyseley in September 1970, followed by a further move in January 1973 to the Dinting Railway Centre.

It was in steam for the first time in preservation in 1980 when it took part in the Rainhill 150 cavalcade.

It was overhauled at Eastleigh Works in 2012 and repainted as 925 in Southern Railway malachite green livery; this was completed in May, in time for it to attend Railfest 2012 at the National Railway Museum at York in June before returning to operate on long term loan on The Mid Hants Railway with a boiler certificate which will be valid until 2021.

Early in 2017 the locomotive was taken into the workshops at Ropley to repair a crack in the frame as a result of an old weld failure but has since returned to traffic.

It has a boiler certificate which is valid until 2022.

Home BaseCurrent StatusOwner
Mid Hants RailwayOperationalNational Railway Museum

NRM Object Number{1978-7038}

30925 Cheltenham at Ashford – September 1957
30925 Cheltenham on Bricklayers Arms shed – July 1959
30925 Cheltenham at Clapham Junction – September 1961
30925 Cheltenham pilots LMS 2P 40646 through Wakefield Kirkgate station on a railtour from NottinghamVictoria to Darlington. 40646 was withdrawn shortly afterwards and scrapped in September 1962 – May 1962
30925 Cheltenham on Basingstoke shed – June 1962
30925 Cheltenham arriving at Salisbury with a train from Plymouth to Waterloo – September 1962
30925 Cheltenham at London Bridge with a railtour to Brighton – October 1962
30925 Cheltenham passing through New Cross Gate on a railtour to Brighton – October 1962
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30925 Cheltenham at Tyseley – June 1971
30925 Cheltenham at the Dinting Railway Centre – April 1977
30925 Cheltenham at Dinting Railway Centre – July 1977
30925 Cheltenham at Rainhill as part of the Rocket 150 cavalcade – May 1980
30925 Cheltenham in York Railway Museum – 1982
The boiler of 30925 Cheltenham undergoing overhaul at Eastleigh – March 2011
30925 Cheltenham acting as pilot to 30850 Lord Nelson on the Mid Hants Railway – March 2014
30925 Cheltenham on the Mid HAnrs Railway – March 2014
30925 Cheltenham pilots 31806 at Swanage on the Swanage Railway – April 2015
30925 Cheltenham at Ropley on the Mid Hants Railway – October 2015
30925 Cheltenham at Ropley on the Mid Hants Railway – October 2015
30925 Cheltenham at Leamland Bridge on the Bluebell Railway – October 2015
30925 Cheltenham on the Mid Hants Railway – March 2016
30925 Cheltenham at Ropley on the Mid Hants Railway – July 2016
30925 Cheltenham on the Mid Hants Railway – March 2020

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