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

30925 large.jpg

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 Arrived Depot
January 1948 Dover Marine
April 1951 Bricklayers Arms
February 1961 Stewarts Lane
August 1961 Basingstoke

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 In July 1963 there were eight withdrawn Southern Region engines, including 30925, stored there; most of these have since been preserved. 30925 was still at Fratton in August 1964.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 took part in the Rainhill 150 in 1980.

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 Base Current Status Owner
Mid Hants Railway Operational National Railway Museum

NRM Object Number{1978-7038}

30925 at Tyseley-1971.jpg 30925 Cheltenham at Tyseley-1971
30925 at Ropley-2015.jpg 30925 Cheltenham at Ropley on the Mid Hants Railway-2015
30925 2015.jpg 30925 Cheltenham at Ropley on the Mid Hants Railway-2015
30925 2016.jpg 30925 Cheltenham at Ropley on the Mid Hants Railway-2016

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