Rats!

Graham Farish class 25/2

The long-awaited Graham Farish class 25/2 is finally here. Graham Farish have had a class 25/3 in the catalogue for many years, but the model dating from the Poole years is getting very long in the tooth. Following on from the new model of the similar class 24 from a couple of years back, a new class 25 was the obvious follow-up. In contast to the older Farish 25. the new model represents the earlier body style with front-end communication doors and bodyside grilles.

Known by the spotters’ nickname of “Rats”, the prototypes were built in the early to mid 1960, and the class eventually numbered no fewer than 327, making them the second most numerous class of main-line diesel after the class 47. The majority were allocated to the Midland Region though the Western and Scottish regions also had a few. Despite their large numbers they were relatively short-lived; the reduced demand for lower-power locomotives saw them last ones withdrawn in 1987, with many of them seeing less than 20 years service.

Graham Farish class 25/2

The Farish model comes in three different bodyshell variants representing the locomotives at different stages in their lives. The one I’ve got has both the boiler vent and the nose end doors plated over, and represents the condition of the locomotives in their final years in service.

I intend to renumber it to one of those allocated t o Plymouth Laira in the mid 1970s. These locomotives were brought into the West Country at the beginning of the 1970s to replace the class 22 diesel-hydraulics on local freight and passenger work in Devon and Cornwall. They were a common sight on china clay workings and Cornish local freight up to 1980 when the more powerful class 37s replaced them.

So far I have identified 25048, 25052, 25223 and 25225 as candidates for the new number. The above photo shows 25223 at Plymouth in 1976, and comes from John Woolley’s excellent photostream.

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8 Responses to Rats!

  1. Michael says:

    Is there an anonymous group to help people deal with N-gauge locomotive addiction?

    Mind you, my Dad has more Hornby Dubblo locomotives than his Zero-One control system can cope with, and both my nephew has more locomotives for his wooden railway than anything else, and even my own son is almost at parity if you discount the trucks with letters spelling out his name on his wooden railway.

    I, well, I have one locomotive and a “coach”, but no track at all. But then my stock is 5-inch gauge, so there isn’t room in our garden.

  2. Tim Hall says:

    In terms of volume, you have more locomotives than I do :)

  3. Michael says:

    Probably in terms of mass as well!

    You have both the advantage and disadvantage of not needing a support vehicle to move a locomotive been tracks. If I were at a show and wanted to buy a new loco I might have serious problems getting it home. This is a serious deterrent when it comes to buying them!

  4. Steve Jones says:

    I’m in two minds about this release when I rarely manage even one.

    On one hand it’s just a shrunken Bachmann Class 25, not exactly championed for it’s accuracy when released a dozen or more years ago. On the other hand I do like New Toys :)

    In the end I pre-ordered a Brighton Belle to be going on with.

  5. Tim Hall says:

    Fortunately for my credit card the Brighton Belle has no place in a Cornish-based layout. (Neither does the Bl*e P*llm*n). But the 25/2, even if it’s not perfect, is a necessary model when running a 70s sequence.

  6. Michael says:

    Yes, the chocolate and cream Pulman livery looks good, but the blue one?

    Sorry, but that does nothing for me. I see no need for that unit on any layout I might chose to model, even virtually.

  7. Tim Hall says:

    Did you know Bachmann are doing an 009 Baldwin 4-6-0T, as used on the Welsh Highland and Ashover Light railways. Will be the first British-outline 009 loco.

  8. Michael says:

    I was unaware of that model.

    Interesting… I suppose its value to me will depend on how successfully the 009 layout comes out of retirement.