The Sulzer Type 2 locomotives were originally introduced as part of the British Railways Modernisation Plan of the 1950s, and later formed three separate but visually similar classes under British Rail - classes 24, 25 and 26. A total of 151 were built between 1958 and 1961, split between the works at Darlington, Derby and Crewe. Allocated across the country, they were used on freight and light passenger duties and became, like their sisters of the visually almost identical Class 26, particularly synonymous with traffic on Scottish branch lines.

D5061 was built at Crewe Works and entered service at March, Cambridgeshire, on 15 January 1960. It joined D5032 at Willesden in 1960 and, after spells at Finsbury Park and Haymarket, returned to the London Midland Region in 1968. In May 1973 it once again met up with D5032 at Crewe Diesel Depot, from where it was withdrawn on 10 August 1975.

In October of that year it went to Derby Works, emerging into departmental stock as TDB968007. It was withdrawn again on 18 December 1978, before entering service with the Railway Technical Centre at Derby. It was renumbered as 97201 on 18 August 1979, named ‘Experiment’ in June 1980, and withdrawn for a third time on 4 December 1987, moving to Vic Berry’s Leicester yard under its own power in July 1988.

After being proven to be a reliable runner, D5061 was finally withdrawn from service in 2014 pending an overhaul.