D7556, 7556, 25206
D7556, 7556, 25206

Photograph courtesy Roger Geach.
The light is starting to fade as 25206 & 25207 approach Respryn Bridge on May 10th 1978. They are working the 6M86 St Blazey - Carlisle freight, the service was often a pair of Class 25s at least as far as Exeter Riverside during 1978. The train would often run early following the 18.08 Penzance to Birmingham passenger/mails.

The twenty year ten month career of D7556/25206 saw it allocated to a multitude of London Midland depots and thirty months to Plymouth Laira.

Built: BR Derby Locomotive Works.
Dual brake equipped (1974).
Time between last Classified repair and withdrawal: 70 months.
Time between withdrawal & scrapping: 111 months.


D7556 was new to the Nottingham Division (D16) on July 10th 1965. Further transfers were:

September 1967 to Springs Branch (8F).
November 1967 to Carlisle (12A).
June 1968 to Preston Division (D10).
November 1970 to Nottingham Division (D16).
April 1971 to Preston Division (D10).
October 1972 to Nottingham Division (D16).
May 1973 to Toton.
June 1974 to Bescot.
March 1975 to Toton.
August 1977 to Longsight.
March 1978 to Laira.
October 1980 to Springs Branch.
October 1982 to Crewe.
Withdrawn March 21st 1986.

Renumbered May 1974.

25206 was the 279th Class 25 withdrawn, one of six retired during March 1986.

After withdrawal 25206 was stored at Bescot until March 20th 1990 when it was moved to BRML Doncaster for spares removal (including compressors & traction motors) to assist D7672 Tamworth Castle. 25206 was moved to MC Metals, Glasgow by road on March 17th 1995 and scrapped there by the third week of June 1995.

Works Visits

Works visits (records incomplete).

Noted Derby Works April & May 1974 (dual brakes fitted).
Noted Derby Works March - May 1979 (general repair).
Noted Derby Works December 1983 (N1 repairs).


D7556/25206's first recorded passenger working took place on June 4th 1966 working a summer dated roundtrip Nottingham - Llandudno Town with D7589.

On the afternoon of December 5th D7556 was on a down freight at Leicester.

On the evening of May 9th D7555 & D7556 were noted at Derby placing a breakdown crane in a siding.

On the afternoon of September 16th D7556 was at Springs Branch.

Condition March: two-tone green livery with small yellow warning panels, hand/footholds still present.

On the morning of March 9th D7556 was stabled at Stockport.

On the afternoon of April 20th D7556 was stabled at Springs Branch.

On the morning of December 14th noted at Preston were 5200, 5203, 5264 and 7556 at nearby Ribble sidings.

Condition August: two-tone green livery with full yellow ends.

On the morning of August 5th 7556 was noted at Millom with a down freight (8M16).

Condition October: two-tone green livery with full yellow ends.

At about 7am on March 20th 7556 was noted at Manchester Victoria with an up freight (7J37).

On the afternoon of September 21st 7556 was stabled at Peterborough.

On January 3rd & 4th 7556 (Toton allocated) was noted at Exeter stabling point, in two-tone green livery with full yellow end, 'D' prefixes were still retained.

The midday Bescot - Exeter Riverside freight was worked by 7556 on January 2nd.

With lengthy periods allocated to Toton & Bescot 25206 managed a number of summer seaside visits. It was a return to the North Wales coast on August 16th 1975 working the 07.35 Nottingham - Llandudno Town and 13.00 return.

On the afternoon of October 3rd 25206 & 25074 were stabled at York.

At about 10am on February 7th 25206 + 25xxx were noted at Birkenhead North on iron ore for Shotton.

On June 5th 25206 & 25245 worked a roundtrip Derby - Skegness.

On September 9th 40162 failed at Ely working the early morning Whitemoor - Bury freight, the Class 40 was replaced by 25206. A week later on September 16th the 13.33 Taunton - Cardiff was worked by 25206.

On the afternoon of December 6th 25206 was westbound with a freight at Manchester Victoria.

Permanent way work at Wigston on July 24th utilised 25206, 25295 & 45055.

On August 20th the Derby - Norwich - Yarmouth - Norwich - Derby diagram was worked by 25206 & 25202.

During March 25206 was transferred to Laira and although not boiler equipped it was frequently noted on the Exeter area passenger workings. On March 29th 25206 & 25207 were marshalled at each end of a china clay train for the journey from Newquay to St Blazey yard.

On the morning of 25206 worked a Moorswater clay tip to lostwithiel trip and was later seen in Truro yard.

During the third week of April 25206 & 25207 were noted running together, on April 14th they worked the 7M86 19.50 St Blazey - Carlisle freight as far as Exeter Riverside and on April 21st they worked a St Blazey - Temple Mills freight to Exeter Riverside.

On the evening of May 10th 25207 & 25206 were noted at Bodmin Road with the 6M86 St Blazey - Carlisle freight.

On the morning of May 15th 25206 was at Moorswater with a clay working.

On the evening of May 18th 25206 was noted at Lostwithiel with clay for Fowey.

On the evening of May 22nd 25207 & 25206 were noted at Bodmin Road with the 6M86 St Blazey - Carlisle freight.

On July 26th 25206 worked the 16.40 Plymouth - Paignton.

On August 1st 25206 worked the 09.55 Exeter St Davids - Paignton, the return 11.10 Paignton - Exeter St Davids, the 17.30 Paignton - Exeter St Davids and the 18.44 Exeter St Davids - Paignton.

On August 5th 25206 worked the 10.00 Barnstaple - Exeter St Davids, the 08.25 Paddington - Barnstaple from Exeter and the return 14.40 Barnstaple - Paddington to Exeter.

Photograph courtesy Peter Lovell.
25206 waits to leave from Yeoford on August 5th 1978 with the 08.25 Paddington - Barnstaple. The use of a Class 25 indicates a change of engine at Exeter. The train had either arrived with a Class 47 or Class 31.

On August 8th 25206 worked the 2B35 17.30 Paignton - Exeter St Davids and the 2B38 18.45 Exeter St Davids - Paignton (six coaches).

At 9am on August 19th 25206 was stabled at Newton Abbot shed.

On August 26th 25206 worked the 10.00 Barnstaple - Exeter St Davids, the 08.25 Paddington - Barnstaple forward from Exeter, the 14.40 Barnstaple - Paddington to Exeter, the 16.38 Exeter St Davids - Barnstaple and the 18.03 Barnstaple - Exeter St Davids.

25206 was stabled at Exeter during the early hours of September 16th. 25206 & 37142 worked the 20.50 St Blazey - Temple Mills to Exeter Riverside on September 22nd.

On November 24th 37142 & 25206 worked the 19.50 St Blazey - Carlisle as far as Exeter Riverside.

Heavy snow over the New Year plagued services with delays and faulty equipment making life even more difficult to maintain the timetable. In the West Country Exeter proved to be a graveyard for frozen up locomotives, with temperatures reaching down to –13C most things simply froze up. At Exeter the local services were cancelled with the diesel multiple units frozen solid. The diesels fared little better with eighteen frozen up locomotives including 25052, 25206/225/263.

At about 2pm on a very, very cold January 2nd Exeter stabling point contained 08288, 08641, 08953 (station pilot) 25052, 25206, 25225, 25263, 31107, 31138, 33009, 33114, 46020, 47008 & 50022. Most of these locomotives were unserviceable, either unable to start, or unable to heat a train. The diesel multiple units were in equally poor condition. Set P464 had been obtained from Newton Abbot to work the Exmouth branch on a go-when-ready basis. At about 7am 46020 was sent from Laira to Exeter equipped with a steam lance and carrying a fitter and an electrician. Later in the day when the 'Golden Hind' failed at Brent 46020 went to its rescue, taking it as far as Newton Abbot. All the trains passing through Exeter were standing room only. 47008 had arrived with empty coaching stock from Newton Abbot to work the 07.15 to Plymouth, whilst waiting to depart the brake gear on the locomotive froze solid.

On the afternoon of January 3rd 47188, 31138, 25206, 31107 & 50018 were taken from Exeter to Laira as a dead engine movement, all having sustained damage in the recent freeze-up, the engine o0f 50018 was running but no power, the Class 25 and the two Class 31s would not start. Most main line trains were running, but timekeeoing had been abandoned. There were two diesel multiple units available at Exeter St Davids, the branch service run to connect with the main line connections.

On January 12th 25206 worked the 15.52 Bristol Temple Meads - Plymouth vans (4B10), noted at Exeter St Davids.

January 16th was a day of ASLEF strike action, at 3.30pm Exeter stabling point contained 08641, 08953, 25048, 25052, 25080, 25206, 33001, 33004, 46017, 46043, 47091, 47290, 47509 & 47543 (14 locomotives).

On April 25th ex-works 25206 worked the 4B10 15.55 Bristol - Plymouth parcels.

Photograph courtesy Peter Lovell.
The paintwork glistens on recently outshopped 25206 as it shunts bitumen tanks at Exeter City Basin on May 7th 1979, a duty shared with Class 08 shunters. Over the years bitumen, petrol and coal for the gasworks would have come into the complex at city Basin.

Photograph courtesy Peter Lovell.
25206 & 25225 have arrived at Par on an overcast June 28th 1979 with a lengthy freight. The fuel tanks and cement wagons suggest this train has originated at Penzance.

On July 6th 25206 & 25155 were noted at Exeter with the 04.24 Stoke - St Blazey empty clay working.

On August 24th 25206 & 25207 were noted at Exeter St Davids with the 19.50 St Blazey - Carlisle freight.

On October 15th 25225 & 25206 worked loaded clay wagons from Drinnick Mill to Burngullow during the afternoon. On October 19th 25206 was noted westbound at Lostwithiel with clay empties.

On February 6th 25206 worked the 8B73 09.15 Exeter Riverside - Exmouth Junction coal trip.

On June 6th 25206 worked the 19.02 Exeter St. Davids - Paignton. On June 22nd a Torrington - Plymouth excursion was worked by 25058 & 25206 to Exeter, then 50027 roundtrip to Plymouth and 33028 from Exeter back to Torrington. On June 24th 25206 worked the 18.58 Exeter St. Davids - Paignton.

On July 30th 25206 worked the 2B40 18.58 Exeter St. Davids - Paignton (five coaches).

On the afternoon of August 6th 25206 was noted at Exeter St Davids yard. On Saturday August 9th 25206 worked the 05.08 Barnstaple - Exeter St. Davids vans(4B70), the 07.25 Exeter St. Davids - Barnstaple and the 10.00 return, the 09.48 Paddington - Barnstaple forward from Exeter St. Davids and the return 14.45 to Paddington as far as Exeter St. Davids.

On August 18th 25206 worked the 2B77 18.00 Barnstaple - Exeter St Davids and the 2B46 19.55 Exeter St Davids - Paignton.

Photograph courtesy Peter Lovell.
The summer stopping trains are almost over for both the 1980 season and for the Class 25s. 25206 eases into the loop at Dawlish Warren on September 2nd 1980 with the 14.20 Exeter - Paignton, a couple of MkII coaches have managed to creep into the set. The layout is little changed, although the semaphores and signalbox disappeared following the Exeter MAS scheme of the mid 1980s.

Photograph courtesy Peter Lovell.
Having worked from Exeter to Paignton earlier on the morning of September 2nd 1980, 25206 returns to Exeter with the 11.04 from Paignton. 25206 was allocated to Laira from March 1978 to October 1980, after transfer off the Western Region its next home would be Springs Branch.

On September 2nd 25206 worked the 09.34 Exeter St. Davids - Paignton, the 11.04 return and the 14.20 Exeter St.Davids - Paignton. On September 6th 25206 worked the 10.00 Barnstaple - Exeter St. Davids, returning from there with the 09.48 Paddington - Barnstaple, the 14.45 to Barnstaple - Paddington, the return 16.42 Exeter St. Davids - Barnstaple and the return 18.05 to Exeter. On September 11th 25206 worked the 19.55 Exeter St. Davids - Paignton.

At the end of the summer 1980 timetable 25206 was transferred to Springs Branch, with the last recorded working prior to transfer being a roundtrip Exeter St. Davids - Barnstaple on September 20th 1980.

During the early afternoon of December 15th 25206 worked a crane and other wagons from Chester to Crewe.

Railtour duty on March 3rd saw 25206 & 40111 working the 'Tubular Belle' Euston - Blaenau Ffestiniog railtour between Llandudno Junction & Blaenau Ffestiniog (out & back).

On June 16th 25206 & 25202 worked a Birmingham New Street - Llandudno Town day excursion from/to Crewe. Two weeks later on June 27th 25206 & 25141 worked a roundtrip (?) relief Blythe Bridge - Llandudno Town.

The 09.42 Poole - Manchester Piccadilly on October 17th with 47519 required assistance from 25206 at least between Leamington Spa & Birmingham New Street. Two days later on October 19th 25206 & 25209 were noted southbound at Tring with a ballast train.

A Wigan N.W. - Wembley Central footbal special on June 5th 1982 required assistance from 25206 & 25054 from Bletchley to Wembley Central when 40133 failed.

The surplus of Type 4s and the recently arrived Class 31’s on the Midland did not prevent the use of the Class 25’s on some odd workings during August, on 10th the 12.35 Northfleet – Toton merry-go-round was hauled by 25202 & 25206.

The end of August proved quite hectic for 25205 on Cambrian line workings. On August 21st 25206 & 25058 worked the 10.10 Euston - Aberystwyth forward from Birmingham New Street, returning with the 16.05 Aberystwyth - Shrewsbury. On August 22nd the same pair of locomotives worked the 08.45 Birmingham New Street - Aberystwyth, the 16.40 Aberystwyth - Machynlleth and 17.25 return and finally the 18.15 Aberystwyth - Euston to Wolverhampton. The following week, and now attached to 25209, 25206 on August 28th worked the 10.10 Euston - Aberystwyth from Birmingham New Street, returning with the 16.05 Aberystwyth - Shrewsbury. The next day (29th) the same pair worked the same diagram as was handled on August 22nd.

25206 underwent an 'E' exam at Tyseley during December 1982.

On the early afternoon of March 7th 25208 & 25206 were noted at Heaton Norris with cement tankers headed for Guide Bridge. On March 9th 25206 & 25208 were in charge of an early morning Trafford Park – Newcastle freightliner working.

25206 & 25117 came to the rescue of 56031 on July 19th after the Class 56 suffered a turbo-charger failure working an ARC stone train at Verney Jct, the Class 25s taking the working to Wolverton and then the broken Class 56 to Bletchley for examination.

The recorded passenger workings for 1983 all featured the Blackpool North - Manchester Victoria workings, including a round trip on October 17th 1983.

The workings for 1984 showed a heavy bias to the north-west, starting with the 21.44 Preston - Liverpool (off the 18.20 Glasgow - Manchester) on March 14th.

June 2nd brought three trips, the 06.30 Preston - Barrow, the 08.20 Barrow - Liverpool and the 16.14 Liverpool - Preston.

A change of scenery took place on September 3rd working the 12.10 Cambridge - Birmingham New Street forward from Nuneaton Abbey Junction following the failure of 31419. On September 11th 25206 & 40192 were noted on one of the local Speke trip workings. 25206 returned to the north-west during mid September, on September 13th working the 19.35 Blackpool North - Manchester Victoria, then the 21.16 Preston - Barrow and the following morning's 07.33 Barrow - Preston on September 18th/19th & 20th (morning only). On September 21st 25173 worked the 07.33 Barrow - Preston but required assistance from 25206 forward from Dalton Junction. 25206 continued on to work the relief 12.51 Blackpool North - Euston to Preston, then a returning Glasgow Central - Blackpool North day excursion from Preston.

Photograph collection of webmaster.
A wonderful view of 25206 at Birkenhead, date unknown.

1985 produced a small mix of passenger workings in the second half of the year. On June 1st an afternoon Aberystwyth - Wolverhampton was worked by 25206 & 25268 from Shrewsbury, 25268 failed at Cosford and was dragged to Wolverhampton. The 16.15 Glasgow Central - Liverpool was worked forward from Preston by 25206 on July 8th. Two weeks later on July 23rd 25206 handled the 14.10 Cambridge - Blackpool North from Preston, 45016 was taken off because the driver did not have traction knowledge for the Class 45. The next day (24th) 25206 worked the 06.30 Blackpool North - Euston to Preston.

On August 9th 25206 was noted at Leamington Spa on an up Cartic. 25206 was north of the border on August 23rd with 25059 working the relief 10.41 Exeter St. Davids - Edinburgh forward from Carstairs.

The last recorded passenger working for 1985 saw a visit to the North Wales coast, on September 25th handling the 15.18 Llandudno Town - York as far as Manchester Victoria.

1985 (?): The return to traffic for Hornby Docks saw 25206 working the first (trial?) service to Hornby Docks for many years using BDA 961116, with the first traffic being from Workington BSC with steel sleepers for export to Africa.

25206's final recorded passenger working took place on February 3rd 1986 piloting 47588 on the 21.10 Euston - Stranraer Harbour forward from Ayr.

25206 handled a Tyne – Carlisle cement working on February 6th.

On Tuesday February 18th 25206 worked the 3J14 12:36 (MSX) Preston Up Goods Loop - Manchester Red Bank Carriage Sidings parcels (formed of M7191, M93831, W93216, M84078, W93172, M84196, M84053, 93885, M93981, M93485, W93503, E9360?).

On March 7th 25206 traversed the Hindlow branch with a single wagon.

25206 was withdrawn on March 21st 1986.

Finally in June 1995 the remaining hulks at Bescot, which had now been withdrawn for about nine years, were dispatched by road to Glasgow and quickly dealt with. Six locomotives had originally been placed in Bescot’s down local sorting siding during 1985. Several had moved on, 25206 went to Doncaster Works in 1990 to become a parts source for 25912, preservationists claimed 25235, leaving 25194/205/211/259 to await their fate. However through the continuing generosity of the management of MC Metals these hulks, as well as those received previously, were broken up only after they had given up many valuable components, including complete bogies, power units and generators to various preservation groups. For these groups this would be the last such opportunity, as the Sulzer engined Type 2, Classes 24 - 27, was now extinct outside of preservation. The remnants of the Class 33 still lingered on the SR but their window of existence was closing inexorably, and for 24/25 preservationists they could only supply some compatible parts. But there still existed one machine, 25083 at Crewe Electric depot, which had so far defied scrapping and would eventually reach preservation.

Not all known passenger workings are recorded on this page.

flk 0616

Page added June 8th 2013.
Last updated September 16th 2022.

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