Updated: 19 Jul. 2006
Severn Valley Railway (4' 8½", Autumn 2004)
The Railcar50 event on the Severn Valley Railway marked the 50th anniversary of the introduction into service of 1st generation Diesel Multiple Units on British Railways.
Members took the opportunity to partake in a weekend of DMU travel (including the 12-car fish-n-chip special on the Saturday evening). See below...
Class 108 "Derby Lightweight" set 51935 - 56208 at Hampton Loade. This unit resides on the SVR and provides formal dining on the evening railcar cruises, as a consequence 51935 has lost the original seating and instead has a bar area behind the cab along with fixed tables and loose seating.
Derby "Yellow Diamond" Lightweight vehicle 79018 was on static display at Bewdley for the duration of the event. This represents the earliest design of BR Railcar and looks well for being 50 years of age. These early units were deemed "Non-Standard" compared to later builds and all were withdrawn from passenger service by around 1970. This vehicle and its partner, 79612, were retained for departmental use. After withdrawal, the unit was saved for preservation. 79612 was also on display at Bewdley, but only as a gutted bodyshell, with restoration work yet to commence.
Metro-Cammell Class 101 set 56358 - 51213 at Kidderminster. This set is under restoration and 56358 nearest the camera has only had a coat of BR blue paint and other minor work, hence the retention of the 1990s centre headlight and radio roof pod. The interior is a very good starting point for restoration, having avoided the BR refurbishment scheme. The "69" on the windscreen honours a previous allocation to Norwich Crown Point Depot, where it was part of set 69. In the 1970s, this vehicle was based at Chester and would have passed Mostyn, as modelled by BMRG!
Birmingham RCW / Derby Suburban unit 51321 - 51131 at Kidderminster evokes memories of the kind of suburban unit that would have served the adjacent BR station in the 1980s. 51321 nearest the camera was for many years a resident of Devon and Cornwall, but migrated to the West Midlands in the mid 1980s, while 51131 was a long-term local resident.
Derby "Heavyweight" Class 114 car 56006 at Bridgnorth represents the first type of BR DMU to appear with the more successful "Blue Square" control system. These sets were resident at Lincoln for many years, but when that depot closed, a few migrated to the West Midlands. This vehicle was coupled to other units for this event as its own partner is still being restored.
Birmingham RCW Class 104 set 50455 - 50517 at the rear of a train seen from Bewdley footbridge. The standard of restoration on this unit is inspiring! The distinctive exhaust notes brought back memories of the Manchester area in the 1980s. On the far side of the platform, Derby Suburban Class 127 car 51625 serves to illustrate a "tapered restoration" with the Guard's Van end nearest being "as-acquired", various stages of body repair along the vehicle with a fully restored cab end.
Metro Cammell set 101 692, formed 53253 - 53170, attained celebrity status following this repaint in Caledonian-inspired blue when in service in the Glasgow area. It moved to the Manchester area and was withdrawn shortly before the final days of these units in service. The reason it looks a bit shabby is that it had not long been retrieved from the scrap yard!
Images for personal
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