The Birmingham Railcar Workgroup currently owns thirteen Class 104 railcars located at five heritage railways across the UK and also five support vehicles which are heritage items in their own right.
Click on the images of vehicles to view technical details, histories, restoration galleries and running galeries.
East Lancashire Railway
Currently the group's flagship set, M50455 & M50517 were painstakingly restored to 1950's condition from 1997-2004 and operated all DMU services at the Churnet Valley Railway before being relocated to the East Lancashire Railway in 2015. More recently, The set has been out of service receiving bodywork repairs and a repaint.
M59137 is a centre car which when restored will increase our main set to 3-cars. Bodywork restoration was undertaken from 2005-2011 but a lack of finance saw the project stall temporarily at that point.
We have this 2-car set in long-term storage consisting of early build Class 104's which were based at Buxton. It is the intention to fully restore these to 1980's BR Blue conditon as our flagship set, after which centre car M59137 (itself a Buxton vehicle) will be reformed into this set.
North Norfolk Railway
An unusual survivor due to extended duties on the mainline, ADB977554 (original number M56182) joined the collection later than the other 12 Class 104 vehicles, and was consequently a spare vehicle held in storage for 15 years. Restoration was started in 2014 and the vehicle is now at the North Norfolk. Members are working hard to return this vehicle to original condition after which a suitable partner will be obtained/restored to operate with it as a 2-car set.
The longest running Class 104 in preservation, M50454 & M50528 have operated every year except one since 1994 and remain in service today. The set was put on long term loan to Llangollen Railcars Ltd who do a very good job maintaining the vehicles. Since 2009 the set has operated in BR Blue livery, its latest repaint being undertaken in 2014.
M50447 was used for many years as a mess-coach. It is now used as a spare parts donor for M50454 & M50528 but may be restored itself in the future.
Telford Steam Railway
Originally intended to be broken up for spare parts, M50479 & M50531 were rescued by a private individual and operated regularly in the early 2000's on long term loan to the Telford Steam Railway. More recently the set has fallen out of service, now used as loco hauled coaching stock.
The last of the Eastern Region Class 104 vehicles, and the only Trailer Brake (59228) to survive.These vehicles are in extremely poor condition and are unlikely to see restoration in the near future, although it is hoped to save 59228 in the longer term due to its historic value.
BR Prototype General Utility Van W86500:Saved by the group in 2009 and then restored until 2013 emerging in original 1956 condition. The vehicle is fully operational and can operate for special events and photo charters at the East Lancashire Railway. The van has also seen use as a demonstration "tail load" being hauled by our Class 104 set.
BR "Oyster" Ballast Brake Van DB993707:Purchased in 2011 and restored to 1960's condition between 2011 & 2014 at the Churnet Valley Railway. The only vehicle in the collection not strictly related to diesel railcars!
Other Vehicles:The group also maintain a further three BR Mark 1 non-passenger vehicles which are used for storage.