M50454/M50528

This set is by some margin the most exposed of all the vehicles in our collection: it has operated the highest mileage in preservation, carried the most people and has been in passenger service the longest. It has therefore been enjoyed by many people during its time on long term loan to the Llangollen Railcar Group.

Preserved in 1992, the two vehicles in the set were part of a group of seven vehicles which the group was unable to restore and house on its own home railway. Accordingly, agreement was made with the Llangollen Railcar Group, who were expanding their fleet at the time, to take 50454/50528 on a long term loan. Happily, the relationship has proved to be most successful, with 50454/50528 becoming an integral part of the Llangollen Railcar Group's fleet, receiving restoration and maintenance frequently.

Moving to the Llangollen Railway in 1993, the set was in good condition and was restored immediately alongside partner 50528 over twelve months, re-entering traffic in BR Green livery with half yellow panels. It then ran over 30,000 miles over 15 years before receiving a bodywork overhaul in 2008/2009, returning to service with a fresh coat of BR Blue. The set remains in service, one of four operational 2-car sets in the Llangollen Railway's fleet.

50454

50454, built in October 1957, is a Driving Motor Brake Second (DMBS) vehicle, weighing 31 tons and seating 54 passengers in two (second class) saloons. Two passenger vestibules separate the saloons with passengers exiting the vehicle through four exterior doors. Additional doors are located in the drivers cab and the guard’s compartment. 50454 is fitted with two standard Leyland 680 horizontal diesel engines providing 300hp. Standard British United Traction (BUT) transmissions and control systems enable 50454 to operate in multiple with any vehicles that carry the “Blue Square” DMU coupling code, which is the most common.

 

50454 was preserved by the group in 1992 but has never been used directly in the group's fleet. Upon preservation, it was one of three vehicles put onto long term loan to Llangollen Railcars Limited, a relationship we are pleased to say has been long and very beneficial for the three vehicles involved.

BR HISTORY

50454 (numbered M50454) entered service in the North West, delivered to Longsight depot, Manchester, in October 1957 with Trailer Composite Lavatory M59162 and Driving Motor Composite Lavatory M50506 as part of a batch of 51 three car sets for British Railways’ London Midland Region. The area was at that time receiving a number of new DMU sets that were being delivered as a result of the 1955 “Modernisation Plan”. The Class 104 3-car sets proved versatile replacements for previously steam hauled secondary & branch line services in the area, and 50454 would have worked many of the routes around Manchester, particularly the Manchester-Buxton line, which was to have an association with the class for years to come. During the 1950's, 1960's and 1970's 50454 was allocated to Longsight, Stoke-on-Trent and Newton Heath. Around 1960, the short lived light green livery that 50454 was delivered in was replaced by the more conventional BR green that was to last much longer. In the late 1960's the vehicle lost its lined green livery in favour of all over blue. During the 1970's 50454 went through a major overhaul, which included the removal of the original asbestos insulation and the two character route indicator box located on the front end. The introduction of the TOPS

classification system in 1973 also resulted in 50454 being renumbered M53454 in March 1983. In 1988, 50454 was running in a two car "power twin" formation from Newton Heath in set N669, which in May 1989 was turned into a "celebrity" set with the addition of red bufferbeams, white buffers and centre car 59187 (returning the set to original 3-car formation). After working some special trains including the Buxton 104 farewell special, the set was returned to 2-cars and renumbered T104, where it was to see further use including attendances at several railway depot open days. Some Class 104 vehicles were transferred for future use in the London area, however 50454 was not one of them, and was taken out of service in March 1992.

GALLERY - WORKING ON THE MAINLINE

RESTORATION

50454 has had several periods of major overhaul work. The first was in 1993 immediately after delivery to the Llangollen Railway, and mainly focused on getting the vehicle operational.

 

In 1994 the vehicle was refurbished more comprehensively which culminated in a repaint into BR Green with half yellow warning panels. It ran with only running repairs for over 10 years following this initial overhaul.

Deterioration of the bodywork resulted in a complete new cab being fitted in 2007 which was followed by further bodywork to the sides and guards van in 2008/2009. At the end of the work, the vehicle was repainted into BR Blue with half yellow warning panels.

 

Progressively between 2012 and 2014, each of the passenger saloons were revarnished and the seating (frames) repainted and (cushions) reupholstered.

2014 saw the vehicle repainted again, retaining its BR Blue colour scheme but this time carrying the more common full yellow cab end variation.

The reason 50454 has never been out of service for any great length of time is because "rolling restoration" is almost constantly being carried out, with individual components swapped out and restored between operating periods. The vehicle is therefore constantly being improved by volunteers whilst remaining in service.

GALLERY - IN SERVICE

50528

50528, built in February 1958, is a Driving Motor Composite Lavatory (DMCL) vehicle, weighing 31 tons and seating 12 first class and 54 second class passengers in three saloons. Two passenger vestibules separate the saloons with passengers exiting the vehicle through four exterior doors. Additional doors are located in the drivers cab. 50528 is fitted with two standard Leyland 680 horizontal diesel engines providing 300hp. Standard British United Traction (BUT) transmissions and control systems enable 50528 to operate in multiple with any vehicles that carry the “Blue Square” DMU coupling code, which is the most common.

50528 was preserved by the group in 1992 but has never been used directly in the group's fleet. Upon preservation, it was one of three vehicles put onto long term loan to Llangollen Railcars Limited, a relationship we are pleased to say has been long and very beneficial for the three vehicles involved.

BR HISTORY

50528 (numbered M50528) entered service in the North West, delivered to Crewe South depot, in February 1958 with Trailer Composite Lavatory M59184 and Driving Motor Brake Second M50476 as part of a batch of 51 three car sets for British Railways’ London Midland Region. The area was at that time receiving a number of new DMU sets that were being delivered as a result of the 1955 “Modernisation Plan”. The Class 104 3-car sets proved versatile replacements for previously steam hauled secondary & branch line services in the area, and 50528 would have worked many of the routes around Manchester, particularly the Manchester-Buxton line, which was to have an association with the class for years to come. During the 1950's, 1960's and 1970's 50528 was allocated to Crewe South, Monument Lane, Toton, Derby & Newton Heath. Around 1960, the short lived light green livery that 50528 was delivered in was replaced by the more conventional BR green that was to last much longer. In the late 1960's the vehicle lost its lined green livery in favour of all over blue, and a white stripe was added around 1970 (later removed in the 1980's) to denote the vehicle was dedicated to Manchester-Blackpool services.During the 1970's 50528 went through a major overhaul, which included

the removal of the original asbestos insulation and the two character route indicator box located on the front end. The introduction of the TOPS classification system in 1973 also resulted in 50528 being renumbered M53528 in April 1983.

In 1988, 50528 was running in a two car "power twin" formation from Newton Heath in set N669, which in May 1989 was turned into a "celebrity" set with the addition of red bufferbeams, white buffers and centre car 59187 (returning the set to original 3-car formation). After working some special trains including the Buxton 104 farewell special, the set was returned to 2-cars and renumbered T104, where it was to see further use including attendances at several railway depot open days. Some Class 104 vehicles were transferred for future use in the London area, however 50528 was not one of them, and was taken out of service in March 1992.

GALLERY - WORKING ON THE MAINLINE

RESTORATION

50528 has had several periods of major restoration. The first was in 1993 immediately after delivery to the Llangollen Railway, and mainly focused on getting the vehicle operational.

In 1994 the vehicle was refurbished more comprehensively which culminated in a repaint into BR Green with half yellow warning panels

 

50528 was repanelled inside and new upholstery was fitted in 1998.

In 2008/2009 the first class saloon was completely refurbished with powder-coated seatframes, new upholstery and revarnished saloon walls. The vehicle was also repainted into BR Blue with half yellow warning panels.


Deterioration of the bodywork resulted in major cab end bodywork being completed in 2014, following which the vehicle was repainted again, retaining its BR Blue colour scheme but this time carrying the more

common full yellow cab end variation.

The reason 50528 has never been out of service for any great length of time is because "rolling restoration" is almost constantly being carried out, with individual components swapped out and restored between operating periods. The vehicle is therefore constantly being improved by volunteers whilst remaining in service.

GALLERY - IN SERVICE

17/5/09

Freshly repainted M50528 running in multiple at the Railcar Gala