Unfortunately 59228 is another vehicle in our collection that has struggled in preservation. It was initially stored at Crewe which is where its problems started, with vandalism and damage causing water ingress and deterioration. This shut off any opportunity to get it in any sort of service immediately and maintained in a way that would have prevented a major rebuild in the future being required. Instead open storage was the only remaining option and despite moving the vehicle several times the resources have never been available to undertake the restoration on 59228.
59228's place as the last surviving Eastern Region class 104, the only 104 trailer brake and indeed one of only three DMU trailer brakes to survive, compounds the situation as to dispose of such a rare vehicle would be a correspondingly harder decision to have to make. Accordingly it was decided in the 2010's that fellow Eastern Region DMCL 50556 would be scrapped and attempts would be made to retain the rarer 59228 for some sort of long term salvation in the future.
59228 remains in storage at the East Lancs Railway and is the last vehicle in the restoration queue there. Nevertheless, there are long term ambitions to restore the vehicle for use in between powercars 50455 & 50517.
59228, our youngest vehicle built in November 1958, is a Trailer Brake Second Lavatory (TBSL) vehicle, weighing 25 tons and seating 51 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 guard’s compartment. 50479 is fitted with standard control systems enable the vehicle to operate in multiple with any vehicles that carry the “Blue Square” DMU coupling code, which is the most common.
59228 was preserved by the group in 1993 but was not able to find a home immediately, being stored at Crewe carriage sidings instead for seven years. Sadly it was vandalised during this period and the resulting water ingress along with a general lack of use led to deterioration of the vehicle which has not able to be recovered.
In 2000 a possible solution was found, with the private individual who had been looking after 50479 & 50531 at the Telford Steam Railway also taking 59228 under their wing. Some limited stripping out work was undertaken in a lead up to a restoration, but this was quickly aborted and 59228
continued to deteriorate. The vehicle continued to be stored at the Telford Steam Railway for a further 20 years in the company of fellow Eastern Region survivor 50556, until the railway asked for them to be removed.
In 2020 the vehicle moved to the East Lancashire Railway as a refugee(!) where it remains in store, a long way down the restoration queue.
E59228 entered service in the North East, delivered to Hull Botanic Gardens depot in November 1958 with Driving Motor Composite Lavatorys E50561 & E50582 and Trailer Second Lavatory E59207 as part of a batch of 26 four car sets for British Railways’ Eastern 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 4-car sets proved versatile replacements for previously steam hauled secondary & branch line services in the area, and 59228 would have worked many of the routes around the North East, particular in the Newcastle suburban area. until transfer in the mid 1970's to Norwich whereupon it served East Anglia.
Around 1960, the short lived light green livery that 59228 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 59228 went through a major overhaul, which included the removal of the original asbestos insulation.
In August 1980 a decision was made that would lead to 59228 becoming the only trailer brake Class 104 to survive, it was transferred to the Midland Region (who traditionally did not operate trailer brakes), renumbered M59228 and escaped the mass cull and elimination of Class 104's on the Eastern Region in the early 1980's, before preservation of the class had even been considered.
On the Midland in the 80's 59228 ran from Derby, Buxton and Newton Heath before changing regions again when it was loaned to the Scottish Region following the loss of their units in a depot fire at Ayr. Again this had the effect of extending 59228's life as whilst up in Scotland it became the last trailer brake to survive in service, returning south in October 1988 and finally being stored at Crewe in June 1989.
GALLERY - WORKING ON THE MAINLINE
M59228 stabled in the centre road at Buxton (Chris Lemon)
M59228 at Edinburgh Waverley (Dennis Taylor)
M54350 & M59228 stored at Crewe Brook Sidings (BRCW Collection)
GALLERY - PRE-RESTORATION
59228 shortly after arrival at Telford, showing the re-glazing work that was required at that point (Stuart Mackay)
In store at Spring Village, 53556 is behind
Showing much corrosion around the guards brake area
In store at Spring Village
In store at Spring Village
Now under a tarpaulin
After moving to the Telford Steam Railway in 2000, the vehicle was secured and received some re-glazing work and general tidying up.
A heavy restoration was not to follow however, the only serious work being the removal of the seating and the water damaged floor ready to replace it. This replacement didn't happen and the vehicle was returned to store.