Class 105

50812 Blackwell 20 March 1982

Tyseley was not normally associated with Cravens units, but towards the end of their careers a few vehicles were allocated there. On 20 March 1982, Tyseley set TS405 with 50812 leading passes the site of Blackwell station and prepares to descend the 1 in 37 Lickey Incline with a Birmingham New Street to Hereford working. The other two vehicles appear to be Class 101s. 50812 was the final Class 105 vehicle to be withdrawn, outlasting all its classmates by several months and finally being withdrawn on October 1988. It spent its last few months in traffic numbered 53812.

51276 Barton-under-Needwood 2 November 1985

On 2 November 1985, 51276 leads the 08:23 Cleethorpes to Birmingham New Street service past the site of the Midland Railway station at Barton and Walton (Barton-under-Needwood and Walton-on-Trent), on the line between Derby and Birmingham. The goods shed is clearly visible as the only tangible remnant of the station, but this is before the surrounding area became developed with a large motel.

51298 & 54458 Sleaford North Junction 14 June 1986

51298 & 54458 approach Sleaford North Junction on 14 June 1986 with the 17:15 Sheffield to Sleaford service. A wonderful location for railway photography, standing on the busy A17 Sleaford bypass, next to the sewage works! At least the bracket semaphore signal party makes up for it. I hope prospective passengers had worked out that for some reason the unit is displaying its point of origin in the destination blind, rather than where it is going. It was no more accurate when it came back a little while later.

54458 & 51298 Sleaford North Junction 14 June 1986

54458 & 51298 pass Sleaford North Junction signal box with the 19:34 Sleaford to Lincoln Central service on 14 June 1986 (not Sheffield as shown in the destination blind). It has just traversed the sharply curved single track line seen here coming in from the right. This links the Lincoln to Spalding line, which is basically freight only for a short stretch from here to Sleaford South Junction, with the Nottingham to Skegness line. This DMU only had another three months left in traffic when this picture was taken. Both vehicles were subsequently cut up at Mayer Newman at Snailwell.

53377 Eastrea 1 September 1984

The 15:32 Peterborough to Cambridge services approaches the level crossing at Eastrea on 1 September 1984, with 53377 leading. Class 105s were still very common in the Fens at the time, but it would be all change just a few years later, with the onset of Sprinterisation. 53377 was withdrawn two years after this picture was taken, and cut up at Vic Berry's, Leicester in 1987.

53380 & 54139 Narborough 20 October 1984

53380 & 54139 lead an unidentified Class 116 unit past Narborough on 20 October 1984 with the 2M66 08:52 Cambridge to Birmingham New Street service. The train is passing between Croft and Narborough's distant signals. An interesting historic view, both from the traction and signalling point of view, but a step ladder, pole, or even a drone would have added some height and made a better picture! However, with the last Class 105 having left the national network in 1988, it's a bit late to try to recapture the scene!

53381 Eastrea 1 September 1984

With smoke from straw burning in a neighbouring field drifting across the line, 53381 leads the 15:34 Cambridge to Peterborough service past Eastrea with the  on 1 September 1984. 53381 was withdrawn in May 1987 and cut up during the same year at Mayer Newman, Snailwell. Right up until the class's demise in 1988 these units were regularly seen in the Fens, rattling along on local services such as this.

54122 & 53359 Kempston Hardwick 29 May 1988

In connection with the Bedford River Festival a special train service was in operation on the Bletchley to Bedford line on Sunday 29 May 1988. This was something of a novelty as to save opening all the many signal boxes there was not normally a Sunday service on the line at the time. The highlight was the use of the green liveried Class 105 vehicles 54122 & 53359, which had been repainted into something approaching the original green livery a couple of years before. As a yellow warning panel had to be included, the original wasp stripe was added to this panel in black. With 54122 leading the unit is pictured arriving at Kempston Hardwick in a brief patch of sunshine with the 10:55 Bletchley to Bedford service.

54122 & 53359 Woburn Sands 29 May 1988

54122 & 53359 pull away from Woburn Sands whilst working the 12:55 Bletchley to Bedford service on 29 May 1988. This was one of a number of special services on the line in connection with the Bedford River Festival. As can be seen from the amount of cloud in the background, this was one of those annoying days when getting the short sunny spells to correspond with the trains wasn't easy, and this was one of the few sunny shots of the day. Although a haven for heritage DMUs at the time, this green liveried Class 105 was certainly not the usual motive power on the line.

53359 & 54122 Woburn Sands 29 May 1988

I do not often bother with going away shots, but this was too good to miss! After taking the picture of 54122 & 53359 leaving Woburn Sands with the 12:55 Bletchley to Bedford special service on 29 May 1988, I realised that the brief sunny spell combined with the dark clouds would make an even better picture as the train headed away from me. With 53359 nearest the camera, the vintage unit heads off towards Bedford and into the bad weather.

54122 & 53359 Forders Sidings 29 May 1988

Surrounded by the London Brick Company's brickwork chimneys, 54122 & 53359 pass Forders Sidings signal box with the 16:55 Bletchley to Bedford service on 29 May 1988. Normally there were no trains on this line on a Sunday, but a series of specials were running in connection with the Bedford River Festival. Note the amount of rust on the lines in the foreground, giving the impression that they are disused. However, the line diverging off to the right was at the time definitely open for trains of London's rubbish to be dumped in the nearby disused brick pits.

53359 & 54122 Stewartby 29 May 1988

53359 & 54122 approach Stewartby with the 17:42 Bedford to Bletchley service on 29 May 1988. This was one of a number of specials operating over the line in connection with the Bedford River Festival. The sun was almost on the point of coming out here after a heavy shower, giving rise to this odd lighting effect. Despite the fact that this green liveried Class 105 was operating some of the services and the line abounded in excellent photographic locations with semaphore signaling, there were only a few photographers out to record the event. Of course if the same thing happened nowadays the line would be inundated with photographers.

54122 & 53359 Stewartby 29 May 1988

An atmospheric, and now totally historic picture, taken at Stewartby on 29 May 1998. Retro liveried Cravens unit 54122 & 53359 pulls out of the station with the 17:42 Bedford to Bletchley service. This was one of a number of specials operating over the line in connection with the Bedford River Festival. The rain soaked wooden platform in the foreground still survives (albeit now with a non slip covering), but apart from the track, virtually everything else in this picture has disappeared. The DMU was scrapped the following year, the level crossing has been replaced by lifting barriers, and the two huts were removed when the platform on the left was moved to the other side of the crossing. Also, the covered conveyor crossing the line has been removed.

54416 & 53368 Milton Fen 4 November 1986

An archetypal East Anglian view that has now changed beyond all recognition. 54416 & 53368 cross Milton Fen on 4 November 1986 with the 10:35 Cambridge to Peterborough service. The Cravens units had less than two years left in service, and a few years later this line was electrified, effectively ruining this view. This picture was taken from the A14 Cambridge bypass, and trees growing alongside the road would now make this view impossible anyway.

54446 Asgarby 1 September 1984

54446 leads a motley rake of stock past Asgarby on 1 September 1984 with the 10:07 Skegness to Nottingham service. Note the 1980s BR driver's uniform! This is probably one of the very last pictures taken of 54446, as it was withdrawn the following month, and at the time hardly anybody was interested in what we now refer to as heritage units. It did not hang around once withdrawn either, being quickly dispatched to Mayer Newman's at Snailwell for breaking up.

54447 New Mills South Junction 27 April 1984

54447 leads what is presumably the very late running 10:42 New Mills Central to Sheffield service past New Mills South Junction on 27 April 1984. 54447 was withdrawn in September 1986 and cut up in the same month by Mayer Newman at Snailwell. The line to the left here skirts the south of Manchester, and at the time this photo was taken was still a freight only route prior to the opening of the Hazel Grove Chord.

56121, 51485 & 51663 Blue Anchor 11 March 1995

I don't normally take going away shots, even of DMUs, but as this is the only picture I managed to get of the preserved Class 105 unit during its long sojourn on the West Somerset Railway, it will have to do! In the pouring rain on 11 March 1995, the 14:35 Bishops Lydeard to Minehead service leaves Blue Anchor with Class 115 51663 (since scrapped) leading. 56121 is nearest the camera, with the sole surviving Class 105 motor coach (51485) in the centre of the formation.

51485 & 56121 Irwell Vale 5 November 2017

Looking superb after its twenty year restoration project, sole surviving Class 105 two car set 51485 & 56121 departs from Irwell Vale station on 5 November 2017 with the 2G51 09:00 Bury to Rawtenstall service, during the East Lancashire Railway's DMU Gala.

56121 & 51485 Lumb 5 November 2017

The East Lancashire Railway's Class 105 DMU (56121 & 51485) was the star attraction at the line's 2017 DMU Gala, as it had just re-entered service after a protracted rebuild. The superbly restored vintage Cravens unit makes a splendid sight, as it passes the woods at Lumb on 5 November 2017 with the 2J52 09:45 Rawtenstall to Heywood service.

56121 & 51485 Irwell Vale 5 November 2017

The driverless train! This is of course a going away shot, but I couldn't resist this picture of recently restored Cravens unit 56121 & 51485, as it arrives at Irwell Vale station on 5 November 2017 with the 2J57 10:55 Heywood to Rawtenstall service, during the East Lancashire Railway's DMU Gala. The Morecambe destination is a bit optimistic!

56121 & 51485 Irwell Vale 5 November 2017

56121 & 51485 approach Irwell Vale on 5 November 2017 with the 2J58 12:15 Rawtenstall to Heywood service, during the East Lancashire Railway's DMU Gala. Although there is another driving trailer vehicle (56456), this is the only surviving complete Class 105 unit, and is a credit to the hard working team who have spent nearly two decades bringing the unit back to life.