Class 116

L210 Oxford 18 July 1990

L210 (53083 & 54289) accelerates away from Oxford station on 18 July 1990 with the 2C59 17:15 Banbury to Reading Network SouthEast service. This unit is an interesting Class 116/121 combination, utilising the DMBS vehicle from former Cardiff allocated set C307, and one of the few Class 121 trailers that were still in service at this time. When the 121 vehicle was withdrawn the following year, it was replaced by Class DTCL 54381. The splendid crop of weeds growing in the sidings would make a latter day Network Rail envious!

L210 Wolvercote Junction 29 August 1991

L210 (53083 & 54381) approaches Wolvercote Junction on 29 August 1991 with what is presumably the 1F44 17:20 Paddington to Banbury Network SouthEast service. I say presumably, as this was supposed to be a loco hauled service. Possibly a last minute substitution, which may explain the slightly late running. The unit is a Class 116/101 hybrid, one of a number of bizarre lash ups that occurred on the Western Region during the last days of the heritage DMU fleet. The leading vehicle (53083) was formerly part of Cardiff's set C307, whilst the rear Class 101 54381 had recently been transferred in from Bletchley. 53083 had earlier been partnered with 54289.

C302 Magor 4 September 1986

C302 (53086, 59036 & 53128) passes Magor on 4 September 1986 with the 12:54 Newport to Chepstow service, passing a motley collection of coaches parked in the old station yard. Every one of them seems to be in a different livery, and presumably they have all been (like C302) cut up long ago.

C307 Quedgeley 18 August 1984

C307 (53083, 59550 & 53820) passes Quedgeley on 18 August 1984 with the 2B21 09:25 Cheltenham Spa to Swindon service. The centre vehicle is clearly an imposter, being a Class 101 trailer. The set was disbanded a few months after this picture was taken, and the 101 trailer was scrapped. Both Class 116 vehicles survived until 1992.

C317 Gloucester 12 November 1983

The British Rail uniform dates this picture just as much as the DMU! C317 (53911, 59446 & 53858) has just arrived at Gloucester station on 12 November 1983 with the 2B27 09:32 Worcester Foregate Street to Swindon service. As this required a reversal at Gloucester, the driver had to change ends, and is pictured here just opening the door to the rear (soon to be leading) cab.

C317 Llandevenny 23 May 1987

C317 (53858, 59446 & 53911) passes Llandevenny on 23 May 1987 with the 16:54 Chepstow to Cardiff Central service. Set C317 was disbanded in October 1989, with the two driving vehicles being scrapped at Vic Berry's, Leicester during the following year. The centre trailer survived a little longer, being finally withdrawn in June 1993 and almost immediately disposed off at MC Metals, Glasgow. The unit carries the Welsh red dragon logo and minimalist red speed whiskers, so common on Welsh units at the time.

C391 Stoke Orchard 24 December 1990

A sunny Christmas Eve at Stoke Orchard on 24 December 1990. C391 (51141 & 51128) heads south with the 13:13 Worcester Foregate Street to Taunton service. As can be seen by the crudely amended set number, this was a recent renumbering, with centre car 53632 having been removed from set C901. The former station master's house in the background marks the site of Cleeve station, which was closed to passengers in 1950, and to freight a decade later.

C392 Puriton 2 July 1990

C392 (51147 & 51134) passes Puriton on 2 July 1990 with the 13:13 Worcester Foregate Street to Taunton 'all stations' service. Brent Knoll is the unmistakable hill in the background. This unit was withdrawn from service in May 1993, but unlike a lot of its classmates, has since passed into preservation, currently residing at the Swansea Vale Railway. Obviously a fitting location, as there is no mistaking in this view that this is a Welsh DMU!

C392 Chilson 8 June 1991

C392 (51134 & 51147) is well away from its usual area on 8 June 1991 as it heads up the Cotswold Line at Chilson with the 10:31 Oxford to Worcester Foregate Street service. Although Cardiff allocated sets were occasionally used on the route, the sight of the Welsh dragon and the 'Valley Train' logo is a little incongruous! This time the destination blind is blank, but frequently when a Welsh interloper was used it would be displaying some highly unlikely destination.

C392 Pencoed 4 April 1992

C392 (51147, 59387 & 51134) approaches Pencoed on 4 April 1992 with the 11:10 Cardiff Central to Fishguard Harbour service. As can be seen from the different window configuration, the centre vehicle is a Class 108 trailer.

C392 & C395 Bridgend Ford Works 26 September 1992

To celebrate (if that's the right word!) the end of heritage DMU operations in South Wales, the Monmouthshire Railway Society ran the 'DMU Demise' railtour on 26 September 1992. The highlight of this tour was a trip down the branch line into the Ford engine plant at Bridgend, an exceedingly rare piece of track for a passenger train. This involves what at first sight seems to be a very dangerous ungated crossing over the A48. With police in attendance to stop the traffic, C392 (51134 & 51147) & C395 (51133 & 51140) cautiously cross the road on their way into the plant.

C395 & C392 Bridgend Ford Works 26 September 1992

With the track bashers now satisfied that they have traversed the final few yards of track into the Ford engine plant at Bridgend, the Monmouthshire Railway Society's 'DMU Demise' railtour on 26 September 1992 re-crosses the A48 in the gathering gloom with C395 (51140 & 51133) leading classmate C392 (51147 & 51134), which is virtually out of sight around the curve. This was reportedly the final working of heritage DMUs in South Wales, with these two sets making their way to Tyseley shortly after this tour.

C392 & C395 Briton Ferry 26 September 1992

This is not quite the mundane DMU picture that it appears to be. The fact that there is no headboard gives no clue that this in fact the Monmouthshire Railway Society 'DMU Demise' railtour, pictured approaching Briton Ferry on 26 September 1992. The train had already visited the Ford engine plant at Bridgend, and was now heading for Onllwyn. C392 (51134 & 51147) & C395 (51133 & 51140) have the honour of celebrating the end of first generation DMU operations in South Wales. The LPG depot in the background is now a car auction site.

51131 & 51321 Market Bosworth 10 March 1996

51131 and sole surviving Class 118 vehicle (51321) approach Market Bosworth on 10 March 1996 with the 13:35 Shackerstone to Shenton service, during the Battlefield Line's Diesel Gala. 51131 had been withdrawn from Tyseley in 1993, becoming one of only six Class 116 vehicles to be preserved, a surprisingly low number for such a large class.

51131 Far Coton 10 March 1996

This seems to be the Battlefield Line's entire DMU fleet, plus a GUV van tacked on the back for good measure! 51131 leads Class 118 51321 & Class 122 55005 past Far Coton on 10 March 1996 with the 14:50 Shackerstone to Shenton service, during the line's Diesel Gala.

51131 & 51321 Congerstone 19 September 2009

Former Tyseley DMBS 51131 is paired on the Battlefield Line with the sole surviving Class 118 vehicle (51321). It is seen here with 51131 leading passing Congerstone on 19 September 2009, with the 08:30 Shenton to Shackerstone service, the first train of the day during the line's Diesel Gala. In true heritage DMU tradition the Aberystwyth destination is wildly optimistic!

51336 Cheltenham 17 March 1988

The Cheltenham Festival brings a number of special trains to the area during mid March, especially on Gold Cup day. At one end of the scale are the Pullman services, and at the other end in the 1980s were the DMU extras. This is clearly one of them, although it is not possible to make out anything other than 'Express to Cheltenham' on the makeshift headboard. Tyseley set T334 (51136, 59596 & 53054) leads a similar set on the approach to Cheltenham station from the south on 17 March 1988. The Lichfield City destination is a red herring!

51138, 59501 & 51151 Gotham 17 July 2004

Shortly after its arrival at the Great Central Railway (Nottingham), 51138 leads the 11:20 Loughborough to Ruddington service past Gotham on 17 July 2004. When originally preserved at the Colne Valley Railway in 1995, 51138 operated with classmate 51151, but subsequently had Class 117 trailer 59501 inserted to form the three car unit seen here.

51143, 59615, 59726, 51854 & 55032 Oddington 24 October 1987

The inelegantly named 'Weymouth Nose-Poker' railtour passes Oddington on 24 October 1987, worked by Tyseley set T405 (51143, 59615, 59726 & 51854) & Class 121 55032, which had recently been transferred from the Western Region. This tour was organised by the Severn Valley Railway Association, and had originally been planned to travel along the Weymouth Harbour Tramway, but BR had insisted that the tour terminate at the town's station due to possible obstructions on the branch. In a move that certainly wouldn't happen today, the driver persuaded the signalman to let them cautiously negotiate the branch. The highlight of this was the unit literally passing within an inch of a boat propped up on the quayside! Apologies for the poor quality of this image, but for some reason I pressed the shutter much too soon (no motor drive in those days). Luckily this is from a Kodachrome 25 transparency, or at least a tiny part of one!

51149 Heyford 6 October 1984

In the days before reliable gen, it was often possible to be standing in the wrong position when something interesting appeared. This was the case on 6 October 1984, when while waiting to take a picture of LMS 4-6-0 5690 Leander at Heyford, this appeared from the opposite direction. 51149 leads a nine vehicle DMU formation with the 1Z69 Birmingham New Street (presumably) to Hove football special. Unfortunately my location only allowed me to include less than half the train, but at least it is perfectly lit! Note the inclusion of a Class 101 trailer in the leading three car set. The full formation was Tyseley's sets TS603, TS601 & TS615. The Birmingham City fans were not going to be pleased when they were beaten by Brighton and Hove Albion 2-0!

53059 Oxford North Junction 12 February 1985

Tyseley set TS504 (53059, 59610 & 53104) passes Oxford North Junction on 12 February 1985 with the late running 2A26 08:05 Hereford to Reading service. Class 116s were not common on these trains, with the Western Region's Class 117s & 119s being more typical. The line to Bicester (then a little used freight only route) can be seen disappearing into the trees on the right.

53060 & 53321 Rauceby 18 August 1992

Tyseley's Class 116/101 hybrid set T052 (53060 & 53321) slows down for its booked stop at Rauceby on 18 August 1992, in the very last of the evening light, as it works the 17:45 Skegness to Nottingham service. It looks like a pigeon has come to a sticky end (literally!) on 53060's buffer.

53092 Firsby 17 September 1988

The 08:51 Burton-on-Trent to Skegness service rounds the almost 120 degree curve at Firsby on 17 September 1998. The seven coach DMU combination is made up of Tyseley's set TS420 (with 53092 leading), plus an unidentified three car set. TS420 consisted at this time of 53092, 59607, 59032 & 51892. Therefore the front unit is actually a Class 116/127/116/115 hybrid!

53112 Barnt Green 4 July 1987

53112 leads Tyseley set 801 round the sharp curve into Barnt Green station on 4 July 1987 with the 08:10 Redditch to Four Oaks service. This view has now changed considerably, with the line being electrified in 1993 and the replacement of these heritage units with the new Class 323 electric units, although not before some older types EMUs were used due to teething problems with the 323s. 53112 was withdrawn a few months after this picture was taken and cut up at Vic Berry's at Leicester virtually straightaway.

53116 Quedgeley 18 August 1984

53116 leads a six car Class 116 formation past Naas Crossing at Quedgeley on 18 August 1984 with the 08:48 Birmingham New Street to Bristol Temple Meads service. Unlike Western Region sets London Midland allocated DMUs were not kept totally permanently coupled in sets such as to warrant painted set numbers on the ends as the Western did. However, Tyseley's units came fairly close to being permanent, and so set numbers were allocated, as can be seen by the TS611 notice behind the windscreen.

53124 South Moreton (Dicot East) 16 November 1988

A Midland interloper on the Great Western Mainline! Making a change from the usual three car Class 117 and 119 DMUs, Tyseley's Class 116/115 hybrid set T410 (53124, 59713, 59602 & 51862) passes South Moreton (Didcot East) on 16 November 1988 with the late running 12:24 Oxford to Reading service. Unlike the previous year's use of a Midland unit working through from Birmingham, this appears to be a short notice replacement for a Western Region set.

53831 Stenson Junction 2 June 1984

A busy DMU moment near Stenson Junction on 2 June 1984. Tyseley's set TS530 (53831, 59713 & 53884) leads what appears to be a Class 120 unit with a Class 101 centre trailer. As the centre car of TS530 is a Class 115 trailer (the high backed seats can just be seen through the windows). This makes this convoy a 116/115/116/120/101/120 combination! It is working the 12:20 Crewe to Derby service. In the background an unidentified Class 116 unit passes North Stafford Junction with the late running 12:37 Nottingham to Birmingham New Street service.

53852, 59741 & 53871 Gloucester 26 August 1984

TS508 (53852, 59741 & 53871) approaches Gloucester station on 26 August 1984 with the 13:15 Cheltenham Spa to Bristol Temple Meads service. Virtually all of Tyseley's Class 116 sets around this time had a non Class 116 trailer, in this case a Class 115 vehicle has been used. Other sets had Class 101 or 127 vehicles. Behind the train, cars and an ambulance can bee seen waiting at the Horton Road level crossing. Despite the misty weather, this picture gives a good view of the lines curving away from Horton Road Junction (which the unit is crossing) towards Barnwood Junction. Note the oils barrels in Horton Road depot, on the left.

53854 Chalford 13 July 1985

Tyseley set 619, with 53854 leading toils up the gradient towards Sapperton Tunnel, seen here passing Chalford on 13 July 1985 with an additional working from the Midlands to Swindon in connection with the International Air Tattoo at Fairford. 53854 was withdrawn in June 1992 and cut up in the same year at M C Metal Processing, Glasgow.

53870 Abbotswood 6 July 1985

With the commonplace heritage DMU trait of the destination blind actually being a 'where I've just come from' blind, 53870 leads Tyseley set TS514 past Abbotswood on 6 July 1985 with the 16:25 Gloucester to Worcester Shrub Hill service. Bredon Hill can be seen dominating the background.

53872 Duffryn 15 August 1987

53872 leads what appears to be a Class 116/101/116 combination past Duffryn on 15 August 1987 with the 1V33 08:45 Birmingham New Street to Cardiff Central service. 53872 had less than a year left in traffic when this picture was taken. It features the extremely subtle (by today's standards!) WM West Midlands logo next to the driver's door.

53883 Bremell Sidings 1 September 1985

A Midlands interloper on the Western Region. 53883 leads the 15:28 Swindon to Worcester Shrub Hill past Bremell Sidings, on the outskirts of Swindon on 1 September 1985. Note the 'West Midlands' logo on the side of the unit under the first window. It seems that the neatly mown grass covering the oil storage tanks in the background is largely down to sheep, rather than workmen with mowers. Careful inspection of the original 35mm Fujichrome slide reveals a number of the woolly creatures at work.