British Rail Class 101

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British Rail Class 101
L220 (Class 101) DMU.jpg
London-based Class 101 no. 54405 (from set L220) in Network SouthEast livery
In service 1956–2003
Manufacturer Metropolitan Cammell
Constructed 1956–1960
Number built Class 101: 527 (DMCL: 97, DMBS: 217, DTCL: 120, TSL: 41, TSLRB: 6, TCL: 18, TBSL: 28)
Class 102: 106 (DMCL: 53, TCL: 53)
Number preserved 41 cars
Formation 2-, 3-, or 4-car sets
Operator British Rail
Specifications
Car length 57 ft 0 in (17.37 m)
Width 9 ft 3 in (2.82 m)
Height 3.77 m (12 ft 4 in)
Maximum speed 70 mph (113 km/h)
Weight 32.5 tonnes (32.0 long tons; 35.8 short tons) (powered),
25 tonnes (25 long tons; 28 short tons) (unpowered)[1]
Prime mover(s) Two BUT (AEC or Leyland) 6-cylinder diesels
Power output 150 bhp (112 kW) each engine
Transmission Mechanical: 4-speed epicyclic gearbox
Coupling system Screw-link couplings, British Standard gangways
Multiple working Blue Square
Track gauge 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm)

The British Rail Class 101 diesel multiple units were built by Metro-Cammell at Washwood Heath in Birmingham from 1956 to 1959, following construction of a series of prototype units. This class proved to be one of the most successful and longest-lived of BR's First Generation DMUs, second in age only to the Class 121, with the final five units being withdrawn on 24 December 2003. The oldest set was, by then, just over 47 years old.

Original TOPS classes[edit]

When TOPS was originally introduced only the Driving Motor Brake Second (DMBS) and the Driving Motor Composite (with Lavatory) (DMCL) were classified as Class 101 (AEC engines) or Class 102 (Leyland engines). The Driving Trailer Composite (with Lavatory) (DTCL) were either Class 144 or Class 147. The Trailer Seconds (with Lavatory) (TSL) were Class 162, the Trailer Brake Second (with Lavatory) (TBSL) were Class 168 and the Trailer Composite (with Lavatory) (TCL) were Class 171. Later all the cars were reclassified, becoming Class 101.

In fiction[edit]

In The Railway Series books by the Rev. W. Awdry, the character Daisy the Diesel Rail-Car was introduced to assist on the Branch Line when Thomas was away for repairs.

Preservation[edit]

The Class 101 was one of the largest classes of first-generation DMUs and, partly thanks to their relatively late withdrawal from revenue-earning service, numerous vehicles have been preserved on heritage railways, for example the Great Central Railway and the North Yorkshire Moors Railway. There are only two centre cars preserved. One is at the Ecclesbourne Valley Railway and the other at the Mid-Norfolk Railway. One buffet car survived and is at the Great Central Railway.

Set number Vehicle numbers Livery Location Notes
DMBS TCL DMCL
101685 50164 - 50160 BR Green Midland Railway Fully operational
- 50203 - 50193 BR Blue and Grey Great Central Railway Stored
- 50204 59539 51511 BR Green North Yorkshire Moors Railway Operational
- - - 50170 BR Green Ecclesbourne Valley Railway Operational
- 50222 - 50338 BR Green Barry Island Railway Operational
- 50253 - - Primer Midland Railway Stored
- 50256 - 56343(DTCL) BR Blue East Kent Railway Operational
- - - 50266 Primer Great Central Railway Operational
- 51427 - 50321 BR Green Great Central Railway Operational
- - - 50746 BR Blue Wensleydale Railway Stored
- 51187 - 51512 BR Green Cambrian Heritage Railways Under Repair
- 51188 - - BR Blue Ecclesbourne Valley Railway Operational
- 51189 - 51803 BR Green Keighley and Worth Valley Railway Under Restoration
- 51192 - 56352(DTCL) BR Green North Norfolk Railway Operational
- 51205 - 56055(DTCL) BR Green Cambrian Heritage Railways Under Repair
- 51210 - 51400(DMS) BR Blue Wensleydale Railway Operational, 51400 is a Class 117 DMS
- 51213 - - BR Blue East Anglian Railway Museum Operational
- 51226 - 51499 BR Green Mid Norfolk Railway Operational
- 51228 - 56062(DTCL) BR Green North Norfolk Railway Under Overhaul
- 51247 - Strathclyde Wensleydale Railway Stored
- 51432 - 51498 Regional Railways Swanage Railway Currently being Scrapped
- 51434(DMBC) 59117 51503 BR Blue and Grey Mid Norfolk Railway Under Overhaul/Operational
- - - 51505 BR Blue Ecclesbourne Valley Railway Operational
- - - 56342(DTCL) BR Blue and Grey Midland Railway Stored
- - - 56347(DTCL) BR Green Bressingham Steam and Gardens Operational
- - - 56356(DTCL) Non Standard Green and Cream Great Central Railway For Sale
- - - 56358(DTCL) BR Blue Severn Valley Railway Operational
- - - 56408(DTCL) SR Malachite Green Spa Valley Railway Operational
- - 59303(TSL) - BR Green Ecclesbourne Valley Railway Operational
- 50211 - - Regional Railways Private Site Stored Cab Only
- - - 50269 Private Site Stored Cab Only
- 51177 - - BR Blue Private Site, Ashton-under-Lyne, Lancashire Cab Only, used as a store room.

References[edit]

  • The Railcar Association
  • Fox, Peter; Webster, Neil (July 1982). Multiple Unit Pocket Book. Sheffield: Platform 5 Publications. ISBN 0-906579-26-0. 
  • Golding, Brian. A Pictorial Record of British Railways Diesel Multiple Units. 
  • Haresnape, Brian. British Rail Fleet Survey 8: Diesel Multiple Units—The First Generation. 
  • Marsden, Colin J. Motive Power Recognition: 3 DMUs. 
  • Robertson, Kevin. British Railway Pictorial: First Generation DMUs. 

External links[edit]

Media related to British Rail Class 101 at Wikimedia Commons