British Rail Class 115

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British Rail Class 115
Train, Marylebone station, London 3224106.jpg
A Class 115 at Marylebone in 1986.
In service 1960–1998
Manufacturer BR Derby
Number built 41 four-car sets
Formation DMBSTCLTS–DMBS
Capacity DMBS: 78 Second;
TCL 30 First, 40 Second;
TS: 106 Second;
4-car total: 30 First, 302 Second
Operator British Rail
Line(s) served Chiltern Main Line, London to Aylesbury Line
Specifications
Car length 63 ft 6 in (19.35 m)
Width 9 ft 3 in (2.82 m)
Maximum speed 70 mph (110 km/h)
Weight 135 long tons (137 t; 151 short tons) trainset
Prime mover(s) Two 230 hp (172 kW) BUT (Leyland Albion) per DMBS
Power output 920 hp (686 kW) per set
Auxiliaries Albion
Safety system(s) AWS
Multiple working Blue Square
Track gauge 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm)

The British Rail Class 115 diesel multiple units were 41 high density sets which operated the outer-suburban services from Marylebone usually to destinations such as High Wycombe, Aylesbury and Banbury which are on the Chiltern Main Line and Great Central Main Line (now the London to Aylesbury Line). Sometimes, these sets used to operate 8-12 car long expresses to Nottingham Victoria in the final years of the GCML. Coincidentally, Class 115 units operated services under Table 115 in the British Rail timetable.

Based on the basic Derby high density design, the sets are similar to Class 127 but were internally superior as the class had larger windows, better furnishings, lighting and wall surfaces.

Some sets were also built for the CLC line between Liverpool and Manchester. These were later transferred to Marylebone. They also worked from Tyseley in the later years.

The Marylebone sets, which were later transferred to Bletchley but remained on Chiltern Line duties, were declared surplus after the introduction of Class 165s, from 1991 onwards. While at Bletchley depot the class was also used on the Gospel Oak to Barking Line, units being formed as power twins. They were in turn replaced on this line by Class 117 power twins.

The final Class 115 working out of Marylebone was in July 1992. The Tyseley sets survived a bit longer, until February 1994.

Some of the Class found their way on to the Redhill to Tonbridge Line to replace ageing DEMU sets. The line was Electrified in 1993 in order to allow a diversionary route for the Eurostar, and the Class 115s were replaced with ex Merseyrail Class 508 EMUs

Table of orders and numbers
Lot No. Type Diagram Qty Fleet numbers Notes
30530 Driving Motor Brake Second (DMBS) 598 30 51651–51680
30531 Trailer Open Second (TS) 590 15 59649–59663
30532 Trailer Composite with lavatory (TCL) 599 15 59664–59678
30595 Driving Motor Brake Second (DMBS) 598 12 51849–51860
30596 Trailer Open Second (TS) 590 6 59713–59718
30597 Trailer Composite with lavatory (TCL) 599 6 59719–59724
30598 Driving Motor Brake Second (DMBS) 598 40 51861–51900
30599 Trailer Open Second (TS) 590 20 59725–59744
50600 Trailer Composite with lavatory (TCL) 599 20 59745–59764

Technical details[edit]

  • Builder: BR Derby
  • Introduced: 1960
  • Coupling Code: Blue Square
  • Body: 63 ft 6 in (19.35 m) x 9 feet 3 inches (2.82 m)
  • Engines: BUT (Leyland Albion) of 230 hp (172 kW) (2 per DMBS)
  • Transmission: Standard mechanical
  • Weight: DMBS 38 long tons (39 t; 43 short tons); TCL 30 long tons (30 t; 34 short tons); TS 29 long tons (29 t; 32 short tons)

Preservation[edit]

A set preserved on the West Somerset Railway

16 vehicles are preserved.

Set number Vehicle numbers Livery Location Notes
DMBS TCL DMBS
- 51655 - - BR Green Private Site Static Display
- 51669 - - BR Green Spa Valley Railway Under Restoration
- 51677 - - BR Green Private Site For Sale
- 51849 - - BR Green Spa Valley Railway Stored
- 51859 59678 51880 BR Green West Somerset Railway Operational
- 51886 59761 51899 BR Green Buckinghamshire Railway Centre Stored
- 51887 - - Blood and Custard West Somerset Railway Under Restoration
- - 59659(TS) - BR Green Midland Railway Under Restoration
- - 59664 - BR Green Midsomer Norton railway station Under Restoration
- - 59719 - BR Green Mid Hants Railway Operational
- - 59740(TS) - Black South Devon Railway Operational
- 51663 - - West Somerset Railway Underframe only spare parts

References[edit]

  • The Railcar Association
  • Motive Power Recognition: 3 DMUs. Colin J. Marsden
  • British Railway Pictorial: First Generation DMUs. Kevin Robertson
  • British Rail Fleet Survey 8: Diesel Multiple Units- The First Generation. Brian Haresnape
  • A Pictorial Record of British Railways Diesel Multiple Units. Brian Golding