British Rail Class 117
|British Rail Class 117|
|Manufacturer||Pressed Steel Company|
|Number built||123 cars (42 DMBS, 42 DMS, 39 TCL)|
|Car length||64 ft 0 in (19.51 m)|
|Width||9 ft 3 in (2.82 m)|
|Height||12 ft 8 1⁄2 in (3.87 m)|
|Maximum speed||70 mph (113 km/h)|
|Weight||Power cars: 36 tons 0 cwt (80,600 lb or 36.6 t),
Trailer cars: 30 tons 0 cwt (67,200 lb or 30.5 t)
|Engine(s)||BUT (AEC) then BUT (Leyland), two per power car|
|Power output||150 hp (110 kW), all engines|
|Multiple working||■ Blue Square|
|Track gauge||4 ft 8 1⁄2 in (1,435 mm)|
When first introduced, these three-car units were all based with the similar Class 121 single carriage (railcar) units on British Railway's Western Region for suburban work out of London Paddington, as well as South Wales (specifically Cardiff) and Cornwall. The units were largely based at Southall, Cardiff Canton TMD and Plymouth Laira depots. The units remained here for many years working these services.
In the 1980s, expiry of other DMUs facilitated moves for some units from the Western Region to Birmingham, as below, and Scotland, prior to the delivery of new units to replace them. They were given refurbishments.
The first shake up in ownership occurred in the late 1980s, when the Scottish, Welsh, Cornish and Birmingham based units were transferred to Provincial Services, later Regional Railways, in the sectorisation of British Rail, while the Southall based units transferred to Network SouthEast.
They soldiered on on the former Western Region until replaced by Class 150 and Class 153 DMUs. An attempt was made to remove them from Cornish work using Class 142 "Skipper/Pacer" units, but these non bogie units proved to be a liability on the tight Cornish branchline curves, increasing rail and wheel wear, moving to the North of England instead. They were finally replaced with the advent of more Class 150s and Class 153s freed up from other areas. They continued to work in Scotland until the turn of the millennium, where they were replaced with class 156s and Class 170 Turbostar DMUs.
For many years, passenger services on the Birmingham Cross-City Line were worked by elderly Class 117, along with Class 115, 116, 118 and 121 diesel multiple units, but all were withdrawn from service by 1995.
Once in preservation it has since been discovered that the units had all sorts of Leyland 680 engine variants.[original research?]. For example one unit was noted as having a Leyland 680/1 (150 BHP) and a Leyland 680-1595 (180 BHP) .
Due to the type's longevity, several units have been preserved on heritage railways.
|Set number||Vehicle numbers||Livery||Location||Notes|
|L721||51363||59510||51405||BR Green||Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway used to be MHR||Fully operational, owned by Cotswold Diesel Railcar Ltd|
|117204||51365||-||51407||BR Green||Plym Valley Railway|
|117301||51353||-||-||Regional Railways||Swanage Railway||Currently in store at private location. 51395 Scrapped March 2013|
|117310||-||-||51381||Regional Railways||Mangapps Railway Museum||-|
|117311||51352||59505||51376||BR Green||West Somerset Railway||Currently stored at Minehead, awaiting restoration.|
|117313||51339||-||51382||BR Green||East Lancashire Railway|
|L701||-||-||51392||Network SouthEast||Swanage Railway||Currently in store at private location|
|L702||51356||59492||-||Network SouthEast||Swanage Railway||Currently in store at private location, 51398 Scrapped January 2012|
|-||51342||-||51384||BR Green||Epping Ongar Railway||Repainted into BR green from EOR dark blue livery|
|-||51346||59486||51388||BR Green||Swanage Railway||-|
|117444||51360||BR Blue||Ecclesbourne Valley Railway||Just had roof repaint|
|-||51347||59508||51401||DMS car BR Blue/Grey. DMBS car BR Green. TCL being repainted.||Gwili Railway||Being repainted into BR Green|
|-||51367||59511||51402||BR Green||Strathspey Railway||51402 and 51367 both now repainted, 59511 being restored|
|-||51370||-||51412||BR Green||Chasewater Railway||-|
|-||51372||-||-||BR Blue||Chasewater Railway||-|
|-||-||-||51400||BR Green||Mid-Hants Railway||Main-line certificated by RESCO|
|-||51351||-||51397||Green||Pontypool and Blaenavon Railway|
|-||51354||-||51396||Network South East||Peak Rail|
|-||51375||-||-||BR Green||Birmingham Railway Museum|
|-||-||59488||-||Green and Cream||Paignton and Dartmouth Steam Railway|
|-||59493||-||BR Green||West Somerset Railway|
|-||-||59494||-||Green and Cream||Paignton and Dartmouth Steam Railway|
|-||-||59500||-||Green and Cream||Wensleydale Railway|
|-||-||59501||-||BR Green||Great Central Railway|
|-||-||59503||-||Chocolate and Cream||Paignton and Dartmouth Steam Railway|
|-||-||59507||-||Chocolate and Cream||Paignton and Dartmouth Steam Railway|
|-||-||59509||-||Blue and Cream||Wensleydale Railway|
|-||-||59513||-||Chocolate and Cream||Paignton and Dartmouth Steam Railway|
|-||-||59514||-||BR Green||Swindon and Cricklade Railway|
|-||-||59515||-||Blood and Custard||Yeovil Railway Centre|
|-||-||59517||-||Chocolate and Cream||Paignton and Dartmouth Steam Railway|
|-||-||59520||-||BR Green||Dartmoor Railway|
|-||-||59522||-||BR Blue and Grey||Chasewater Railway|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to
British Rail Class 117.
||This article includes a list of references, related reading or external links, but its sources remain unclear because it lacks inline citations. (September 2009)|
- 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