British Rail Class 120

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British Rail Class 120
British Rail Class 120.jpg
In service 1958–1989
Manufacturer BR Swindon Works
Constructed 1958–1961
Number built 194 cars
Number preserved 1 car (a TSLRB)
Number scrapped 193 cars
Formation 3 car sets: DMSL-TSL/TSLRB-DMBC
Operator British Rail
Car length 64 ft 0 12 in (19.52 m)
Width 9 ft 3 in (2.82 m)
Height 12 ft 4 12 in (3.77 m)
Maximum speed 70 mph (113 km/h)
Weight 36.35 long tons (36.93 t; 40.71 short tons)
Prime mover(s) BUT (AEC) 150 hp (110 kW)
Transmission Standard mechanical
Multiple working Blue Square
Track gauge 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm)

The Class 120, were a cross-country DMU in three-car formation, built at the British Rail Swindon Works.

Totalling 194 cars, three batches were built:

  • 1958 - 49 sets for the Western Region
  • 1959 - 7 sets for the Scottish Region
  • 1961 - a further 9 sets for the Western Region

British Railways placed the order with British United Traction in summer 1956 for the equipment required for the 98 power cars and 47 trailers of the first batch. The order, along with equipment ordered by Cravens for 66 power cars and the 3 parcels cars, was valued at £830,000. The first batch was ordered for the WR's West Country dieselisation scheme, which it hoped to complete by the end of 1959. The sets were expected to work between Bristol & South Devon. Their general reliability and good braking characteristics made them popular with drivers.

1970 at Inverness

In February 1959, the BTC placed an order with BUT for the equipment for the seven ScR sets, along with equipment for Class 108s and 127s being built at Derby. These 120s were to work mainly on the Aberdeen to Inverness line although appearances at Oban were not unknown. Otherwise the cars worked mainly in the Western and Midland Regions.

Some cars had a trial refurbishment but this was found to be too expensive, meaning an early withdrawal for most of the class. Some of the London Midland Region's units were transferred to Scotland in the mid-1980s, mainly finding use on local services from Edinburgh (notably to North Berwick). The final vehicles survived until 1989.

One trailer car survives at the Great Central Railway. 59276 (TSLRB)

Other technical details[edit]

  • Coupling Code : Blue Square
  • Transmission : Standard mechanical

External links[edit]