British Rail Class 114

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British Rail Class 114
56006 at Kidderminster.JPG
Class 114 no. 56006 at Kidderminster on the Severn Valley Railway on 15 October 2004, whilst taking part in the Railcar 50 event. This vehicle has been restored to its original 1956 condition, and is preserved at the Midland Railway Butterley.
In service 1960–2002
Manufacturer BR Derby
Constructed 1956–1957
Number built 50 sets (100 cars)
Formation DMBS+DTCL
  • DMBS: 62 second
  • DTCL: 12 first, 62 second
Operator(s) British Rail
Car length 64 ft 6 in (19.66 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)
Multiple working Blue Square
Track gauge 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm)

The British Rail Class 114 diesel multiple units were built by BR Derby from September 1956 to July 1957. Forty-nine 2-car units were built, numbered E50001-49 for driving motors (later renumbered 53001-49) and E56001-49 for driving trailers (later renumbered 54001-49). The units were used in the early days out of 40A Lincoln TMD (LN) on services all over the county, although a small number were transferred to 41A Sheffield (Darnall) during 1959/60.

However, with their original 150 hp BUT engines, they were found to be underpowered for the local scheduled services, and lost time especially when towing a van (which was a regular occurrence in that area). The most problematic stretch was the 1 in 122 for just under a mile near Ancaster which reduced these units to 45 mph even on full power. As a result of this, several 3-car formations were put together using two power cars and one trailer. These were used in the main on Grantham - Boston/Skegness workings during 1957.

Formations noted in Railway Observer magazine were E50008/E50007/E56007, E50011/E50012/E56012, E50038/E50039/E56015 and E50015/E50035/E56035. Spare trailers were stored at various locations - E56016/25/40 at Blankney & Metheringham, E56010/39 at Bardney and E56004/20/22/37/38/44/45 near Sleaford South Junction.

E50029/30/31/32/33/34 and their respective trailers were transferred to Stratford between February and April 1957 in exchange for Derby 2-car lightweight units, but between June and October the 114s moved back to Lincoln.

E50049/E56049 was introduced with 230 hp versions of the power unit, which proved to have a much more acceptable power to weight ratio, and during 1959 and 1960 all the class were fitted with these more powerful engines and settled down to work most Lincolnshire local services (with regular visits to South Yorkshire and Nottinghamshire) for over 25 years. One of the class (one of the cars 50040) along with another 3-car unit was on one of the last passenger service from Louth to Grimsby on 20 December 1980. Other services where Cleethorpes to Barton-upon-Humber, Cleethorpes to Sheffield via Retford, and Peterborough to Grimsby via Boston, Willoughby and Louth.

The units were rarely seen outside of their normal working area, but in June 1957 E50029/E56029 worked a special excursion from Ipswich to Chessington South.[1]

Later in their life, they were moved to the Tyseley TMD (TS) West Midlands, but still came back to the Lincolnshire area on service now and again.

Prototype unit[edit]

In addition to the 49 production units, a fiftieth two-car unit (cars 50000 and 56000) was built to test the Rolls Royce engine type and hydraulic transmission later used on the Class 127 units. Initially the unit underwent trials on the Cockermouth, Keswick and Penrith railway in early 1957, but was subsequently also allocated to Lincoln and worked the same diagrams as the other 49. The unit was withdrawn in October 1967 as it was deemed to be non-standard, thus never received an official TOPS class designation.

Table of orders and numbers
Lot No. Type Diagram Qty Fleet numbers Weight Notes
30209 Driving Motor Brake Second (DMBS) 516 48 50001–50048 37 long tons 10 cwt (84,000 lb or 38.1 t)
30210 Driving Trailer Composite with lavatory (DTCL) 641 49 56001–56049 29 long tons 10 cwt (66,100 lb or 30 t)
30341 Driving Motor Brake Second (DMBS) 632 1 50000 41 long tons 3 cwt (92,200 lb or 41.8 t)
30342 Driving Trailer Composite with lavatory (DTCL) 641 1 56000 31 long tons 3 cwt (69,800 lb or 31.6 t)
30459 Driving Motor Brake Second (DMBS) 516 1 50049 37 long tons 10 cwt (84,000 lb or 38.1 t)
Table of engines fitted
Vehicle number Engine
50000 Two (2) Rolls-Royce 238 hp (177 kW) engines and torque converter drives
50001–50048 Two (2) Leyland 150 hp (112 kW) engines initially, but later were replaced by two 230 hp (172 kW) BUT engines.
50049 Two (2) Albion 230 hp (172 kW) engines


The units were replaced by newer "Sprinter" units in the late 1980s. By 1992, only two units were still in service, based at Tyseley depot in Birmingham. The final set, T027, was eventually preserved.

Non-passenger use[edit]

No. 55930 in Royal Mail livery

Five units were rebuilt as parcels units with roller-shutter doors in 1988. These were repainted in Royal Mail red livery, and were based at Cambridge depot. They were withdrawn in 1991. Four of the units were scrapped, whilst the fifth was rebuilt as a test train for the new ATP. This unit passed into EWS ownership with the privatisation of Britain's railways. It was then used in a new role of a route-learner unit, until it was withdrawn in 2002. It was eventually preserved in 2004.

Parcels cars - converted in 1986

Original number 2nd TOPS number Parcel number Parcel number2
50010 53010 55930
50015 53015 55929
50018 53018 55928
50032 53032 55932
50040 53040 55931
56009 54009 54903
56015 54015 54904
56016 54016 54901
56034 54034 55933 54900
56036 54036 55932 54902

All were allocated to CA. Initially only the seats were removed, although later a more substantial conversion was carried out, including the fitting of roller shutter doors, with two sets of these on the DTCs where the vestibules/passenger doors had been.


Original number 2nd TOPS number Parcel number Department number Usage
50015 53015 55929 ADB977775 ATP Test Unit
50036 53036 - 977769 -
56015 54015 54904 977776 ATP Test Unit
56027 54027 - 977770 -

ADB 977775/6 were converted into an Automatic Train Protection demonstration train and fitted with both types of ATP systems from the BR pilot schemes c1991. Following the abandonment of ATP development, the unit found a new lease of life with EWS as a route learning and inspection saloon based initially at Margam South Wales


Only two sets have been preserved on heritage railways.

Vehicles numbers Set number Location Comments
50019 56006 T027 Midland Railway - Butterley -
50015 56015 CA924 Midland Railway - Butterley Rebuilt to parcels unit 55929+54904. Later rebuilt to test unit 977775+977776.
- 54047 TS022 Strathspey Railway -


  1. ^ Trains Illustrated magazine Vol X No 108, September 1957
  • 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

External links[edit]