British Rail Class 118

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British Rail Class 118
Mobile Billboard - - 582849.jpg
BR class 118 DMU Nos. 51302+59469+51317 in British Telecom advertising livery
In service1960-1994
ManufacturerBirmingham Railway Carriage & Wagon Company
Number built15 sets (45 cars)
Number preserved1 car (DMS 51321)
Formation3-car sets: DMBS-TCL-DMS
CapacityDMBS: 65 second
TCL: 24 first, 50 second
DMS: 89 second
Operator(s)British Rail
Line(s) servedWestern Region
Car length64 ft 6 in (19.66 m)
Width9 ft 3 in (2.82 m)
Maximum speed70 mph (113 km/h)
WeightPower cars: 36 long tons 0 cwt (80,600 lb or 36.6 t),
Trailer cars: 30 long tons 0 cwt (67,200 lb or 30.5 t)
Prime mover(s)Two BUT engines per power car
Power output150 hp (112 kW) per engine
Safety system(s)AWS
Multiple working Blue Square

The British Rail Class 118 diesel multiple units were built by the Birmingham Railway Carriage & Wagon Company (BRCW) and introduced from 1960. It was a licence-built version of the British Rail Class 116.[1]


BR Derby was inundated with orders for the Class 116, so the work was put out to tender. All Class 118s were built in Birmingham by Birmingham Railway Carriage and Wagon Company.[2]

Originally allocated to the Western Region, the 118 was extensively used in Devon and Cornwall. They were stabled at Laira depot. The 118s survived in service in the region until 1994 when they were replaced by Class 156s.[citation needed]

In its final days, vehicles were allocated to Tyseley depot in Birmingham, and were all withdrawn by the end of 1994. Like most first generation DMUs they were originally BR Green, then plain blue, and finally blue and grey, with a few receiving Network SouthEast livery. One set was painted in all over yellow with advertisements for British Telecom.[3]

A normal formation was three vehicles- a Driving Motor Brake Second (DMBS) which had two BUT engines (Later fitted with Leyland), a driving compartment(cab), 65 second class seats, guards accommodation and luggage/parcels space, a Trailer Composite Lavatory (TCL) which had no engines or driving compartment, but had 22 first class seats, 48 second class seats and a lavatory, and a Driving Motor Second (DMS), which like the DMBS had two engines and a driver's cab, and contained 89 second class seats. Having the 'blue square' multiple working system allowed them to run in formations containing up to 12 cars with most of BR's other DMUs.

Two vehicles were converted to sandite use.[4]


Lot No. Type Diagram Qty Fleet Numbers Notes
30543 Driving Motor Brake Second (DMBS) 850 15 51302–51316
30544 Trailer Composite with lavatory (TCL) 851 15 59469–59483
30545 Driving Motor Second (DMS) 852 15 51317–51331


Only one Class 118 vehicle, DMS Number 51321, has been preserved and is at the Battlefield Line. This vehicle has been paired with class 116 DMBS 51131, also based on the railway.


  1. ^ "Preserved Vehicles".
  2. ^ "Class 118 DMU".
  3. ^ "Class 118 DMU Operations".
  4. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 25 January 2013. Retrieved 29 May 2020.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  • 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]