British Rail Class 101

The British Rail Classes 101 and 102 diesel multiple units were built by Metro-Cammell at Washwood Heath in Birmingham, England from 1956 to 1959, following construction of a series of prototype units. These classes proved to be some of the most successful and longest-lived of BR's First Generation DMUs, second in longevity only to the Class 121, with the final five units being withdrawn on 24 December 2003. The oldest set was, by then, just over 47 years old.

British Rail Classes 101 and 102
Class 101 L832 at Reading in 1989
Interior of 101654
In service1956–2003
ManufacturerMetropolitan Cammell
Order no.
  • 30467 (DMBS, 51174-51253)
  • 30500 (DMBS, 51425-51470)
  • 30501 (DMCL, 51495-51539)
  • 30587 (DMCL, 51795-51801)
  • 30588 (DMCL, 51802-51808)
  • 30249 (DMCL, 53138-53150)
  • 30252 (DMBS, 53153-53157)
  • 30253 (DMCL, 53158-53163)
  • 30254 (DMBS, 53164-53166)
  • 30255 (DMCL, 53168-53171)
  • 30256 (DMCL, 53172-53197)
  • 30259 (DMBS, 53198-53208)
  • 30261 (DMBS, 53211-53233)
  • 30263 (DMCL, 53234-53245)
  • 30339 (DMBS, 53247-53248)
  • 30266 (DMBS, 53250-53259)
  • 30267 (DMCL, 53260-53269)
  • 30270 (DMBS, 53290-53296)
  • 39275 (DMBS, 53303-53320)
  • 30276 (DMCL, 53321-53338)
  • 30271 (DMCL, 53746-53751)
  • 30260 (DTCL, 54050-54092)
  • 30340 (DTCL, 54218-54220)
  • 30468 (DTCL, 54332-54409)
  • 30250 (TSL, 59042-59048)
  • 30251 (TBSL, 59049-59055)
  • 30257 (TSL, 59060-59072)
  • 30258 (TBSL, 59073-59085)
  • 30264 (TSL, 59086-59091)
  • 30265 (TBSL, 59092-59097)
  • 30269 (TSL, 59101-59107)
  • 30274 (TBSL, 59112-59113)
  • 30277 (TCL, 59114-59130)
  • 30273 (TS, 59302-59306)
  • 30502 (TCL, 59525-59568)
  • 30510 (TSL, 59569-59571)
  • 30589 (TCL, 59686-59692)[1]
Family nameFirst generation
ReplacedSteam locomotives and carriages
Constructed1956–1960
Entered service1956
Number builtClass 101: 527 (DMCL: 97, DMBS: 217, DTCL: 120, TSL: 41, TSLRB: 6, TCL: 18, TBSL: 28)
Class 102: 106 (DMCL: 53, TCL: 53)
Number preserved41 cars
Formation2-, 3-, or 4-car sets
Operator(s)British Rail
Network SouthEast
ScotRail
Depot(s)
Specifications
Car length57 ft 0 in (17.37 m)
Width9 ft 3 in (2.82 m)
Height3.77 m (12 ft 4 in)
Maximum speed70 mph (113 km/h)
Weight32.5 tonnes (32.0 long tons; 35.8 short tons) (powered),
25 tonnes (25 long tons; 28 short tons) (unpowered)[2]
Prime mover(s)Two BUT (AEC or Leyland) 6-cylinder diesels
Power output150 bhp (112 kW) each engine
TransmissionMechanical: 4-speed epicyclic gearbox
Braking system(s)Vacuum
Coupling systemScrew-link couplings, British Standard gangways
Multiple working Blue Square
Track gauge4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm)

Operations

Class 101 DMUs were used across much of the British Rail network (with the notable exception of the Southern Region - apart from some inter-regional workings). Notable concentration of services included:

  • East of Scotland (to/from Edinburgh Waverley)
  • West Midlands
  • Teesside
  • Tyneside
  • West Yorkshire

Accidents and incidents

On 16 February 1977, an express passenger train hauled by Class 55 locomotive 55 008 collided with a Class 101 diesel multiple unit operating an empty stock train after failing to stop at Darlington. One of the vehicles of the DMU overturned. The guard of the express was slightly injured. The cause of the accident was that the brakes on the carriages of the express had become isolated whilst the train was moving in a freak event. The train had struck an object on the track, which had caused a traction motor cover to come lose. This struck the handle of the brake isolating cock, closing it and thus separating the brakes between the locomotive and train.[3]

Original TOPS classes

When TOPS was originally introduced only the Driving Motor Brake Second (DMBS) and the Driving Motor Composite (with Lavatory) (DMCL) were classified as Class 101 (AEC engines) or Class 102 (Leyland engines). The Driving Trailer Composite (with Lavatory) (DTCL) were either Class 144 or Class 147. The Trailer Seconds (with Lavatory) (TSL) were Class 162, the Trailer Brake Second (with Lavatory) (TBSL) were Class 168 and the Trailer Composite (with Lavatory) (TCL) were Class 171. Later all the cars were reclassified, becoming Class 101.

Table of orders and numbers
Fleet
numbers
TypeClassSeatingWeightLot NoDiagramFormation (Original)Year built
50138–50151DMC(L)101/112F 45S (2/2)32t30249BR 6184-car1956
50152–50157DMBS101/252S32t30252BR 523Power-Twin1956/7
50158–50163DMC(L)101/112F 53S32t30253BR 620Power-Twin1956/7
50164–50167DMBS101/252S32t30254BR 523Power-Twin1956/7
50168–50171DMC(L)101/112F 53S32t30255BR 620Power-Twin1956/7
50172–50197DMC(L)101/112F 53S32t30256BR 6204-car1957
50198–50209DMBS101/252s32t30259BR 523P/Trailer1957
50210–50233DMBS101/252s32t30261BR 523P/Trailer1957
50234–50245DMC(L)101/112F 45S32t30263BR 6194-car1957
50246–50248DMBS101/252S32t30339BR 619P/Trailer1957
50250–50259DMBS101/252S32t30266BR 523Power-Twin1957
50260–50269DMC(L)101/112f 53S32t30267BR 621Power-Twin1957
50290–50292DMBS101/252S32t30270BR 5233-car1957
50293–50296DMBS101/252S32t30270BR 523Power/Trailer 2-car1957
50303–50320DMBS101/252S32t30275BR 5233-car1958
50321–50338DMC(L)101/112F + 53S32t30276BR 6213-car1958
50745–50747DMC(L)101/112F + 53S32t30271BR 6213-car1957
50748–50751DMC(L)101/112F + 53S32t30271BR 6214-car1957
51174–51203DMBS101/152S32t30467BR 523Power/Trailer 2-car1958
51204–51223DMBS101/252S32t30467BR 523Power/Trailer 2-car1958
51224–51253DMBS101/252S32t30467BR 523Power/Trailer 2-car1958
51425–51434DMBS102/252S32t30500BR 523Power/Trailer 2-car1959
51435–51444DMBS102/252S32t30500BR 5234-car1959
51445–51470DMBS102/252S32t30500BR 5233-car1959
51495–51504DMC(L)102/112f+53S32t30501BR 621P/Twin1959
51505–51514DMC(L)102/112f+53S32t30501BR 6214-car1959
51515–51540DMC(L)102/112f+53S32t30501BR 6213-car1959
51795–51801DMBS102/252S32t30587BR 5233-car1959
51802–51808DMC(L)102/112F+53S32t30588BR 6213-car1959
56050–56061DTC(L)14412F+53S25t30260BR 630Power/Trailer 2-car1957
56062–56085DTC(L)14412F+53S25t30262BR 630Power/Trailer 2-car1957
56086–56089DTC(L)14412F+52S25t30272BR 630Power/Trailer 2-car1957
56218–56220DTC(L)14412F+45S25t30340BR 629Power/Trailer 2-car1957
56332–56361DTC(L)14412F+53S25t30340BR 630Power/Trailer 2-car1957
56362–56381DTC(L)14412F+53S25t30468BR 630Power/Trailer 2-car1957
56382–56411DTC(L)14412F+53S25t30468BR 630Power/Trailer 2-car1957
59042–59048TS(L)16261S25t30250BR 6224-car1956
59049–59055TBS(L)16845S25t30251BR 6264-car1956
59060–59072TS(L)16271S25t30257BR 6234-car1957
59073–59085TBS(L)16853S25t30258BR 6274-car1957
59086–59091TS(L)16261S25t30264BR 6224-car1957
59092–59097TBS(L)16845S25t30265BR 6224-car1957
59112–59113TBS(L)16853S25t30274BR 6274-car1957
59114–59131TC(L)17112F+53S25t30277BR 6243-car1957
59302–59304TS(L)16271S25t30273BR 6233-car1957
59305–59306TC(L)17171S25t30273BR 6234-car1957
59523–59542TC(L)17112F+53S25t30277BR 6243-car1957
59543–59568TC(L)17112F+53S25t30502BR 6243-car1958
59685–59692TC(L)17112F+53S25t30589BR 6243-car1959
59569–59572TS(L)16471S25t30510BR 623-1960
59573–59578TSB(L)16571S25t30510BR 625-1960

Preservation

The Class 101 was one of the largest classes of first-generation DMUs and, partly thanks to their relatively late withdrawal from revenue-earning service, numerous vehicles have been preserved on heritage railways, including the Great Central Railway and the North Yorkshire Moors Railway. There are only three centre cars preserved: at the Ecclesbourne Valley Railway, North Yorkshire Moors Railway and Mid-Norfolk Railway. No Trailer Brake Seconds were saved.

Set number Vehicle numbers Livery Location Notes
DMBS TCL DMCL
101685 50164 59539 50160 BR Green North Yorkshire Moors Railway Last to be withdrawn, operational
960992 - - 50193 BR Blue and Grey Great Central Railway Stored.
- 50203 - 50266 BR Blue Great Central Railway Operational
101680 50204 - 51511 BR Green North Yorkshire Moors Railway Stored
Iris 2 50222 - 50338 BR Green Barry Island Railway Operational
101692 50253 59303 (TSL) 50170 BR Green Ecclesbourne Valley Railway Operational
- 50256 - 56343(DTCL) BR Blue Wensleydale Railway Stored
- 51187 - 51512 BR Green Cambrian Heritage Railways Under repair
- 51188 - 51505 BR Blue Ecclesbourne Valley Railway Operational (51188 on loan to North Norfolk Railway for 2018/19)
- 51189 - 51803 BR Green Keighley and Worth Valley Railway Operational
- 51192 - 56352(DTCL) BR Green North Norfolk Railway Operational
- 51205 - 56055(DTCL) BR Green Cambrian Heritage Railways Operational
101678 51210 - 50746 BR Blue / BR Blue and Grey Wensleydale Railway Last to be withdrawn, under restoration
- 51213 - 56358(DTCL) BR Blue and Grey / BR Blue East Anglian Railway Museum Operational
101695 51226 - 51499 BR Green Mid Norfolk Railway Operational
- 51228 - 56062(DTCL) BR Green North Norfolk Railway Operational
960993 51427 59575 (Class 111) 50321 BR Green Great Central Railway Operational
L836 51434(DMBC) 59117 51503 BR Blue and Grey Mid Norfolk Railway Operational (Currently as 2-car only)
- - - 56342(DTCL) BR Blue and Grey Great Central Railway Under restoration
- - - 56347(DTCL) BR Green Mid Norfolk Railway Operational
- - - 56356(DTCL) Non Standard Green and Cream Barry Island Railway Stored
- - - 56408(DTCL) SR Malachite Green Spa Valley Railway Operational
- 50211 - - Regional Railways Private Site Stored, cab only
- - - 50269 Regional Railways Private Site Stored, cab only
- 51177 - - BR Blue Private Site, Ashton-under-Lyne, Lancashire Cab only, used as a store room.

In fiction

The Class 101 DMUs were the basis for the character Daisy the Diesel Railcar in The Railway Series books written by the Rev. W. Awdry, and the spinoff television series Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends, although Daisy is a single car.

References

  1. Fox 1987, pp. 8, 10-11, 15-16, 26, 28-33, 35-36.
  2. "CLASS 101, 102, 144, 147, 162, 164, 168, 171". The RailwayCentre.Com. Archived from the original on 7 February 2009.
  3. "Report on the collision that occurred on 16th February 1977 at Darlington in the Eastern Region of British Railways" (PDF). Department of Transport. 13 July 1978. Retrieved 2 August 2019.

Sources

  • Fox, Peter (1987). Multiple Unit Pocket Book. British Railways Pocket Book No.2 (Summer/Autumn 1987 ed.). Platform 5 Publishing Ltd. ISBN 0906579740. OCLC 613347580.
  • Fox, Peter; Webster, Neil (July 1982). Multiple Unit Pocket Book. Sheffield: Platform 5 Publications. ISBN 0-906579-26-0.
  • Golding, Brian. A Pictorial Record of British Railways Diesel Multiple Units.
  • Haresnape, Brian. British Rail Fleet Survey 8: Diesel Multiple Units—The First Generation.
  • Marsden, Colin J. Motive Power Recognition: 3 DMUs.
  • Robertson, Kevin. British Railway Pictorial: First Generation DMUs.

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