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Class 120 Swindon 3-car DMUs

Operations - Central Wales

The Central Wales line, with its long hills and ungated level crossings were mainly worked by six 2-car 120s from 1964 until May '84 when the WR rid itself of its AEC units, these being replaced by Met-Camms from Bristol. The 120s went to Chester and Newton Heath (for Blackpool services). The Cardiff based power cars had an extra headlamp for extra visibility on the line.


A BR Photo Unit picture taken on the Central Wales line at Pantyffynnon showing a token exchange between the driver of headlamp fitted C616 and the signalman. Date not known. Courtesy of Tom Clift.

After the mid-1982 influx of Met-Camms suffered asbestos problems and required heater & fuel modifications, two 3-car 120s were kept at Cardiff for West and Central Wales services. The two sets, C615 & C616, with extra headlamps, were originally Inverness sets.

Sets were also used in the North Wales line, such as 20:35 ex-Crewe, noted in Aug '83 was having an ex-works refurbished set 51783/59683/51792 working. This was the first of the batch of seven ScR sets to be refurbished (in June '77), when it was ScR set 300. It moved to Cardiff in April '80 becoming set C620. In 1982 it moved to the LMR.

The WR sets have covered the whole of the region, sets having been allocated to Bristol, Cardiff, Plymouth, Reading and Birmingham.

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