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Class 101 Met-Camm 2,3 & 4-car DMUs

Daisy - 101 685 the Green Unit

In 1994 unit 101 685 was repainted in a version of the old green livery and reformed as a 3-car set with cars 53164 / 59539 / 53160. Another unit 101683 was also reformed as a 3-car unit with cars 51177 / 59303 / 53269 these two units being designated for use on the Blaneau Ffestiniog branch in 3-car form for summer timetable use and with trailers removed during the winter. The green unit picked up the nickname "Daisy" after the DMU characted in the Rev. W. Awdry childrens book series.

Daisy DMU

Pictured at Edale on 9/4/97 Peter, Lincolnshire & East Yorkshire Transport Review

The background of the three individual vehicles is as follows. All were new to the NER but parts of different units.

The DMBS vehicle originally E50164 was delivered from the Washwood Heath Works in January 1957 paired with DMC E50168 as a power twin set and allocated to 56G. They were part of batch 2b. TC(L) E59539 was delivered in April 1959 to the NER as part of a 4-car set with E51442 / E59540 / E51512, and the set was from batch 4a. DMC(L) E50160 was from batch 2b and delivered in December 1956 to 56G as part of a power twin with E50154.

As was common at the time these formations would remain fixed for some years as originally sets tended to be maintained in fixed formations for some time but eventually would be split up after breakdowns or overhauls when usually vehicles of the same batch would become mixed. In 1965 the power cars were still working in their original pairings at Hammerton Street but the TC(L) was now at 55H working with Class 111 power cars.

The records show that by 1983 E50164, now E53164, was still a north-eastern machine allocated to Heaton depot (HT) while its one time partner E50168, now E53168, had moved to Norwich (NR). The TC(L) E59539 was at this time at Cardiff (CF) working in a Pressed Steel Class 117 set (C454 W51352 / 59539 / 51394). By contrast the DMC vehicle E50160 which also was a north-eastern car had by this time moved to Edinburgh Haymarket (HA) becoming Sc53160.

In 1985 W59539 moved with its Class 117 set to Bristol Bath Road (BR) with consequential set renumbering 'B450'. 1986 saw Sc53160 still operating in Scotland but now moved from (HA) to Ayr (AY) in set 101360 with cars Sc59074 and Sc53158 both ex HT vehicles, but now displaying the Strathclyde Orange and Black livery.

1988 saw E53164 make its first move from the north east when transferred to HA where it joined set 101359 with trailer Sc59116, originally based at Tyseley (TS), and another DMBS car, Sc51210, which itself has survived and is currently operating in Regional Railways

North West Trains set 101678, along with another ex-NE car DMC (now downgraded to DMS) 53746, Trailer W59539 moved back to CF and stored.

By 1989 DMBS Sc53164 transferred to a Swindon Class 120 set still based at HA its new set number becoming 120535 with vehicles 59065 (Class 101) and 53733 (Class 120). As can be seen this was hardly still a 120 set with two of its three cars being Met Camms!

1990 saw TC(L) 59539 move from CF to LE as a spare trailer for that depots mainly Class 108 power twin fleet, trailers occasionally being used when necessary (though fixed formations were maintained and set numbers carried at this depot, trailers would not necessarily remain in the same set). This year also saw the reallocation of ScR set 101360 containing 53160 to Eastfield (ED) and subsequent transfer to England, at Chester (CH), on arrival the set was split with 53160 being paired as a power twin again, with blue and grey liveried Class 101 DMBS 51245 as set CH641, 53158 was treated similarly and paired with DMBS 51425 as set CH642, the trailer car TBSL 59074 being stored.

At this time the Scottish Class 120 set 120535 was reformed using substitute Met-Camm car Sc53215. This resulted in 53164 returning to English soil, at NL paired with DTC 54365 becoming set NL232.

During 1991 59539 was transferred to Plymouth Laira (LA) joining a 3-car set made up of two DMBS vehicles transferred from Scotland, the set becoming P831 containing 51210 / 59539 / 53253.

At the same time 53164 moved from NL to LO where it was assigned to a 3-car unit becoming set LO344 containing 53164 / 59387 / 53203 the latter formerly of Norwich set No. 87. In October of 1991 this set was transferred to CF and became C388 set This was a hybrid unit containing two DMBS's both of ER origin and a class 108 TS(L) from Hull Botanic Gardens (BG).

1991 also saw the transfer of 53160 and 53158 to (LO) where the latter was withdrawn from service. 53160 however was dispatched to TS with its partner 51245 to become set T075 at that depot.

During l992 selections were being made from the remaining Met Camm Class 101 units for a final facelift/refurbishment and repaint into Regional Railways livery. The vehicles selected were moved to Doncaster works for the work to be carried out.

TC(L) 59539 was still at LA but now in set no. P821 with cars 53216 and 53294 when selected.

53164 returned to LO with 53203 but minus trailer 59387. 53160 and 51245 were returned from TS becoming LO604. By the end of 1992 the three vehicles had been overhauled at Doncaster and returned to service in Regional Railways colours, 53164 with 53160 carried set number 101685 and were returned to LO. However trailer 59539 was formed into the 3-car set 101694 with power cars 51188 and 53268 and allocated to HA.

Two years later in 1994 the HA allocation of Class 101s were transferred to Glasgow Corkerhill (CK) minus their centre trailers which were stored.

That same year it was decided to repaint a Class 101 set in the original green livery, 101685 was chosen, it was also decided to dedicate this set to the Llandudno - Blaenau Ffestiniog service and to strengthen to 3-cars in the summer timetable. 59539 was chosen and was transferred from HA along with a second vehicle 59303 which would create another 3-car unit as back up, though retaining Regional Railways livery. The units operated as a 3-car set during the summer and 2-car power twins in the winter time until 1997 after which they remained as 2-car sets.

© 1998 - 2019