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Class 111 Met-Camm sets 2/3/4-car DMUs


London Midland Region Plans

The minutes of the LMR Lightweight Trains Committee gives a good insight into how the Region acquired and planned to use their four sets.

Indications from the minutes of the July 25/26th 1955 meeting (item 336c) are that a decision had been made by the BTC to trial four vehicles with Rolls Royce engines. Deliveries of these engines would not be until March 1956, and as the only vehicles scheduled to be under construction at that time were Met-Camm sets for the Newcastle - Carlisle line, they would be fitted to them. But senior management on the LMR had noted their desire to have the vehicles, possibly for the Derby - Nottingham - Leicester scheme.

At the next meeting, on October 4th, 1955, (item 357c) it was noted that the North Eastern Region had agreed to swap the two four-car Rolls-Royce sets for four Derby two-car sets. One reason the NER did this is that the Derby vehicles were expected be delivered two months sooner.

Number Changes

This swapping of vehicles explains some of the gaps and changes in the numbering scheme. Appendix A of the October meeting shows the vehicles allocated to the LMR, the Manchester Part 1 scheme has 14 2-car Derby sets due for delivery in January - February 1956 (two months sooner that the expected Rolls Royce engine date of March 1956). The next update of this appendix in December the Derby sets have been reduced to ten and the four two-car sets with Rolls-Royce engines added (for delivery in March - May 1956).

The four Derby sets involved are 79137-40 and 79658-61, originally part of fourteen sets for the Manchester - Styal line before being allocated to the ER.

The change from two four-car sets to four two-cars sets (both involved four power cars and four unpowered) will explain the number gap 59056-9, these would now be 56090-3, the assumption being that the Newcastle - Carlisle Met-Camm vehicles were originally to be 50134-51 with 59042-59.

Delays

The December 1955 meeting (item 403b) noted that the delivery date had been set back until June/August 1956. The reason why was given in the February 1956 meeting (item 422 7c) - a late delivery of steel. The delay was extended again at the following meeting (March 1956 item 431 4b) until October 1956, and then to November 1956 by the June 1956 meeting. Further delays show up in the allocation appendices, slipping to January 1957 and then to March 1957, and finally to April 1957.

Usage

Some consideration was given at the October 1956 meeting (item 466 1) to using them on a proposed Chester - Wrexham service, but it was agreed that they would be temporarily allocated to the Manchester - Buxton service. However, the next meeting in December 1956 noted that they could not be used exclusively on that line due to the inability to couple to the 79xxx series Derby Lightweights currently operating the services, so they would also have to work other services in the Manchester Part 1 Scheme.

Summary
Description
- LMR 2-car
- NER 3-car (earlier)
- NER 3-car (later)
Drivers Instructions & Adverts
Numbering
Liveries
LMR plans
Operations
Decline
Non-Passenger Use
Images

Details about the preserved Class 111 vehicle can be found here.

Many of the works photos are courtesy of the Kevin Dowd Collection.

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