Coupling code: Blue Square
Underframe: 64ft 6in
Engines: Leyland / A.E.C. 150hp
The Western Region Dieselisation Scheme, issued in 1955, included plans for the use of diesel cars on suburban and local lines in the Birmingham area and led to this class being ordered. They eventually totalled 320 vehicles.
These were first high density sets to be built. They were formed of a DMBS, TC or TS and a DMS and originally accommodated 262 passengers. Built without gangways, these were added in later years decreasing the seating capacity.
While most cars went into service in the West Midlands and Wales - remaining there until withdrawal in the '80s - the Class was eventually allocated to all regions except the Southern.
In the '70s some vehicles were converted for parcels use with GUVs sandwiched between the power cars. They were later put back to passenger use. In the '80s cars were again designated for parcels use. When the Class was used for parcels use they were generally referred to as Class 130s.
Of the 1,392 vehicles that were built by Derby, it was this class that outlasted them all in passenger use, the final cars surviving until the mid-nineties. Eleven vehicles were preserved.
Details about preserved Class 116s can be found here.
Thanks to Mac Winfield, Ian Fleming and John Thomlinson for much of the information on this Class.