50413 Class 103 Driving Motor Brake Second

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Helston Railway

Location History

West Somserset Railway Dec 75-May 06

Current Location

Helston Railway

 

Private Site: Gwinear Road May 06-Sep 07

Current Status

Static Display

 

Helston Railway Sep 07-Present

Current Livery

BR Green (Half Yellow Panel)

 

 

TRA Designation

1

   

Partner Vehicle(s)

56169

 

 

Owner

Helston Railway Diesel Group

 

 

Website

 

   

Record Last Updated

9 February 2019

   

Preservation Modifications
The interior has been heavily modified. A buffet counter has been added in the middle saloon, and the area covered in non-standard laminate flooring. The seats are non standard, having been reclaimed from a class 143 after the loss of the originals. The Rexine panels have been replaced with painted plywood. The guards van has been lost and converted into a kitchen. The buffet conversion has reduced the seating capcity from 52 to 28.

Preservation Information
50413 was withdrawn from BR service in 1972 after just 15 years service. It was puchased along with several other 103 vehicles by the embryonic West Somserset Railway and stored at Taunton. They moved on to the railway in December 1975 in readiness for the opening in March 1976.

Ten years of intensive service followed, as up to five DMU sets were in use on the railway as economical traction at that time.

In the mid 1980's 50413 and partner 56169 was sold to the Diesel & Electric Preservation Group, remaining on the WSR. They continued to operate until Dec 1989 when all of the first generation DMU’s on the WSR were taken out of service because of asbestos.

Of the four 103 vehicles that found themselves stored, 50413 & 56169 were stripped of asbestos with the intention of returning them to service. After asbestos removal by a firm with no previous experience of railway work, this vehicle was left as a bare shell. Also, a roof was leaking, the windows missing, no floor, damaged cab and many mechanical components were damaged or missing. Originally it was estimated that it would take five years to rebuild, but it took considerably longer.

By 1996 50413 had its remaining damaged interiors removed, metal work repaired and passenger communication equipment replaced. The exterior was fully repainted for protection in green. The vehicle was also totally re-roofed, the first two floor layers completed, and ceiling panels fitted and lights installed. Uncovered side panels were fitted in one saloon. The Guard's van was nearly rebuilt. The mechanics were also tested, repaired / refurbished and the vehicle moved under its own power.

Unfortunately progress slowed and 50413 & 56169 were purchased from the Diesel & Electric Preservation Group in part restored condition in 2006 by the Helston Railway Diesel Group.

50413 moved soon after to its new home the Helston Railway via a brief period at their private Gwinear Road site.

The restoration of 50413 continued at the Helston Railway. One of the engines was started but required overhaul along with the transmission and electrics. The vehicle also requires extensive body work and new doors to be manufactured. Externally the vehicle has been repainted, and new gangways fitted. Internally, the vehicle has received a new floor and new seats.

In 2012, the middle saloon was opened to the public as a static buffet area. The existing counter was refurbished, seating rearranged and laminate flooring laid. The restoration had slowed however, with the owning group in October advertising for a new project manager with restoration experience to coordinate a relaunched restoration effort. However by 2013 the restoration had halted.

In 2018 a survey was undertaken on the vehicle: 50413 was found to be in a heavily-corroded state, with evidence that much of the previous restoration had failed. The level of corrosion on the body was such that only a total rebuild would enable the vehicle to be returned to working condition. The original seating and much of the panelling was missing, and what seating is fitted was ex Class 143 Pacer. A kitchen had been fitted in the van area but would not be difficult to remove. As far as could be seen wiring was perished and some damaged, although given its age it would need replacing if the vehicle was to be returned to working order. Luggage racks and cab fittings all remained, as did all the interior partitions. Underneath 50413 all components were present except for the heaters but there was heavy corrosion which was such that some parts may not be useable (particularly the air receivers). Again a full restoration would be required as one of the engines had not run since arrival at Helston and the other had but only briefly. AEC engines were fitted. The brakegear appeared to be present. The main structural members which formed the major part of the underframe and associated structures appeared to be in good condition.

50413 remains open to the public in a static buffet format and has proved useful. Meanwhile its general condition continues to deteriorate and the railway have accepted that restoration is beyond their current resources and facilities.

Future Plans
50413 & 56169 is unique and is the last of a group of such sets which still exist. It is of the same historical importance as the Cravens, Gloucester, Wickham or Derby Lightweight but is likely to cost a similar amount of money to restore, with a budget of £200,000 plus not being an unreasonable estimate. Whilst not in any immediate danger its condition will continue to deteriorate if it stays where it is but that deterioration has not yet reached a critical level. It is almost inconceivable that the restoration could be carried out at the current site and within DMU preservation there are few groups experienced enough to tackle a project of this size. Both the Helston Railway and the owners recognise the importance of this set, and are willing to open discussions which may lead to a new future for it. There is, however, some disagreement as to whether the set has any value as it is, and if it has a value what that value is.

 

View of the corroded bodyside towards the guards van of W50413, 8/18. Evan Green-Hughes

   

Underneath the rare AEC engine, 8/18. Evan Green-Hughes

   

W50413/W56169 in the temporary platform at Prospidnick in static use as a buffet, 17/4/17. Neil Jones

   

W50413/W56169 in the temporary platform at Prospidnick in static use as a buffet, 17/4/17. Neil Jones

   

50413 being stabled north of Trevarno station after being shunted out of the bay platform. The restoration had by this time stalled but renewed efforts were being organized via the advertisement for a project manager to oversee future restoration progress, 22/10/12. Helston Railway Diesel Group

   

W50413 under restoration in the bay at Trevarno, 28/9/11. Rabbi WP Thinrod

   

50413 & 56169 in the new bay platform at Trevarno, 31/5/09. Helston Diesel Group

   

50413 at Trevarno, 28/9/08. Helston Diesel Group

   

Rotten No1 exhaust pipe on 50413, 14/9/08. Helston Diesel Group

   

50413 now repainted into BR green, 13/7/08. Helston Diesel Group

   

Restoration of 50413 continues at Trevarno. Here, members are sanding down the drivers side of 50413, 4/5/08. Helston Diesel Group

   

Restoration of 50413 continues at Trevarno. Here, members are sanding down the drivers side of 50413, 4/5/08. Helston Diesel Group

   

The move from Gwinear Road to the Helston Railway at Trevarno Gardens, 5/9/07. Helston Diesel Group

   

The move from Gwinear Road to the Helston Railway at Trevarno Gardens, 5/9/07. Helston Diesel Group

   

The move from Gwinear Road to the Helston Railway at Trevarno Gardens, 5/9/07. Helston Diesel Group

   

The move from Gwinear Road to the Helston Railway at Trevarno Gardens, 5/9/07. Helston Diesel Group

   

The move from Gwinear Road to the Helston Railway at Trevarno Gardens, 5/9/07. Helston Diesel Group

   

50413's new half yellow panel, May 2007. Helston Diesel Group

   

50413's new half yellow panel, May 2007. Helston Diesel Group

   

Bodywork restoration at Gwinear Road, Aug 2006. Helston Diesel Group

   

Bodywork restoration at Gwinear Road, Aug 2006. Helston Diesel Group

   

50413 being transported from Bishops Lydeard (West Somserset Eailway) to Gwinear Road, 22/5/06. Helston Diesel Group

   

50413 being transported from Bishops Lydeard (West Somserset Eailway) to Gwinear Road, 22/5/06. Helston Diesel Group

   

50413 being transported from Bishops Lydeard (West Somserset Eailway) to Gwinear Road, 22/5/06. Helston Diesel Group

   

50413 being transported from Bishops Lydeard (West Somserset Eailway) to Gwinear Road, 22/5/06. Helston Diesel Group

   

50413 being transported from Bishops Lydeard (West Somserset Eailway) to Gwinear Road, 22/5/06. Helston Diesel Group

   

50413 being transported from Bishops Lydeard (West Somserset Eailway) to Gwinear Road, 22/5/06. Helston Diesel Group

   

50413 at Bishops Lydeard prior to departure from the West Somerset Railway, 19/5/06. Helston Diesel Group

   

50413 stored in the headshunt at Wiliton, 7/5/05. Stephen Hughes

   

Stored in a siding at Wiliton, and viewed during the line's TRA weekend, 2/10/99. Stuart Mackay

   

50413 on the West Somerset Railway, with a Gloucester DTC behind. Robert Frise Collection

   

Appearing out of use, with a Gloucester DTC behind. Robert Frise Collection

   

50413 and 56169 were seen at Williton. They had been asbestos stripped and they were shells inside, no floors even! 18/8/91. Robert Chilton

   

Seen at Minehead in 1991, with a Class 100 DMBS behind, 1991. Ian Francis

   

50413 stored at Minehead, 26/8/89. Tony Willmore

   

50413/56169 at Williton, 23/8/87. David McGuire

   

W50413, 8/86. Brian Battersby

   

W50413 & W56169 at Williton, 1984. Michael Wadman

   

W50413 & W56169 at Williton, 1984. Michael Wadman

   

50413 & 56168 stabled in Minehead station sidings, 17/7/79. Martin Tasker

   

50413 at Minehead, 1976. John Law

 

Interior

 

The drivers desk, 8/18. Evan Green-Hughes

   

The front saloon, 8/18. Evan Green-Hughes

   

The middle saloon, 8/18. Evan Green-Hughes

   

The guards van, converted to a kitchen, 8/18. Evan Green-Hughes

   

Cab view of 50413. Helston Diesel Group

   

The interior seen while sitting at Trevarno, following the successful fitting of luggage racks, Sep 08. Perry McDonagh

   

The last seats being fitted to 50413, the originals having been lost and replaced with ex 142 seating. The buffet counter can also be seen in the background, 25/8/07. Helston Diesel Group

   

Inside of 50413's front saloon with little work completed except a small amount of painting, 14/5/07. Helston Diesel Group

   

Inside of 50413's middle saloon with little work completed except a small amount of painting, 14/5/07. Helston Diesel Group

   

Inside of 50413's middle saloon with little work completed except a small amount of painting, 14/5/07. Helston Diesel Group