50494 Class 104 Driving Motor Brake Second

Home Railway

East Lancashire Railway

Location History

Churnet Valley Railway 96-May 16

Current Location

East Lancashire Railway

 

East Lancashire Railway May 16-Present

Current Status

Stored

 

 

Current Livery

BR Blue (Full Yellow End)

 

 

TRA Designation

5

   

Partner Vehicle(s)

50437

 

 

Owner

Kevin Dowd & Robert Simpson

 

 

Website

www.brcw.co.uk

   

Record Last Updated

2 July 2016

   

Preservation Modifications
None

Preservation Information
50494 was preserved in 1992 in a bulk buy of 12 Class 104 vehicles by private individuals Kevin Dowd and Robert Simpson. The fleet was eventually distributed over three heritage railways but space restrictions at the Churnet Valley Railway meant 50494 had to be stored at Chester until 1996 before being moved on site.

50494 immediately went into storage as the finantial/workforce restraints of the time meant only one vehicle could be restored, the superior (in condition) DMCL 50517 being the chosen vehicle.

In November 2004, 50494 was sheeted over to offer some protection from the harsh Staffordshire winters, although by now it was noted that the bodywork was in a very poor state.

In 2007, 50494 made its first public appearance, being unsheeted and displayed as an example of an unrestored vehicle for the railway's Scenic Railcar Weekend. It was also the venue for the Railcar Association's annual convention that year. After the event the vehicle was resheeted and returned to storage.

In 2010, 50494 was broken into and the toilet water tank stolen. A window was smashed on the vehicle and it became less secure.

In October 2012, 50494 was attacked by metal theives whilst in storage. Many "removable" items from the exterior were forcably detached and stolen. The tarpaulins were also cut off and used to transport other larger items the thieves were takling. This triggered some essetial work to resecure the vehicle. The interior was cleared out of all loose spare parts, and remaining parts which were relatively easy to remove (both on the inside and outside) were taken from the vehicle and transferred to a more secure location. The vehicle was then resheeted with replacement tarpaulins and returned to store.

Following discussions with the owning group's home railway where many issues that had arisen that could not be satisfactorily resolved, 50494 was moved in 2016 to the East Lancashire Railway.

50494 is still awaiting restoration, having been stored for over 20 years.

Future Plans
50494 is one of only two surviving Class 104 vehicles from the earlier batch, which can be identified by having a marker light located on the cab roof dome. These earler sets were allocated to Buxton in British Railways days, and it is the ultimate wish of the owners to recreate a "Buxton" 3-car set using authentic vehicles in the future. Indeed, the dream of this 3-car set was the original reason for preserving the 104's in the first place. 50494 (along with TCL 59137 & DMBS 50437) is part of the proposed 3-car set, therefore despite its poor condition its future is secure.

 

M53494 was cleared out and resecured following a series of thefts whilst in store, seen here at Cheddleton after the driver's windows had all been removed and boarded over as the glass has proven vulnerable to vandals, 29/10/12. Chris Moxon

   

A corridor view of M53494 at Cheddleton whilst components which hadn't already been stolen were being removed for safekeeping. No major parts were missing from the vehicle, however it is in extremely poor condition and restoration will be a large task when the vehicle reaches the front of the "queue", 29/10/12. Chris Moxon

   

M53494 briefly meets its restored counterpart M50517 during a works train visit to Oakamoor. The smashed driver's window can be seen as well as the (since replaced) less than adequate boarding, 2/6/12. Chris Moxon

   

M53494 at Oakamoor now with some protection from the elements in the form of a tarpaulin, 13/7/08. Chris Moxon

   

M53494 makes a rare appearance at Cheddleton, unsheeted for one weekend and on display at the line's Scenic Railcar Weekend as an example of an unrestored vehicle, 29/9/07. Chris Moxon

   

M53494 makes a rare appearance at Cheddleton, unsheeted for one weekend and on display at the line's Scenic Railcar Weekend as an example of an unrestored vehicle. A single door was able to be prised open! 29/9/07. Chris Moxon

   

M53494 in storage at Oakamoor. The vehicle was soon to be sheeted over to protect it from some of the weather, 1999. Paul Moxon



Interior

 

A view of M53494's unrestored cab (drivers side), 10/8/08. Chris Moxon

   

A view of M53494's unrestored cab (secondmans side), 10/8/08. Chris Moxon

   

A view of M53494's unrestored cab (drivers controls), 10/8/08. Chris Moxon

   

A view of M53494's unrestored front saloon, in use as a seat store, 10/8/08. Chris Moxon

   

A view of M53494's unrestored middle saloon, in use as a seat store, 10/8/08. Chris Moxon

   

A view of M53494's unrestored rear saloon, in use as a seat store, 10/8/08. Chris Moxon