51321 Class 118 Driving Motor Second

Home Railway

Battlefield Line

Location History

Battlefield LineJul 97-Present

Current Location

Battlefield Line

 

 

Current Status

Operational

Visited Railways

Severn Valley Railway Oct 04

Current Livery

BR Blue & Grey

 

Churnet Valley Railway Sep 08-Oct 08

TRA Designation

2

   

Partner Vehicle(s)

51131

 

 

Owner

Battlefield Line DMU Group

 

 

Website

None

   

Record Last Updated

10 April 2017

   

Preservation Modifications
None

Preservation Information
51321 was withdrawn from passenger service in October 1991 at Tyseley depot in Birmingham. The vehicle saw a further lease of life as Sandite vehicle 977753, a period when all the other remaining Class 118 vehicles were scrapped, making 51321 unique. By the mid 1990’s the vehicle was lying out of use at Tyseley, where it was reserved for the ill-fated National Diesel Railcar Museum. When this group disbanded, another called the "First Generation DMU Group" was set up with the specific aim of purchasing 51321. However during the group’s formation the vehicle was purchased by the Shackerstone DMU Group and the vehicle entered preservation in July 1997.

The vehicle was based at the Battlefield Line, where a collection of suburban DMUs had been established. Work to return the vehicle to passenger service involved the reinstatement of some seating and fittings which had been removed for the vehicle’s Sandite apparatus. After a thorough clean and mechanical check over the vehicle was operational.

Various circumstances resulted in the Battlefield's DMU fleet being rationalised to one 2-car set and one single unit by the early 2000’s. 51321 was one of the vehicles selected to remain, paired with Class 116 DMBS 51131.

The set was repainted, and was unusual in retaining the later BR Blue & Grey livery rather than being reliveried into an earlier livery such as Green.

In October 2004, the vehicle visited the Severn Valley Railway for the spectacular Railcar50 celebrations which involved a never-to-be-repeated line up of DMUs from all around the country at one gala event. This was only possible due to generous funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

In 2006, 51321 was repainted on one side into BR Blue as a suprise before the annual Railcar Association Convention which was held at the railway that year.

In 2008 the vehicle visited the Churnet Valley Railway where it was the star guest at the line's Scenic Railcar Weekend which incorporated the "opening" (on a limited basis) of a two mile extension to Oakamoor Sand Sidings.

When the line's Class 122 55005 was withdrawn for major bodywork, 51321 & 51131 handled all of the Battlefield Line's DMU requirements, which involved much low season running as well as various gala appearances.

In October 2011, partner 51131 was withdrawn from traffic for bodywork and a mechanical overhaul, leaving 51321 without a partner. However the vehicle was maintained in operational condition and saw occasional use (as demand required) paired with single unit 55005.

In 2012, 51321 was repainted into Blue & Grey to match 55005, losing its blue colours on one side.

April 2017 saw 51321's partner 51131return to service after a 6 year overhaul making the 2-car set whole once again.

Future Plans
To maintain in service.

 

W51321, with M55005, stabled in the sheadshunt at Shackerstone, 13/4/13. Nigel Gould

   

W51321 & M55005 in service at Shackerstone, running services after the line's diesel gala was cancelled, 11/11/12. Lee Pacey

   

W51321 & M51131 in service at Shackerstone, 21/7/10. Andy Neil

   

W51321 & M51131 in service at Shenton, 21/7/10. Andy Neil

   

51321 & 51131 at Shackerstone, 26/4/09. Simon Edwards

   

W51321 (showing its Blue side) with a double tail load during the CVR's Scenic Rauilcar Weekend, 27/9/08. Chris Moxon

   

The set was used on the Churnet Valley Railway's Shareholders Day when it worked the first passenger trains to the Oakamoor Loop in over 20 years, 21/9/08. Dave Gibson

   

The set was used on the Churnet Valley Railway's Shareholders Day when it worked the first passenger trains to the Oakamoor Loop in over 20 years, 21/9/08. Dave Gibson

   

The set was used on the Churnet Valley Railway's Shareholders Day when it worked the first passenger trains to the Oakamoor Loop in over 20 years, 21/9/08. Dave Gibson

   

51321, 51131, 50517 & 50455 heading for Oakamoor Loop on the normally closed Froghall-Oakamoor section of the Churnet Valley Railway, during a special Shareholder's day, 21/9/08. Chris Moxon

   

51321, 51131, 50517 & 50455 approach Froghall on the normally closed Froghall-Oakamoor section of the Churnet Valley Railway, during a special Shareholder's day, 21/9/08. Chris Moxon

   

51321, 51131, 50517 & 50455 arrive into Oakamoor Loop on the normally closed Froghall-Oakamoor section of the Churnet Valley Railway, during a special Shareholder's day, 21/9/08. Chris Moxon

   

51321, 51131, 50517 & 50455 pass Dustystile on the normally closed Froghall-Oakamoor section of the Churnet Valley Railway, during a special Shareholder's day, 21/9/08. Chris Moxon

   

The vehicle visited the Churnet Valley Railway with 51131 for their 2008 gala. It seen here soon after arrival, September 2008. Dave Gibson

   

The vehicle visited the Churnet Valley Railway with 51131 for their 2008 gala. It seen here soon after arrival, September 2008. Dave Gibson

   

The vehicle visited the Churnet Valley Railway with 51131 for their 2008 gala. It seen here soon after arrival, September 2008. Dave Gibson

   

51321 & 51131 in service at Shenton, 16/9/06. David Beardmore

   

51321 & 51131 having arrived at Shenton during the annual Railcar Association convention, 9/9/06. Chris Moxon

   

51321 at Shenton during the annual Railcar Association convention, 9/9/06. Chris Moxon

   

51321 viewed at night during the evening social BBQ, 9/9/06. Chris Moxon

   

51321 & 51131 at Bridgnorth, SVR, during Railcar50, 16/10/04. Simon Edwards

   

51321 & 51131 at Kiddermisnter, SVR, during Railcar50, 15/10/04. Ian Francis

   

51321 on the Battlefield Railway, 2/2/99. Stuart Mackay

 

Interior

 

51321's cab, driver's side, 20/9/11. Chris Moxon

   

A view of 51321's driver's controls, 20/9/11. Chris Moxon

   

51321's cab, secondman's side, 20/9/11. Chris Moxon

   

51321's front saloon, 20/9/11. Chris Moxon

   

51321's middle saloon, 20/9/11. Chris Moxon

   

51321's rear saloon, 20/9/11. Chris Moxon