51347 Class 117 Driving Motor Brake Second

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Gwili Railway

Location History

Mangapps Railway Museum 94-Apr 95

Current Location

Gwili Railway

 

Colne Valley Railway Apr 95-Apr 97

Current Status

Operational

 

Nene Valley Railway Apr 97-Mar 09

Current Livery

BR Green (Speed Whiskers)

 

Gwili Railway Mar 09-Present

TRA Designation

4

   

Partner Vehicle(s)

59508 & 51401

 

 

Owner

Llanelli & District Railway Society

 

 

Website

None

   

Record Last Updated

1 August 2017

   

Preservation Modifications
None

Preservation Information
Withdrawn from British Rail service in December 1993, 51347 was preserved at the Mangapps Railway Museum the following year.

However, the vehicle was quickly sold to Pressed Steel Heritage in 1995 and moved to their base at the Colne Valley Railway.

In 1996, the vehicle saw roof restoration work, with the gutters being removed and resealed. The interior was also restored during this time.

In 1997, the vehicle was put into service at the Nene Valley Railway, paired with newly preserved DMS 51401 from Bletchley. Interestingly, the vehicle carried Blue & Grey livery, an unusual choice in preservation and at the time the only Class 117 set restored as such.

In 1999, the vehicle was joined by TCL 59508 returning the set to a historically accurate 3-car formation.

During the 2000’s, the set was the primary operating DMU on the Nene Valley, operating many low season services.

In 2009, the Nene Valley decided to replace the set with a Class 107 instead, and 51347 was sold to the Llanelli & District Railway Society, whose own Class 116/117 fleet had been lost to arsonists. The vehicle moved to the society’s new base at the Gwili Railway.

After arriving at the Gwili Railway, the railway's drivers were trained on its operation within a month and the vehicle entered service quickly.

In May 2010, 51347 was taken into the shed at Llwyfan Cerrig for attention to its bodywork panels. A corroded section was cut away, with a new piece made to fit. The vehicle’s owners were assisted in this work by members of both the Gwili Vintage Carriage Group, and volunteers from the railway's C&W department. The vehicle was back in traffic by August, but ran for a while in primer as the cab was still in the process of being repainted.

In 2013 the vehicle was repainted into BR Green livery to better reflect the era which the railway sought to portray.

51347 operates regularly as part of the railway’s main 3-car operating set, and sees use during the summer as well as during a range of special events. The vehicle operates both under its own power and as hauled stock (the number of doors being particularly welcome for quick loading/unloading at Thomas events).

Future Plans
To maintain in service.

 

W51347/W59508/W51401 stabled at Bronwydd Arms, 25/4/15. Geoff Clark

   

W51347 leads the DMU in Bronwydd Arms loop, waiting for the other train during the Gwili Railway Transport Festival, 4/6/11. Rob Phillips

   

W51347 leads the DMU in Bronwydd Arms loop, waiting for the other train during the Gwili Railway Transport Festival, 4/6/11. Rob Phillips

   

W51347 at Bronwydd Arms during the Gwili Railway Transport Festival, 4/6/11. Rob Phillips

   

W51347 in the snow at Llwyfan Cerrig, 18/12/10. Rob Phillips

   

W51347 in service, April 2010. Phil Budd

   

W51347 at Bronwydd Arms during the Gwili Railway's winter work week, 20/2/10. Rob Phillips

   

51347, 59508 & 51401 in service, 3/3/07. Simon Edwards

   

51347, 59508 & 51401 pass D306, 3/3/07. Simon Edwards

   

51347, 59508 & 51401 in service at Orton Mere, 3/3/07. David Beardmore

   

In service, September 2005

   

51347 stabled on the Nene Valley Railway, 1/12/01. Stuart Mackay

 

Interior

 

A view of W51347's cab shortly after relocating to the Gwili Railway, 9/3/09. Rob Phillips

   

A view of W51347's middle saloon shortly after relocating to the Gwili Railway, 9/3/09. Rob Phillips

   

A view of W51347's guards van shortly after relocating to the Gwili Railway, 9/3/09. Rob Phillips