51351 Class 117 Driving Motor Brake Second

Home Railway

Pontypool & Blaenavon Railway

Location History

Chinnor & Princes Risborough Railway Apr 94-Jan 97

Current Location

Pontypool & Blaenavon Railway


Private Site: MOD Long Marston Jan 97-Oct 01

Current Status

Under Restoration


Pontypool & Blaenavon Railway Oct 01-Present

Current Livery




TRA Designation



Partner Vehicle(s)





Pontypool & Blaenavon Railway






Record Last Updated

1 January 2018


Preservation Modifications
The roof vents are mounted 90 degrees different from original.

Preservation Information
51351 was preserved in 1994 By Alan and Tracey Lear who based the vehicle, along with partners 59520 & 51397, at the Chinnor & Princes Risborough Railway.

It is not known if the vehicle operated in passenger service whilst at Chinnor.

In 1997, the vehicle was stored at the MOD’s Long Marston site, intended for the future Stratford & Broadway Railway scheme.

In 2001, the vehicle was sold to John Down and moved to the Pontypool & Blaenavon Railway, where it was restored to operational condition, receiving a repaint into BR unlined Green livery. A number of areas of restoration were undertaken, including making good the guttering and also re-panelling the interior.

The vehicle was tentatively launched into traffic in 2008, although further restoration work was required to make the vehicle fully serviceable. However a change in the owner's circumstances meant the vehicle never saw much use in service, and was out of action the following year, “stored serviceable” and being unpopular for passenger duties on the line.

In June 2010, the set lost its centre car, 59520, which had been sold.

In April 2012 following the owner's death it was acquired by the railway itself and authorisation was obtained to embark on restoration to passenger service.

A replacement set of batteries were fitted followed by the sucessful starting of both engines and testing of the gearboxes and final drives. The period of inactivity threw up a long list of minor mecanical issues which had to be worked through. The vehicle moved under its own power for the first time in several years during October 2012.

In February 2013 the vehicle entered the workshops for a full bodywork overhaul. The first part of the year saw roof work including the reinstatement of blanked off vents and resealing. The rear corners of the vehicle saw major welding repairs and repanelling, as did the cantrail areas which had rotted badly. The cab front started to be patched, but in May the descision was made to repanel the entire end. By Augut large sections of the secondmn's bodyside were being replaced with framework repairs made as required. In october, the bogies were cleaned up and repainted black. Other exterior parts such as air tanks and chassis members were also treated during the winter. Interior work included repanelling parts of the guards compartment and repainting.

2014 saw the major overhaul continue. The cab roof dome/headcode box was cleaned, reglazed and refitted. By spring, bodywork had progressed to the stage where areas on both side of the vehicle were emerging in primer. On the interior front, the seats wwere stripped and repainted green, and the cab was cleaned up and repainted.

Future Plans
The immediate future will see the comprehensive bodywork repairs, repaint and interior restoration completed.

At some point all of the engines, gear boxes and final drives will need their oil and filters changing, the cost of which will be near a £1000 at current prices with some leg work required to get the necessary filters on site.

The end goal will always to be to get the unit back into traffic as it’s an ideal vehicle for running a service on the full line without the burden of having two locomotives in service (and potentially a third to operate the Big Pit Branch) or on the busier days just working the Big Pit - Furnace Sidings Shuttle.


A general overview of the No2 side, where most work has taken place, showing the lare areas of replaced metal and the increasing areas finished in primer, 27/5/14. Mark Vrettos


Rapid progress made on the No1 side, with large areas now in primer, 2/3/14. Mark Vrettos


Some of the first areas appearing in primer, 28/1/14. Mark Vrettos


Repainting underframe equipment, 13/11/13. Mark Vrettos


The driver's side before bodywork commenced, 14/10/13. Mark Vrettos


One of the bogies during repainting, 14/10/13. Mark Vrettos


Large area of bodyside panel beingreplaced from the guards van area, 11/8/13. Mark Vrettos


Large area of bodyside panel removed from the guards van, 7/8/13. Mark Vrettos


The completed cab front, 5/6/13. Mark Vrettos


Cab front progressing well, 29/5/13. Mark Vrettos


New metal being attached to the front, 19/5/13. Mark Vrettos


The cab front entirely cut away for full replacement, 12/5/13. Mark Vrettos


The cab front being patch repaired, 3/5/13. Mark Vrettos


A repaired rotten strip that ran down the guards compartment, 3/5/14. Mark Vrettos


New stepboards being fitted, 3/5/14. Mark Vrettos


The cab front being patch repaired, 15/3/13. Mark Vrettos


51351 inside for some bodywork attention, 10/2/13. Matthew Callaghan


51351 prior to moving inside for some attention, 27/1/13. Matthew Callaghan


51351 & 51397 under restoration, 4/11/12. Matthew Callaghan


51351 & 51397 coupled up in multiple for the first time in a few years, 30/9/12. Matt Callaghan


51351, now in railway ownership, sees renewed enthusiasm and increased restortion activity, 26/2/12. Matt Callaghan


51351 in use during the DMU Gala, 20/4/08. Alistair Grieve


51351 in use during the DMU Gala, 20/4/08. Alistair Grieve


51351/51397 in use during the DMU Gala, 20/4/08. Alistair Grieve


51351 under restoration at Blaenavon, 2/7/05. Stuart Mackay


51351 under restoration at Blaenavon, 2/7/05. Stuart Mackay




The driver's side of 51351, showing the cleaning and repainting work, 5/1/14. Mark Vrettos


The secondman's side of 51351, showing the cleaning and repainting work, 5/1/14. Mark Vrettos


Repainting work completed inside the guards van, 14/4/13. Mark Vrettos


The cab prior to restoration, 15/3/13. Mark Vrettos


A replacement interior panel fitted below the window where the originals had deteriorated, 15/3/13. Mark Vrettos


The interior saloon prior to restoration, 15/3/13. Mark Vrettos


The guards van prior to restoration, 15/3/13. Mark Vrettos