51356 Class 117 Driving Motor Brake Second

Home Railway

Swanage Railway

Location History

Private Site: Winfrith 04-Mar 07

Current Location

Eastleigh Works


Weardale Railway Mar 07-Nov 09

Current Status

Under Restoration


Private Site: Allelys Heavy Haulage Nov 09-Dec 14

Current Livery

BR Green (Half Yellow Panel)


Swanage Railway Dec 14-Feb 15

TRA Designation




Partner Vehicle(s)

59486 & 51388

Visited Railways

Eastleigh Works (Contract Overhaul) Feb 15-Present








Record Last Updated

1 January 2018


Preservation Modifications

Preservation Information
Latterly seeing service around London as 2-car set L702, 51356 was stored for many years before preservation in 2004.

The vehicle was purchased by Dorset County Council who wished to obtain three 3-car Class 117 sets for a proposed community rail link between Swanage and Wareham. 51356 was joined by two other vehicles from different sets, TCL 59492 from 117313 and DMS 51392 from set L701.

In 2004 the 3-car unit was moved to a private site in Dorset where all nine of the Class 117 vehicles were being stored in readiness for the Swanage Railway's Wareham extension to bear fruit.

However in March 2007 the site had to be cleared with 51356, 59492 & 51392 relocating to the Weardale Railway, with the other two sets to the Midland Railway Butterley, all for storage.

51356 remained in store, with no work being undertaken on the vehicle. After many years out of use, the vehicle had deteriorated in condition.

In 2009, the whole set was moved to Allelys yard in Warwickshire, for continued storage.

By 2011 it was understood that Dorset County Council would no longer be proceeding with the plan to operate all nine Class 117 vehicles, and six other vehicles were sold. However, 51356 was not disposed of and remained in store.

In December 2014, 51392 was moved to the Swanage Railway for spares recovery, intended to assist with the mainline regestration of DMBS 51346. It was accordingly moved to Eastleigh Works shortly after as that was where the overhaul work was taking place. However a condition assessment was made of 51356 and it was reportedly found to be in better condition than 51346, so the descision was made to overhaul the former in preference to the latter.

The overhaul work, particularly the mainline specifications, took far longer than originally hoped for. The vehicles involved in the project were the subject of several setbacks concerning the mechanical components such as freewheel units and wheelsets. Combined, these issues led to 51356 being inside Eastleigh works for several years.

In July 2017 the vehicle had progressed to the stage where bodywork and painting was required. Moved into the excellent paintshop facility at Eastleigh, 51356 was transformed rapidly, emerging in September sporting a fresh coat of BR Green to match its proposed partners, 59486 & 51388.

By late 2017 51356 was back inside the main workshops at Eastleigh with mechanical overhaul work to the bogies progressing.

Future Plans
51356's overhaul to mainline standards is understood to be well advanced. This work is planned to be completed at Eastleigh Works, after which it will be returned to the Swanage Railway to operate as a 3-car set running link services to the mainline at Wareham.


51356 at Swanage for component recovery, 12/14.Keith Mitchell


51356, in storage at the Weardale Railway, 19/5/07. David Beardmore