51434 Class 101 Driving Motor Brake Composite

Home Railway

Mid Norfolk Railway

Location History

Swindon & Cricklade Railway Dec 96-Jun 02

Current Location

Mid Norfolk Railway


Mid Norfolk Railway Jun 02-Present

Current Status

Under Overhaul



Current Livery

BR Blue & Grey



TRA Designation



Partner Vehicle(s)

59117 & 51503




Matthew Smith Class 101 Fund






Record Last Updated

10 December 2016


Preservation Modifications
Tragically in 2002, owner Matthew Smith lost his battle with cancer and 51434 was named after him, the exterior of the guards van carries a suitable nameplate.

Internally, disabled access has been improved in the vehicle by removing all of the (wider) triple seats in the second class saloon, and replacing them with two-seaters. This has reduced the passenger carrying capacity of the vehicle.

First class seats have been installed in the front saloon, replacing the previous second class accommodation.

The partition between the guards van and the passenger saloons has been widened to take wheelchairs easily.

Preservation Information
51434 was latterly part of set L836, which was the last Class 101 located at Norwich and Tyseley, being used as a route learner, withdrawn in August 1996. It became the first complete Class 101 set to be preserved and moved to the Swindon & Cricklade Railway in 1996 under the ownership of Matthew Smith, a keen preservationist interested in saving the vehicles as DMUs in their own right.

The power twin set was later joined by 59117 becoming the first Class 101 3-car set in preservation. The trailer cars remained rare and even with over 40 Class 101 vehicles now in preservation, there are only three 3-car sets.

In 2001 the vehicle was repainted into Blue & Grey livery.

Tragically in 2002, Matthew Smith lost his battle with cancer and 51434 was transferred to the “Matthew Smith Class 101 Fund”. 51434 was named after him and the exterior of the guards van carries a suitable nameplate.

The set was moved to the Mid Norfolk Railway in 2002 where it has seen an extraordinary amount of use since it arrived, at times working 90% of the railways services.

After the introduction into traffic of the MNR's own Class 101 set in 2008/2009, the workload was reduced on 51434 and the vehicle was withdrawn for some much needed maintenance.

The vehicle was kept operational during the repairs until mid 2011 when the requirement to undertake heavier work resulted in a withdrawal from service.

The brakevan has been stripped away revealing major damage sustained in a collision at Reading in BR days, which had left both the bodyside and its framework badly out of alignment.

During 2012 limited work was undertaken to the secondman's side of the guards van, due to the poor summer weather! (the lack of undercover accommodation at the MNR has resulted in this welding work having to be undertaken outside). The roof and cab end (including windows) were however resealed during this period.

In 2013 the welding work was completed on the guards van, which was once again watertight after the windows had been refitted. The vehicle was made operational again and could operate services with 59117 & 51503. However 51434 was locked out of use due to seating, panelling and ceiling repairs still being required to the interior.

Although nominally operational, no services were operated during 2014 as 51434's bodywork continued to progress. The No2 side was completed during the year and a first coat of sealing paint applied.

In 2015, the No1 side was also progressed with all windows out, body repairs completed and the vehcile made watertight once more. The guttering was also removed and returned to its original configuration. Work on the higher parts of the body was greatly assisted in the spring when the vehicle was shunted into the loading dock at Dereham, which allowed more easier restoration at platform height of the No1 side to be undertaken.

51434 briefly returned to service for a bus event in April 2016, albeit with the interior locked out of use. The restoration of the interior continued apace during 2016.

Future Plans
To complete interior and exterior work including a repaint.


51434's restoration continues in the bay at Dereham, 5/1/16. Chris Moxon


51434 sporting a recentl;y repainted yellow front, 13/9/15. Richard Moxon


51434 on static display during the Multiple Matters gala, 1/11/14. Chris Moxon


Primer applied to 51434 at Dereham, 10/8/14. Richard Moxon


51434 showing the area being repaired, 29/3/13. GT47581


51434 undergoing repairs in the bay at Dereham, 17/6/12. Chris Moxon


51434 undergoing repairs in the bay at Dereham, 3/7/11. Chris Moxon


51434 undergoing repairs in the bay at Dereham, 3/7/11. Chris Moxon


Possibly its last passenger use before bodywork repairs, 51434 is dragged during an MNR gala weekend, 14/5/11. Andy Neil


51434 & 59117 out of service at Dereham, 2/7/08. Chris Moxon


51434 out of service at Dereham, 2/7/08. Chris Moxon


A view of 51434's name at Dereham, 2/7/08. Chris Moxon


At Dereham on the Mid-Norfolk Railway, awaiting departure for Wymondham, 2/8/07. Daniel Adkins


51434, 59117 & 51503 at Dereham, 17/3/06. David Beardmore


51434/59117/51503 stabled at Dereham, 12/3/05. Stephen Hughes


51434 & 51503 at Wymondham, June 2003. Chris Boon


51434 on the Swindon & Cricklade Railway, undergoing a repaint into Blue & Grey, 1/12/01. Stuart Mackay




The middle saloon, stripped out for ceiling/roof repairs, 17/6/12. Chris Moxon


The guards van, stripped out for collision repairs, 17/6/12. Chris Moxon


View of the cab controls, 2/7/08. Chris Moxon


The cab, secondmans side, 2/7/08. Chris Moxon


The front saloon, note the first class seating in what would have been a second class saloon, 2/7/08. Chris Moxon


The middle saloon, note the 2+2 seating in what would have been a 2+3 saloon, 2/7/08. Chris Moxon


The guards van, 2/7/08. Chris Moxon


The guards van, note the modified doorway intio the passenger saloon which allows wheelchair access, 2/7/08. Chris Moxon