51909 Class 108 Driving Motor Brake Second

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East Somerset Railway

Location History

Private Site: MOD Long Marston Mar 94-Nov 11

Current Location

East Somerset Railway

 

Midsomer Norton Nov 11-Oct 13

Current Status

Operational

 

East Somerset Railway Oct 13-Present

Current Livery

BR Green (Plain End)

 

 

TRA Designation

4

   

Partner Vehicle(s)

56271

 

 

Owner

Mendip Traction & Rolling Stock Group

 

 

Website

facebook.com/TheMendipTractionandRollingStockGroup

   

Record Last Updated

9 May 2015

   

Preservation Modifications
51909 carries non authentic white lining. The middle saloon has had seating alterations and tables fitted, which reduced the seating capacity by 5.

Preservation Information
51909 & 56271 were withdrawn in July 1993 and bought the following year as a set by the Bitton Diesel Group for a proposed off-peak service on the Avon Valley Railway, expected to start in 1996 when the extension to the River Avon was to open.

This service did not immediately materialise, in the mean time 51909 was stored with much of the railway’s other reserved stock at the Ministry of Defence’s Long Marston site.

When a DMU service was finally introduced in 2008, 51909 & 56271 were found to be in poor condition, so a Class 107 set was hired to fulfil the role instead, 51909 therefore continued to be stored at Long Marston with an uncertain future.

However 2011 saw a surprise revival for the vehicle, in the form of a long term loan agreement with the growing Somerset & Dorset Railway Heritage Trust, who were seeking a DMU to provide passenger trains at their expanding railway at Midsomer Norton.

51909 saw rapid restoration progress both before and after the move in November 2011, with the tired graffiti stricken livery replaced by green primer along with repairs to the cab. By December the vehicle was moving under its own power and was in use for driver training and Santa Specials.

In 2012 & 2013, 51909 & 56271 were operating the passenger services at Midsomer Norton.

In May 2013, 51909's primer was finally coated with BR green gloss complimented by a (non authentic) white bodyside stripe. The chassis was also repainted black and the bufferbeams red.

September 2013 saw the vehicle sold and moved to the East Somserset Railway, where overhaul work was quickly started. 51909's middle saloon seats were reconfigured to include facing seating "bays". Tables were also fitted.

In 2014, 51909 received a full mechanical exam and undertook its first test runs on the ESR in January, with interior work including the repainting of the seat frames. In April, the vehicle operated its first passenger services on the line, and continued to operate on several weekends. However in September restoration work restarted with the two passenger saloons being stripped out before the heater ducting was restored, bulkheads repainted, new lino fitted and perhaps most significantly, the corridor end was fully rebuilt with new metal replacing severe corrosion and a new refurbished gangway fitted.

Future Plans
To maintain in service and improve the condition of the vehicle on a rolling basis. Bodywork and a repaint is planned.

 

51909/56271 stabled at Cranmore, 14/3/15. Ian Stoate

   

51909 with its corridor connection removed to allow steelwork repairs to be made, 3/10/14. Tom Bailey

   

51909/56271, undergoing final test runs on the East Somserset Railway, 16/4/14. Mendip Traction & Rolling Stock Group

   

51909, on an inspection pit for the first time in many years, being examined for a return to service on the East Somserset Railway, 14/1/14. Mendip Traction & Rolling Stock Group

   

51909, now at the East Somerset Railway, 22/12/13. Nigel Gould

   

51909 & 56271 stabled at Midsomer Norton, 29/9/12. Daniel Deacon

   

51909 having received some green primer and restoration work, 4/9/11. Tony Tranter

   

51909 in storage at Long Marston, 7/6/08.  Chris Moxon

   

51909 in storage at Long Marston, 9/6/07. Simon Edwards

   

51909 in storage at Long Marston, 3/9/06. Simon Edwards

 

Interior

 

Rearranged seating and new tables fitted to the middle saloon, 17/11/13.Mendip Traction & Rolling Stock Group