55003 Class 122 Driving Motor Brake Second

Home Railway

Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway

Location History

Chinnor & Princes Risborough Railway Jan 96-Mar 97

Current Location

Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway


Northampton & Lamport Railway Mar 97-Jul 00

Current Status



Mid Hants Railway Jul 00-Apr 11

Current Livery

BR Green (Half Yellow Panel)


Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway Apr 11-Present

TRA Designation




Cotswold Diesel Railcar Ltd






Record Last Updated

9 December 2015


Preservation Modifications

Preservation Information
55003 was preserved by Ian MCDonald at the Chinnor & Princes Risborough Railway in 1996 after being purchased the previous year from MC Metals, Glasgow. The vehicle was preserved in a stripped state due to the asbestos removal process, and the long process of restoration began.

55003 first moved under its own power in July 1996 following extensive engine attention. Although now operational, many subsequent years were spent improving the vehicles condition, and during that time the vehicle moved first the the Northampton & Lamport Railway and later to the Mid Hants Railway.

55003 was also certified for mainline use during its stay there. The vehicle was used on the majority of off-peak services on the line alongside a Class 117 3-car set.

Following a change in the owner's priorities, 55003 was sold to Bob Allen, locomotive department manager of the Mid Hants Railway, and remained in serice there.

Due to a change in employment in 2011, Bob left the MHR to take over the role of looking after steam loco 70000 Britannia, which resulted in the entire MHR DMU fleet being reluctanctly sold. The MHR itself were offered first refusal to buy 55003, but had to turn the offer down as funds had already been allocated for other projects on the railway. The vehicle was purchased by Cotswold Diesel Railcar Ltd, who relocated it to the landslip-stricken Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway in April 2011.

Its reliability and versatility has made it a popular addition to the G&WR fleet, and 55003 saw much use operating the "northern section" of the temporarily divided railway, and was part of the celebrations after the railway of two halves was reconnected in October 2012.

55003 then operated thousands of miles each year as the G&WR took full advantage of the uses railcars could offer preserved railways.

In June 2014, the group decided to withdraw 55003 from service for a full bodywork overhaul as corrosion (around the cantrail of the vehicle in particular) was beginning to come through and affect the external condition of the vehicle. A contractor was hired to make the repairs happen rapidly, and the first month saw large sections of cantrail down the No1 side as well as the cab area of the No2 end stripped down and repaired with new steel. The guards van floor was also removed and replaced with a steel one.

Future Plans
The short term future shall see the bodywork repairs to 55003 completed, follwed by a repaint. The vehicle will then return to traffic as a key part of the resident fleet.


W55003 seen in the shed at Toddington, evidence of its bodywork clear to see,26/7/15. Kevin Gale


The first section of completed cantail seen in anti-corrosive primer, 1/7/14. Ian Carpenter


New metal replacing rotten cantrail sections, 27/6/14. Ian Carpenter


A closer view of the corroded cantrail, 17/6/14. Ian Carpenter


The scale of the cantrail repairs seen here inside the shed at Toddington, 11/6/14. Ian Carpenter


The No2 end with exhausts and ca dome stripped for repairs, 10/6/14. Ian Carpenter


Corrosion evident around the roof deome, discoveed shortly after the start of W55003's body overhaul, 9/6/14. Ian Carpenter


W55003 stabled at Toddington, 9/6/13. Nigel Gould


W55003 reverses at Laverton in the evening sunlight, 5/11/12. Neil Carr


W55003 & W51405/W59510W51363 in a four car formation at Chicken Curve for a reopening special to Cheltenham Racecourse, 30/10/12. Jack Boskett


W55003 in service at Toddington, 4/9/11. Tony Tranter


W55003's numberpanel, 1/5/11. Trevor Daw


W55003 stabled at Alresford, 25/4/10. Clive Barker


W55003 and either W51400 or W51405 at Ropley, 1/1/09. David Beardmore


W55003 at Ropley on the Mid-Hants Railway, 20/8/08. Ben Salter


W55003 & W51363 in service at Alresford, 1/1/07. 15038


W55003 in multiple with eirther W51400 or W51405 at Alresford, 7/9/06. Andy Cole


W55003 on the Mid-Hants Railway, 31/7/05. Steve Hodgson


W55003 on the Watercress Line, 23/12/04. Peter Wreford


In the company of Class 117 W51363 / W51405 on the Mid-Hants Railway, 29/6/03. Robert Frise


W55003 on the Mid-Hants Railway, 8/4/01. Steve Hodgson


W55003 on the Mid-Hants Railway, 8/4/01. Steve Hodgson


W55003 on the Mid-Hants Railway, 8/4/01. Steve Hodgson


W55003 on the Mid-Hants Railway, 8/4/01. Steve Hodgson


W55003 on the Northampton & Lamport Railway. Taken just before the dedication ceremony hence the unfinished lettering, 9/10/99. Ian MacDonald


W55003 on the Northampton & Lamport Railway. Taken just before the dedication ceremony hence the unfinished lettering, 9/10/99. Ian MacDonald




New steel flooring fitted into the guards van, 29/6/14. Ian Carpenter


The guards van floor was removed, revealling the framework below, during the bodywork rebuild, 27/6/14. Ian Carpenter


An upper view of the cab, seen from the passenger saloon at Toddington, 1/5/11. Trevor Daw


The passenger saloon of W55003, comfortable filled with passengers, 1/5/11. Trevor Daw