55012 Class 122 Driving Motor Brake Second

Home Railway

Weardale Railway

Location History

Weardale Railway Apr 12-Present

Current Location

Weardale Railway



Current Status


Visited Railways

Rail Restorations North East (Contract Restoration) 09-Sep 11

Current Livery

BR Green (Speed Whiskers)


National Railway Museum (Shildon) Sep 11-Apr 12

TRA Designation



North Norfolk Railway May 13-Oct 13


Mike Wood


Ecclesbourne Valley Railway Oct 13-May 14




Record Last Updated

7 May 2018


Preservation Modifications
Seating slightly modified, the vehicle now seating 63.

Preservation Information
55012, in common with many examples of the Class 121/122fleet, spent the latter parts of its mainline career performing a non-passenger (departmental) role. It is fondly remembered as 977941, its identity during its time as a route learning vehicle. It was also the only DMU ever to carry the distinctive orange/black Load Haul livery. Falling out of use in 1998, the vehicle was stored at Thornaby for ten years before finally being offered for sale and purchased privately for preservation in 2009.

Modifications for 55012's departmental role along with the time in storage meant that an immediate (re)entry into passenger service was not possible, and the vehicle was therefore sent to Rail Restorations North East in Shildon for a full contract restoration. The restoration saw all areas tackled including mechanical, interior and exterior work. All components were refurbished and the departmental modifications reversed.

In September 2011 55012 emerged resplendent in BR Green livery. It was loaned to the National Railway Museum's Shildon site, where it briefly operated some shuttle services linking the car parks with the main museum site.

April 2012 saw 55012 moved to the owner's home railway at the Weardale Railway. However at the end of that season the railway declared it was discontinuing ordinary heritage railway running, consequently the vehicle was offered for sale or lease, the latter offer being taken up by the North Norfolk Railway who had been struggling with DMU availablility following protracted trouble with resident Class 101 vehicles.

55012 moved to the NNR in May 2013, however its visit was nothing short of disasterous with the unit consistantly suffering major failures. Despite weeks of remidial work, reliability continued to be poor. The railway eventually terminated the loan in October, 55012 having operated less than five days in traffic whilst visiting the NNR.

55012 moved to the Ecclesbourne Valley Railway for further contract repairs, which were completed relatively quickly with sucess. The vehicle on an extended stay operated services at the EVR, interestingly in the company of fellow Class 122 55006, a preservation first.

In May 2014, 55012 returned to its home line the Weardale Railway where it now operates on reintroduced heritage services.

Future Plans
To maintain in service.


E55012 hauling a tail load, 31/10/16. Ifan Huws


E55012 blends in well with the Weardale countryside, 23/5/16. Ifan Huws


E55012 stands at Wolsingham, operating one of the first reintroduced heritage services on the Weardale line, 28/6/14. Ian Dobson


E55012 in service at Duffield, 27/4/14. Oliver Hodgkinson


E55012 stabled at Wirksworth, 9/2/14. Chris Walker


E55012 receives repairs at Wirksworth, 11/11/13. Ecclesbourne Valley Railway DMU Group


E55012 posed alongside W55006 at Wirksworth, 29/10/13. Ecclesbourne Valley Railway DMU Group


E55012 inside the Carriage & Wagon workshops at Weybourne receiving door, body and seating repairs, 17/6/13. Chris Moxon


E55012 in service at Stanhope, 31/3/13. John Carter


E55012 stabled at Wolsingham, 1/7/12. John Carter