55027 Class 121 Driving Motor Brake Second

Home Railway

Ecclesbourne Valley Railway

Location History

Barry Island RailwayFeb 14-Oct 14

Current Location

Ecclesbourne Valley Railway


Ecclesbourne Valley Railway Oct 14-Present

Current Status

Under Restoration



Current Livery

Non Standard Red


TRA Designation




WyvernRail PLC







Record Last Updated

13 May 2018


Preservation Modifications
55027 remains heavily modified following its departmental operations on the mainline and continues to receive custom modifications to suit its role as a works vehicle.

Preservation Information
55027 operated in mainline passenger services into the early 2000's with Silverlink on the Bedford-Bletchley line. In common with many of the single units, 55027 was latterly converted to a departmental vehicle numbered 977975 around 2003. Used by Network Rail as an emergency train for the Severn Tunnel, its bodywork was heavily altered for this purpose.

After being deemed surplus to requirements, 55027 was purchased as a spare parts donor by Arriva trains and was heavily stripped before passing into preservation at the Barry Island Railway in 2014.

In April 2014 the vehicle, which had been inspected by the new owners, was put up for sale after realisation that restoration was financially not viable for them. In October of that year a sale had been agreed and 55027 moved to the Ecclesbourne Valley Railway. Immediately an appeal was launched to sponsor all of the mechanical components that had been removed from the vehicle and also to sponsor the work to externally repaint the vehicle as well. The railway decided to operate the vehicle as a departmental permanent way DMU, taking advantage of the heavy modifications that had already been undertaken on the vehicle.

Restoration to operational condition started after arrival. In December 2014 the exterior bodysides and roof were shot-blasted swiftly followed by the sealing of roof vents and the prepping/priming of the bodysides. On the (much modified) interior, the area was given a good clean out and the lighting was made to operte again, essential due to the lack of windows to let natural light in!

Pressures on the railcar restoration team to progress other restorations as well as keeping the rest of the railway maintained has caused work on 55027 to slow, however tasks are progressed when time allows.

Future Plans
There are no current plans to return the vehicle to original condition. However the railway have aspirations in the future to make 55027 mechanically operational again and then utilise the vehicle as a works car for permanent way operations. This will be dependant on the success of the appeal.


Exterior restoration progresses with 977975 having sections put into red gloss, 5/2/17. Leigh Gration


The roof dome, repaired and refitted to the cab of 977975, 25/10/16. James Hallam


977975, part way through restoration and progressed as time and resources allow, at Wirksworth, 28/9/15. Chris Moxon


The bodyside after being prepped and primed, 12/14. Ecclesbourne Valley Railway DMU Group


The roof after sand-blasting, 12/14. Ecclesbourne Valley Railway DMU Group


977975 during sand-blasting, 16/11/14. Ecclesbourne Valley Railway DMU Group


977975 shortly after arrival, 10/14. Ecclesbourne Valley Railway DMU Group


977975 negotiating Wirksworh town during transportation to the Ecclesbourne Valley Railway, 10/14. Ecclesbourne Valley Railway DMU Group


977975, just after arrival at Barry Island from Cardiff Canton, 7/2/14. Nick Wilcock




The vastly modified interior is seen after the lighting was returned to use, 12/14. Ecclesbourne Valley Railway DMU Group