56271 Class 108 Driving Trailer Composite Lavatory

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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



East Somerset Railway Oct 13-Present

Current Livery

BR Green (Plain End)



TRA Designation



Partner Vehicle(s)





Mendip Traction & Rolling Stock Group






Record Last Updated

1 January 2017


Preservation Modifications
56271 carries non authentic white lining. The middle saloon has had seating alterations and tables fitted, which reduced the seating capacity by 5. A barry charging lead has been fitted so that the vehicle can charge its batteries from an adjacant alternator fitted powercar.

Preservation Information
56271 & 51909were withdrawn in July 1993 and bought the following year as a set by the Bitton Diesel Group for a proposed off-peak service on the Avon Valley Railway, expected to start in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 56271 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, 56271 & 51909 were found to be in poor condition, so a Class 107 set was hired to fulfil the role instead, 56271 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.

56271 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 set was moving under its own power and was in use for driver training and santa specials.

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

In May 2013, 56271'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. 56271's middle saloon seats were reconfigured to include facing seating "bays". Tables were also fitted.

In 2014, 56271 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. In October/November the rear end corrosion was tackled which required the removal and overhaul of the corridor connection.

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


56271 with its corridor connection removed to allow steelwork repairs to be made, 30/10/14. Tom Bailey


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


56271, arriving onto the East Somerset Railway, 25/10/13. Mendip Traction & Rolling Stock Group


56271 in service at Midsomer Norton, 7/7/13. Geoff Clark


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


54271 & 51909 in service at Midsomer Norton operating Santa Specials, 18/12/11. Stephen Lowe


54271 & 51909 at Midsomer Norton having recently been relocated from storage at Long Marston. Much of the vehicle has received green primer, 27/11/11. Stuart Mitchell


54271 in store at Long Marston during an open day event, 2009. Richard Moxon


56271 in storage at Long Marston, 7/6/08. Chris Moxon


56271 in storage at Long Marston, 23/10/05. Simon Edwards


56271 in storage at Long Marston, 23/10/05. Simon Edwards




The rear saloon with seating removed to allow the replacement of the panelling, 14/3/15. Ian Stoate


New signage fitted to the first class saloon, 11/2/14.Mendip Traction & Rolling Stock Group


Rearranged seating and new tables fitted to the middle saloon, 11/12/13.Mendip Traction & Rolling Stock Group


The middle saloon, being cleaned before seating is refitted, 11/11/13.Mendip Traction & Rolling Stock Group