56456 Class 105 Driving Trailer Composite Lavatory

Home Railway

Llangollen Railway

Location History

Llangollen Railway 84-Present

Current Location

Llangollen Railway



Current Status

Under Restoration



Current Livery

BR Green (Speed Whiskers)



TRA Designation



Partner Vehicle(s)





Llangollen Railcars Limited






Record Last Updated

1 October 2014


Preservation Modifications

Preservation Information
56456 was withdrawn in July 1983 from Newton Heath Depot in the North West. Purchased for use by the Llangollen Railway, the vehicle arrived the following year and formed part of the line's first DMU set along with Class 127 DMBS 51618, still in its BR Blue livery. Due to asbestos content and poor construction, 56456 became one of only three Class 105 vehicles to be preserved.

In 1985, the vehicle was repainted into BR Green and did over ten years service paired with 51618.

In 1996, 18" of new metal was welded into the bottom of one side and a new headcode box made and installed. Patches were also made for the doors. Replacement curly back seats ad a PA system were fitted and some non-original bar fittings removed.

In June 1997, the vehicle reentered service, keeping its BR green colour scheme.

Over the winter of 2002/2003 the seating was reupholstered using a modern fabric which had a traditional appearance.

In March 2010, after another thirteen years in traffic, the vehicle was withdrawn for a more thorough overhaul and was stored awaiting the volunteer resources for such a large project.

In 2011, the interior was stripped out so that a full asbestos inspection could be undertaken, this included all the floors, walls and ceiling panels. By May, the asbestos contractors had left site, having stripped 56456 and leaving the vehicle an empty shell with plenty of holes in!

September 2012 saw the restoration of 56456 (now asbestos free) commence with work initially concentrating on replacing the steel panels and framework below the windows which were bady corroded. The first class (front) saloon was initially chosen to be renewed. This metalwork had been completed by October, when the middle saloon was tackled. Progress continued at a healthy pace, with the middle saloon renewed by December, attention then turning to the final (rear) saloon.

By March 2013 the welding repairs had been completed the full length of the bodysides and also around the corridor end. Between April and June the cab end was also replaced. By the end of the year the whole vehicle was watertight once again with a coat of protective gloss and refitted windows allowing the vehicle to spend periods outside if required whilst restoration of the interior progressed. Winter 2013/2014 saw the flooring repaired and refitted to the interior, with attention required in particular in the rear saloon and toilet areas.

Future Plans
56456 will receive its most thorough overhaul to date to secure its future as one of only two surviving Class 105 trailer cars. The interior is t be completely rebuilt, all to top standards, in an attempt to make the vehicle as low-maintenance as possible when it returns to traffic.

It is planned for 56456 to be partnered with Class 104 DMBS 50447 upon completion, a vehicle which is currently undergoing a similar rebuild.


Gloss being applied to the bodysides, 27/10/13. Llangollen Railcar Group


Brand new ducting for the heating system fitted, 21/10/13. Llangollen Railcar Group


The reconstruction of the front end progresses, the area now completed and in primer, 2/6/13. Llangollen Railcar Group


The reconstruction of the front end progresses, with new panels welded on, 20/5/13. Llangollen Railcar Group


The reconstruction of the front end progresses, framework repairs completed, 13/5/13. Llangollen Railcar Group


The reconstruction of the front end progresses, with the complicated corner shape now welded onto the driver's side, 29/4/13. Llangollen Railcar Group


Bodywork repairs in April focussed on the front end, seen here part way through stripping, 15/4/13. Llangollen Railcar Group


Bodywork repairs in April focussed on the front end, seen here after stripping, 15/4/13. Llangollen Railcar Group


Bodywork repairs in March focussed on the corridor end, which was badly corroded, 18/3/13. Llangollen Railcar Group


Repairs on the secondman's side were complicated by the fact that the top of the dragbox, which forms the floor of the toilet area, had rotted completely away. The toilet wall partition was removed and a new 6mm plate welded in to repair to top of the dragbox, 8/3/13. Llangollen Railcar Group


The first of the replacement corners welded into the back end. This was the area which was most badly affected by corrosion as water had been running down the inside of the body for many years. The corner plate was first rolled and then slit, positioned and re-welded to provide the compound curve, 26/2/13. Llangollen Railcar Group


The new metal painted in gloss. This was not a final finish but designed to protect the new metal while work continued on the rest of the unit, 18/2/13. Llangollen Railcar Group


M56456 briefly outside showing the new panels (in red) the length of the vehicle, 1/2/13. Llangollen Railcar Group


The final section of side removed from 56456 and a start made on the repairing of the body frame. As with the other side at the rear of the body there was considerable corrosion, particularly where the "top hat" section should be attached to the frame, but wasn't. This side had another problem, too, which is that there was long-standing corrosion at the corner pillar which, as can be seen from the picture, had almost wasted away the bottom of the uprights. It was known that there was a leak from the small window which had been unable to be stopped and this was the most likely cause of the long-standing problem, 14/1/13. Llangollen Railcar Group


The corridor connection was removed from the rear of the body to allow access to the corrosion beneath and a start has been made on dismantling the toilet partition, which will have to come out so that repairs can be carried out to the floor and the rear crash box. Here new top hat section has been welded in, 14/1/13. Llangollen Railcar Group


Progress mantained: with the front and middle saloon framework repairs and replacement panels now completed, the rear (and final) passenger saloon, including toilet area, has been stripped of its rotten metalwork ready for repairs, 10/12/12. Llangollen Railcar Group


New metal welded into the secondmans side middle saloon, two thirds of the vhicle has now been re-skinned, 1/12/12.Llangollen Railcar Group


Framework repairs now completed on the secondmans side middle saloon, 26/11/12.Llangollen Railcar Group


Framework repairs being completed on the secondmans side middle saloon, 19/11/12.Llangollen Railcar Group


With the drivers side of the middle saloon progressing, the secondmans side is being stripped, 12/11/12.Llangollen Railcar Group


New metal welded into the drivers side middle saloon, 5/11/12.Llangollen Railcar Group


Phase two of the bodywork repairs, the middle saloon, now sarted with the rotten panels cut away on the drivers side, 29/10/12.Llangollen Railcar Group


The drivers side first class bodysides in primer, 29/10/12.Llangollen Railcar Group


The framwork and panel replacement in the first class area now completed, 22/10/12.Llangollen Railcar Group


Welding now started, the new z-section below the first windows has been added as has the bottom rail, 1/10/12.Llangollen Railcar Group


Work has been moving on at some speed with 56456, which is being prepared for the new side panels to be fitted. The parts of the frame which are to be used have been cleaned up and further rotted areas cut out of the bodyside. All the glass has been removed from the windows on the secondman's side all the way down the car and all the seating and upholstery which was stored within has been transferred to Class 104 power car 50447, which is now parked next to the 105. The first of the new panels is expected to arrive within a couple of weeks at which point the 104/105 "set" will be moved into the shed for work to continue, 16/9/12. Llangollen Railcar Group


Recently there was a big shunt to retreive the 56456 from the rear of the shed. This was the first time the Cravens had been moved for around two years and it has now been positioned with Class 104 50447 on no 1 road so that the seats and other items stored within can be transferred across while the bodywork is being done. New steel body sections are presently being fabricated by our suppliers with delivery expected before the end of the month. Meanwhile work is to start on cleaning up the existing frame, 9/9/12. Llangollen Railcar Group


A start has been made on the restoration of Cravens trailer 56456, which has been out of service since February 2010. This vehicle was in need of a substantial body rebuild but this could not be tackled due to the presence of blue asbestos within the bodyshell. Asbestos is not an issue as long as it is sealed and contained and is not disturbed by any form of work but the rebuild required the whole bottom section of the body to be repaired/replaced and so the vehicle was taken out of service, and the interior removed. A specialist firm was then brought in to meticulously clean out the coach to the highest standards, and this was completed last year. We are now fortunate to have the services of some additional skilled volunteer labour and this project will have two days per week devoted to it, commencing this month, 1/9/12. Llangollen Railcar Group


Initial work has centred round an assessment of the body sides. Two of the windows in the first class section on the secondman's side have been removed to give access to the metal crossbearers which run underneath. As can be seen the existing sides are very thin indeed, apart from the bottom six inches or so which were replaced during Llangollen Railway ownership sometime in the mid 1990s. The corrosion has been caused by water getting into the body via the bottom of the windows and then being held in the insulation. Given that the coach had a projected life of 20 years and it is currently 55 years old, 27 of which have been at Llangollen the corrosion can be excused! 1/9/12. Llangollen Railcar Group


The next job was to carefully remove the side sheets to see what sort of condition the body frame was in. A couple of substantial lumps were removed and surprisingly parted company with the vehicle quite easily. The uprights appear to be in good order but as expected the crosspieces under the windows are either badly corroded or have fallen off. For now this is as far as the dismantling goes as the plan will be to rebuild the vehicle a section at a time so that the integrity of the structure is not compromised, 1/9/12. Llangollen Railcar Group


56456 & 51618 crooss the Dee Bridge during the last gala appearance of 56456 before being withdrawn for overhaul, May 2009. Llangollen Railcars


56456 & 51618 between Glyndyfrdwy and Deeside during the last gala appearance of 56456 before being withdrawn for overhaul, 17/5/09. Chris Moxon


56456 & 51618 between Glyndyfrdwy and Deeside during the last gala appearance of 56456 before being withdrawn for overhaul, 17/5/09. Chris Moxon


56456 passes 50528 at Glyndyfrdwy during the last gala appearance of 56456 before being withdrawn for overhaul, 17/5/09. Chris Moxon


56456 & 51618 at Glyndyfrdwy during the last gala appearance of 56456 before being withdrawn for overhaul, 17/5/09. Chris Moxon


56456 & 51618 at Llangollen during the last gala appearance of 56456 before being withdrawn for overhaul, 17/5/09. Chris Moxon


56456 at Llangollen during the last gala appearance of 56456 before being withdrawn for overhaul, 17/5/09. Chris Moxon


56456 & 51618 at Carrog during the 2008 running season. Llangollen Railcars


56456 at Glyndyfrdwy during the May 2008 Railcar Gala. Llangollen Railcars


Not taking part in the 2006 Railcar gala was 56456, stabled at Pentrefelin sidings, 10/6/06. Chris Moxon


M56456 stabled at Glyndyfrdwy siding, 29/2/04. Brian Battersby


M56456 & M51618 stabled at Glyndyfrdwy, 1/5/99. On tour with the class 13 army


At Carrog on during the 3rd annual DMU convention, 28/6/98. Stuart Mackay


M56456, M51618, M50528 & M50454 in service at Llangollen, 19/10/97. On tour with the class 13 army


Seen at Glyndyfrdwy, 24/9/94. Robert Chilton


M56456 & M51618 stabled at Llangollen, 9/7/91. On tour with the class 13 army


M56456 & M51618 in service at Llangollen, 1988. Roger Marks


56456 & 51618 (still in blue) at Llangollen, working a service to Berwyn, July 1985. Llangollen Railcars





The rear saloon floor refitted, 24/2/14. Llangollen Railcar Group


An area of new metal corrugated flooring in the toilet area, 27/10/13. Llangollen Railcar Group


View inside the cab of 56456 during that area's rebuild, 14/10/13. Llangollen Railcar Group


Corroded flooring removed from around the rear end of 56456, 30/9/13. Llangollen Railcar Group


Trial fitting of brand new plywood flooring, 15/9/13. Llangollen Railcar Group


A view of the stripped cab area of 56456, 1/4/13.Llangollen Railcar Group


Inside the first class section of 56456 the walls and new steelwork have been painted in red oxide primer - the holes at the bottom of the new walls are where the heating duct will fit. This is missing as it had to be pulled out during the asbestos inspection work. Fortunately the partitions did not have to come out and are still in their original positions and are undamaged, 29/10/12. Llangollen Railcar Group


56456's middle saloon post asbestos strip. Interior panels, luggage racks and trim which had been removed have now been moved from the workshop and back into the vehicle for storage until the group have the time to tackle the vehicle, 28/5/11. Llangollen Railcar Group


56456's first class saloon, seen here fully stripped following a thorough inspection from the asbestos contractors. The floor, body panels and ceiling have all been removed. The main bulkheads are the only parts of the interior still in situ. Now that the vehicle has a clean bill of health, the long task of the exterior and interior rebuild can commence, 22/5/11. Llangollen Railcar Group


The middle saloon, now stripped and ready for the asbestos contractors to move in, 2011. John Joyce


The middle saloon, 17/5/09. Chris Moxon


The cab. Llangollen Railcars


The first class saloon. Llangollen Railcars


The middle saloon. Llangollen Railcars