56504 Class 108 Driving Trailer Composite Lavatory

Home Railway

Swanage Railway

Location History

Peak Rail 93-97

Current Location

Swanage Railway


Swanage Railway 97-Present

Current Status



Current Livery

BR Green (Half Yellow Panel)

Visited Railways

Eastleigh Works (Contract Overhaul) Jan 10-May 10

TRA Designation



Eastleigh Works (Contract Overhaul) Mar 14-Feb 15

Partner Vehicle(s)





Swanage Railway






Record Last Updated

30 July 2016


Preservation Modifications

Preservation Information
56504 is believed to have been preserved in 1993 as part of a bulk buy of nine Class 108 vehicles (four sets). The sets were based at the owning group's headquarters at Peak Rail and it would seem that 56504 was initially paired with DMBS 50933.

However 56504 was later reformed with 51933 were placed on long term loan to the Swanage Railway in Dorset in 1997.

After arriving at Swanage 56504 was painted green and entered traffic operating off-peak services at the line. This involved use both in the low season when steam wasn't viable and as a second train during the mid season. During the high summer, 56504 was used on an unusual (for a preserved line) Friday/Saturday night shuttle trains which operated between 6pm and midnight! This ideal regular running all year round enabled the set to operate for many years reliably.

In 2008 the original Peak Rail "empire" was broken up and all original vehicles sold on to new owners. This included 56504/51933 but the change in circumstance affected these vehicles less than the sets at Peak Rail, because as 56504 was already on loan, the vehicle was simply sold to the hirer and the set continued in service at Swanage until poor condition resulted in the vehicle being stored in 2009 awaiting overhaul.

In 2010, with 56504 now owned by the railway, the decision was taken to fully overhaul the vehicle to ensure its operational future on the line. This was done on a contract basis between January and July. Interestingly, 56504 was hauled from Swanage to Eastleigh Works and back by rail, even enjoying steam haulage (provided by 30777 Sir Lamiel) on the return run. The overhaul consisted of a full external, internal and mechanical refresh which included a bodyside/roof repaint and reupholstered seating amongst other work.

Between 2010 & 2014, 56504/51933 returned to its role as one of the primary operating sets on the Swanage Railway.

In March 2014, as part of a descision by the Swanage Railway to mainline register some of its DMU's to operate a service over Network Rail metals to Wareham, 56504 was moved by rail to Eastleigh Works for a second time for the appropriate equipment to be fitted and for extra work to be completed on a contract basis. The vehicle returned early the following year and re-entered service at Swanage.

Future Plans
To maintain in service


56504/51933 call at Corfe Castle, 7/4/16. Steve Thomas


56504 at Corfe Common in multiple with W55028, 6/8/13. Ron Fisher


56504/51933 stabled at Swanage, 20/3/11. Bill Pugsley


56504 at the end of the stock sidings at Harman's Cross. By this time the vehicle was out of traffic after many years service awaiting dispatch for overhaul at Eastleigh Works, 27/10/09. Chris Moxon


56504 stabled at Corfe Castle, 10/5/08. Simon Edwards


56504 berthed at Corfe Castle, May 2006. John Law


56504 at Swanage, 10/11/02. Chris Walker


54504/51933 call at Harmans Cross in 2000. Ian Hooper


54504/53933 & 51566/59387/51933 in an impressive 5-car formation at Rowsley South, 14/3/97. David McGuire


54504 at Darley Dale, 5/3/94. David McGuire