56504 Class 108 Driving Trailer Composite Lavatory

Home Railway

Llangollen Railway

Location History

Peak Rail 93-97

Current Location

Llangollen Railway

 

Swanage Railway 97-Jan 19

Current Status

Operational

 

Llangollen RailwayJan 19-Present

Current Livery

BR Green (Half Yellow Panel)

   

TRA Designation

4

Visited Railways

Eastleigh Works (Contract Overhaul) Jan 10-May 10

Partner Vehicle(s)

51933

 

Eastleigh Works (Contract Overhaul) Mar 14-Feb 15

Owner

Private

 

 

Website

llangollenrailcars.co.uk

   

Record Last Updated

1 February 2019

   

Preservation Modifications
None

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, 56504 was moved by rail once again to Eastleigh Works for a second overahul on a contract basis. The vehicle returned early the following year and re-entered service at Swanage.

By 2018, 56504/51933 had been declared surplus to requirements by the Swanage Railway who, citing a shortage of space on the railway, felt that their Class 117 and Class 121 sets would be able to handle all services once they had been returned from Eastleigh where they had been receiving overhaul work to return them to mainline operating condition. 56504/51933 were consequently put up for sale and remained on the market for some time, continuing the operate Swanage Railway services.

By early 2019 the set had found a private buyer who gave custody to the Llangollen Railcar Group. 56504 moved to its new home at the Llangollen Railway shortly afterwards and was immediately prepared for service.

56504/51933 now operate as part of the Llangollen Railcars fleet under a long term custodianship agreement.

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