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Gloucester RC&W Class 119 W51073

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Class 119 Diesel Railcar Driving Motor Brake Composite W51073
Online restoration diary, click here.
This vehicle was built as part of a 3 car unit diesel railcar set at Gloucester by the Gloucester Carriage and Wagon Company, as one of a batch delivered in 1959, being a class 119 vehicle.

This part of the class of vehicles initially went into service on the British Railways Western Region allocated to Bristol, Tyseley (Birmingham), Cardiff and other depots. This vehicle, part of set 594 (consisting of DMBC 51073, TBSL (Trailer Buffet Second Lavatory 59435 and Driving Motor Second Lavatory 51105: its partner vehicles have not survived) was first operated in British Railways DMU green livery 1959-1962, then
BR DMU green with cream lining and speed whiskers. From 1962-1970 this was amended to BR green with cream lining, and a small yellow warning panel, then 1968-1975 into BR Rail Blue, then 1975-1988 BR Blue & Grey livery, then finally from 1988-1995 Network South East livery of red white and blue (Only those operation in
the NSE area). All units had dark grey roofs, black underframes and buffer beams. Some units in BR Green had white cab roofs, this went back as far as the drivers door, adjacent to the passenger compartment.

In latter years, the vehicle was part of a set based at Reading depot for use on the service between Reading and Gatwick Airport via Guildford. The set was withdrawn from passenger service about 1993 and by October 1995 it had been moved to Gwent demolition at Margam in South Wales to be scrapped and from whence it was saved for preservation. This class of vehicles originally had extensive blue asbestos in them
and because the removal of this unsafe material was expensive (the removal has been carried out on 51073) very few of this class survived, perhaps only 3 vehicles in the whole country out of 150 sets. The vehicle was brought to the EVR from the Midland Railway Centre at Butterley, prior to which it was at the Mid Norfolk Railway.

The vehicle was subject to an extensive restoration at Wirksworth by young volunteers between 2008 and 2013. The restoration including rebuilding the interior, mechanical overhaul and testing. The younger volunteers who worked on the project were recognised both by the vehicle winning the 2013 Railcar of the Year award from the Railcar Association but also when HRH Prince Charles visited them and travelled in the vehicle from Wirksworth to Duffield in October 2015.

Seats: 18 first, 16 second
BR set number: L594
Launch to Traffic: 10/08/13
Builder: Gloucester Railway Carriage & Wagon Company Built: 1959
Class or Type: 119 Works No:
Weight: 37.5 T Running No: W51073
Brake Type: Vacuum Operational Status: Operational
Owner: Tom Tait & Patrick Lidgett Arrived: --/06/06
Remarks: One of only three remaining.
WyvernRail PLC, Ecclesbourne Valley Railway. Wirksworth Station, Coldwell Street, Wirksworth, Derbyshire. DE4 4FB. 01629 823076. © 2017