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Llangollen Railcars

Preserving Yesterday For Tomorrow

Class 127 - DMBS - 51618

BR History

Class 127

51618 rounding the bend near Carrog. Photo By Unknown

Built by British Railways at Derby in 1959 this Driving Motor Brake coach is an example of the long-wheelbase suburban design, which had high-density seating, with one door per seating bay, this facilitated the faster loading and unloading required by the suburban work. As such it is different to all the other vehicles in our collection.

It is fitted with an unusual mechanical configuration consisting of two underfloor Rolls Royce 238bhp eight-cylinder engines which drive the wheels through torque converters, therefore not requiring a conventional gearbox. This arrangement would become very common in DMUs built after 1984, so it could be said to have been over 20 years before its time.

Originally introduced for the Bedford to London St Pancras services in 1959 this car ran as part of a four-car set (Formed DMBS-TSL-TS-DMBS); and hence they gained the "bedpan" nickname. It remained on these duties until 1984 when the line was electrified, it was then withdrawn along with the rest of the power cars, which were worn out.

Almost immediately it was saved for preservation and moved to Llangollen, where it has now worked for longer than it did on the main line.