powered by FreeFind

Multiple Units
Contributors:  © Reproduction prohibited / Paul Holroyd / David Webdale
Everything on this page & many other contributions throughout the site, kindly donated by Paul Holroyd of  Vintage Carriages Trust.
The trust owns and operates the Museum of Rail Travel at Ingrow, near Keighley, West Yorkshire BD21 5AX     website - www.vintagecarriagestrust.org

See also :  Vintage Carriages Trust    Transperience    Keighley & Worth valley Railway

Metrolink time table 1981
In 1954, the Leeds/Bradford area of the West Riding of Yorkshire
was chosen by British Railways as a pilot to test Diesel Multiple Units.
In the 1980s history repeated itself when the area became the testbed for a new generation of DMUs.
Metro Time table 1990
The Class 307 units were built in 1956 - underframes at Ashford, and bodies at Eastleigh - for the London Liverpool Street to Southend Victoria route, which was electrified at 1,500 volts d.c. During 1960-62 they were converted at Stratford to operate at 25 kV a.c. Originally, they were non-gangwayed, but from 1981 they were refurbished with gangway connections within each unit, and the compartments were converted to open saloons. The first class section was moved from the intermediate trailer to a new position behind one of the driving cabs. Their last run on the Southend Victoria route came on 30 June 1990, but six of the units were transferred to work the recently electrified Leeds to Doncaster route, with unit 307 122 working a press trip from Leeds to Wakefield Westgate on 4 July 1990
KWVR Waggon und Maschinenbau railbus
Five railbuses were built in 1958 by Waggon und Maschinenbau of Donauworth, West Germany. They were used on branch lines in Essex and East Anglia including the Witham - Braintree and Marks Tey - Sudbury routes. E 79964 ran for a short time in the North East on the Haltwhistle-Alston branch . In July 1966 it was transferred to Derbyshire to work the Buxton - Millers Dale branch. Both E 79962 and E 79964 were moved in 1967 to the Keighley & Worth Valley Railway, in readiness for the reopening of the Keighley - Oxenhope branch on 29 June 1968. Only one of this batch of railbuses succumbed to the scrapman.
Class 101 51436 at Bradford Interchange 15 June 1981
Numerically the largest fleet of DMUs, with 637 vehicles being built, the examples built by Metropolitan-Cammell of Birmingham were introduced from October 1956. Some even included a buffet car. In 1959 DMUs of this type took over the local services from Mirfield to Low Moor via Cleckheaton Central.  51436 was photographed at Bradford Interchange on 15 June 1981.
Class 101 Metropolitan-Cammell DMU 2nd May 2009
Newly repainted in British Railways green, Driving Motor Composite Lavatory 51803, built in 1959,
stands at the Ingrow Railway Centre on 02 May 2009.
Class 104 at keighley 28 April 1984
The class 104 was produced by the Birmingham Railway Carriage & Wagon Company of Smethwick from April 1957 and featured the standard Blue Square multiple unit couplings. In 1984, the Settle to Carlisle railway line was threatened with closure, and the line was visited by many railtours. A private charter train for Northolt Model Railway Club of West London is seen at Keighley, after the tour participants had travelled on the Keighley & Worth Valley Railway in Metropolitan Railway carriages 427 and 465 owned by the Vintage Carriages Trust.
Note the absence of overhead electrification.
Class 108 53622 at Leeds on 27 September 1983
The class 108 was built at Derby from May 1958. 333 vehicles were built, of which 210 were powered.
A number have survived into preservation.
Class 110 51826 at Leeds on 27 September 1983.
The class 110 was built from June 1961 by the Birmingham Railway Carriage & Wagon Company of Smethwick specifically
for the ex-Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway Calder Valley route from Leeds via Halifax and Todmorden to Manchester Victoria.
Fortunately, some of this class have been preserved. See the Railway heritage register database at -
Class 123 Inter-City unit 52092 at Leeds on 27 September 1983
Despite the Trans-Pennine branding, the class 123 Inter-City units built at Swindon from February 1963 were not intended for use in the West Yorkshire area, being originally based at Cardiff, then subsequently transferred to Reading. They migrated north to Hull Botanic Gardens depot in 1977, with the last survivors being withdrawn in May 1984.
Class 124 Trans-Pennine units at Carnforth
The attractively-styled class 124 Trans-Pennine units were built at Swindon from July 1960, specifically for the route via Standedge tunnel, and originally included buffet cars. They were regularly seen on the Leeds New Line, travelling through the remains of Cleckheaton Spen, Liversedge Spen and Heckmondwike Spen stations. The last examples were withdrawn in 1984, and unfortunately none were preserved.
51962 was actually photographed at Carnforth, Lancashire on 26 June 1982. Carnforth achieved lasting fame for its role in the film Brief Encounter.
LEV 1 Crossflatts 16-07-83 : Malcolm W Clark  website - www.vintagecarriagestrust.org
The bodyshell of LEV 1 was built by Leyland at Workington in December 1977, and mounted onto a four-wheel railway underframe at Derby in January 1978. Originally unpowered, a Leyland engine was fitted in 1979. LEV 1 visited the U.S.A. during December 1979 - January 1980. In October 1980 it began a two-month trial on the Ipswich - Lowestoft route. It is seen at Crossflatts, heading towards Keighley on 16 July 1983
LEV 1 Keighley 16-07-83 : Malcolm W Clark
LEV 1 visited the Keighley & Worth Valley Railway on 16 July 1983, where it is seen alongside Waggon und Maschinenbau railbus 799644. In 1956 Derby-built DMUs departed from Platform 3 of Keighley station on driver-training duties along the Keighley-Queensbury route, which had lost its passenger services in May 1955
LEV 1 Keighley 16-07-83 : Malcolm W Clark
LEV 1 leaves Keighley on 16 July 1983. Happily, LEV 1 has survived into preservation. See

LEV 1 Damems 16-07-83 : Malcolm W Clark
LEV 1 at Damems on the Keighley & Worth Valley Railway.
Damems has featured as Grimpen in The Hound of the Baskervilles and Ormston in Born and Bred
Class 140 units at Leeds & Bradford 15 June 1981
The solitary Class 140 prototype was basically a Leyland National bus body, built at Workington, mounted at Derby onto a railway chassis. The bodies were delivered by road to Derby in September 1980, and the complete unit began trial running in February 1981, entering passenger service in June 1981. Happily, the class 140 has survived into preservation, see
Lightweight Railbus L.E.V
In May 1982 British Rail Research & Development Division published this brochure
to promote lightweight railbus vehicles.
Class 141 units at Harrogate
The class 141 was a development of the earlier railbus prototypes which had been built between 1977 and 1980. The first of the twenty units was officially handed over at Derby on 22 September 1983. The earliest units were in Barrow Corporation blue and grey, soon receiving West Yorkshire PTE verona green and buttermilk. Internally, the units had low-backed bus-type seating, whilst the doors were of the four-piece folding bus type, rather than the railway-type plug doors used on the class 140.
Class 141 units at York
From 1988, the class 141 units began to be rebuilt at the Andrew Barclay works in Kilmarnock, where they were fitted with new couplings to make them compatible with the later class 142 and 144 DMUs.
At the same time, they began to be outshopped in the new Metro red and cram livery.
Class 141 units at Leeds
Happliy, 4 units have survived in preservation. See
Prototype Railbus RB 004
RB 004 was built in early 1984. The railbus features 3 doors per side (half-width at each end, and full-width in the centre), and has centrally placed driving cabs at each end of the unit. The vehicle was tested on BR's Mickleover test track in June 1984, before being shipped to the U.S.A., where it entered service in July 1984 on the Old Colonial Railroad in Newport on a two-month trial period. The railbus subsequently toured the USA, visiting Connecticut, Long Island, Washington, alabama, New Orleans and Cleveland, Ohio, before crossing thev border into Canada and returning to Derby works by 1986. The railbus was then moved to the ABB works at York for use as a static office, before moving by road in August 1994 to Embsay. For further information , see the February 1988 issue of Motive Power Monthly and Y.D.R. News issue 57
The railbus left Embsay circa 2004, but happily is still preserved,    see  http://www.vintagecarriagestrust.org/se/CarriageInfo.asp?Ref=2398
Class 141 railbus and a double decker bus.
In 1985 Metro published this book which featured an artist's impression of a class 141 railbus and a double decker bus.
Class 142 at Keighley
The class 142 was a further development, with a wider body and a new design of coupling which allowed the units to operate with classes 143,144,150,155 and 156. Externally, the doors were repositioned. The first units entered service in Merseyside on 30 September 1985, and the units were marketed as Pacers by the Regional Railways sector of British Railways. 13 units were painted in chocolate and cream for use on branch lines in Cornwall, where they were marketed as Skippers. However, the Cornish Skippers migrated north after a relatively short period. Photo's taken at Keighley, before the Aire Valley route was electrified.
Class 144 units at Keighley & Shipley
The class 144 features a body built by Walter Alexander of Falkirk, mounted onto an underframe built by British Rail Engineering Ltd at Derby.
The interior of a class 144, as originally built with low-backed bus-type seating. The units have now all been refurbished with high-backed seats. The last of the two-car units, 144 013 at platform 3 of Shipley station. Units 014 - 023 were built with non-driving powered centre cars, making them the only 3-car railbus units in the entire country.
Class 144 DMU at Skipton (October 94)
Alexander Class 144 DMU in Regional Railways livery at Skipton, October 1994
Class 144 DMU at Skipton (October 94)
Alexander Class 144 DMU at Skipton, October 1994. Note the maginifcently restored platform canopies.
Class 144 DMU at Skipton (October 94)
Alexander Class 144 DMU at Skipton, October 1994. View taken looking south towards Cononley.
Class 321/9 electric multiple units
Three Class 321/9 electric multiple units were built at York by BREL in 1991 for the Leeds - Doncaster service.
In August 2006 work started on refurbishing the units at Hunslet - Barclay in Kilmarnock.
Unit 321 902 was released from works on 26 October 2006.
Internally, the unit has been fitted with CCTV and new tip-up seating in the wheelchair area.
The familiar Metro red and cream has given way to a new livery of lilac, grey and red.

Class 150/1
British Rail Engineering Ltd built the Class 150/1 units at York in 1985-86.
This example in Northern Rail livery was photographed at York on 10 May 2008

Class 153
Originally built by Leyland Bus at Workington in 1987-88 as two-car Class 155 units, these carriages were converted in 1991-92 by Hunslet-Barclay at Kilmarnock into single car Class 153 units.   The new driving cab at the former inner end is noticeably smaller than the original driving cab, and the new headlights are in a different position.  An article describing the conversion from Class 155 to Class 153 appeared in the April 1992 issue of “Modern Railways”.   Photographed at York on 22 December 2007, this example is in First North western livery.

Class 155
The Class 155 (lower photo) was a further development of the Leyland National bus body,
but this time mounted on conventional bogies to give a much smoother ride than the four-wheeled railbuses.

The Class 155 units were built by Leyland Bus at Workington in 1987-88.
Features on the the Class 155 units appeared in the July 1987 issue of "Motive Power Monthly"
and the November 1987 issue of "Modern Railways"
Class 155
From 2006, the class 155 units began to lose their Metro red and cream livery in favour of Northern Rail's new lilac colour scheme
Class 155 doors
Unlike the class 150 Sprinter and 156 Super Sprinter units which feature doors which slide into the body of the carriage,
the class 155 features single leaf plug doors which nestle on the outside of the carriage when open.
Class 158
Metro wished to obtain a second batch of Class 155 diesel units, but Leyland Bus declined to tender,
leading Metro to obtain Class 158/9 diesel units built at Derby.
The first ever class 158 unit, 158 701 was handed over by BREL in October 1989.
The first two Metro liveried units, 158 901 and 902, were offically handed over to Metro on 22 March 1991.
Class 158
Class 158, built at Derby
Class 158 York (06-10-07)
Class 158 diesel multiple unit, named after cricketing legend Fred Trueman, at York on 06 October 2007

Class 158 York (22-11-07)
Class 158 unit in the now-defunct Central Trains livery.  Photographed on 22 December 2007 at York.

Class 308 EMUs
In February 1992 a formal ceremony took place at Leeds to commemorate the start of work to electrify the routes between Leeds and Skipton, Ilkley and Bradford Forster Square. Ceremonies took place on 30 September 1995 at Leeds, Skipton and Bradford Foster Square to mark the completion of the project. Originally, it had been hoped to use brand new class 323 electric multiple units which were to have been built in Leeds by Hunslet, but the uncertainties brought about by privatisation forced a rethink. When electric services commenced in the Aire Valley, they used Class 308 EMUs which had been built in 1961 at York for use on the services from Clacton on Sea and Southend on Sea to London Liverpool Street. Originally non-gangwayed, they were refurbished in 1985-86 with gangway connections within the units. They were subsequently used on the Shoeburyness to London Fenchurch Street route, then in 1993-94 they were transferred to work services in the Birmingham area, before moving to West Yorkshire.
Class 308 EMUs
Class 308 leaflet.
Class 333
The class 333 units were built during 2000 - 2001 in Zaragoza, Spain by CAF for owners Angel Trains. Initially, they were built as 3-car units, but subsequently 8 units were strengthened to 4-cars in 2002, with a further batch of trailers being constructed in 2003.
A feature on these EMUs appeared in the July 2000 edition of Modern Railways.
When originally built, the franchise for Aire Valley services was operated by Northern Spirit,
who gave way to Arriva Trains Northern, who in turn gave way to Northern Rail Ltd (a joint venture of Serco and Netherlands Railways).