BR DMUs and GWR Railcars hauling other stock

Discussion in 'WR Action' started by geoff_nicholls, 31 December 2016.

  1. geoff_nicholls

    geoff_nicholls Western Thunderer

    I'm building a GRS kit of a class 121 DMU. While checking photos in Kevin Robertson's book on first generation DMU's, I found a picture of a class 121 hauling an LMS full brake, The caption states this was a Maidenhead to Aylesbury working, in 1961.
    Does anyone know if this was a regular occurence? Could bubblecars be found hauling similar stock on other routes?
    From post 18 I expanded this thread to include photos, sightings, operational instructions etc, anything covering any DMUs and GWR or other railcars being used to haul other stock, especially non-passenger stock.
    Last edited: 5 January 2017
  2. oldravendale

    oldravendale Western Thunderer

    I used to see this around Hayes and Southall not infrequently. Although not a class 121 this photo will indicate that the use of trailing traffic on DMUs was certainly not unusual.

    Photographer unknown, but not my copyright.

    DMU with ex-SR wagon.  28 March 1970.jpg

    I'll need to go through my collection to see if there are more. The ex GWR railcars also regularly had an additional van attached.

    Dan Randall likes this.
  3. AJC

    AJC Western Thunderer

    Yes, common and regular - dad tells me that the milk tanks from Saltash had always been tacked on the back of the auto in steam days, something that continued after these were replaced by what became 121s and 122s.

  4. Ian G

    Ian G Western Thunderer

    I can remember the DMU Risborough to Aylesbury Branch towing a 12t van in the 70's, the branch was at the back of our garden

    Ian G
  5. cbrailways

    cbrailways Western Thunderer

  6. Steph Dale

    Steph Dale Western Thunderer

    That's a 121/122 trailer being towed the wrong way round, perhaps because there's a fault with the MU gear?

    One for the 'prototype for everything' department!

  7. cbrailways

    cbrailways Western Thunderer

    Aha. Need to get some new glasses then:drool:

    Class 121s used to be paired up with half of another DMU set on quite a regular basis. Now then need to find the photo of a Class 121 hauling something else.....
    Last edited: 31 December 2016
  8. geoff_nicholls

    geoff_nicholls Western Thunderer

    this is all excellent info, please keep it coming.
  9. cbrailways

    cbrailways Western Thunderer

  10. Muddysblues

    Muddysblues Western Thunderer

    That's an interesting picture, a class 122 bubble pulling what is either a class 117 or class 118 DMBS power car cab end coupled, which is an unusual formation, wonder what the reason for it being that way round ?

    Best regards
  11. daifly

    daifly Western Thunderer

    Would there have been a suitable coupling at the other end?
  12. AJC

    AJC Western Thunderer

    I believe that all these first generation DMUs simply had screw links fitted at both ends - they certainly weren't fixed-formations - so that isn't an issue. In this instance, though, I suspect that the remainder of the 117/118 is simply just out of shot. The buffer head that might show that is unfortunately hidden by the platform lamp. I don't know whether the inner ends had a lamp bracket to display a tail lamp so would think it extremely unlikely that they ran that way round regularly or if it could be avoided.

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  13. Muddysblues

    Muddysblues Western Thunderer

    Hi Adam, I agree with what you are saying about if the rest of the 2 or 3 car unit is just out of shot, as I to looked and looked at the inner end of the power car for evidence of the rest of the unit, but to answer your question about lamp brackets, yes they where fitted to the inner ends also so a red tail lamp could be fitted in the event of the power car being a failed unit and required towing.

    But I would go along with the possibility this possibly a 2 or 3 car unit running with an extra GRCW "122" bubble car, we know it's a 122 because there is no head code box on the cab roof visible just after the power car, and it has the original single type exhaust silencer that sat at the top of both exhaust pipes.

    Best regards
    AJC likes this.
  14. Ian G

    Ian G Western Thunderer

    I have photos of the 117 on a disk somewhere the one at Quainton I will have a look later to see if they are any help.

    Ian G
  15. Brian Daniels

    Brian Daniels Western Thunderer

    Had this at work from Oxford to Bicester pulling then pushing back to Oxford. TDB975023 Banbury Road GF 13-2-86.jpg
  16. Muddysblues

    Muddysblues Western Thunderer

    Hello Brian that is a great picture thanks for sharing that, was the bubble car in service at the sametime or just used to lug and propel the Saloon coach ?

    Best regards
  17. Brian Daniels

    Brian Daniels Western Thunderer

    It's TDB 975023 that was a route learner.
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  18. Ressaldar

    Ressaldar Western Thunderer

    The Inspection Saloon is DB999508 - of the type that Easybuild produce.


    Muddysblues likes this.
  19. geoff_nicholls

    geoff_nicholls Western Thunderer

    As I said earlier, all this is fascinating, and adds considerably to operating interest on a layout. Sometimes DMU's can be a bit dull. From comments above, I guess this was western Region practice only, carried over from the ex-GWR railcars and a continuation of GWR practice pre 1948.
    I'd be happy if anyone wants to expand this thread to include GWR railcars hauling non-passenger stock, both pre- and post 1948. I'll see if I can get the thread title changed to reflect this.
    And what happened once the train reached its destination? I guess the DMU/railcar didn't actually do any shunting?
  20. Stewart

    Stewart Western Thunderer

    Hi Geoff

    There is mention in Gerry Beales new book, "The Bridport Branch" of the
    branch class 121 dmu shunting china clay
    wagons in the yard at Maiden Newton.

    Best regards
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