In 1986 eight class 101 DMBS vehicles were selected for conversion to 2-car parcels units. The vehicles involved being 53218 ex-BG, 53221 ex-HT, 53230 ex-BG, 53233 ex-HT, 53255 ex-HT, 51430 ex-NL, 51439 ex-CA and 51441 ex-CA.
The conversion involved the removal of most passenger seats. They remained in blue and grey but with Parcels Sector red/yellow bodyside stripes, and ‘Express Parcels’ lettering on lower bodysides.
All vehicles were initially based at Neville Hill Leeds (NL) but later moved to Cambridge (CA). Though maintained in fixed formations no set numbers were carried though set numbers we allocated by NL and later CA.
51430/9/41 were allocated the numbers 55941/2/3 although these were never carried.
This small fleet of vehicles were only in use as Parcel cars for approximately two years all being withdrawn by July 1989, four arriving in Mayer Newman's Snailwell Yard during 1990.
The last surviving pair 53218/53230 languished at Norwich Thorpe Station goods yard until movement to Snailwell in January 1992. It moved the same night as it was photographed here and was burned immediately on arrival at Snailwell. Unfortunatley, it had been arranged for three of it's engines to go to the North Norfolk Railway, but the only one which survived was the unwanted one with a hole in the block, the reason for the sets withdrawal! Robert Frise Collection.
In 1987 a new Ultrasonic Test Train was built at Cardiff Cathays Works using two DMBS vehicles 51433 and 53167 with ex SR EMU car 62483 between, the new departmental running numbers becoming 977391 / 999602 / 977392 (set 960001). A third 101 vehicle (DMBS 53246, renumbered 977393) was acquired for conversion but in the event was not used, remaining at Cathays Works until its closure in 1990 and was then moved to Radyr to await disposal. The next conversion was "LAB 19" (IRIS 2) involving cars 53222 (977693) and 53338 (977694). Both these are allocated to the Derby Technical Centre code (ZA).
Sandite and Route learning cars were as follows:
Set L842 (53314/53327) was in use as a Serco tractor unit
Also in use as sandite cars were:
Description - Technical
Description - Variations
Description - Interior
Description - Modifications
Operations - Initial
Operations - Later
685 - Daisy
Details about preserved Class 101s can be found here.
Many thanks to Mac Winfield and Eddie Knorn for their assistance in the preparation of this section.