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Class 105/6 Cravens 2 & 3-car DMUs


Operations - Batch One

NER - DMBSs 50359 - 89, DTCs 56114 - 44

The first two vehicles, (50359/56114) were delivered to Hull on the 9th August 1956. Officially there were shown as new in July '56 to 53C (Springhead), a temporary home while Botanic Gardens (53B) was in the process of being rebuilt for diesel use. They were the first 5xxxx series cars to be delivered.

Their first duties were crew training on the Hornsea and Withernsea branches. The Botanic Gardens staff also did test runs from Hull to Scarborough, Leeds and Doncaster, and along the Goole to Selby and Selby to Driffield branches.

They were noted at Scarborough on at least four occasions. On the 11th & 25th September the set made the journey from Hull as a fast train, and returned as a slow, with the timings reversed on the 18th and 27th. On the 25th and 27th the train also had an XP van attached and carried weights equivalent to passengers.

Springhead was to get all 31 NER sets of the first batch (14 Leyland engined and 17 AEC engined). They were expected to be introduced to traffic sometime in Oct '56, when five sets should have arrived. The Hornsea and Withernsea branches were planned to be the first dieselised, and when more sets were delivered they would be extended to Beverley, Brough and Thorne North.

But it was late Oct. before the second set arrived, and then one a fortnight until 50365/56120 when delivery was increased to one a week.

The sets were introduced on the 7th January 1957, when a number of the steam-operated passenger train services between Hull and Beverley, Hull and Hornsea, Hull and Brough, Hull and Goole, and Hull and Withernsea were taken over on weekdays. There were still only eight sets available at this time, so they were introduced to existing timings, with regular interval services planned for a later date to provide a more frequent and faster service.

Further diesel workings began on the 4th March, nearly all on accelerated timings. The Hornsea & Withernsea branches were now completely dieselised except for the 07:07 from Hornsea and the 06:42 from Withernsea. Three extra round trip workings were introduced on each branch. Most of the Beverley trains were DMUs with five extra trains each way, and the only steam remaining on the Brough service were those for the Blackburn Aircraft employees. Other DMUs workings were the 04:38 Hull - Stainforth & Hatfield, on Saturdays only the 10:00 and 21:35 Hull - Goole, the 13:30 and 16:50 to Thorne North and the 20:15 Hull - Bridlington. There were still no diesel workings on Sundays at this time.

By the summer (1957) though there were more sets allocated to the Hull area than required. The abundance of units made it possible to work the heavy weekend traffic to the coast resorts of Hornsea & Withernsea without recourse to steam except on rare occasions. They were now working on Sundays, when 8-car sets were required on fine days, packed to capacity, with almost as many standing as sitting. The sets to Beverley were not so well patronised, mainly because they were only used off-peak times, as the majority of peak hour trains were York and Scarborough steam workings. A 2-car set was run empty from Hull to Bridlington every morning for crew training purposes at Bridlington, returning in the evening. It was hoped to introduce DMUs on the Bridlington and York services as the start of the winter timetable.

On the 29th July '57 the first regular DMU working to Scarborough commenced, with Bridlington men on the 10:15 from Hull, returning on the 13:00 to Hull. On the first day it was made up of three 2-car sets, and on the next two days it was formed of four 2-car sets of Craven and Met-Camms. On Saturdays the railcars worked to Hull, where the Bridlington driver obtained a steam engine and Botanic Gardens fireman to work to Scarborough and back.

At November '57 there will still 31 sets allocated to the Hull District, with four Met-Camm twins on loan.

On the 25th February '58 the first train from Hull to Withernsea, an ECS set, got stuck in heavy snow at Ryehill. On the same day the 12:30 York - Hull became embedded in deep drifts at Kipling Cross.

Because of insufficient sets all Hull - Scarborough services reverted to steam with the start of the summer '58 timetable, but starting on the 30th June the 12:28 and 17:10 from Hull and the 13:10 and 18:20 from Scarborough reverted to DMU, thought to be required to provide DMUs for the use of the well publicised 'Diesel Day Line' tickets.

The transfer to Botanic Gardens took place on paper as Nov. '58, where they remained for many years.

Following the failure of a Walsall 2-car set, part of an excursion to Hull on 13/10/60, Hull's 56138/50383 was used as a replacement on the return journey. The following day it was working the Burton - Wolverhampton service!

Latterly they were spread throughout the country, such as at Ayr, Bletchley, Newton Heath and Tyseley.

By the early 1980s the Leyland engined vehicles were based at Straford for working the North Woolwich - Camden Road service. This ended with electrification in 1985.

LMR - DMBSs 50390 - 4, DTCs 56145 - 9

The five LMR sets were delivered to Longsight. The winter '57 timetable introduced on the 16th Sep. saw them working through to Birmingham. Although mostly Class 100s in the first week, on the 19th Sep the return working, the 13:05 to Wolverhampton was formed of 50346 / 56101 (Class 100) and Class 105 50390 / 56145.

Their stay at Longsight was brief. They moved between Llandudno Jct, Chester, Derby and Leicester (15A - Wellingborough for Leicester to Birmingham New St services) before settling at Bletchley in 1967. The next 14 years were spent between Bletchley & Bedford and between Watford Jct and St Albans. All were withdrawn before 1983.

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