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Class 105/6 Cravens 2 & 3-car DMUs


Operations - Batch Two

LMR 3-cars - DMBSs 50752 - 70, TCs 59307 - 25, DMCs 50785 - 803

The 3-car sets, allocated to Derby, entered traffic on the 14th April '58 on the Lincoln - Nottingham (Midland) - Derby and Nottingham and Leicester lines of the LMR. Running times between Nottingham and Lincoln was approx. one hour and 34 mins between Nottingham and Derby, 51 mins between Nottingham and Leicester (London Road), 66 mins between Leicester and Burton, and 79 mins Leicester to Birmingham. Many trains provided a through service between Lincoln and Derby. There were many more services than previously, and were generally run at hourly intervals. They were augmented by existing steam services at peak periods. Good connections were available between the Birmingham - Leicester and Leicester - Nottingham services and at Trent between the Leicester - Trent - Nottingham and Derby - Nottingham - Lincoln services. Sets were based at Nottingham & Leicester, although one stayed overnight at Saltley carriage sheds. Trains running between Leicester & Birmingham carried route indication B7 and those on the Birmingham - Derby line B8 & B9. Sets noted in Birmingham New St working these in the first few weeks were 105 triples 50754/59309/50787 to 50770/59325/50803.

The Birmingham - Leicester services were also worked by Class 104s, and on occasions 2-car sets were used such as 50392/56147 on the 30th May '58 with resultant overcrowding.

On Sun 1st June '58 there was an 'Amateur Photographer' excursion from Nottingham, Mansfield and Derby, to Betws-y-Coed. It consisted of 9-cars, six from Nottingham (Midland): 50754/59809/50787 and a 3-car Class 104, and another 3-car Class 104 from Mansfield. The train left Derby (Midland) at 08:40, arriving Betws-y-Coed at 12:10. Departure was at 17:00, getting back to Derby seven minutes late due to a dead stand at Crewe.

On the Midland route to Manchester, the Co-Bos were frequently failing. on one such occasion one failed at Chorlton-cum-Hardy causing a 1½ hour delay to the 17:55 to St Pancras on the 15th Oct. '59. A relief train, consisting of a 3-car Cravens, was run in it's timing from Derby to St Pancras.

Between '68 and '70, due to electrification on the Midland and branch line closures in the Anglia allowing a movement of units, the nineteen sets were reformed into power twins and transferred to the north west to Accrington, now able to tackle the very hilly terrain north east of Manchester working beside the surviving Rolls-Royce engined power twins, although they soon went back to Newton Heath. Most of the centre cars were withdrawn in 1969, one having went in 1968 and the last two in 1970. The image shows 50768 now working as a two-car set, having just worked the late afternoon through service from Windermere at Lancaster Castle on 2/8/79. Robert Frise

LMR power-twin sets - DMBSs 50771 - 84, DMCs 50804 - 17

On Sunday 8th June '58 50771/804 and 50773/806 operated a RCTS special 'The Roses Rail Tour', leaving Manchester Victoria and visiting various branches and MPDs, covering over 200 miles.

The power twin sets, allocated to Newton Heath, were introduced on the 9th June '58 to services between Manchester (Victoria), Oldham (via Hollingwood) and Werneth. The extra power was required for the 1 in 59/49 out of Victoria station, the long 1 in 50 to Oldham (Werneth), and one working over the 1 in 27 Middleton incline.

Noted receiving attention in Horwich Works 10/5/59 were 50772/50805.

Occasionally TCs found their way into the normally power twin sets.

Latterly many units were dispersed with some going to Norwich and others to Scotland at Hamilton and Haymarket. It was not uncommon for those remaining at Newton Heath to occasionally run with a trailer from another class.

All were withdrawn by 1983 except the "celebrity" vehicle 50812 which was paired with the remaining Class 100, by virtue of the fact it had it's asbestos removed.

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