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Class 105/6 Cravens 2 & 3-car DMUs


Cravens Ltd. of Darnall, Sheffield built a total of 405 vehicles, later classified as Classes 105/106/112/113/129. The Class 105/6s were by far the most numerous with 302 examples, and the two types only differed by their choice of engines, and were later both classified as 105s, so are dealt with together here.

The vehicles were ordered over the years in five batches, and these batches referrences are used on the rest of these pages.

Batch One

DMBSs 50359-94 DTCs 56114-49

The first order was for 36 power/trailer sets, 31 for the NER and 5 for the LMR. The first 14 for the NER were the Leyland engined examples, later becoming Class 106. I found no reference to when the order was placed, although the first vehicles were delivered in August '56.

Batch Two

DMBSs 50752-84 DMCs 50785-817 TCs 59307-25

These 66 power cars and 19 centre cars formed 14 power twins and 19 3-car sets for the LMR and were ordered at the start of 1956. They were quoted as intended to be used on the Birmingham, Manchester and Derby - Nottingham - Leicester areas. A few months afterwards British United Traction issued a press release stating that it had received orders totaling £830,000. This included the equipment for those 66 Cravens power cars, the 3 Class 129 Cravens parcel cars, and 98 Class 120 power cars and 47 Class 120 trailers being built at Swindon.The first vehicles were delivered in Sep. '57.

Mention in the press at the time refers to the DMBSs as type A3, the DMCs as type B1, and the centre cars as type D. This was a very short-lived classification scheme.

The 3-car sets as ordered would have just 12 first class smoking seats (in the DMC), the centre cars being trailer seconds. The LMR decided that it's 3-car sets should have 24 first class seats including a non-smoking section, a decision made too late for Cravens to do alterations. So it was decided that Derby would converted the centre cars, removing 18 second class seats and replacing them with 12 non-smoking first class, at a cost of £375 each. See Lightweight Trains Committee Minutes 524 item 6d, 533 item 7c, 542 item 8c and 551 item 8c. Although these minutes indicate that all 19 vehicles were to be treated, and the three versions of thier diagram (version 1 / version 2 / version 3) show all 19 as being TCs, the Ian Allan ABCs show only eight vehicles being converted. This is in each edition until their withdrawal, and also curious is that from the 1961 summer edition the TCs are show as having 54 2nd class seats rather than 51.

Batch Three

DMBSs 51254-301 DTCs 56412-59

These 48 power trailer sets were ordered around May '57 for the ER, and deliveries commenced in May '58.

Batch Four

DMBSs 51471-94 DTCs 56460-83

These power/trailer sets were for the ER (2) and the ScR (22) and were ordered around May '58, being delivered from Feb. '59.

Batch Five

DMBS 50249

This vehicle was either ordered with or just after batch four for the NER, certainly by June '58. It is often quoted that this vehicle was a replacement for Met-Camm 50173, which was written off after an accident at Hexham in 1957. But I always wonder, why build a Cravens to operate in a Met-Camm set when Met-Camms were still in production? And Met-Camm 50173 was a DMS, whereas it's 'replacement' 50249 was a DMBS.

Cravens built the Class 105's continuously right up to the end of batch four in June '59 (i.e. the first batch two cars were delivered the week after the last batch one vehicles), with the exception of 50249. It was delivered after a three month gap, during which the first single engined vehicles were delivered.

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