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<- 55996 | 55997 | 55998 ->

Vehicle 55997 / 975385

Class 129

BR Diagram 531

Builder: Cravens
Type: Parcels Van
Length: 57ft
Coupling Code: Yellow Diamond
Coupling Type: Screw
Gangway Type: None
Engines: AEC 150hp
Transmission: Mechanical
Lot Number: 30418
Diagram: 531


Jul-58 New to 5B (Crewe South)
Sep-58 Transferred to 12B (Carlisle Upperby)
5w/e 02/07/60 Transferred to 14A (Cricklewood East)
5w/e 30/07/60 Transferred to 12B (Carlisle Upperby)
3w/e 03/05/69 Transferred to 9D (Newton Heath)
5w/e 06/11/71 Transferred to 6A (Chester)
May-73Depot code changeCH (Chester)
14/10/73 Withdrawn from CH (Chester)
Circa Jan-86 Withdrawn from HQ

The vehicle carried the following numbers:

55997 - original number
975385 - from Apr-75 (departmental stock)

Department Use as RDB975385

Laboratory Coach 9 "Hydra" From 4/75 to 1985.



Date: 29th August 1966

With two jumper cables hanging down suggesting it has recently been uncoupled from a Derby Lightweight unit, DMPV M55997 is seen in Carlisle station on the 29th August 1966. Michael Mensing.


Date: 10th April 1971

Cravens class 129 motor parcels van No.M55997 is seen at Newton Heath depot on 10th April 1971, with the new diesel depot under construction behind. This MPV operated with the Derby Lightweight units on the Maryport and Carlisle Line for many years before reallocation to Chester. M55997 was the first of the three 150hp AEC-engined parcels vans in this class and were built by Cravens in 1958. They ended their working days working from Chester and were withdrawn 1972/73. This unit eventually went to the Railway Technical Centre at Derby as RDB975385 'Laboratory Coach 9' named 'Hydra'. Gordon Edgar.


Date: 16th September 1972

An ex-works M55997 at Chester on 16/09/72. As the Class 129 was Yellow Diamond vehicle, it couldn't multiple to the vehicles that sandwich it. As the Met-Camm vehicle behind also appears to be ex-works, perhaps these vehicles were loco-hauled from works? David Mant.


Date: 1979

975385 seen 'behind the bike shed' at the Derby RTC in 1979. Malcolm Clements.


Date: 1979

975385 (ex-55997) at the Derby RTC in 1979. Malcolm Clements.


Date: February 1979

Three Class 129 Motor Parcel Vans were built by Cravens of Sheffield in 1958. All were withdrawn from service in 1973 but one, M55997 survived as a research vehicle at the Railway Technical Centre at Derby renumbered RDB975385 - Laboratory 9. The car became a test bed for Hydrostatic Drive in 1980, but was withdrawn for a second time in 1984 and scrapped at Vic Berrys Yard, Leicester. The car was at Doncaster Works in February 1979. Martyn Hilbert.


Date: unknown

Class 129 975385 (ex-55997) "Hydra" at Vic Berrys, Leicester, with a 3-car blue/grey Class 104. Undated. Ian Francis.


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