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Class 121 Pressed Steel Single / 2-car DMUs

Decline (and Revival!)

By 1992 only one example, no. 55026 was stationed at Plymouth Laira. Nos. 55032, 33 & 34 were at Tyseley and the remainder at Old Oak Common. The Old Oak Common fleet were used turn and turn about with the allocation of Class 117 driving cars as well as singly on the West London Branches.

Upon privatisation in 1997, only four vehicles remained in passenger service (55023/27/29/31) with Silverlink based at Bletchley. Used mainly on the Marston Vale Bletchley - Bedford line, they could also be found on other routes such as Gospel Oak - Barking. In 1996 55023 was withdrawn and the remaining three moved to the Sudbury branch on hire to Great Eastern. they were replaced by Class 150s in 2001.

55020 was resurrected from a sandite car for a return to passenger use for Chiltern Railways. operating the Aylesbury to Princes Risborough shuttle from 2003.

55032 was preserved at Crewe until bought by Arriva Trains Wales in 2005 for use on the Cardiff Bay branch. It was extensivly overhauled at LNWR's Crewe depot before being hauled south in June 2006. After some driver training on the Barry Tourist Railway it entered traffic on August 16th. It was withdrawn just 3 days later with engine troubles. It returning to service on the 14th September but reliability remained an issue thoughout its revival. It was sold to Chiltern Railways in March 2013, who put it into storage at Aylesbury, and it was again sold back to preservation in 2015.

55034 was another vehicle once preserved that returned to mainline passenger use. Following Chiltern's success with 55020, they added this vehicle to work with 55020 from May 2011. It carries BR green with yellow panel.

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