Derby Lightweight Diesel Multiple Unit Class 108 No's. M50928 & M51565

The first production class of DMU introduced in West Yorkshire

Built between 1958 and 1961, Class 108 Diesel Multiple Units were designed primarily for use on local and branch line work with sets operating on the Worth Valley branch right up to closure in the early 1960s.

Split up but re-united on the KWVR

Paired up when new, the two Class 108 cars on the KWVR, were split and probably had multiple partners during their life on the network.

Information

Data File

Built: Introduced from 1958
Engine: BUT Leyland of 150 hp
Transmission: Mechanical
Max Speed: 70 mph

History

In November 1952 the British Railways Executive announced that it intended to introduce, during 1954, the first Diesel Multiple Units to the West Riding of Yorkshire. All were to be built by the British Railways works at Derby and were to be made of a lightweight construction (utilising aluminium body sides). They quickly became known as the Derby Lightweight Class. Despite some initial problems, they soon revolutionised services in the West Riding and actually increased passenger numbers. From this early design the Class 107 and Class 108 units were developed. The Class 107 units became known as heavyweights due to their mainly steel construction but, like the Derby Lightweights before them, the Class 108 utilised aluminium in the construction of the body sides and became known as Class 108 Lightweights. The bodywork was based on the new Mk.1 coaching stock which was the most up to date coaching stock in Britain at the time.

The class was designed primarily for use on local and branch line work, very much like the work required here on the Worth Valley Railway. Due to the nature of the intended work, the interiors were fitted out to enable only 117 passengers to be carried.

When new, both of the cars which now form this KWVR set, were originally paired together and started their working life from the depot at Neville Hill in Leeds. The pair were eventually split and coupled to other members of the class, each probably having several partners during their working lives.

Having worked services on the Railway for many years, the pair are now stored out of use at Haworth awaiting attention to bring them back into service. Although some work is being undertaken, the dedicated team have considerable work keeping the DRB and Class 1010 in service, so it will be some time before this DMU is back in service.