Class 122 [Updated]

Twenty of these single car railcars were built in the late 1950s for branch lines in the Western, London Midland and Scottish Regions of British Rail [1]. Unlike the similar Class 121 railcars 9 unpowered driving trailers (originally classified as Class 150 [2]) were also built to supplement the single railcars, these could be hauled by the Class 122 in times of higher demand. Technically they are very similar to the Class 119 also built by the GRCW Company but with a BR Derby style high density layout [3].

Information
Number built: 29 (20 motor, 9 trailers)
Built: 1958
Builder: Gloucester Railway Carriage & Wagon Company
Engine: 2 BUT (AEC/Leyland) 6-cyl diesels
Power: 300 hp (220 kW)
Formation: Driving Motor Brake Second (DMBS)+Driving Trailer Second (DTS) [Optional]

They served until the mid-1990s in passenger service on lightly loaded routes such as the Stourbridge shuttle and the pre-electrified branch to Redditch [4].


In the privatisation era a number continued in departmental service as route learning and test cars for a number of years though all have been withdrawn from that role now. Eight have been preserved though none of the unpowered trailers have survived. Three Scottish Region Class 122s were converted to carry parcel traffic for a time and reclassified Class 131 [5].
M55006 at Wirksworth on the EVR

Another view of M55006 at Wirksworth

[1] Brian Haresnape, Diesel Multiple Units: The First Generation (Ian Allan, 1985) p. 54
[2] Class 122, Railcar.co.uk <http://railcar.co.uk/type/class-122/>
[3] Colin J. Marsden, DMU and EMU Recognition Guide (Ian Allan, 2013) p. 81
[4] Gavin Morrison, British Railways DMUs in Colour (Ian Allan, 2010) p. 20
[5] Colin J. Marsden (ed.), "The Birth of the DMU", Modern Locomotives Illustrated No. 207 June-July 2014 (The First Generation Multiple Units), p. 19