|1957 BRCW Lot 30293
|2x Wilson 4-Speed
|2x BUT Leyland
|2x 150 HP
|2x Smiths Heater
|1957 BRCW Lot 30294
Up until the 1980's, M50455 & M50517 had very similar histories, being allocated first to the North West depots of Longsight and Crewe respectively. Carrying green livery, the two vehicles ran reliably and uneventfully, receiving BR Blue colours during the late 1960's after approximately 10 years in service.
Both were overhauled in the 1970's, being stripped of their lethal asbestos insulation and the obsolete two character route indicators removed from the front ends, changing their outward appearance markedly. The interior fittings and decor remained original as the Class were never included in the DMU life extension programme.
M50455 & M50517 were renumbered M53455 & M53517 in February & May 1983 respectively as part of the 'TOPS' system. By the 1980's Class 104's were also being superseded by new 'Pacer' and 'Sprinter' trains. This is where the histories of M50455 & M50517 diverge.
53455 migrated South to the London area to operate outer suburban lines which were still to be electrified. In 1988 the vehicle was one of eight Class 104's (four 2-car sets) selected for refurbishment and emerged from Doncaster Works in the striking multi-coloured Network SouthEast livery as part of set L702.
L702 was later split up and 53455 became part of set L730 with other vehicles, being used mostly on the Gospel Oak to Barking route. In January 1992 the service was given over to Class 115 units, seeing 53455 transferred to the Reading area, working 'Thames Line' trains until finally being displaced by Class 165 DMUs. With more thoroughly refurbished vehicles, such as Class 108s, still available, 53455 was taken out of service in September 1992.
53517 headed in the opposite direction during the 1980's, being transferred to Scotland where it became part of a 3-car set numbered '456'. In 1989, 53517 returned South of the border, back to North West England, being formed in 2-car 'power twin' set CH611. Initially this saw a return to the Manchester area with a further transfer to Chester Depot, the last place to see 104s in the North. 53517 was taken out of service in May 1990.
M50455 & M50517 were secured by the Birmingham Railcar Workgroup in 1992 and moved to the Churnet Valley Railway where they were selected as the best pair of vehicles in the group's care and therefore most worthy of restoration. Both vehicles were painstakingly restored to 1960's condition over the following 12 years, entering CVR service in September 2004.
Ten years of successful operation followed before the set was relocated to the ELR in November 2014 to join the DMU fleet there. The 104 set made a brief debut at the ELR DMU Theme Day on 14th March 2015 before being taken back out of service for bodywork repairs and repaint.M50455 & M50517 returned to service, outshopped in BR Blue, at the DMU Gala Weekend, 4th and 5th of November 2017.
Birmingham Railcar Workgroup Website for more details
There are a wide range of events at the East Lancashire Railway ranging from Family and Education, Re-enactments, Sci-Fi, Transport and Collector's Fairs.
Selected events are shown below. See the ELR Website for the full event schedule.
|Legends of Steam Event
|Friday 15th, Saturday 16th
and Sunday 17th March
|Western Region Weekend
|Saturday 13th and Sunday 14th April
|Day Out with Thomas
|Saturday 4th, Sunday 5th
and Monday 6th May
|Summer Diesel Gala
|Thursday 27th, Friday 28th
and Saturday 29th June
|Day Out with Thomas
|Saturday 3rd and Sunday 4th August
|Autumn Diesel Gala
|Friday 13th and Saturday 14th September
|Day Out with Thomas
|Saturday 5th and Sunday 6th October
|Autumn Steam Gala
|Friday 11th, Saturday 12th
and Sunday 13th October
|Saturday 9th and Sunday 10th November
All events subject to availability
While every effort will be made to ensure events take place as advertised, rostered locos or units are available and running to the advertised timetable, the ELR reserves the right to cancel or terminate without prior notice.