Class 122 DMU
W55001
Status: Operational
Livery: BR Blue
DMBS W55001
Driving Motor Brake Second
Built: Gloucester RCW Co Ltd
Lot No 30419/1958
Traction Type: Diesel-Mechanical
Transmission: 2x Wilson 4-Speed
Epicyclic Gearbox
Power Unit: 2x BUT Leyland
Power Output: 2x 150 HP
Max Speed: 70 MPH
Train Brakes: Vacuum Only
Train Heating: 2x Smiths Heater
Weight: 36 Tons
Length: 64' ½"
Height: 12' 8½"
Width: 9' 3"
Built by Gloucester Railway Carriage and Wagon Company in 1958, W55001 is the second of an original batch of 20 which were supplimented with a further 9 Driving Trailers, as with the similar Class 121 units built by Pressed Steel in 1960. Sadly none of the Class 122 Driving Trailers survive.

Unusually, W55001 was transferred from regular passenger work, becoming part of the departmental fleet in 1969 numbered TDB 975023. The unit was used extensively for route learning and was clearly suited to the role. Based for many years at Bristol and Reading, 975023 moved North around 1989, spending it's final years at Manchester's Longsight Depot. As well as L101, the unit was numbered as 'Set 01' and is alleged to have run with the erroneous number DB975073 from 1969 to 1971.

Orignally preserved at the Northampton & Lamport Railway in 1998, mechanically the unit had been robbed of many parts and it is believed that plans were considered to convert the unit to an observation saloon style vehicle. Classmate 55003 donated much of it's original interior panelling and fittings to 55001 when it was given a complete internal refit and it was decided to press on with a full restoration.

W55001 was acquired by Bury DMU group members in 2008 and the unit has seen extensive use at the ELR, often paired with Class 121 Driving Trailer W56289 (To make Bubble & Squeak!). The unit received an intermediate overhaul in 2014 with all exterior corrosion repaired followed by a repaint and reupholstered seating .The vehicle returned to service in April 2014 transformed internally and externally. In April 2017 the vehicle was lifted and bogies sent away to Longsight for tyre turning, drive shafts were serviced and re-balanced along with fitting overhauled vacuum cylinders.

'Bubble' remains in regular service, especially during midweek Summer periods plus Thomas and Santa shuttle services in multiple with other members of the ELR DMU fleet. 2020 has seen W55001 used for line inspection and light Permanent Way trips towards the end of the Covid-19 Lockdown.

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