British Rail Class 101

British Rail Class 101

Infobox DMU
name = British Rail Class 101

imagesize = 300px
background = #0033cc
caption = Class 101, no. 101692 (formed of vehicles 53170 + 53253) at Arley on the Severn Valley Railway on 15 October 2004, whilst taking part in the Railcar 50 event. This unit was specially repainted in Caledonian Blue livery in 1996 by ScotRail for the launch of a new Motherwell to Cumbernauld service. In 2000, it transferred to Manchester, where it became one of the final six in service with First North Western. It was withdrawn in October 2003, and is now preserved at the Midland Railway Butterley.
Manufacturer = BREL
Operator = British Rail
Formation = 2 cars per trainset
Built = 1956-1959
LinesServed =
InService = 1956-2003
CarLength = 17.37 m
CarWidth = 2.81 m
CarHeight = 3.77 m
Weight = 32.5 tonnes
Capacity =
MaxSpeed = 75 mph (121 km/h)
Gauge =
Traction =
Engine =
SafetySystem= |

The British Rail Class 101 diesel multiple units were built by Metro-Cammell at Washwood Heath in Birmingham from 1956 to 1959, following construction of a series of prototype units. This class proved to be the most successful and longest-lived of all BR's "First Generation" DMUs, with the final five units being withdrawn on 24 December 2003. The oldest set was, by then, just over 47 years old.

Original TOPS classes

When TOPS was originally introduced only the Driving Motor Brake Second (DMBS) and the Driving Motor Composite (with Lavatory) (DMC(L)) were classified as class 101 or class 102. The Driving Trailer Composite (with Lavatory) (DTC(L)) were either Class 144 or Class 147. The Trailer Standards (with Lavatory) (TS(L)) were Class 162, the Trailer Brake Second (with Lavatory) (TBS(L)) were Class 168 and the Trailer Composite (with Lavatory) (TC(L)) were Class 171.

Later all the cars were reclassified, becoming class 101.

In fiction

In The Railway Series books by Rev.W.Awdry, the character "Daisy the Diesel Rail-Car" was introduced to assist on the Branch Line when "Thomas" was away for repair.

"Daisy" is undoubtedly based on the Metro-Cammell DMUs, but is a one-off, being a single railcar (akin to the Class 121 'bubble cars'). Although normally considered to be a Class 101, "Daisy" is always depicted with the distinctive valances around the buffer beams that distinguishes the lightweight prototype units.


Several vehicles have been preserved on heritage railways.


* [ The Railcar Association]
*Motive Power Recognition: 3 DMUs. Colin J. Marsden
*British Railway Pictorial: First Generation DMUs. Kevin Robertson
*British Rail Fleet Survey 8: Diesel Multiple Units- The First Generation. Brian Haresnape
*A Pictorial Record of British Railways Diesel Multiple Units. Brian Golding

External links

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