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British Rail Class 105

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Title: British Rail Class 105  
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Subject: British Rail Class 129, List of British Rail diesel multiple unit classes, British Rail Class 112, British Rail Class 128, British Rail Class 123
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British Rail Class 105

British Rail Class 105
Inside Longsight Diesel TMD, Manchester, December 1983
In service 1959–1988
Manufacturer Cravens
Constructed 1956–1959
Number built DMBS: 142, DTCL: 108,
DMCL: 33, TCL 19.
Total: 302 cars
Number preserved 3 cars
Formation 2-cars sets: DMBS-DTCL or DMBS-DMCL,
3 cars sets:DMBS-TCL-DMCL
Operator(s) British Rail
Car length 57 ft 6 in (17.53 m)
Width 9 ft 3 in (2.82 m)
Height 12 ft 7 in (3.84 m)
Maximum speed 70 mph (113 km/h)
Weight Power cars: 29.5 or 30.5 tonnes (29.0 or 30.0 long tons)
Trailer cars: 23.5 or 24.5 tonnes (23.1 or 24.1 long tons)
Prime mover(s) Two BUT
Power output 150 bhp (112 kW) each engine
Transmission Mechanical: 4 speed epicyclic gearbox
UIC classification Power cars: 1A′A1′
Trailer cars: 2′2′
Coupling system Screw-link couplings , British Standard gangways
Multiple working Blue Square
Track gauge 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm)
Class 105 set forming a charter at Fakenham East railway station, Norfolk.
Class 105 at Kings Cross York Rd station on the last day of diesel services to Moorgate in 1976.

The British Rail Class 105 diesel multiple units were built by Cravens Ltd. of Sheffield from 1956 to 1959. The class were built with a side profile identical to British Railways Mark 1 carriage stock, using the same doors and windows. None were selected for refurbishment. The last passenger car was withdrawn from service in 1988.


1978 view towards Bures from Class 105 approaching Sudbury.

Norwich was the last depot to operate the Cravens units, with set 30 being returned to green livery, and gaining some celebrity status towards the end of its service life. The unit was, however, contaminated with asbestos and consequently scrapped.

A number of Class 112 cars were purchased and sectioned for use as store rooms on North Sea gas platforms. It is not known whether any of these sections survive.


Car type Qty
30280 Driving Motor Brake Second (DMBS) 14 50359–50372 Power-trailer 2-car sets
30281 Driving Trailer Composite with lavatory (DTCL) 14 56114–56127 Power-trailer 2-car sets
30282 Driving Motor Brake Second (DMBS) 17 50373–50389 Power-trailer 2-car sets
30283 Driving Trailer Composite with lavatory (DTCL) 17 56128–56144 Power-trailer 2-car sets
30284 Driving Motor Brake Second (DMBS) 5 50390–50394 Power-trailer 2-car sets
30285 Driving Trailer Composite with lavatory (DTCL) 5 56145–56149 Power-trailer 2-car sets
30352 Driving Motor Brake Second (DMBS) 33 50752–50784 3-car sets
30353 Driving Motor Composite with lavatory (DMCL) 33 50785–50817 3-car sets
30354 Trailer Composite with lavatory (TCL) 19 59307–59325 3-car sets
30469 Driving Motor Brake Second (DMBS) 48 51254–51301 Power-trailer 2-car sets
30470 Driving Trailer Composite with lavatory (DTCL) 48 56412–56459 Power-trailer 2-car sets
30503 Driving Motor Brake Second (DMBS) 24 51471–51494 Power-trailer 2-car sets
30504 Driving Trailer Composite with lavatory (DTCL) 24 56460–56483 Power-trailer 2-car sets
30505 Driving Motor Brake Second (DMBS) 1 50249

Technical details

  • Builder: Cravens
  • Introduced: 1956
  • Coupling Code: Blue Square
  • Body: 57 ft 6 in x 9 ft 2 in
  • Engines: Two BUT, 150 bhp
  • Transmission: Standard mechanical

For coupling codes see British United Traction


Due to the use of asbestos in their construction, and extended usage by BR, the class has fared very badly in preservation. 51485 and 56121 were preserved by the West Somerset Railway but moved to the East Lancashire Railway in 1997 where they are being restored after asbestos stripping. 56456 is based on the Llangollen Railway, working with a Class 127. The National Railway Museum had intended to preserve 53812 - which had been stripped of asbestos but a lack of space prevented this car and the Class 100 coupled to it from being moved to York and they were vandalised beyond repair at Crewe.

Number Vehicle type Location
51485 DMBS East Lancashire Railway
56121 DTCL East Lancashire Railway
56456 DTCL Llangollen Railway


  • 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

  • History of the Class 105s
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