Tuesday 17 October 2023

Wensleydale Railway Refurbished Railcar Returns to Service

A British Railways Class 121 diesel multiple unit has returned to service at the Wensleydale Railway after a recent extensive refurbishment.

As part of its refurbishment, the unit underwent extensive maintenance and an overhaul that included the installation of two new engines, and restoration of the interior and seating upholster.

Railway enthusiasts affectionately nicknamed Class 121 diesel multiple units as “bubble cars”, with 16 being built by Pressed Steel at Linwood in Scotland, and are similar to the Class 122 units built by Gloucester Railway Carriage and Wagon Co.

Wensleydale's Class 121 No.55032 joined the railway's heritage diesel fleet in 2015, and in 2021 it received the Railcar of the Year Award from the Railcar Association in 2021.

The Class 121 will operate services between Leeming Bar and Scruton and on selected trips between Leeming Bar and Leyburn.

Leeming Bar Station

Trains are currently running three days per week until the railway's 2023 running season ends on Wednesday, 1 November, but there will be a special service in connection with the Bedale Community Bonfire & Fireworks event on Saturday 4 November. From Friday, 10 November the ever-popular THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Rides will provide visitors with a festive experience until Christmas Eve.

The Wensleydale Railway is a -led heritage railway that provides a service for both the local community and tourists, families, and transport enthusiasts who are looking for a great value day out in the  Dales.

Leyburn Station

At 22 miles long the railway is one of the UK's longest heritage lines, and currently operates heritage diesel train services between Scruton in the Vale of Mowbray and Leyburn on the outskirts of the spectacular Yorkshire Dales National Park, and is currently working to restore passenger services beyond Leyburn to Redmire.

At its award-winning, restored historic stations, free guided tours are on offer with costumed living history interpreters where visitors can learn more about 1900s railway life.

Nick Keegan, Fundraising and Marketing Manager at the Wensleydale Railway said: “Our bubble car is a much-loved train with our customers. Like our class 143 Pacer, it has comfortable seating and large windows from which to enjoy our railway's spectacular scenic views. It's also economical to operate. We're delighted to have it back in service!”

All photos © Wensleydale Railway