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In 2004 the SVRSevern Valley Railway agreed to host the Railcar Convention, an annual event which takes place at different heritage railways around the country. The event coincided with the 50th anniversary of the introduction of Diesel Multiple Units (DMUs) by BRBritish Rail or British Railways in 1954, resulting in the decision to stage a special celebration, 'Railcar 50'.[1]

A total of sixteen railcars took part of which twelve were working; the four non-runners being stabled as static exhibits in Platform 3 of Bewdley station. The evening of Thursday 14 October saw a 9-car formation in operation, at that time the longest DMUDiesel Multiple Unit working in preservation. The next three days saw the DMUs in passenger service, together with steam services on the weekend. Saturday evening featured a 12-car formation to Bridgnorth, surpassing the record set two days earlier.[2]

The gala is believed to be the greatest collection of first generation DMUs operating together at any one time in preservation.[3]

Vehicles attending

  • Class 101 53170 + 53253
  • Class 101 E51213 + E56358
  • Class 104 M50455 + M50517
  • Class 105 56458
  • Class 114 E56006
  • Class 116/118 hybrid unit W51131 + W51321
  • Class 121 W55020
  • Class 122 M55006
  • Class 127 55976
  • Derby Lightweight 79612 (un-restored)
  • Derby Lightweight 79018
  • AC Railbus W79978 (not used on passenger services due to issues with the air braking system)[4]

HLFHeritage Lottery Fund (National Lottery Heritage Fund from 2019) Funding

A pre-application to the Heritage Lottery Fund was made the year before, which suggested that they would be willing to provide funding support. An application was submitted in January 2004, and in late June the HLFHeritage Lottery Fund (National Lottery Heritage Fund from 2019) confirmed the award of a grant of £49,100. This generous funding played a major role in the successful outcome of the event.[2][5]

See also


  1. SVRSevern Valley Railway News 148
  2. 2.0 2.1 SVRSevern Valley Railway News 149
  3. Birmingham Railcar Workgroup
  4. [http://preserved.railcar.co.uk/79978.html Preserved Railcar web site 79978
  5. Preserved Railcar website