Leighton Area DMUs 1982-2001

Leighton area DMUs

Derby based class 120s 50671, 59277 and  50674  are an unusual sight at Leighton on a Sunday morning Euston – Rugby working on March 23rd 1983


The Southern WCML never saw regular DMU operation, our local services were loco hauled until Nov 65, With full electrification into Euston class 304 and 310 EMUs commenced operation on November 22nd 1965 with just some Broad St – Tring services remaining loco hauled for another year or so.

DMUs were largely confined to ECS workings from Bletchley to Watford Jn for St Albans branch services although as late as 1980 the Sunday morning 2A11 0013 Euston – Bletchley was booked a 2 car DMU. A 0330 Bletchley – Euston staff train also operated with a DMU for many years

Until the early 80s it was normal operational procedure when the power was isolated for booked engineering work was for 25’s or 47’s to drag the 310 units and this was a regular practise for many years

A change in policy saw DMUs introduced for booked isolations from at least 1982. From 1982 – 2000 a wide variety of DMU types have worked local Sunday morning  services. They have also been supplied by a variety of depots with Etches Park, Tyseley, Reading supplementing Bletchley’s sets.

In 2001 new generation class 150 DMUs started working late Saturday night, Sunday Morning workings. Tyseley based Centro 150 sets also started working locally from October 2001. Sadly the privatised railway accountants soon realised that hiring in and moving 150s around cost money although the passengers much preferred them to the dreaded railway replacement bus which took over the regular DMU turns from around 2003.

Class 103s Cravens units were a familiar sight locally mainly working 5A85 Watford Jn – Bletchley ECS turns from Watford to Bletchley TMD off St Albans branch duties at Leighton Buzzard on September 14th 1980

Tyseley based  Met Camms 50338, 59121 and 50309 at Leighton Buzzard with the 1003 Euston – Rugby on March 20th 1983

Showing the old Leighton station nicely Etches Park EP 515 composed of class 120’s 50670, 59258 and 50677 on a morning Euston – Rugby service on May 8th 1983.

The infamous Bourne End dewirement saw 24 hours of diesel operation locally. Here a Marylebone based class 115 DMU borrowed from Bletchley TMD with 51658, 59750, 51663, 51666, 59753, 59654 and 51669 on the 1435 Tring – Euston Additional on December 20th 1983 

A seriously rare visitor at Kings Langley with former Bedford – St Pancras class 127 borrowed from Gospel Oak – Barking with 51607, 51640, 51624 and 51610 on a Euston – Tring additional on December 20th 1983. 3 Tyesley 3 car sets were also out that memorable day.

With the down fast platform undergoing relaying Tyseley’s Derby set 53863, 59594 and 53916 arrives at Leighton Buzzard with the 0815 Euston – Rugby on June 23rd 1985

Tyseley’s T313 composed of class 117’s 51339, 59492 and 51382 at Linslade Tunnel (South) with a Euston – Rugby service early on February 3rd 1991

Tyseley’s T324 composed of class 116’s 53053, 59672 and 53101 at Old Linslade on a mid morning Euston – Rugby service early on February 3rd 1991

Bedford – Bletchley sets 51914 and 53463 arrive at Leighton Buzzard with a Euston – Bletchley service on April 7th 1991

Yes, “Bubbles” made it to Euston too!, 55027 heads a 2 car Bedford – Bletchley set at Cheddington on the 0804 Bletchley – Euston on April 18th 1993

The variety continued into 2001 with Tyseley’s 150126 and 150102 leaving Milton Keynes with the 0739 Euston – Northampton on October 14th 2001

More DMU phots and gen to follow with a few timing logs too!


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