Class 116

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The Class 116 DMUs were 3-car units built for the Western region of British Rail in 1957/58 at BR's Derby Carriage Works.
The vehicles were similar in design to the later Class 117, with the longer 64ft bodies and doors provided at each seating bay. No toilets were provided, and as built there were no gangways between vehicles in the units.

6-car DMU led by 116389 at Saltcoats Station, (mid 80s) Photo by Geddy_Lee

From the mid 1960s, surplus units were transferred to the Eastern and Scottish Regions. The first three Class 116 units were transferred to Scotland in October 1966, initially on-loan to Hamilton depot, with the allocation made permanent in November, and by December 1966 eight sets were based at Hamilton.

A ninth unit arrived in May 1969, and in July 1972 five more brought the Hamilton allocation up to fourteen 3-car sets.

Planned Set Formations, 1973 (Hamilton Depot)
Set No. DMBS TS DMS Remarks
150 Sc50818 Sc59326 Sc50871 To Tyseley 1978
151 Sc50820 Sc59328 Sc50873 TS to Tyseley 1978
152 Sc50821 Sc59329 Sc50874 DMBS to Tyseley 1978 (DMS W)
153 Sc50822 Sc59330 Sc50875 DMS to Tyseley 1978
154 Sc50823 Sc59331 Sc50876
155 Sc50825 Sc59333 Sc50878 TS, DMS to Tyseley 1978
156 Sc50826 Sc59345 Sc50879 DMBS to Tyseley 1978
157 Sc50829 Sc59337 Sc50882
158 Sc50836 Sc59344 Sc50889 Gangway fitted.
159 Sc50839 Sc59347 Sc50892 Gangway fitted.
160 Sc50844 Sc59335 Sc50897 Gangway fitted. To Stratford 1977
161 Sc50845 Sc59353 Sc50898 Gangway fitted. To Stratford 1977
162 Sc50852 Sc59360 Sc50905 To Tyseley 1978
163 Sc50867 Sc59375 Sc50920 Gangway fitted. To Stratford 1977

Some of the early arrivals were still in green livery when they came north, but were soon painted in plain BR Blue livery with full yellow ends.

The class 116 units worked out of Glasgow Central to East Kilbride, Barrhead, Kilmarnock, Kilmacolm, sometimes reaching Largs and Edinburgh via Shotts. Prior to electrification in 1974, they also worked the Hamilton Circle and Lanark services.

Set 152 was involved in a fatal accident at Pollokshield East on 11 June 1974, when it was in collision with Class 311 EMU no 108. The cab end of SC50874 was severely damaged, and was never repaired, with the vehicle officially withdrawn 16/2/76. For a while its place in set 152 was taken by Class 122 car Sc55002.

The sets which came north from the Western in 1972 were gangway fitted, and in 1977 three of these were exchanged with three non-gangwayed Eastern region sets from Stratford.

Four sets were transferred to Tyseley in the Spring of 1978, but two others made the opposite move in November 1978, one of which was gangway fitted and spent its first 6 months based at Eastfield.

In the late 1970s the cab fronts were tidied up by removal of the 2-character headcode panels. The sets were progressively repainted into blue & grey livery, and had "Trans-Clyde" branding added to the left hand sides of the driving cars.

In 1981 The Scottish region introduced a new series of set numbers.

Planned Set Formations, 1981 (Hamilton Depot)
(1973 set) (1978 set) 1981 Set No. DMBS TS DMS Remarks
M ?? 116 385 Sc50090 Sc59344 Sc50132 Gangway fitted.
151 160 116 386 Sc50820 Sc59027 Sc52012 Class 107 DMS. Disbanded 3/82
153 161 116 387 Sc50822 Sc59330 Sc50881
154 162 116 388 Sc50823 Sc59354 Sc50876
155 163 116 389 Sc50825 Sc59329 Sc50873
157 164 116 390 Sc50829 Sc59337 Sc50879 Withdrawn 11/85
158 165 116 391 Sc50836 Sc59347 Sc50889 Gangway fitted. Withdrawn 10/83
159 166 116 392 Sc50839 Sc59374 Sc50892 Gangway fitted.
E 167 116 393 Sc50841 Sc59331 Sc50877 Withdrawn 9/86 (DMS Su 11/82)
E 168 116 394 Sc50846 Sc59345 Sc50882
E 169 116 395 Sc50853 Sc59367 Sc50894 To Stratford 11/81
M ?? 116 396 Sc50859 Sc59349 Sc50899 Withdrawn 3/86

Set 116395 was returned to Stratford in November 1981. Hybrid set 116386 was disbanded with DMBS 50820 sent to the Western Region in March 1982.

With the closure of Hamilton Depot, the class 116 fleet was reallocated to Eastfield in August 1982. In theory the units were out-based at Corkerhill, continuing to work services out of Glasgow Central.

DMS 50877 from set 393 was unservicable by November 1982 and withdrawn in January 1983, meaning hybrid sets were again inevitable, with Class 101 vehicles used as substitutes.

During 1983, the Power cars were renumbered from 50xxx to 53xxx.

Set 116391 was being returned from a Works visit, conveyed on the rear of a parcels train from London, when it derailed and caught fire at Portobello on the East Coast Main Line in early hours of Weds August 3rd 1983. As the vehicles were asbestos contaminated the unit was withdrawn in October 1983 and eventually disposed of by burial in Paterson’s Tip, Mount Vernon in July 1984.

In December 1984 the whole fleet, now down to nine sets, was again reallocated, this time Ayr Depot. DMU availability problems at that depot meant class 116s were frequently used on longer distance services from Glasgow Central to Ayr, Ardrossan and Largs.

The fleet shrank further with the withdrawal of 116390 in November 1985 and 116396 in March 1986.

Four sets, 387/8/9/92, were reallocated to Eastfield in February 1986, but three had returned to Ayr by May, leaving only 116388 based at Eastfield and it often worked services out of Glasgow Queen Street.

In the Summer of 1986 Ayr depot had to contend with the entire fleet of Class 107 units being taken out of service. Class 116 vehicles 53825/882/892 were also stored out of use from May.

One of the units sent north to Ayr to help out was a Class 116 set from Stratford (vehicles E53845 + E59375 + E53898) which had been based at Hamilton in the Mid 1970s. This was designated 116397 although it may not have carried the set number.

Completion of the Ayrshire electrification and restoration of the Class 107s allowed the Scottish Region to reorganise the DMU fleet and the six remaining Class 116s sets based at Ayr (including stored vehicles) were transfered to Tyseley in February 1987.

The last Class 116 unit operating in Scotland was Eastfield's 116388, and this set went to Tyseley in March 1987.

116388 (Sc50823) with Trans-Clyde branding and Greater Glasgow motif (GG) seen on this rare class 116 at Stirling, circa 1983. Photo by taybridge1878

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