Class 122

Welcome to, Scotland's online railway community. The group is for any rail enthusiast interested in the railways and trains of Scotland. It not only consists of the wiki that you're reading now, but a busy online forum and mailing list, which was accessible to registered users. From April 2024 the forum has closed, with a replacement started on

Breadcrumb navigation


The Class 122 DMUs were built for the Western region of British Rail in 1958 by the Gloucester Railway Carriage & Wagon Company. Twenty single-car driving motor vehicles with cabs at both ends were built, numbered W55000-55019. These were supplemented by ten single cab driving trailer vehicles, numbered W56290-56299. The vehicles were similar in design to the 3-car Class 116 units built at Derby, with doors provided at each seating bay.

The single-car class 122s and class 121s built by Pressed Steel were nicknamed 'Bubble cars' by enthusiasts.

SC55002 ยป Despite the destination board showing Ardeer this single unit railcar is arriving Keith Junction on a Branch Line Society special on 27 August 1979 Photo by willy92140

Use In Scotland

The first Gloucester Single to be transferred to Scotland was W55000 which arrived at Ayr depot in February 1967 together with AC Cars railbus W79975 to work Kilmarnock - Ayr services. More were transferred north in 1968, including three units with trailer cars allocated to Hamilton Depot.

Three of the Singles, Sc55011-13, were converted in 1968 into Motor Luggage Vans for use on Parcels traffic, these had seats removed, and an extra pair double doors fitted in the body side. These units, designated class 131s, worked routes in Central Scotland often attached to Class 101 units.

Inverness had an allocation of 122s through the 1970s and these units worked with the Class 120s on the Inverness - Aberdeen route.

When Leith Central depot closed in 1972, the Singles based there were reallocated to Haymarket. In the same year the units at Hamilton moved to Eastfield Depot.

In June 1973, the class 122 vehicles at Eastfield Depot formed part of hybrid 3-cars set, with a class 101 DMSL at one end and the DTS car in the centre. The DTS vehicles were withdrawn in August 1977.

Car Sc55002 moved back to Hamilton depot where it was used as replacement for a missing Class 116 DMB in a 3-car set. In August 1975 it was noted working out of Glasgow Central with Sc59326 and Sc50879.

By 1978 Sc55002 had received the GG logo of the Greater Glasgow PTE on its plain blue livery. It then had a spell working from Inverness.

By March 1980 all five Scottish Region 122s were based at Dundee Depot and most were now painted in Blue and Grey livery. They were used, singly or in pairs, on local services from Dundee to Carnoustie/Arbroath and to Perth. Some of them had "Tayway" stickers on the cab fronts, the marketing name for the Dundee - Carnoustie service sponsored by the Tayside Regional Council.

Sc55005 was transferred away to Tyseley in March 1981.

Dundee depot closed in 1982 and the four 122s and other DMUs were reallocated to Haymarket in March. Initially they continued on the Tayside duties, and also for strengthening trains from Edinburgh to North Berwick and Dunblane to 4-cars, but were increasingly used as temporary replacements for missing class 101 motors in 3-car sets. The Singles were given set numbers in the 400 series with the last 2 digits matching the vehicle number.

The Scottish region's last three class 122s (Sc55000/02/11) were sent south to the London Midland Region in August 1984.

Sc55007 had been withdrawn from passenger use in December 1983, renumbered TDB977223 and retained at Haymarket for Route Learning. It remained in use until around 1988. It arrived at MC Metals at Springburn in June 1991 for scrapping.

By 1979 the three class 131 Motor Luggage Vans were being used for Route Learning. Two were withdrawn from capital stock in 1980 and moved to York. One saw some further use as a Route Learning car, before becoming a stores vehicle at Derby RTC.

The last 131 Sc55015 had been repainted in blue and grey livery and remained in capital stock until September 1983, when it was converted into a Sandite unit and renumbered TDB977177, based at Eastfield. It carried the name 'SANDRA' on the lower body side and a West Highland terrier toward the left end. In autumn its intended duties were to treat the railhead on the West Highland line ahead of the morning sleeper, it also worked to Stranraer for the same purpose. At other times it was used as a Route Learning vehicle, or for 'Q' train police patrols.

TDB977177 remained in use until around 1988. It arrived at MC Metals at Springburn in July 1990 for scrapping.

Some Class 122 units survived in passenger service in South West England into the early 1990s. After withdrawal four of them (55000/03/06/09) reached MC Metals at Springburn in 1995, however they were not scrapped and but stripped of residual asbestos insulation and sold for further use or preservation.

A former Class 121 Pressed Steel single-car 960011 (vehicle 977859) in Railtrack livery visited Scotland between 2001 and 2004, while in use as a video survey unit.

Another former Class 121 used for Video surveying, vehicle 977968 in all yellow with Eurailscout branding, was noted at Motherwell TMD on 9th November 2004.

List of Vehicles allocated to Scottish Region

Vehicle No. Type W.R. to Sc.R. 1971 1975 1978 1981 1983 1985
Sc55000 122 DMBS Jan.67 to 67C 64H HA HA DE HA L.M.R.
Sc55002 122 DMBS Jun.68 to 66C 66C ED HN DE HA L.M.R.
Sc55005 122 DMBS Jun.68 to 66C 66C ED IS DE L.M.R. L.M.R.
Sc55007 122 DMBS Jun.68 to 66C 66C ED ED DE HA Dept (HA)
Sc55011 122 DMBS Apr.68 to 67C 60A IS IS DE HA L.M.R.
Sc55013 131 DMLV Apr.68 to 67C 64H HA HA W
Sc55014 131 DMLV Apr.68 to 64H 64H HA HA W
Sc55015 131 DMLV Apr.68 to 64H 64H HA HA HA HA Dept (ED)
Sc56291 122 DTS Jun.68 to 66C 66C ED W
Sc56297 122 DTS Jun.68 to 66C 66C ED W
Sc56299 122 DTS Jun.68 to 66C 66C ED W

60A, IS = Inverness. 64H = Leith Central. 66C, HN = Hamilton. 67C = Ayr
DE = Dundee. ED = Eastfield. HA = Haymarket
L.M.R. = London Midland Region. W = Withdrawn. Dept = Departmental service.

Route Learning Unit TDB977223 (Sc55007) awaits scrapping at MC Metal Processing, Springburn, 31 August 1991 Photo by darrel

See Also

External Links