Diesel Multiple Units were envisioned to be the saviours of rural branch lines. Of the many
designs introduced in the 1950s, the Metro-Cammell one was one of the most successful.
A total of 527 class 101s and a further 102 similar class 102s were built. Before the Malton
to Whitby (via Pickering) route closed in 1965, the MetCams shared passenger duties with
class 40s and steam locos.
101680 was one of the last 10 MetCam sets to be in service, working around Manchester until
2003. It is made up of Driving Motor Brake Second no 51511 and Driving Motor Second Lavatory
51511 was built in 1959, and delivered new to Hull Botanic Gardens, initially as part of a
four car set. It moved north to South Gosforth in 1963, where it was primarily used on
services to Carlisle. During the 1970s 51511 moved again, this time to the Western Region,
becoming part of set B823. In 1989 it moved to Chester, and then to Tysley. In 1992 it was
overhauled at Doncaster, becoming part of set 101689. It was painted into Strathclyde livery
and sent to Glasgow, before ending up at Longsight (Manchester), where it was stored in June 2001.
53204 was delivered new to Darlington in May 1957 as number 56056. In 1963 it moved to South
Gosforth, where it continued to run in the North East until the early 1990s. 53204 then moved
to Chester, then Plymouth Laira in 1991. From there it was sent to Doncaster for overhaul.
Here it was paired up with 53163 as set 101680. On its way back from Springburn Works in May 2002,
however, 53163 suffered fire damage and was withdrawn. 51511 was taken out of store and became
a replacement for 53163. It was painted into Regional Railways livery at this time, becoming the
last vehicle to receive this livery.
101680 continued to work on the services from Manchester Piccadilly to Rose Hill Marple and
Romiley until the end of 2003. Its final run was on the 18 December that year, when it worked
from Romiley to Manchester, then empty to Longsight. It was to have worked as part of the
farewell tour to Buxton, Heysham, Morecambe and Barrow on the 21 December, but a fault prevented
it being worked in multiple so another unit substituted for it on this day.
On 5 January 2004 101680 was hauled, with the other 4 remaining Longsight units, to MOD Shoeburyness
as 5Z50, for storage and disposal, by 37682 Hartlepool Pipe Mill.
Purchased by a group of NYMR staff and volunteers it was brought to the railway in November 2004 and
quickly proved its worth.
Currently out of service, awaiting a decision on its future.