Class 108 DMU in ‘N’ gauge

Farish is to produce a Class 108 DMU.

Graham Farish Class 108 DMU

BACHMANN EUROPE PLC is to produce a British Railways Class 108 diesel multiple unit as part of the Graham Farish ‘N’ gauge range.

This will be produced in front of the previously announced Class 101 unit previously manufactured by the former Graham Farish company in Poole as the last of the old models to be upgraded by Bachmann. Extensive testing of the tooling followed late last year but it was soon discovered that the existing tooling could not deliver the quality required.

As a result Bachmann has advanced its longer-term plans for the Class 108 using the research and development already produced for its ‘OO’ version, which was introduced at the end of 2006. The Class 101 will follow in due course.

Built by British Railways at its Derby Works, 147 two-car, 5 three-car and 6 four-car units were built between 1958 and 1961. Totalling 333 vehicles (210 powered and 123 trailer cars) and were generically known as ‘Derby Lightweights’, although they differed considerably from the earlier batch built from 1954.

They were allocated to the Eastern, North Eastern and London Midland Regions and saw service on a large number of routes around Bletchley, Carlisle, Chester, Crewe, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Nottingham, Preston and Sheffield. Each two car set could accommodate 117 passengers and they were ideal for use on local services and branch lines. They later became more widespread in their travels, some seeing service on the Southern and Western Regions.

Vehicle No. 51562 was the 1,000th diesel multiple unit to be built at Derby Works. This vehicle has been preserved by the National Railway Museum at York.

The first vehicle was withdrawn in 1964 as a result of accident damage. Most survived until the early 1990s when major withdrawal took place with the arrival of second generation units for Regional Railways. A number carried Network SouthEast colours and were used latterly on the Chiltern Lines (prior to the arrival of the Network Turbo units) and the Bletchley – Bedford line. The last unit was withdrawn in October 1993. Over 50 vehicles have passed into preservation for use on heritage railways.

Three two car versions will be produced in British Railways green with speed whiskers (371-875), British Rail blue / grey (371-877) and BR blue livery (371-876). The units will have a 6 pin DCC socket fitted. Each unit has a Recommended Retail Price of £84.95.

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