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Green whiskered Class 121 interior photos


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I am looking for colour photos of the interior of green-whiskered BR Class 121 DMUs. I have looked on Google, and on Wikipedia, but (as far as I know) the only photos available are interior photos of later liveried DMUs.

All I am needing to know is seat colours, wall and partition colours, possibly floor colour (though that would probably be dark grey!).

Looking at Dapol OO gauge models, the interior colours look completely wrong - I am fairly certain no DMUs had bright red (window) ends of the seat upholstery, but as I did not live in GB during the period when DMUs were green-whiskered, I could be wrong.

Any help would be most welcome, so thank you if you really know the ‘correct’ interior colours of that time.

Bill

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I'm pretty sure I would have remembered if the train crew had green whiskers!

 

I'm pretty sure the first generation DMUs had blue seats in First Class, green seats in Second Class, chromed metal surround to the seats.  However, as they were made by a number of different works, I can't be sure that applied to all of the classes.  My recollection of floor colour is rather vague - probably mid-grey or brown.

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The Railcar website https://www.railcar.co.uk/ contains a wealth of detail and photos.

 

The early ones are mostly B&W but the descriptions should suffice.  The 121s started with wood effect Formica panelling and darker wood for the window surrounds.  The seats were moquette which I recall was dark red set off by tan Rexine on the headrests and seat dividers.  The floors were green linoleum.  The driver's desk was black and the seat green.

 

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Official Swindon pic of 55021 on 24/11/1960

https://railcar.co.uk/images/494

 

There isn't  a description but as the 121 were basically a cl.117 DMBS with extra cab, there's a description in the cl.117 section:

https://railcar.co.uk/type/class-117/description

"...the second class seats began with maroon with tan headrests. The floor covering was green and the partitions were in light tan coloured 'wood grain' formica. The drivers cab seats were green."

Interior pic from 1963 (looks to be the same as the cl.121 interior):

https://railcar.co.uk/images/2665

Edited by keefer
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3 hours ago, keefer said:

Official Swindon pic of 55021 on 24/11/1960

https://railcar.co.uk/images/494

 

There isn't  a description but as the 121 were basically a cl.117 DMBS with extra cab, there's a description in the cl.117 section:

https://railcar.co.uk/type/class-117/description

"...the second class seats began with maroon with tan headrests. The floor covering was green and the partitions were in light tan coloured 'wood grain' formica. The drivers cab seats were green."

Interior pic from 1963 (looks to be the same as the cl.121 interior):

https://railcar.co.uk/images/2665

 

Quite surprised to see local network maps, I presume these were Paddington suburban routes?

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Says that they were initially allocated to Southall and Reading (apart from 3 at Bristol)

"The London area vehicles could be found on services such as Newbury - Didcot (until the line closed in September 1962), Staines to West Drayton (closed March 1965), the Henley branch line (Twyford - Henley-on-Thames), Oxford - Reading, to Windsor & Eton Central (often with a trailer) and the Marlow branch."

I'm afraid I don't know enough about the lines/services to try and decipher the interior route map (both shown would seem to be the same map).

Screenshot_20210628-201545_Chrome.jpg.3d9d124445904e9c118dbac134740e6e.jpg

Edited by keefer
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19 hours ago, russ p said:

 

Quite surprised to see local network maps, I presume these were Paddington suburban routes?

Not exactly.  from what can be seen on the photos and memory (but checked against the photos for the 'further out' branches) they showed the main route as Paddington - Reading - Didcot - Oxford plus the following branches, all of which were worked by SPCs or an SPC+DET on some of thems - Greenford, Windsor, High Wycombe/Marlow, Henley, and Abingdon. I think the original map also included Uxbridge and Staines   Nothing was shown on the map for the Joint Line which at that time was part of the London Division apart from Wycombe being shown on the branch from Maidenhead.  Didcot Newbury was never included as far as I can remember because although SPCs were used on it the writing was already  firmly on the wall for the passenger service when the Pressed Steel units were being delivered.

 

The maps were changed a number of times over the years as various lines were closed and i've an idea that the Berks &Hants/B&H Extension as far as Bedwyn was added to a ater version

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Thank you, everyone! Obviously COLOUR photos from the early days of the BR days of DMU interiors are extremely rare.

I think I will have to visit a heritage railway which just happens to have a DMU (class 121 or 122!) in my favoured green (with whiskers) livery. I am not needing photos of the external liveries because there are plenty of photos available, but interiors are much more difficult to find.

My O gauge model will be as detailed as I can possibly get it, which is why I have asked for help from the huge and very keen railway modelling crowd.

Anyway, thank you all again?

Bill

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4 minutes ago, billtee said:

I think I will have to visit a heritage railway which just happens to have a DMU (class 121 or 122!) in my favoured green (with whiskers) livery.

Just beware a lot of preserved stock has the most recent internal livery, regardless of the exterior - especially the more functional stuff such as dmus 

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On 28/06/2021 at 15:15, Mike_Walker said:

The Railcar website https://www.railcar.co.uk/ contains a wealth of detail and photos.

 

The early ones are mostly B&W but the descriptions should suffice.  The 121s started with wood effect Formica panelling and darker wood for the window surrounds.  The seats were moquette which I recall was dark red set off by tan Rexine on the headrests and seat dividers.  The floors were green linoleum.  The driver's desk was black and the seat green.

 

Yes, that's pretty much how I remember them. Terracotta lino on the floor? Big dark green Loudaphone mounted on the side of the driver's seat. I think it got moved or removed later. (CJL)

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On 29/06/2021 at 21:25, billtee said:

Thank you, everyone! Obviously COLOUR photos from the early days of the BR days of DMU interiors are extremely rare.

I think I will have to visit a heritage railway which just happens to have a DMU (class 121 or 122!) in my favoured green (with whiskers) livery. I am not needing photos of the external liveries because there are plenty of photos available, but interiors are much more difficult to find.

My O gauge model will be as detailed as I can possibly get it, which is why I have asked for help from the huge and very keen railway modelling crowd.

Anyway, thank you all again?

Bill

I don't know of a preserved 121 or 117 in anything like original (or restored original) condition, particularly inside. They were refurbished - extensively - and pretty much everything inside got changed or painted over. The 122 at Buckfastleigh has, probably, the best external restoration, as all the later stuff, high-intensity lights etc has been removed. I don't know what its like inside. However, most preserved railways opt to retain the later fittings and work the old-style liveries around them. (CJL)

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10 hours ago, dibber25 said:

I don't know of a preserved 121 or 117 in anything like original (or restored original) condition, particularly inside. They were refurbished - extensively - and pretty much everything inside got changed or painted over. The 122 at Buckfastleigh has, probably, the best external restoration, as all the later stuff, high-intensity lights etc has been removed. I don't know what its like inside. However, most preserved railways opt to retain the later fittings and work the old-style liveries around them. (CJL)

55000 retains its final in-service interior but is externally back to original condition.  These two photos show it new at Swindon in 5/58 (Colour Rail DE1333) which gives a glimpse of the seats and shows how the headrests and dividers were a different colour whilst my shot of it at Buckfastleigh gives a hint at the totally different upholstery it now has.  Spot the deliberate mistake in the lettering that spoils an otherwise perfect external restoration!

 

424364656_CR-DE1333_BRW55000Swindon5-58.jpg.b15b229896a3e3b8f81ac32f4b4794a1.jpg107903634_D-SDR-064_BRW55000Buckfastleigh28-8-10.JPG.37fbb9ddbc104cfa22664eac053d6563.JPG

 

Be aware, too, that the interiors of the GRCW and Pressed Steel units varied when new.  For example, the above photo of 55000 clearly shows the head rests darker than the moquette whereas on the 122s it was the other way round.  I think Chris is correct regarding the flooring, I was going by what it says on the Railcar site but did have my doubts.

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On 01/07/2021 at 09:24, Mike_Walker said:

55000 retains its final in-service interior but is externally back to original condition.  These two photos show it new at Swindon in 5/58 (Colour Rail DE1333) which gives a glimpse of the seats and shows how the headrests and dividers were a different colour whilst my shot of it at Buckfastleigh gives a hint at the totally different upholstery it now has.  Spot the deliberate mistake in the lettering that spoils an otherwise perfect external restoration!

 

424364656_CR-DE1333_BRW55000Swindon5-58.jpg.b15b229896a3e3b8f81ac32f4b4794a1.jpg107903634_D-SDR-064_BRW55000Buckfastleigh28-8-10.JPG.37fbb9ddbc104cfa22664eac053d6563.JPG

 

Be aware, too, that the interiors of the GRCW and Pressed Steel units varied when new.  For example, the above photo of 55000 clearly shows the head rests darker than the moquette whereas on the 122s it was the other way round.  I think Chris is correct regarding the flooring, I was going by what it says on the Railcar site but did have my doubts.


The lettering on the guard’s door is too small and not block capitals? The exhaust pipes also don’t join with a collector box as original - however it’s very very good and seeing 55000 at Buckfastleigh in operation was very evocative (although I always saw them in this condition in the rather less beautiful surroundings of Great Bridge, Swan Village and the like!)
 

I was quite sure that at least some of the ex WR DMUs at Tyseley in the mid 60s had green moquette seats with brown headrests. Having found an early colour picture (1962) of Tyseley set 329 (led by W50085 - a first batch class 116 car transferred in from South Wales), the head rests and edge/seat splitters are clearly a light/mid green - lighter than the car’s darker but unlined green in the photo - the middle car is in almost malachite green - it was common in the early sixties for sets to have cars in both of the green colours at Snow Hill. I think that in the photo of W55000 in original condition that same green colour is used for the head rests although they look a little darker (could be the light - could be because they faded over time - you could imagine them getting dirty/stained in use as well) - (interestingly a colour photo of a GRCW cross country class 119 in the early 60s also appears to show green head rests in 2nd class). A good colour photo of a third batch class 116 in original green (almost malachite) at Ebbw Vale on an Aberbeeg service shows the headrests etc are clearly brown. So the question is did the spec change for either WR DMU interior colours, or more widely at some point in the late 50s?
 

The AM4s definitely had green moquette seats (which were very creaky and old fashioned despite being of a similar pattern/style to mk 1 compartment stock) when they appeared in the Birmingham area from 1967 - the AM10s were a million times better and more ‘modern’ in all respects (in the same way the new mk2 coaches were for loco hauled services).

 

The interior photos on railcar.co.uk are great but unfortunately are black and white - it does refer to interior shots of batch 2 and 3 class 116 but are not shown - it would be very interesting to see those as even in black and white, much darker head rests would show up. 
 

55000/1/11-19 started life at Reading/Southall for WR London area services in 1958 (including Didcot to Newbury) before replacement by the new Pressed Steel single car units (whereupon most moved to Laira with a couple to Tyseley (12,18) and one to Bristol, 14). One anomaly is W55001, which is shown when new in a Mike Mensing photo at Dudley - it doesn’t appear to have stayed long in the West Mids - maybe it was being used for driver familiarisation in advance of receipt of 55002-10? 
I was wondering whether these GRCW cars had the London route maps as well, or whether the maps were introduced with the wider dieselisation of the services out of Paddington with the new three car Pressed Steel units and single unit stock. 

Edited by MidlandRed
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Railcar.co.uk mentions colour schemes in the 'Description' section and there are Works photos of the interiors of various units. I think there may have been a 'general' spec for the types of trim/moquette etc but the patterns & colours seem to vary - maybe there were recommendations to try out different designs.

cl.116 interior - https://www.railcar.co.uk/type/class-116/works-photographs

cl.117 - https://www.railcar.co.uk/type/class-117/works-photographs

cl.119 - https://www.railcar.co.uk/type/class-119/grcw-works-photographs

cl.121 - https://www.railcar.co.uk/type/class-121/official

cl.122 - https://www.railcar.co.uk/type/class-122/works-photos (similar colour of moquette & vinyl to cl.119)

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