E50599 standing in the yard.
E50599 at the helm of a 5 car set.
Having learnt from their experiences with the Derby Lightweight class of vehicles, Derby Works set about designing a new class of lightweight vehicles using updated technology with Leyland engines. The result was the Class 108. Leaving the works in 1958, 50599 was the first vehicle of what was to become a very successful class to be built.
This vehicle was initially paired with 56190 and allocated to Darlington where it worked in Brunswick green with cream lining and speed whiskers until the early 1960‟s when the speed whiskers were replaced by a small yellow warning panel. In the late 1960‟s, the vehicles received the British Railways Blue livery with full yellow ends in accordance with the new standards. 50599 ran in this livery until being converted into Blue and Grey livery in the 1980‟s when it was chosen to partake in the nationwide refurbishment programme. In 1983 all Class 108 vehicles that were in the 50xxx series were renumbered to the 53xxx series to avoid confusion with the Class 50 locomotives of the time (thus 50599 became 53599). In 1985 50599 was based at Neville Hill in Leeds.
The set was withdrawn at some point between 1990 and 1993 and placed into storage. 50599 was lucky as it was saved for preservation whilst partner vehicle 56190 was not so fortunate. After spending a significant amount of its preservation years at the East Anglian Railway Museum where it was returned to its original
number, the vehicle moved to the Ecclesbourne Valley Railway.
During the winter of 2010-2011, the vehicle was returned to operational condition and featured in the Duffield Line Grand Opening celebrations in April 2011.
Seats: 52 Second
BR set number: L706