Built by Gloucester Railway Carriage & Wagon Works, class 122 ‘Bubblecar’ single car unit W55000 was the first member of the class and operated on lightly used branch lines.

W55000 was built in 1958 and originally fitted with AEC engines and equipment but in later years this was replaced with Leyland 6/80 150 HP engines. 

It was initially based in the south west and worked on lines such as the old and much missed South Brent to Kingsbridge line in Devon, nicknamed the ‘Primrose Line’, before moving to Tyseley in the West Midlands. 

In 1987, it moved back to the south west and worked the Cornish branches in place of more modern, but inefficient diesel multiple units. W55000 was withdrawn at the end of 1993.

It now works occasional diesel services on the line when its large, panoramic windows offer excellent views of the valley of the Dart. 

It was painted in 1990s Regional Railways colours when it re-entered service in 2009, but is now turned out in its original condition and repainted into the far more attractive British Railways green livery.


Current Status


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W55000 in the News

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South Devon Railway Limited, Registered Office:
The Station, Dartbridge Road, Buckfastleigh, Devon, TQ11 0DZ
Registered in England No. RS008114
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