Llangollen Railcars

A Registered Charity - No 1119967

Preserving yesterday for tomorrow
The Fleet
Running Dates
Trains this Week
Join Us
Gala Pages
Film & TV
2015 Gala Visitor Announced!

The railways were revolutionised by the introduction of the railcar, or diesel multiple unit, in the 1950s. Costs were slashed, passengers won back and many lines which would have closed were saved. Our mission is to preserve and operate some of these trains for the benefit and enjoyment of future generations.

The Class 104 has been in use for the first trains of 2015 and is seen here near Glyndyfrdwy. Picture Sam Shenton

Newsfeed April 13 - Newsfeed and Duties Pages updated
Gala April 13. Visitor for June 20/21 Llangollen Railcar Gala announced
Fleet Pages for 50454,50528 and 56456 updated
RC60 Highlights of the Railcar 60 Event
Film Special page for Film and TV Location Managers and Designers


We have a fleet of seven two-car diesel railcars which see public passenger service on over 100 days per year at the Llangollen and other Railways. We are all volunteers and membership is open to anyone with an interest in this particular aspect of our railways.

Our mission is to restore vintage railcar sets and to operate them in the way originally intended so that the public can see and understand what a large contibution these trains have made to the British Railway system. We have been supported in this work by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Our operation is not solely directed at the railway enthusiast. Many ordinary members of the public appreciate these trains with their unique views of the line ahead and the surrounding scenery.
We are mainly based at the Llangollen Railway, just South of Chester, where we currently have four of our Railcar sets in regular service. A fifth is in service at the Midland Railway Butterley, although it has recently been seen at Llangollen following a successful two-year loan to the Weardale Railway where it assisted with an experimental community service. 
 Two further sets are under long-term restoration, one at Llangollen and another at the Midland Railway, Butterley.

Llangollen Railcars Ltd is a company limited by guarantee with charitable status. Membership and participation in our activities is open to all.


Four members of our impressive fleet line up at Pentrefelin depot for a night photo shoot. Picture Brian Battersby

Llangollen Railcars Ltd is a company limited by Guarantee with Charitable status.
Company no 06112902
Charity no 1119967


Did you know.... in 2014

That it is now 60 years since the first railcar like ours entered service?
That is is now 30 years since the first railcar was used at the Llangollen Railway?
That it is now 20 years since our organisation was formed?
That a "handle and spoon" are the nicknames for the driver's detachable driving controls?
That railcars powered by petrol engines were in service in Britain's railways in 1903 and that diesels were in use extensively from the 1930s. 
That the first railcars like ours entered service in Yorkshire in 1954 - and went to the scrapman in 1964.
That the last similar units were withdrawn in 2004, exactly 50 years since the first was introduced.
That the distinctive rattle from underneath is usually caused by the drive-shaft to the radiator fan.
That one of our railcars has already been in preservation for 42 years - far longer than it was on the main line! 
That our Wickham railcar set took ten years to restore and that the work cost £198,000 - the bulk of the money coming from the National Lottery
That now Railcars are so popular that over 300 have been preserved in Britain
In 2014 it is 60 years since the first railcars were introduced into service and 50 years since the first were withdrawn. The last survived on the mainline until 11 years ago while the first preserved was 42 years ago
Railcars are also known as Diesel Multiple Units (or DMUs) while the four-wheel versions are called Railbuses
We have 14 Railcar vehicles, most of which are over 50 years old - the combined total age of our fleet is now over 600 years!
Our Gala which takes place in June is now one of the highlights of the railcar preservation calendar
We operate on several heritage railways, with our main base being at Llangollen, which is just inside the Welsh border, not far from Chester and Shrewsbury.

©Llangollen Railcars Ltd 2014

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