Chiltern Railways will withdraw its two Class 121 ‘Bubble cars’ on May 19.
The single-car first-generation diesel multiple units were introduced in 1960, and are currently used by CR between Princes Risborough and Aylesbury. The first (121020) was bought from Network Rail in 2003, with a second (121034) joining it in 2011 from preservation.
They are the last trains in daily use with vacuum brakes, but CR says that because of the increase in ongoing maintenance needs they are to be withdrawn and sold. They will be replaced by Class 165s.
“We will be sad to see these trains go, as they are a part of railway history and some customers even make special journeys to travel on them,” said Chiltern Railways Engineering Director Matthew Prosser.
“However, the changes are necessary due to the age of the vehicles, and we will ultimately be providing a more comfortable service for our customers.”
CR said a small farewell will be held on their last day in traffic.