The Derby Lightweight two-car units (later class 108) were introduced in the 1950's for duties on secondary lines. They are in direct line of decent from the GWR railcars exemplified by No. 20 and, earlier still, from the Ford and Shefflex railbuses pioneered by Colonel Stephens and employed on the K&ESR. The various classes of dmmu were widely used by all Regions of British Rail except the Southern. (SR use was late and confined to the Reading - Tonbridge services). ‘The 108', as it is known on the Kent & East Sussex, was acquired for the Railway in 1993. The vehicles were the best available to the purchasing group and not a long standing pairing. Since arriving on the K&ESR, an extensive programme of renovation has progressed steadily. Both are now turned out in their original green livery with the well-known ‘cats whisker' lining out to the front ends. The cars entered regular service during 1996 and since 2001 have been regularly used to supplement steam services on quieter days, their observation car-like ends proving popular with passengers. Although relatively unknown in the South East, class 108 is well fitted to the K&ESR, the type's branch line duties specification suiting it to the railway's rural character.
Driving Motor Brake Second (DMBS) M50971
This vehicle contains the guard's and luggage compartment, which is situated at the opposite end to the driving cab.
Driving Motor Composite (DMC) E51571
A 12 seat first class saloon is situated at the driving cab end. The vehicle also contains a lavatory.
Built by Derby Works, BR
Engines: Two B.U.T. (AEC) 6 cyl horizontal type of 150 bhp per vehicle
Transmission: Carden shaft and freewheel to four speed epicyclic gearbox and further carden shaft to final drive
Body: Both vehicles are 57ft 6ins x 9ft 3ins
The unit is vacuum braked and gangwayed between the vehicles.