It was off to Aylesbury for a special day in mid-May: the last Modernisation Plan DMU in regular service on the national network. 19 May 2017 was the last weekday of the winter timetable, and indeed it still felt like winter on the chilly platform as we gathered in the company of our host, Chiltern Railways MD Dave Penney and his new Ops Director Gavin Panter. The motive power was Chiltern’s last two ‘bubble cars’ – the brace of Class 121s the company has kept till now for the shuttle on the single-track line on the edge of the Vale of Aylesbury that potters down to Princes Risborough in the lee of the Chiltern scarp.

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