Of the first generation of Diesel Multiple Units introduced as part of the British Railways Modernisation Plan in the 1950s, the type built by Metro-Cammell in Birmingham between 1956 and 1959 was one of the longest-lived and most successful. BR hoped that by replacing steam with DMUs on lines like ours, costs would be reduced sufficiently to make such rural lines viable. The Whitby-Pickering-Malton line was thus an early recipient of units like this, which served until the closure of the line in 1965. 527 Class 101s were built and 106 of the similar class 102 (same bodywork, different engine) and the last units weren't withdrawn until Christmas Eve 2003. 

Set 101680 is made up of two coaches - 50204 built in 1957 and 51511 built in 1959 - and as with most DMUs the individual components had separate lives before combining as 101680, which makes a concise service history tricky. As if to illustrate, centre coach 59539 (built 1957) is also part of this unit but is currently "moonlighting" with our other DMU, "Daisy", while 101680 awaits a full refurbishment.