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The history of First Generation DMUs


The Railcar website provides information on the British Railways first generation DMUs (a.k.a. diesel multiple units / railcars) introduced in the 1950s.

The six key sections of the website are:

  • Types - looks at each type of DMU in detail
  • Topics - features articles on differernt aspects of the vehicles and personal recollections
  • Technology - describes the technical details of how they work
  • Data - various lists of numerical details
  • Images - galleries featuring DMUs
  • Books - details the books and other printed materials made available over the years that have relevance

Details of railcars in preservation can be found on The Railcar Association website.


Vehicle Data

Vehicle:


DMU Images Wanted!

Do you have photos of First Generation DMUs? The more images we have the better we can tell the DMU story and make it more useful to visitors. Images can be loaded directly onto the site - just register as a user and upload! Alternatively if you have images on flickr or another website I can do the uploads for you - just let me know.


Scope

This website contains details about the First Generation DMUs. This includes the 4-wheel diesel railbuses, ACV / BUT railcars, the Battery Multiple Unit (BMU) and Blue Pullmans. It covers the period from their introduction to British Railways in the 1950s till their withdrawal and disposal from main-line use, but NOT preservation.

Because of the vast amount of data that this covers and the amount of information I have still to process I cannot include the DEMUs introduced on the Southern Region in the same era, nor Second Generation or later types.


Updates

January 21st

A look at the DMU services provided for the British Industries Fair (BIF) in the 1950s.

January 17th

Now added are design code pages, these replaced the original diagrams in 1980.

January 6th

Readers have been wonderful in identifying unknown locations. There are still plenty more that may be recognisable - I've put some of these into a gallery - if you know any of these places please let us know!

December 30th, 2016

A couple of new pages have been added to the book section - Platform 5 stock books and a look at other stock books.

December 29th, 2016

The minutes of the 65th Diesel Trains Committee meeting (June 1959) have been added.

Dec 19th, 2016

The allocations for the DMU classes withdrawn in the early 1980s - the Class 103 Park Royals, the Inter-City units (79xxx, Class 126 and Class 126), and the Trans-Pennine Class 124s - have been added to the individual vehicle pages.

November 30th, 2016

The minutes of the 64th Lighweight Trains Committee meeting (April 1959) have been added.

Nov 26th, 2016

Comments can now be made on images. You must be register as a user to do so.

Nov 13th, 2016

With the increasing number of images on the site (now over 4,500), a new advanced search is available allowing searches by specific dates, regions / areas and liveries.

Nov 6th, 2016

Two official allocation lists are now available - Western Region from 1962 and London Midland Region from 1967.

Latest Images:

New DMU photo

The 17:22 Glasgow Central - Edinburgh arrives into Wester Hailes on the day of the station's opening, 11th May 1987. Worked by 107429, Sc51989 is at the front. Hamish Stevenson.

New DMU photo

101339 (Sc51516 + Sc59564 + Sc51467) in Wester Hailes station in Edinburgh, which opened that day - 11th May 1987, with the 18:18 Waverley - Glasgow Central. Hamish Stevenson.

New DMU photo

101339 (Sc51467 + Sc59564 + Sc51516) enters Wester Hailes station in Edinburgh, which opened that day - 11th May 1987, with the 18:18 Waverley - Glasgow Central. Hamish Stevenson.

New DMU photo

101338 (Sc51466 + Sc59568 + Sc51535) heads out of Wester Hailes station in Edinburgh, which opened that day - 11th May 1987, with the 17:48 Edinburgh - West Calder. Hamish Stevenson.

New DMU photo

The 10:00 Newcastle - South Shields awaits departure from Newcastle Central station on the 25th May 1981 with E56406 at the front. Hamish Stevenson.

More...

On This Day:

127 DMU

DMBS M51635 leads a pair of class 127 4-car units at St.Pancras waiting to work another service to Bedford. Saturday 22nd January 1983 Iain Reid.

101 DMU

Class 101 DMBS 50232 with DTCL 56399 trailing, rattles along near Middlesbrough on 22/Jan/1983. Robert Chilton.

105 DMU

E51274 and E56084 seen at Manors on 22 January 1978. Ian Francis.

101 DMU

E56392 + E51210 approaching Benton on the 22nd January 1978. Ian Francis.

101 DMU

Inside a not-very-busy 53170 on the 22nd January 2003. Mat Hawley.

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