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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

May 20th

The allocations for the remainder of the Cravens Class 105s have been added to the individual vehicle pages.

May 18th

A more expanded look at the Class 120 DMUs that operated in Scotland. There are two parts, the original seven sets and the late 1980s.

May 6th

The allocations for the second batch of Cravens Class 105s (50752-817 and 59307-25) have been added to the individual vehicle pages.

April 27th

The minutes of the 69th Diesel Trains Committee meeting (November 1959) have been added.

March 27th

The allocations for the first batch of Cravens Class 105s (50359-94 and 56114-49) have been added to the individual vehicle pages.

March 23rd

The minutes of the 68th Diesel Trains Committee meeting (October 1959) have been added.

March 13th

The allocations for the Swindon Class 120s have been added to the individual vehicle pages.

February 23rd

The minutes of the 67th Diesel Trains Committee meeting (August 1959) have been added.

January 29th

The allocations for the GRC&W Class 100s have been added to the individual vehicle pages.

Latest Images:

New DMU photo

Class 117 DMU L400 standing at Oxford with 51332 at the front. Date unknown. Stuart Pearce.

New DMU photo

GWR liveried Class 117 set B430 (51368 + 59520 + 51410) at Ashford Chart Leacon open day on June 7th, 1986. Stuart Pearce.

New DMU photo

A Gloucester R C & W Parcels DMU 55994 at Crewe with a suburban set. Undated, but the livery means it's in the 1985 - 1988 period. Stuart Pearce.

New DMU photo

Class 118 DMU W51317 at Exeter St Davids with a Barnstaple working. Undated, but it appeared in this livery in 1985. Stuart Pearce.

New DMU photo

Class 101 Driving Trailer E53193 stands at Felixstowe. Date unknown, it was part of set 102 circa 1986/7. Stuart Pearce.

More...

On This Day:

120 DMU

Class 120 set 506 (53708 + 59297 + 53672) leaves Edinburgh Waverley station with the 11:03 Edinburgh - Cowdenbeath service on May 23, 1987. Hamish Stevenson.

101 DMU

DMU vehicles in Doncaster Works on the 23rd May, 1976, including Class 104 TBS E59209 on the right. Arnie Furniss.

120 DMU

Class 120 Swindon Cross-Country set 506 (53672 + 59297 + 53708) about to enter Edinburgh Waverley station with the 10:06 from Cowdenbeath - on the 23rd May 1987. Hamish Stevenson.

120 DMU

Swindon class 120 'Cross-Country' DMU Nos.M53692-M59301-M53708 forming a Lincoln service at Crewe on 23rd May 1985. Station pilot loco 08737 is in the adjacent platform. Gordon Edgar.

101 DMU

Newcastle Central station pilot locomotive, class 03 No.03063, is captured framed between 'Peak' 45139 and Metro-Cammell DMU No.E53156 on 23rd May 1985. The class 03 was delivered new as D2063 on 14th July 1959 to York (50A) depot and subsequently worked from Stourton, Bradford Hammerton Street, York, Hull Botanic Gardens and Gateshead depots during its career. It was withdrawn on 26th November 1987 and is now preserved on the North Norfolk Railway. Gordon Edgar.

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