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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

February 17th

A feature by Jonathan Horswell on the unofficial names that appeared in the 1980/90s.

February 5th

The allocations for the BRC&W Class 104 DTC and centre cars (56175-89, 59132-234, 59240-4) have been added to the individual vehicle pages.

February 3rd

The minutes of the 78th Diesel Trains Committee meeting (October 1960) have been added.

January 25th

The allocations for the BRC&W Class 104 power cars (50420-50598) have been added to the individual vehicle pages.

January 21st

The Class 127 Works Photos have been added.

December 15th

The minutes of the 77th Diesel Trains Committee meeting (September 1960) have been added.

November 16th

The minutes of the 76th Diesel Trains Committee meeting (August 1960) have been added.

November 11th

Three new destination blinds have been added, from Chester in the late 1980s, from the Scottish Region in the early 1980s, and from the North Eastern Region circa late '80s/early '90s.

October 31st

The minutes of the 75th Diesel Trains Committee meeting (July 1960) have been added.

October 29th

The allocations for the Derby Class 107s have been added to the individual vehicle pages. Also the Class 107 operations page has been re-written.

October 27th

A new destination blind, from Marylebone in the 1970s has been added.

Latest Images:

New DMU photo

Class 101 set 311 - with two brake vans - is seen in Princes Street Gardens in 1986, and another Met-Camm set is seen in the distance. S Saunders.

New DMU photo

Class 101 Met-Camm set 308 is seen in Princes Street Gardens in 1986. S Saunders.

New DMU photo

A Swindon Cross-Country set in Princes Street Gardens in 1986, DMS 50648 closest. S Saunders.

New DMU photo

A Class 120 emerging into Princes Street Gardens. S Saunders.

New DMU photo

M53653 is seen in Edinburgh Waverley in 1986. S Saunders.

More...

On This Day:

101 DMU

101686 (51231 + 51500) arrives into Whifflet station on February 24, 1994. Stuart Mackay Collection.

120 DMU

Class 120 51575 is seen at Peterborough on 24.02.1987 after it's passenger carrying days were over and it had been taken over by the Parcels department. Andy Cole.

101 DMU

Class 101 set 63 is seen in BR blue and grey livery at Peterborough on 24.02.1987 with 51428 closest. Andy Cole.

101 DMU

51230 is in need of a wash when seen entering Peterborough station at the head of set number 10 on February 24, 1987. Andy Cole.

103 DMU

Class 103 DMBS 50400 is seen stabled at Tyseley awaiting repair, 24.02.1980. Andy Cole.

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