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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

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.

January 27th

A look at the Fisons Weedkilling Coach FA99900, the former Class 100 DTC 56316.

January 22nd

The minutes of the 66th Lighweight Trains Committee meeting (July 1959) have been added.

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!

Latest Images:

New DMU photo

At dusk on the 5th December 1974 three Class 123 sets are seen in Maidenhead station. The closet set L710 as a 4-car, the front two sets appear to be 3-car sets. 54A South Dock.

New DMU photo

L122 (55022) seen on the Acton main line in pre-electrification days. It is working the Paddington - Greeford shuttle on the 1st March 1990. 54A South Dock.

New DMU photo

An NSE-liveried Class 117 set running through Hungerford Common, which is showing signs of autumn, on the 24th October 1989. 54A South Dock.

New DMU photo

A Met-Camm set in a run down Wadlsey Bridge station, 27th March 1981. 54A South Dock.

New DMU photo

Luton in pre-electrification days. A Class 127 in the station on the 19th August 1978. 54A South Dock.

More...

On This Day:

101 DMU

101320 (51248 + 59046 + 53749) at Markinch with the 16:20 Edinburgh - Perth service, 26th April 1987. Hamish Stevenson.

120 DMU

53672 + 59297 + 53708 seen at Thornton Yard on the 26th April 1987. Hamish Stevenson.

120 DMU

Withdrawn 53670 at Aberdeen Ferryhill depot on the 26th April 1987. Hamish Stevenson.

120 DMU

Withdrawn Class 120 Swindon Cross-Country centre car 59682 a Aberdeen Ferryhill on the 26th April l987. Hamish Stevenson.

120 DMU

Withdrawn 53737 + 53679 at Aberdeen Ferryhill depot for component recovery on the 26th April 1987. Hamish Stevenson.

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