One of the favourite features on DMUs was being able to sit behind the driver and share his view of the line ahead. These images show what this experience was like. Latterly, drivers put their privacy over the public's enjoyment and would put the blinds down on the partition between the cab and the passenger saloon.
The view from Class 108 Set S946 on 2M39, the 1528 Swansea - Crewe (via Reversal at Llanelli & Central Wales line), as it awaits time at Llanganmarch at 17:26 on Wednesday 16th August 1989. Colin Brooks.
A Class 119 set and 37 286 are seen at Cardiff from another DMU on the 4th July 1980. Bruce Galloway.
Heading north looking back over the engineering marvel that is the 1890 Forth Railway Bridge over the Firth of Forth. This is a view of the intricate steelwork (in the days when they still used to paint it!) from the dmu rear seat. The sloping desk means this is a Cravens vehicle, with it's shaped hand brake wheel on the left. Pete LG99.
This is an example of how a clear view of the road ahead was possible from the front seat of a dmu, taken at Lichfield Station (Staffordshire) on 11th October 1974. The LNWR Lichfield City Station opened in 1849 and still retains a lot of its character today. Here the starter signal is pulled off for dmu M50109 to take the junction for Birmingham New Street via Sutton Coldfield. This trip to New Street was memorable because the carriage was full of screaming teenagers all wearing tartan outfits - unfortunately the Bay City Rollers were in concert in town that evening. The white plate with the number 6 on it indicates where a 6 car dmu train should stop. Sadly not needed anymore as I only ever see 2 or 3 car trains these days. This station is on the now electrified cross-city line from Reddich so I assume the semaphore signals & LNWR box must have been replaced. Pete LG99.
A featured loved in DMUs was the ability to share the driver's view (if the blinds were left up), such as this view of Birmingham Moor Street circa 1970. Stuart Mackay Collection.
The view from behind the driver of a Class 101 DMU, leaving Markinch, by the Sig Box, 5/7/77. David Christie.
A BRCW Type 2 Diesel passing our southbound Class 101 DMU on the Forth Bridge, 5/7/77. David Christie.
Crossing the Forth Bridge - seen though the front windows of a southbound Class 101 DMU on 5/7/77. Note the red (1st class) seat frames. David Christie.
A nostalgic view of North Walsham with the tanks for Parkeston in the sidings. Taken from our Cravens dmu on 15/3/86. Photo by Phil Mott. Gerard Fletcher.
A look out of a Class 116 set heading out of Birmingham Moor Street and approaching Duddeston Viaduct. April 22nd, 1969. Stuart Mackay Collection.
Taken near Gilberdyke from a DMU heading for Hull, the Eastern Region general manager's inspection saloon "The Stourton Saloon" headed by DB975637 with DB975664 behind passes the other way on 18/Jun/1988. These two vehicles were converted from Gloucester Railway Carriage and Wagon Co. class 100 DMUs 56300 (DTCL) and 51122 (DMBS) respectively. They were taken into departmental stock in 1978 and withdrawn in 1990, being scrapped at Snailwell in Cambridgeshire. As a footnote there were at one time six preserved class 100 vehicles and as of this month that total is down to three, with the news that long-stored 56317 which has been passed from pillar to post in recent years, has been scrapped. Happily the two car set consisting of 56097 and 51118, the only surviving class 100 power car, are currently undergoing a thorough restoration and should be back in service soon after many years out of use. Robert Chilton.
A Met-Camm unit seen out of the window of another DMU. Taken at Castleton Moor on the Middlesbrough to Whitby line, date unknown. Stuart Rankin.
Taken on-board Swindon Cross Country DMS 53675 at Penhilig, 22nd July 1985. The reflection shows the lights are on ready for going through the tunnel, ones on the luggage rack being prominent. Tim Stubbs.
A view I got nearly every day coming home from work, on board a Buxton allocated class 108 DMU on a Manchester Piccadilly - Buxton service, slowing for the Levenshulme stop, whilst a London Euston - Manchester Piccadilly service nears it's destination with a class 87 at the helm. 6th September 1986. Andrew J Crowther.
One feature of many of the old 1st generation DMUS now sadly lacking with the new stock was the forward view, or as in this case, rearward view. Here the view out of the rear of class 116 no. 51143 is seen just after leaving Northfield on the way from Redditch to Birmingham New Street. Points of note are the unit set number board in the secondman's window, the driver's copy of the 'Mirror' from the outbound journey and, unusually, a second set of driving controls lying on the desk. 26/Jul/1991. Robert Chilton.
One feature of many of the old 1st generation DMUS now sadly lacking with the new stock was the forward view, or as in this case, rearward view. Here the view out of the rear of class 116 no. 51143 is seen just after passing Lifford West Junction and just before arriving at Bournville on the way from Redditch to Birmingham New Street, 26/Jul/1991. Robert Chilton.
The view from a Derby Lightweight between Norwich and North Walsham in a snowy January 1964. These vehicles didn't have a full width drivers desk, and the brake valve on the lower left just sits on top of two vacuum pipes. Tim Stubbs.
Sharing the drivers eye view. A Class 116 in the Birmingham Moor Street area, probably 1970s. The seat covering is 'Trojan' moquette. Stuart Mackay Collection.
Sharing the driver's view, in the days when they left the blinds up. Taken in a Class 104 crossing Stockport viaduct. Malcolm Clements.
Crossing the Forth Bridge on a Derby built vehicle, probably a 107 or one of the 108s that spent a short time based in Edinburgh when new. In the desk can be seen a small board painted "D2 WED" and these can sometimes be seen propped up in the windows. It denoted what the set was working, and on the reverse was often the drivers diagram details. Photo by Tony Pirie. Ian McDonald Collection.
This shows one of the main reasons the public loved DMUs - the view of the line ahead! The set is approaching Dalmeny Junction from the south and is about to pass 61351. It's probably a Class 107 but may be one of the 108s on loan at the time. Photo by Tony Pirie. Ian McDonald Collection.