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This website is a personal project by Stuart Mackay.

Stuart was exposed to DMUs as a youngster travelling on local services in Fife in the early '70s. As his interest in railways grew it was more focused on locomotives, especially after moving to the Helensburgh area and a house that overlooked the West Highland Line. However a short career working on buffet cars, first on the West Highland Line and then the Glasgow - Edinburgh push-pulls, plus the declining use of locomotives in favour of Sprinters, quenched any railway enthusiast spirit left in him for the current rail system.

Still retaining an interest in railways he decided to take on a more hands-on approach. After reading a magazine article about a local group that had bought their own train he decided to get involved. The group was the Swindon Diesel Preservation Society (SDPS) which had bought a Class 126 straight out of traffic from the Glasgow - Ayr line.

This was in the very early days of DMU preservation (and just before the internet started to gain popularity). Together with fellow SDPS member John Horne he started a monthly newsletter called 'The Railcar' to aid communication between DMU preservationists to share information as everyone learned how to look after these vehicles.

This led to an interest in the other types of DMUs, and he was soon to discover that there was no real in-depth information available, all the books published had covered all types in one volume meaning just a page or two on each class giving just basic details. The quest for more knowledge and the growing popularity of the internet saw him begin this website as an outlet to compile all the bits and pieces of information he could find to tell a more complete story.

And so it continues.

The enjoyment he got from working on preserved DMUs saw him spend several years as a self-employed DMU restorer, working on many different preserved (and main-line) DMUs around the country. He was often based at the Midland Railway Center at Butterley where, amongst many others, he worked on the three Heritage Lottery Funded (HLF) DMU restorations - the Wickham, the Derby Lightweight and the Class 126. Another HLF project he was very much involved with was the Railcar50 event at the Severn Valley Railway in 2004.

DMU book

He was asked by publisher Ian Allan to produce a book on DMUs for their popular 'in colour for the Modeller and Historian' series, which was published in 2006. Before moving on from Butterley he single-handedly started the Indietracks Music Festival which continues today as a major fundraiser for the Midland Railway.

Nowadays Stuart lives in the San Francisco Bay Area, but he is still known to work on the Class 126 at Bo'ness from time to time when he visits Scotland.

Some photos of his adventures can be found on Flickr.


This site of a compilation of facts and photographs submitted by many many people. We are very grateful for all your assistance.

Early versions

March 15th, 1998


May 18th, 2010

© 1998 - 2019