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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

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.

September 21st

The minutes of the 74th Diesel Trains Committee meeting (June 1960) have been added.

August 28th

The allocations for the Derby Class 114s have been added to the individual vehicle pages.

July 18th

A more detailed look at the Class 114s in parcel use has been added.

Latest Images:

New DMU photo

Set B811 (with presumably 51801 leading) passes 08 950 at Westbury on May 11, 1981. Steve Davies Collection.

New DMU photo

A Class 110 DMU emerges from the tunnel at Sowerby Bridge on June 16, 1983. Steve Davies Collection.

New DMU photo

W51389 leads Class 117 set L412 (presumably with 59499 + 51347) at Kings Norton on April 11, 1981. It is displaying Banbury (General) on the destination blind. Steve Davies Collection.

New DMU photo

No date or location with this image, the destination blind seems to read 'Special Excursion'. It shows three two-car Cravens sets, almost certainly ER sets and early 1970s. Note the third vehicle is noticeably lighter than the others, and carries the BR logo on the cab door, as does the leading car which has the smaller 3" vehicle numbers. Steve Davies Collection.

New DMU photo

E56373 leads this two-car refurbished Class 101 set at Abbots Ripon on May 2, 1979, heading for Hitchin. Steve Davies Collection.

More...

On This Day:

127 DMU

DMBS M51635 leads a pair of class 127 4-car units at St.Pancras waiting to work another service to Bedford. Saturday 22nd January 1983 Iain Reid.

101 DMU

Class 101 DMBS 50232 with DTCL 56399 trailing, rattles along near Middlesbrough on 22/Jan/1983. Robert Chilton.

105 DMU

E51274 and E56084 seen at Manors on 22 January 1978. Ian Francis.

101 DMU

E56392 + E51210 approaching Benton on the 22nd January 1978. Ian Francis.

101 DMU

Inside a not-very-busy 53170 on the 22nd January 2003. Mat Hawley.

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