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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

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

A Class 120 set in Chester station on March 25, 1988. It is formed of two brake vehicles, meaning that it is parcels use. Hamish Stevenson.

New DMU photo

The 11:35 Milford Haven - Swansea service arrives into Haverfordwest on the 17th April 1980. Formed of Swindon Cross-country DMU set C613 (presumably 50691 + 59277 + 50728). By the end of the year it was transferred from Cardiff to Chester depot. Hamish Stevenson.

New DMU photo

W50681 leads Class 120 set C604 (with 50701) at Builth Road with the 10:46 Shrewsbury - Swansea service on April 14, 1980. Hamish Stevenson.

New DMU photo

On September 24th, 1979, Swindon Class 120 set P555 is seen at St Dennis Jct with the 09:40 Par - Newquay service. Hamish Stevenson.

New DMU photo

A Class 108 arrives at Warrington Central on 09/08/1986 Graeme Phillips Collection.

More...

On This Day:

117 DMU

Class 117 set L400 with 51374 leading is stabled at Maidenhead on 11th December 1979. Ian Buck.

121 DMU

Leaving Bourne End for Marlow driving trailer 56287 leads on 11th December 1979 Ian Buck.

121 DMU

55022 on the Marlow Donkey waits to return to Maidenhead from Marlow on the 11th December 1979. Ian Buck.

121 DMU

Working the Marlow Donkey 55022 arrives at Bourne End on the 11th December 1979. Ian Buck.

121 DMU

In the bay at Slough 55021 waits to depart for Windsor on the 11th December 1979. Ian Buck.

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