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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

May 20th

The allocations for the remainder of the Cravens Class 105s have been added to the individual vehicle pages.

May 18th

A more expanded look at the Class 120 DMUs that operated in Scotland. There are two parts, the original seven sets and the late 1980s.

May 6th

The allocations for the second batch of Cravens Class 105s (50752-817 and 59307-25) have been added to the individual vehicle pages.

April 27th

The minutes of the 69th Diesel Trains Committee meeting (November 1959) have been added.

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.

Latest Images:

New DMU photo

Parcels DMU 55993 passes through Whitchurch station in 1987. John Law.

New DMU photo

Class 101 set 101 receives the token outside Cromer signal box in 1990. The DMS closest appears to be 53266. John Law.

New DMU photo

Met-Camm set L220 at Kings Lynn in 1988. John Law.

New DMU photo

158861 and Class 101 L836 (presumably 51434 + 51503) at Norwich in 1994. John Law.

New DMU photo

A two-cat Met-Camm power-trailer set at Knottingley in 1986. John Law.

More...

On This Day:

104 DMU

DMBS M50476 nearest the camera awaits departure from Manchester Victoria with a service to Blackpool North on 24/05/1980. Cars carrying the white band were dedicated to these services. The cab front is rather tatty, and includes a square plate where the two-character headcode box has been blanked off. Graeme Phillips Collection.

101 DMU

Set P803 (51450 / 59546 / 51522) is seen departing from Dawlish on the 24th May 1975. Neil Cannon.

115 DMU

Allerton based 51852 (leading) 59722 59715 51860 with another unit on Rainhill shuttle duties, 24th May 1980 seen at Liverpool. Robert Frise.

115 DMU

At Liverpool on the 24th May 1980 the Rainhill shuttle is formed of 51678 (closest) + 59744 + 59757 + 51663 + 51674 + 59758 + 59739 + 51898 - vehicles on loan from Marylebone. Robert Frise.

Random Image:

107 DMU

107 437 sits in Girvan. Date unknown. Tom Clift.

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