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Class 128 Gloucester RC&W Parcel DMU Cars


The bodies were of an-steel welded construction of 16g. Sheet for the bodyside and roof panels, and 3/8 inch thick material for the bodyside pillars. The body was asbestos insulated, and lined with 3/8 inch plywood and the composition floor was laid in Flintkote Indasco. The floor area in front of all obstructions and the chequered dumping plates in the doorways were recessed flush with the floor level.

There were three double sliding doors on each side, each was fitted with a drop light on the right hand side. The sliding door gear was the Beclawat top-hung heavy duty type. Roof stiffening arches were incorporated at both ends of each of the door frames.

The six cars for operation of the WR were fitted with the standard DMU gangways for through access, while the LMR cars were non-gangwayed. At least 55993 of the WR batch had brackets for taking small destination boards below the cab windows. In the publicity shot of this vehicle it is displaying 'Wellington', and was green with white/cream lettering (all upper case).


Each vehicle had two Leyland Albion 6-cylinder RE901 engines rated 238hp at 1,900rpm. The drive was taken through a fluid flywheel and SCG type SE4 four-speed epicyclic gearbox to a RF28 final drive in the inner axle of each bogie. The mountings of the engine and transmission units and the cooling arrangements were standard to other DMUs. Graviner fire protection equipment was fitted over the power units, and water and CO2 hand extinguishers were carried in each cab.

There were two 80 gallon frame mounted rectangular fuel tanks, one of which also supplied diesel to the heater. This capacity gave a fuel range of approximately 350 miles. Battery charging was by an engine driven 24V 75A CAV alternators and rectifier, the lead-acid battery being of 440 Ah capacity.

The underframes and bogies were based on the standard Derby design, the frame being a welded fabrication of rolled-steel channel sections. Rubber springs were incorporated in the Garrington buffers. Bogies were of the swing-bolster type with hydraulic dampers (supplied by Jonas Woodhead & Sons Ltd) for bolster side control. Driven from the axlebox was a Smith-Stone speed indicator and distance counter. WR automatic train control and sanding equipment was fitted on the WR cars. Provision was made on the LMR for the later installation of AWS equipment.

The standard Gresham & Craven quick release brakes were fitted, and there was a hand-parking brake in each of the guards compartments.

Cars had either round or oval buffers, and 55995 ran with a square cut one on one side and oval on the other in '67.


Hinged racks for small parcels, a letter rack, and straps for securing bikes (including motorcycles) were fitted at each end. Lighting was by seven 60W roof lamps in the van and 15W lamps in driver and guards compartments. Dust traps were fitted in the BR standard roof ventilators. In the LMR cars were drain holes in the floor, and in the WR cars was a storage area for the gangway blank door for when in multiple.

Crew areas

The cab at each end was divided to provide a complete enclosure for the driver and a compartment, with access to the van, for the guard. The internal layout was identical with both cab types, ie the Midland cars did not have a full width cab.

Class 128 cab

On the flat-top knee-hole drivers desk were mounted the driving controls and light switches, and vertically mounted on the front bulkhead were the instruments and gauges. Supplied by AW Chapman Limited were standard adjustable upholstered seats for the driver, and a drop seat for the guard. An electric food warmer was recessed into the bulkhead of one cab. One Smiths combustion heater was fitted for cab heating and through train heating controls were fitted in the guard's compartment. Loudaphone equipment was installed for communication between driver and guard. The cab doors, supplied by Lightalloys. Limited, were all fitted with Beclawat balanced drop lights. Trico - Forbeth screen wipers, sun visors and Smiths de-misters were fitted, and on the LMR cars there were hand operated screen washers.

The image shows the cab of a gangwayed Class 128, thought to be 55992 taken at Vic Berry's on 2-11-88. Michael Kaye 55A.


Length over buffers 67' 1"
Width over body 9' 0"
Height over roof panels 12' 4 1/2"
Length of luggage compartment 55' 3 7/8"
Bogie centres 46' 6"
Bogie wheelbase 8' 6"
Wheel diameter 3' 0"
Weight in working order 40 tons
Pay load - distributed 10 tons
Test load - distributed 18 tons
Fuel capacity 160 gallons

In the '70s (around 1979?) many of the gangways were removed and the gap plated over. Many also had the headcode boxes removed, plated over and a marker light fitted. At least 55990 ran with the centre two characters blanked of in yellow and the two outer ones left black with white dots.

In later years some of the cars received Leyland TL11 power units.

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