·  LMS  ·  GWR  ·  LNER  ·  Misc  ·  Stations  ·  What's New  ·  Video  ·  Guestbook  ·  About

LMS Route: Rugby to Wolverhampton

LMS Route: Birmingham-Soho-Perry Barr-Birmingham

Winson Green Station: lnwrwg2270a

Close up showing the two-car set of a Derby Lightweight DMU which was powered by engines made by British Unit Traction

Close up of image 'lnwrwg2270' showing the two-car set of a Derby Lightweight DMU which was powered by engines made by British Unit Traction. The British Railways Derby Lightweight Diesel Multiple Units, were the first such trains to be built en-masse for British Railways. The units were built at British Railways's Derby Works from 1954 to 1955. The units were built in various formations, including twelve power-twin 2-car units, eighty-four power-trailer 2-car units, and four 4-car units. The two single car units were originally built as a two-car unit and then split two years later when demand came about.

The first sets were introduced on services around the West Riding of Yorkshire, primarily on the Leeds to Bradford services. Subsequent sets were introduced on services in Cumbria, Lincolnshire, Norfolk, and on the Birmingham to Sutton Coldfield, Bletchley to Buckingham and Banbury, and East London lines services. They were also the last sets to run on the Anglesey Central Railway which closed to passenger services in 1964. The sets were an outstanding success, helping to reduce the operating costs of branchlines. As such, British Railways ordered many more DMU vehicles from various builders over the next decade, thus helping to eliminate steam locomotives. However, as these sets were non-standard compared to other later DMU vehicles, they were subject to early retirement, the last units being withdrawn from normal traffic in 1969.

A number of cars from these units were subsequently transferred to departmental (non-revenue earning) use after withdrawal from normal service:

  • 79018 + 79612 were rebuilt as an ultrasonic test train based at Reading, numbered 975007 + 975008. Replaced by unit 901001.
  • 79900 was rebuilt as test coach "Iris", based at Bletchley, numbered 975010. Later transferred to the BR Research Division at the Railway Technical Centre at Derby, for its last few years in traffic, it was repainted into original BR Green livery. Replaced by unit 901002.
  • 79185 was taken into departmental use for brake trials, numbered 975012. It was scrapped in 1970.
  • 79250 and 79252 were taken into departmental use as staff messrooms, numbered 975013 and 975014. They were scrapped in 1978 and 1982 respectively.
  • 79649, the inspection saloon mentioned above, took its place in the departmental series as 999510.