Locomotive Performance

First Generation D M U's

The idea of including a page devoted to Diesel Multiple Units in "Locomotive Performance" had not entered my mind. At least, not until 15th October 2004. It was the first day of the "Railcar 50" event at the Severn Valley. And I thoroughly enjoyed it, and found myself well and truly caught up in the nostalgia. Amazing, I hated DMU's, didn't I. And although I recall timing one or two DMU journeys, I surely wouldn't have more than a handful of logs.

So I went back through all my old records right back to 1956, when I remember returning to Birmingham from Rugby on one of these "new fangled" things. And I found that I had about forty logs of "First Generation DMU's covering the forty five year period from 1956 to 2001. Some of the workings were interesting ones, like a day excursion from Birmingham to Ramsgate. Many  were on the Metro Cammell or Craven units, and logs were marked accordingly. Unfortunately I rarely recorded the numbers of the units, so the identities of some of the units will remain a mistery for ever.  
10th/14th March 1956: 2 journeys from Rugby to Birmingham New St, each on two 2 car Derby units. My first DMU runs  [view logs]
21st April 1957: Birmingham to Peterborough East, via Market Harborough, as part of a journey from Birmingham to Tonbridge that included the East Coast Main Line between Peterborough and Kings Cross. Three 2 car Derby units [view log]
10th September 1960: Birmingham to Stoke-on-Trent and Blackburn to Stoke-on-Trent on Football Excursion..Blackburn v Aston Villa. For some reason I only timed the early part of the run in each direction. Two 3 car Metro Cammell units  [view log]

15th July 1965: Manchester to Wolverhampton on a 3 car unit. Class unknown [view log]

12th February 1966: Birmingham to Tamworth on a 3 car Craven unit  [view log]

28th August 1966: Birmingham Snow Hill to Ramsgate and return Day Excursion via High Wycombe, Kensington, the Catford Loop, and the Kent Coast line. Two 3 car Metro Cammell units. From the front seats both ways [view log]

6th July 1979: Crewe to Preston on a Craven 4 car DMU relief service [view log]
4th August 1984: Nuneaton to Peterborough and March. Part of a journey from Nuneaton to Norwich on a pair of Craven units, a 3 plus 2 combination and a rear view seat [view log]
? November 1984: Gloucester to Newport. Class unknown. 3 cars [view log]

15th June 1985: Waterloo East to Tonbridge on a pair of Hastings DEMU units, nos 1018 & 1012. My only experience of these units. Most uncomfortable  [view log]

26th June 1987: Porthmadog to Barmouth and Machynlleth. A 3 plus 2 combination. Class unknown  [view log]

20th August 1988: The Esk Valley: Grosmont to Whitby & return. Metro Cammell unit [view logs]

10th June 1989: Ashford to Hastings on a Thumper [view log]

25th February & 20th March 1989: Dorridge to Leamington & return on 3 car class 104's. With Sprinters about to take over, I timed these journey for posterity [view logs]

15th May 2000 and 5th May 2001.. Metro Cammell units on the Conwy Valley. Blaenau Ffestiniog to Llandudno Junction [view  log] and Llandudno to Blaenau Ffestiniog, the latter including a liberal interpretation of the 30 mph linespeed beyond Bettws-y-coed   [view log]

So here concludes a page that was never envisaged.