British Railways First Generation DMUs (OPC)

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A revised and expanded second edition of Hugh Longworth’s comprehensive record of first generation Diesel Multiple Unit vehicles. Over 4000 DMU vehicles were ordered from BR works and private manufacturers as part of the British Railways Modernisation Plan of 1955, in an attempt to produce a cheap vehicle to replace steam traction on the country's branch lines and secondary routes.

Although many of the lines they were built to serve closed in the wake of the 1963 Beeching Report, many first generation DMUs survived in service until the late 1980s and early 1990s. Most examples were scrapped after withdrawal, but a significant number of these vehicles have been preserved on the nation's heritage railways.

British Railways First Generation DMUs gives details of every DMU vehicle, including information about construction, technical specifications, entry into service, formations, allocations, withdrawal and final fate. The book begins by listing every DMU in class order, with delivery formations shown. DEMU types are also included.

This is followed by a series of diagrams of each class showing side elevation and plan, clearly displaying the seating layout and window/door arrangement of every unit. Next comes the largest section of the book, a list of every individual coach with the following information:

  • Vehicle number with regional prefix at the date of introduction
  • Any subsequent or previous number carried
  • Period in service from introduction date to withdrawal date
  • Disposal details
  • Detail differences
  • Regional reallocations and conversion details

The next section provides a cross section of the depot allocations of each vehicle, listing the home depot of every DMU at ten-year intervals between 1960 and 2000. This is followed by a list of DMU formations for those DMUs that spent much of their lives in stable formations.

Finally, three appendices contain details of the number of each class of DMUs in service at the end of the year, for every year from 1954 to 2008; a list of BR DMU lot numbers and; a list of DMU diagram numbers.

British Railways First Generation DMUs is well illustrated using approximately 200 images in colour and black & white. Hardback. 296 pages.

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