Long distance heritage dmu journeys

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peteb

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Could it have been 'Trojan' fabric that was v common in 70s? No doubt the original upholstery would have worn out by early 70s so likely to have been re-upholstered just as you say - selection of designs here (in case you want your sofa re-done!)
No not Trojan although that catalogue brings back memories. I recall a more plain grey a bit like charcoal grey flannel trousers.
 

Masborough

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Class 120s Lincoln to Crewe?

Bit of a tangent, but what surprised me, was how well first generation dmus compare(d) to loco + hauled stock in terms of power to weight ratio: A class 31 with only 5 coaches is around the same as a humble 101. Classes such as 110, 123, 125 were higher (based on info on wiki').

Presumably DMUs must have been cheaper to run.

Guessing passenger comfort was the main reason they were usually used for shorter distances. Obviously, having a lower top speed would have meant they couldn't have kept time on principle expresses...
 

delt1c

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Class 101's although not sure about 51794 as I thought the batch started at 51795. would have been an interesting and extremely rare run
 

ge-gn

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I recall a Summer Saturday arrival into Norwich formed of suburban DMUs which was way too long for the platform (6). I presume it was from the Birmingham area, and there was much hullabaloo when it arrived. It was unusual for cross country trains to go to that platform, I often wonder if it was a signalling error..?
 

32475

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The very excellent Rail-Online website has just published an image of DMU M79144 leading a rake of 4 x 2 car DMU sets at Templecombe on 25th May 1958. This was on a Birmingham - Bournemouth West Whit Sunday excursion. A very rare if not unique visitor to the S&D I should imagine. I hope this link works......
 

marsker

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That's an interesting photo - and a long way in a very heritage DMU! The caption on the website is incorrect about maximum numbers. The "Yellow Diamond" sets, like most others on the late 50's/early 60's could run with up to 4 power cars. In the YD ones, there was a separate start button for each engine, whereas the Blue Star ones had one start button for the engines on each side of the train. Later, the indication panels were expanded to show up to 6 power cars. I don't know about any of the other coupling codes.
I have an impression that drivers signed to drive DMUs and that there wasn't separate training for each individual type, perhaps someone could confirm or correct that impression.
 

delt1c

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I have an impression that drivers signed to drive DMUs and that there wasn't separate training for each individual type, perhaps someone could confirm or correct that impression.
I remember reading a book about the memoirs of a driver ( can’t remember the name) and he worked a DMU service to Crewe only to find that his return working was a 104 which he wasn’t signed for so couldn’t work it back
 

Taunton

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Possibly changed over time. I recall in the mid 1960s (steam still about) doing Liverpool to Crewe one Saturday, expected a 304 as normal, turned out to be a 2x2-car Derby Yellow Diamond set, presumably from Manchester-Hayfield which still had them at the time. No issue to the driver, it seemed, though such sets were normally unknown at either Liverpool or Crewe. It gave me the only trip ever on that line with the view ahead.

As we seem to have some here who knew those old controls, what did that panel on the left hand side of the cab with the blue lights actually do/show. I thought I knew all the rest, and have even been in and blown the horn a few times (sssh), but was always curious about those lights.
 

theblackwatch

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I remember reading a book about the memoirs of a driver ( can’t remember the name) and he worked a DMU service to Crewe only to find that his return working was a 104 which he wasn’t signed for so couldn’t work it back
I too had the same impression as the previous poster. I remember an occasion when the 'Mobile Museum' (hybrid 100/105 set 53355+53812) appeared at York once. I went for a photo of it, and the driver said to me "what's this old thing" or something similar. I told him it was the only one left and can't imagine he checked his 'book' or whatever to see if he signed Class 100s! Maybe someone who drove DMUs in the 80s could enlighten us?
 

Bevan Price

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Possibly changed over time. I recall in the mid 1960s (steam still about) doing Liverpool to Crewe one Saturday, expected a 304 as normal, turned out to be a 2x2-car Derby Yellow Diamond set, presumably from Manchester-Hayfield which still had them at the time. No issue to the driver, it seemed, though such sets were normally unknown at either Liverpool or Crewe. It gave me the only trip ever on that line with the view ahead.

As we seem to have some here who knew those old controls, what did that panel on the left hand side of the cab with the blue lights actually do/show. I thought I knew all the rest, and have even been in and blown the horn a few times (sssh), but was always curious about those lights.
Some Liverpool drivers would have encountered Yellow Diamond Derby Lightweight dmus - they were used on Liverpool Lime St. to St.Helens & Wigan NW, plus CLC line stoppers until replaced by Class 108s.
 

Sprinter107

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I too had the same impression as the previous poster. I remember an occasion when the 'Mobile Museum' (hybrid 100/105 set 53355+53812) appeared at York once. I went for a photo of it, and the driver said to me "what's this old thing" or something similar. I told him it was the only one left and can't imagine he checked his 'book' or whatever to see if he signed Class 100s! Maybe someone who drove DMUs in the 80s could enlighten us?
I asked a similar question to some of the older drivers at my depot, about signing individual dmu classes, and all said that once they signed dmus, it covered all classes. They would drive whatever turned up.
 

LMS 4F

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Train spotting at Bedford late 1950s or early 1960s one weekday morning the Manchester to London, normally a Jubilee turned up as 4x2 car brand new DMUs and caught us all on the hop as the only numbers were the ones on the side.
However by the afternoon return working we were sorted and got the lot.
Unfortunately after all this time I can't recall which actual unit it was and it didn't as I recall become a regular turn.
In those days I was somewhat unimpressed with anything diesel, especially DMUs. Not a lot has changed in that regard.
 

PG

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I recall in the mid 1960s (steam still about) doing Liverpool to Crewe one Saturday, expected a 304 as normal, turned out to be a 2x2-car Derby Yellow Diamond set, presumably from Manchester-Hayfield which still had them at the time. No issue to the driver, it seemed, though such sets were normally unknown at either Liverpool or Crewe. It gave me the only trip ever on that line with the view ahead.
That prompts me to ask why only DMUs had the view from the saloon into (and through) the cab? What was different that meant similar era EMUs didn't offer passengers such a vista?
 

delt1c

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That prompts me to ask why only DMUs had the view from the saloon into (and through) the cab? What was different that meant similar era EMUs didn't offer passengers such a vista?
They did the 303’s, 310’s and 311’s all had windows behind the drivers cab , was great on the North Clyde service enjoying the view on a Helensburgh service
 

30907

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The Glasgow Blue Trains did.
As did the 310s IIRC (but not 312s).

EMU design developed on suburban systems with long trains and a brake van at each end (pretty much a requirement then). By the time the rules permitted only one brake in a 4-car set (2 cars was OK), design was dominated by the SR model which was essentially a normal coach with a cab on the end - and very often with a through gangway too.
DMMU design started from scratch and from the other end - 2/3 car and lightweight - so a single van worked, with bus seating - and the end view became possible (and popular with passengers, though not universally with crew!).
(The 4-car suburban sets retained 2 vans but at the inner end of the vehicle.)
 

matchmaker

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As did the 310s IIRC (but not 312s).

EMU design developed on suburban systems with long trains and a brake van at each end (pretty much a requirement then). By the time the rules permitted only one brake in a 4-car set (2 cars was OK), design was dominated by the SR model which was essentially a normal coach with a cab on the end - and very often with a through gangway too.
DMMU design started from scratch and from the other end - 2/3 car and lightweight - so a single van worked, with bus seating - and the end view became possible (and popular with passengers, though not universally with crew!).
(The 4-car suburban sets retained 2 vans but at the inner end of the vehicle.)
One notable exception was the 79xxx Swindon Inter-City dmus used on Edinburgh-Glasgow services, where the van was immediately behind the full width cabs.
 

Sprinter107

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I remember 312s having windows to enable passengers to see out of the front. The 312s were more or less identical to 310s.
 

JonathanH

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I remember 312s having windows to enable passengers to see out of the front. The 312s were more or less identical to 310s.
The difference between 310s and 312s and other types of unit with a forward view being that there was a cross passage for the driver between the passenger compartment and the driving compartment as I recall.

This picture indicates a glass screen.

To stay on (nearly) on topic, you have to imagine that the success of the forward view of the (what were, modern) 'heritage' DMUs with the travelling public contributed to this design decision.
 
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Journeyman

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The difference between 310s and 312s and other types of unit with a forward view being that there was a cross passage for the driver between the passenger compartment and the driving compartment as I recall.

This picture indicates a glass screen.

To stay on (nearly) on topic, you have to imagine that the success of the forward view of the (what were, modern) 'heritage' DMUs with the travelling public contributed to this design decision.
The 310s and 312s had backwards facing seats below that glass, though, so seeing out the front was much harder than on a DMU. You needed to stand to get a decent view.
 

EbbwJunction1

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Well if we're including Cl150s, there was a daily Cardiff Central - Gunnislake service.
I think that I may have travelled on the return working of this, if it ran in the late 1990s. I'd been in Plymouth for a week, and returned home to Newport on the Friday afternoon. I looked at the timetable, and saw that I had a choice of services at around the same time - a direct train, or a change at (probably) Bristol Temple Meads.

I opted for the direct service ... which was, I think, a Class 150 and it stopped everywhere - including a booked detour to Paignton, which I didn't know about previously! I should have got out at Newton Abbot and got the other service, but I'd have had to buy a new ticket, and I didn't fancy that.
 
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January 1961 saw the Trans Pennine route Lpool Leeds Hull/Ncastle become a diesel service, in the February a Lpool-Hull by dmu excursion was advertised in the local press book in advance and calling at my local station so I duly booked with the idea of a visit to Hull dairycoats shed.
Anticipating the arrival of one of the new Trans Pennine 6car units on a cold frosty February morn my heart sank to see 5x2car units coupled I was the only person boarding and considering it had started at Lpool I dont think there was more than 6 passengers, upon boarding first carriage not a wisp of warmth and it was totally stone cold throught , I sat behind the drivers compartment for the view frozen stiff all the way to hull nothing brill at dairycoates either the return just the same freezin.
I have a copy of a similar working in May 1958 as this was well before I wonder what units would have worked this as I only recall the Derby lightweights being around at that time.M/c-Hull return 13/- and it went via wakefield normanton.
 

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