I’m poaching on Contributor “Big Paws” territory here so I hope he doesn’t mind – but I found this series of very entertaining and informative videos from British Railways circa mid-1950’s on Youtube the other night. The videos address operation and trouble-shooting for the DMU series of trains introduced in 1956. Nicely filmed, straightforward, very detailed, and with a trace of understated British humor…they highlight how “old school” training was done. There are four parts – I found Parts 2 and 3 the most interesting…
DMU stands for Diesel Multiple Units – and were British Rail’s first attempt in the middle 1950’s to modernize some of its smaller regional and secondary lines, replacing the then common steam power. Big Paws has an excellent summary of the DMU series trains here.
While there were several versions made by different manufacturers, the ones in the video look like Class 101 trains made by Metro-Cammel. Most used a British United Traction (a collaboration between AEC and Leyland) 11.3 litre horizontal six cylinder engine with 150 hp. The mechanical transmission with pneumatic shifting is quite interesting.
I’m hoping these DMU’s didn’t break down as much as this video seems to suggest. In any event, an Operator smaller in stature certainly looks to be at an advantage…
The 101/2 series trains proved both successful and popular, with the last one leaving service in 2003.
Thanks for the fun. I have downloaded them to watch in entirety when I have the time. This is terrific. Tom
65mph: pretty fast. “The fluid flywheel.” A fluid coupling?
Interesting that the train should only coast in fourth–top–gear.
What complete and irrelevant nonsense these videos are, suitable only for the odd.
So, when I’d finished watching all of them avidly and finished sending the link to my 85 y.o. dad, I do have to ask, why you thought such stuff appropriate to put here, Mr B? Diesels they may be, but they don’t go on roads, they’re not buses, you know?
Great stuff, sir.
A question, is the driver controlling the diesel engines with that lever, or is it the electric motors that they power the stuff he controls with his handle here? Or have I got that all wrong, and it’s diesel-hydraulic (like what was called a railcar here, in this State, Walker railcars), or is it diesel-electric?
Oh dear, ignore the question, all answered in more careful watching of vid.
Move along, I say, you there, just the usual idiot.
“but they don’t go on roads” – but they do go on rail-roads !
Congratulations! You’ve come to the right spot.
The basis for Daisy the Diesel Railcar from Thomas & Friends!
Neat videos. Part 3, with the brake problems is interesting not just due to the problems themselves, but just the thought that a trainload of passengers would come to a stop due to faulty brakes, and everyone would watch the operator get out, fiddle with some lines & hoses, and then get back underway again. Definitely a different way of dealing with breakdowns than what’s expected today!
With my train spotter hat on I can say that the unit featured in the second film E50009/E56009 is a Derby Heavyweight unit, Class 114, introduced in 1956, last of the Class withdrawn in 1992.
One of the best features of these trains was the view out through the cab front windows. Their 1980s and subsequent replacements no longer have such delights. There’s quite a few of old diesel units on preserved lines.
Mind? I love it!
These regularly pop up in my YouTube list, and are very much of their time and place. The forward view for passengers was the memorable feature of these trains – I have fond memories of covering both the Settle-Carlisle and, for some forgotten reason, the East Coast Main Line from York to Newcastle on a glorious summer evening with the driver’s view.