8th October 2019 · A DMU Miscellany

Presenter: Robert Warburton

Our October presentation by Robert Warburton gave us at Cambridge an insight into the variety of DMUs that served so many of the country’s lines over the past 50 to 60 years. Robert began by showing us early examples such as GWR rail cars and an LM unit that operated between Cambridge and Bletchley. The early examples continued to evolve and serve many rural branches until the 1955 Modernisation Plan when the designs for the so-called First Generation units were drawn up. We were shown examples of the early rail buses and examples of nearly every manufacturers’ products ranging from single unit rail cars up to the six-car cross-country units. Southern Region units featured regularly but the Metro Cammell Pullman units in their blue livery with the Pullman crest were the most striking in appearance.

Robert had extensive knowledge of detail differences between outwardly similar units which could vary in length or have different engines. Liveries were almost as numerous as the unit types having started their lives in BR green and appeared in corporate blue, NSE, Regional Railways and many other versions.We did see pictures of three and four car units with every vehicle in a different livery.The ‘new’ units such as Pacers, Sprinters and Networkers were also very well represented. Throughout the show we were able to see DMUs working in every variety of location carrying out duties ranging from suburban shuttles to inter-city services. Robert’s research and photographs showed what an important difference the sometimes unloved DMU has made to services in every corner of the country and I recommend this show to other Branches.