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dmustu

Chiltern DMU's Retired 19/05/17

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Hello all,

 

Yesterday, 19/05, the UK's oldest passenger diesel multiple units retired. Chiltern Railways had been running 2 class 121 dmu's on the Princes Risborough to Aylesbury line at peak times. These railcars date from the late 1950's, and were the UK's only vacuum braked trains to run on the national network. I took a ride on the nearly 60 year old train a few days back.

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Interesting. Had no idea there were still units this old running around in the UK. They even refitted them with LED lights.

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I saw one of those a couple of years ago while being whisked through Princes Risborough on something more modern. Had I known beforehand I might have arranged to stop and take a ride,  especially as it's the town my mother grew up in and I have childhood memories of 115s blarting past my grandparents' house.

 

Available in N gauge from Dapol:

 

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class-121-railcar by Rail Squid, on Flickr

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I'm actually surprised that a "Slam Door" train has come this far...

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Slam doors are allowed as long they have automatic door locking and either up to modern crash standards or operate on their own track.

 

Afaik these units were pulled back from preservation as a combined tourist/railfan/commuter service that ran in the normal timetable. It's sad that they were retired again.

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I'm actually surprised that a "Slam Door" train has come this far...

 

Still plenty of slam door trains in the UK, mostly in the form of MK3 coaches. Chiltern operate one set of slam door MK3's, all HST trains are still slam door, but there are plans afoot to fit power operated sliding doors on many of the HST sets, and Anglia's intercity services are formed of MK3 coaches too. 

 

MK2's can be found in small numbers with a couple of operators, and charter operators are using mostly slam door MK2 and MK1 coaches.

 

Such vehicles don't have to operate on their own track if not up to modern crash standards, but they do have to have door locking, MK2 and MK3 coaches still in service were fitted with a Central Door Locking system in the late 1980's. Charter operators with their MK1 coaches simply added a bolt on the inside of the door. And in the case of the Chiltern dmu's, as well as the door locking system, they also had to have GSMR radio's, TPWS and Data Recorders fitted to be able to run on the national network. They were also fitted with forward facing CCTV not too long ago.

Edited by dmustu
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Sorry to see these units finish. Hopefully a future life in preservation beckons...

I imagine so, they got refreshed quite extensively not too long ago.

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Still plenty of slam door trains in the UK, mostly in the form of MK3 coaches. Chiltern operate one set of slam door MK3's, all HST trains are still slam door, but there are plans afoot to fit power operated sliding doors on many of the HST sets, and Anglia's intercity services are formed of MK3 coaches too. 

 

I wish I'd filmed Mrs. Railsquid's reaction the first time she encountered a Mk 3 door from the inside... "How do you open this?" "Oh, you pull the window down, reach out, turn the handle and try not to fall out onto the platform". "What?!!!"

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Back when I last visited the UK, in 1992(?), these types (or the variations in multiple form) were still quite common.  As I recall they had nice views out the front, and one lively ride on the GW mainline between Reading and Didcot was especially memorable.

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