The introduction of a new fleet of diesel multiple units offered a practical solution to this problem as the engines of several railcars could be coupled together to meet varying traffic needs, hence the power available became proportional to the length of the train.
Now I must confess that my experience of ScR diesel multiple units is somewhat limited, and so my sincere thanks to Allan Trotter of Eastbank Model Railway Club for providing some background detail.
SWINDON-BUILT DMUs IN SCOTLAND
Observations by Allan Trotter of Eastbank Model Railway Club
There were three distinct variants of Swindon built diesel multiple units used in Scotland and a great deal of misconception still seems to exist as to where each of the three types operated. The types of Swindon DMU used on each route may at first appear to be similar but by no means were they identical. I attempt to offer my understanding as to the differences and the enclosed photos should illustrate further.
The three routes employing Swindon DMU cars were:
1. Edinburgh Waverley to Glasgow Queen Street.
2. Aberdeen to Inverness.
3. Glasgow St Enoch and Glasgow Central to Ayr and Stranraer.
EDINBURGH - GLASGOW (EH-GW)
The first units built in 1956-57 were for the Edinburgh-Glasgow route. These trains generally ran in a semi constant formation of six vehicles but vehicles could be substituted. A typical formation would have the leading vehicle as a Driving Motor Brake Second (79091-94, 79096-111), which had a full width cab and a small guard's van immediately behind the cab and seating for 52. Vehicle two was an Intermediate Driving Motor Brake Second (79083-90, 95) and also had a small guard's van immediately behind the cab. This vehicle was gangwayed at both ends and also had seating for 52. Alternatively, the second vehicle was an Intermediate Driving Motor Second with seating for 64 (79155-68). Depending on which way around the train was oriented, the third vehicle would be a Trailer Buffet First (79440-47), which had three compartments with a total seating for 18 and an additional 12 seats in the buffet. Vehicle four was a Trailer Corridor First (79470-82) with seven compartments and 42 seats or a Trailer Composite Corridor (59402-12) with seating of 18 first and 24 second. Vehicle five would be similar to vehicle two and the last vehicle was the same as the first. The route indicators on the cabs were of the stencil type. These trains remained in service until superseded by the Class 27/1's, 27/2's and dedicated sets of Mk. 2 coaches in the early 1970's. After removal from the Edinburgh Glasgow route, all but two of the Edinburgh Glasgow Swindon motor vehicles were withdrawn from service in the UK. The exceptions were Class 126/2 Intermediate Driving Motor Brake Second (79088) with 52 seats and Class 126/1 Intermediate Driving Motor Brake Second (79168) with 64 seats. Also two of the Class 188 Trailer Corridor First cars remained in service throughout the 1970's and at least one was reclassified to a Composite. These four vehicles transferred to service on the Ayrshire line...one Trailer Buffet car survived into preservation.
ABERDEEN - INVERNESS (AB-IV)
On the Aberdeen Inverness route the 1959 built Swindon cars were made up into three car sets consisting of a Driving Motor Brake Composite (51781-7) which had a full width cab and first class accommodation for 18 located behind the cab and a further 16 seats in second. The centre car was a Trailer Buffet Second (59679-85) with seating for 60 and 4 seats in the buffet. The last vehicle was a Driving Motor Second, again with full width cab (51788-94) and seating for 68. The route indicators on the cabs were of the roller blind type. The motor vehicles were Class 120/1 and the trailer buffet cars Class 179.
GLASGOW - AYR & STRANRAER (AY-GW)
The line from Glasgow to Ayr and Stranraer employed the third variant of the Scottish Swindon units. These were also built in 1959. These were formed into three car sets consisting of a Driving Motor Brake Second with a full width cab with the guard's van being located at the opposite end of the vehicle, gangwayed at this end only (51030-51), seating for 52 and classified Class 126/2. The centre car was either a Trailer Corridor First with seating for 42 (59391-400) or a Trailer Corridor Composite with seating for 18 first and 24 second (59402-12). Towards the end of service of the units the centre cars were reclassified to Trailer Corridor Second configuration. The trailers were originally designated Class 189 but around 1980 this was altered to Class 126, the same as the motor cars. The third vehicle was an Intermediate Driving Motor Second and gangwayed at both ends (50936, 51008-29), seating for 64 and classified Class 126/1. Again the route indicators on the cabs were of the roller blind type. Towards the end of their service the cab end gangway on the Intermediate Driving Motor Seconds was removed and plated over. As mentioned before, one unit was formed to include ex-Edinburgh & Glasgow 1956-7 built Intermediate Driving Motor Brake Seconds (79088 and 79168). This made it the only unit on the Ayrshire line that was gangwayed through both ends. At least one of the regular Swindon Class 126 units lasted in service until 1983 as one was used on the last day of service on the Glasgow Central to Kilmacolm line in January 1983...one three-car Ayrshire Swindon unit survived into preservation.
(Below) In 1959 the BTC placed an order with BR Swindon Works for seven 3-car sets for the ScR's Aberdeen-Inverness service. With Motor brake composite SC51781 leading, a Class 120 3-car set arrives at Elgin with a train for Aberdeen in April 1968. Note the line of boxed steps along the platform edge to assist passengers; alignment by the driver needed to be pretty accurate!
(Above-Below) A Class 120 3-car set departs from Elgin on the Aberdeen-Inverness service in April 1968. (Below) The Class 120 power-cars were fitted with two AEC 150hp underfloor engines with mechanical transmission giving a maximum speed of 70mph. In Allan Trotter's third shot at Elgin in April 1968, the leading vehicle of this 3-car set is sporting its original green livery with straw lining, while the trailing cars are in the new BR blue…note the single-line tablet catcher inset on the vehicle on the left, and the 'Blue Square' coupling code symbol visible on the rectangular warning panel. There is plenty of detail here for the discerning modeller to absorb, including the station nameplate perched precariously on the post in the bottom right hand corner
(Above-Below) When designing the Swindon-built Class 126s, pragmatism - rather than aesthetics - was the main item on the agenda, for the 70mph Inter-city 3-car sets had two front ends - a full-width cab and a half-cab incorporating a central gangway connection which allowed through access within a 6-car set for use on cross-country services. These 'Inter-City' vehicles were constructed on a longer 64'6" underframe, hence the resemblance to Mk1 loco-hauled coaching stock. Each power car produced its own control air supply and was equipped with a unique multiple-working 'White Circle' control system making them incompatible with any other dmu. Sporting full yellow ends, a 6-car set was photographed on an Edinburgh-Glasgow service at Woodilee near Lenzie in December 1970. (Below) Allan's photo collection also includes this shot of a Class 120 3-car set between Arkleston Junction and Paisley Gilmour Street.
(Above-Below) Two more classic shots from Allan Trotter's collection is this one of 'Mexican Bean' in Glasgow Queen Street station. The second shot (below) was taken at Kilwinning; two things are unusual about this one. Firstly the leading coach is an ex-Edinburgh-Glasgow Swindon Intermediate Motor Brake Second with stencil headboards and not the regular Ayrshire Motor Brake Second with roller blind type. Secondly, check out the station nameplate totems. Now this is Scottish Region so why is the background in LMR maroon and not blue? Kilwinning station is on the ex-G&SW line between Glasgow and Ayr. The Swindon DMU is on the Ayr-Stranraer service and the line in the background branching off to the left goes to Ardrossan and Largs. The wrong coloured nameboards are a bit of a mystery. Date of photo is late 1970s...
The Eastbank Model Railway Club's Website has an interesting page on the North British Type 2 Class 21 and 29 diesel electrics plus a page featuring the overnight Fort William-London Euston 'Caledonian Sleeper' service and a page on the Clydeside Class 303 and 311 'Blue Trains'...all in all the site is well worth a visit. My thanks to Allan Trotter who generously provided the above information on the ScR dmu fleet.
(Below) In an attempt to rationalise the use of different diesels in different areas, the ten North British Loco Co's pilot-scheme Type 2 Nos D6100-9 (allocated initially to Hornsey for working Kings Cross suburban services) were transferred to the ScR in April 1960. They were accompanied by the BRCW's ten pilot-scheme Type 2s D5300-D5309, joining the first production models which had arrived on the ScR during May the previous year for working Edinburgh-Aberdeen services. During manufacture of the NBL Co Type 2, the makers utilised some original tools and aluminium castings devised for the company's earlier pilot-scheme 'Warship' class A1A-A1A's Nos D600-D604, which led to the rather odd front-end shape of the D6100s - odd, because the driver's visibility was impaired by the accentuated curve of the cab windows which were designed to accommodate the central gangway door in the nose end (as stipulated by the BTC to allow crew movement between locomotives when working in multiple). Eventually all the NBL Type 2s were transferred to Scotland. No D6149 at Kittybrewster shed, Aberdeen. Ken Mumford of Abergavenny & District Steam Society recently requested a photo of a North British diesel locomotive D61xx type (in the first BR livery) for use in the Society's quarterly magazine - 'The Coal Tank' - of which he is Editor. He wanted a suitable photo to go with a snippet he came across whilst wading through several railway books and magazines. One snippet concerned a quote from a St Rollox depot engine driver, who, when asked - 'What's the best thing about these NBL type 2s,' he replied, 'The fire extinguisher! I use it more often than the throttle!' (Inset Right) Close up of the tablet catcher referred to below...
(Above-Below) Such was the success of the ten pilot scheme EE Co Type 4s for the Eastern Region, that by the time the last was outshopped in September 1958, no fewer than five orders were placed for a further 190 machines - the Vulcan Foundry constructing all but 20 of the fleet at the Newton-in-Willows erecting shops. During their early years on the ER, NE, LMR and ScR, the EE Co Type 4s gave a good account of themselves, proving to be a sturdy and reliable machine on express passenger services. The first production EE Co Type 4s destined for the LMR's West Coast Main Line were delivered between May and November 1959. The LMR's first twenty five EE Co Type 4s, Nos D210-D235 (with the exception of D226) received names taken from famous ships belonging to the Canadian Pacific, Cunard and Elder Dempster Lines - all three companies being associated with sailings from the port of Liverpool. Here, three shots of the transition from steam showing EE Co Type 4s working Anglo-Scottish expresses on the WCML at Lamington - a typical ex-Caledonian country station set in the delightful rolling hills of Upper Clydesdale. Today, all traces of the station have been removed. Photos © DP Rowland.
(Above-Below) EE Co Type 4 departs Edinburgh Waverley Station at 05.40hrs. (Below) The earliest candidate in the BTC's pilot scheme orders was the EE Co's 1,000hp Type 1 Bo-Bo Nos D8000-D8019. The production fleet outlived most of its contemporaries. The modest size of the company's 'K'-type engine enabled the makers to construct a 'hood' type locomotive with the bodyside inset along the length of the running plate. Although less glamorous than its larger EE Co relatives in the Type 3-5 power range - Class 37, 40 and 55 Deltics - the Type 1 Bo-Bo was an attractive piece of engineering design. However, the BRB's concern over the poor visibility from the cab of a single 'hood' type unit led to the introduction of the Clayton Type 1s for use of the ScR, but without the benefit of prototype trials the Clayton machines proved to be one of BR's worst buys.
(Below) Scotland's BRCW 1,160hp Type 2s (Class 26).
(Below) Class 27 at Strathyre
(Below) Forth Railway Bridge
(Below) EE Co Type 5 Co-Co (Class 55).
(Above-Below Forth and Tay Bridges...some of the diesel colour loco photos featured on this page were provided by 'Through their eyes.org.uk' and are available on a DVD containing 2,700 high resolution scans produced from original negatives, slides and photos. Click here for link to this interesting site. I am not affiliated in any way with the sale of DVD's.
(Below) Transition from steam at Edinburgh Waverley
Footnote to above photo: Comments regarding improving this website are always welcome, particularly if it helps correct mistakes in captions. For example, Ian Cranna from Edinburgh has pointed out that the grubby steam loco at Waverley (Ian's old stamping ground) is definitely not a J36, so it can't be 65235 Gough. The locomotive in question is a J37, a later, superheated version of the J35, the immediate successor to the J36. You can tell by the much larger boiler, its higher position and shorter chimney. The J37s were much more powerful, mixed-traffic locos - hence its appearance at Waverley. A J36 would not have been employed on passenger duties in the 1960s, unless it was an enthusiasts' special. Ian also points out that the unmentioned location for the photo of D6149 on the turntable is Kittybrewster shed in Aberdeen.
Michael Laing has also written regarding the above photo: Hi David, I've noticed a minor error in the caption to the photo at Waverley Station, the DMU is a class 107 3-car set. At first I thought it might have been a 108 as there is a photo in 'The Edinburgh Suburban and South Side Junction Railway' by A.A. Maclean of one of those at Morningside Road station in the same livery. However, on the 108s, the lower lining band passed below the handholds under the cab windows whereas on the 107s, the band was level with the handholds. This was due to the 107s and 108s having different body-structures, with the bodyside windows positioned higher on the 107s than the 108s. As for the Class 127s, they never worked in Scotland as far as I'm aware...
Thanks to both Ian and Michael for taking the trouble.
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