Diesel Electric railmotor (VR)
|Diesel Electric Rail Motor (DERM)|
RM58 At Newport Workshops
|Type and origin|
|Power type||Diesel engine, Originally Petrol|
|Designer||St Louis Car Company|
|Builder||St Louis Car Company (First)
|Build date||1928 - 1931|
|Power output||220 hp (Petrol), 255 bhp (Diesel)|
Originally built as a Petrol Electric Rail Motor (PERM), they were the longest-lived railmotor on the Victorian Railways, with the first entering service in 1928 and the last being withdrawn in 1991. The first railmotor was built by the St. Louis Car Company and shipped to Australia where the Victorian Railways built a further 9 copies of it. It was powered by a 220 hp Winton petrol engine which was used until the 1950s when they were converted to twin Diesel Electric engines giving a total of 255 bhp.
By the 1970s the longest regular scheduled journey run by a DERM was the Bendigo to Robinvale run, withdrawn on 3 June 1978. A DERM with a DERM Trailer car ran a regular passenger train on the South Gippsland Line from the 1960s - 1970s. In the late '70s RM 55 and RM 61 were extensively modified with the cab being rebuilt, the engine being relocated and the engine room rebuilt with porthole windows, and new aluminium cabin windows fitted. As such they looked significantly different.
All but one of the DERMs have survived into preservation, with 57RM being the only DERM to have been scrapped. Four are operational, with the remaining five in various conditions. Below is a brief outline of the status of the DERMs (as at September 2012):
- 55RM - Operational on the South Gippsland Tourist Railway.
- 56RM - Stored at Ballarat East, owned by VicTrack Heritage.
- 57RM - Scrapped.
- 58RM - Operational for mainline use, owned by the Diesel Electric Rail Motor Preservation Association of Victoria (DERMPAV).
- 59RM - Stored at Mornington Railway.
- 60RM - Stored at Newport Workshops, owned by DERMPAV.
- 61RM - Operational on the South Gippsland Tourist Railway.
- 62RM - Undergoing restoration at the Yarra Valley Tourist Railway.
- 63RM - Operational on the Daylesford Spa Country Railway; visually restored to 1930s livery of dark red with silver stripes.
- 64RM - Under restoration by DERMPAV.
- "DERM railmotors". www.victorianrailways.net. Retrieved 2008-06-04.
- Chris Banger (March 1997). "Rail Passenger Service Withdrawals Since 1960". Newsrail (Australian Railway Historical Society (Victorian Division)) 25 (3): pages 77–82.
- "Photo of modified DERM". www.victorianrailways.net. Retrieved 2008-04-05.
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