Driving Van Trailer

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British Rail DVT
East Coast IC225 at Peterborough.jpg
In service 1988 – present
Manufacturer BREL, Metro-Cammell
Family name British Rail Mk3 (82101–82152)
British Rail Mk4 (82200–82231)
British Rail Mk3 (82301–82308)
Refurbished
Constructed 1988
Number built Mk3: 52 vehicles
Mk4: 32 vehicles
Number scrapped Mk3: 2
Mk4: 1
Fleet numbers 82101–82152
82301-82308
82200–82231
Operator Chiltern Railways
DB Schenker
Greater Anglia
East Coast
Virgin Trains
Arriva Trains Wales
Network Rail
Direct Rail Services
Specifications
Car length 18.83 m (61 ft 9 in)
Width 2.71 m (8 ft 11 in)
Height 3.88 m (12 ft 9 in)
Maximum speed Mk3: 110 mph (177 km/h)
Mk4: 140 mph (225 km/h)
Weight 43.7 t (43.0 long tons; 48.2 short tons)
Braking system(s) Air
Track gauge 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) standard gauge

A Driving Van Trailer (DVT) is a purpose-built railway vehicle that allows the driver to operate a locomotive at the opposite end of a train. Trains operating with a DVT therefore do not require the locomotive to be moved around to the other end of the train at terminal stations. Unlike many other control cars, DVTs resemble locomotives (specifically Class 91) and thus when the train is operating in "push" mode it does not appear to be travelling backwards. The vehicles have no passenger accommodation due to rules in place at the time of building that prohibited passengers in the leading vehicles of trains that travel at more than 100 miles per hour (160 km/h).

Development[edit]

On the InterCity 225 (IC225) sets operating on the East Coast Main Line (ECML) the Mark 4 DVTs and locomotives operate in push-pull formation utilising a time-division multiplexer to send control signals along specially screened cables which run the length of the train. The locomotives usually face away from London, only being changed occasionally in rare circumstances.

On the original Mark 3 DVTs, which operated on the West Coast Main Line (WCML), the intention was to use the RCH jumpers to carry the signals therefore allowing the same cables to be used for lighting and the public address system, as well as driver-guard signalling. However this proved to be very troublesome in service and eventually the rakes of coaches on the WCML were re-wired with specially screened cables exclusively for the TDM system.

Mark 3 DVT in InterCity livery pauses at Crewe in 1989 with a London bound train

In addition to the driver's cab, some DVTs have luggage and cycle storage space and a guard's office.

When a train is operated by a DVT, the control signals are encoded and multiplexed onto the cables by the TDM equipment in the DVT. At the locomotive, these signals are demultiplexed by the TDM equipment, and the signals are used to control the locomotive. The air braking system is operated directly from whichever cab the driver is driving from. If the TDM fails and cannot be reconfigured, the train may still operate, but if the DVT is leading, it will be necessary to uncouple the locomotive and attach it to the front of the train.

The DVT concept is similar to the Mark 2 DBSO but unlike its predecessor, which was rebuilt from existing stock, it was a new build vehicle manufactured specifically for this purpose. The first design of DVT is designed to match Mark 2 D, E & F and Mark 3 coaches. The second design has a narrower profile, similar to Mark 4 coaches, which will enable it to be converted to tilting operation if required in the future.

Mark 3 DVTs can be seen in service in the UK today with EWS, with Greater Anglia Mainline services and occasionally with Virgin West Coast, powered by Class 90 locomotives. During its operation, Wrexham & Shropshire utilised Mark 3 DVTs on its services between London and Wrexham powered by Class 67 locomotives. The Mark 4 DVT is operated by East Coast and powered by Class 91s. They were also powered by the unique Class 89 Co-Co locomotive which once operated on the same route but is now preserved.

Mark 3 DVT[edit]

Operators[edit]

Virgin West Coast[edit]

A Virgin West Coast Mark 3 DVT pictured north of Weedon in 2004
Virgin Trains' one remaining DVT, now painted in the new "Pretendolino" livery and seen at Birmingham New Street in December 2009.

Virgin West Coast used to operate push-pull services on WCML between London Euston, Liverpool Lime Street, Manchester, Birmingham and Glasgow in conjunction with Class 86, Class 87 and Class 90 locomotives, but latterly the services went on to be run exclusively by Class 390 Pendolinos. Virgin retained two DVTs for backup purposes (82101 and 82126). Both DVTs have been fitted with on-train monitoring recorders (OTMR). As of July 2009, 82126 had been repainted into a Pendolino silver/black livery, in order to bring it in line with the newer trains (hence its nickname 'pretendolino'). In November 2014 the "Pretendolino" was transferred to Norwich Crown Point depot to enter service with Abellio Greater Anglia having come to the end of its agreed lease to Virgin Trains.

Greater Anglia[edit]

Greater Anglia operate push-pull services between London Liverpool Street and Norwich in conjunction with Class 90 locomotives. These DVTs were originally used by Virgin West Coast until the Pendolinos were fully operational. All the WCML DVTs needed refurbishing when they came off lease and were re-painted into 'one' colours.

DB Schenker[edit]

DB Schenker (Formerly known as EWS) operate a Mark 3 DVT as part of their EWS Company Train. 82146 is painted in the Silver colours of the company train and operates with Class 67 67029 and three Mark 3 coaches.

Chiltern Railways[edit]

Wrexham & Shropshire started operating push-pull services with DVTs in October 2008 between Wrexham General and London Marylebone in conjunction with Class 67 diesel locomotives following the start of the service on 28 April 2008. The DVTs required modification to work with the Class 67, involving adding a notched power controller as is used in the locomotive and a 27 wire jumper cable as used on the GM EMD locomotives which is known as the AAR Multiple Working system. These DVTs were originally used by Virgin West Coast until the Pendolinos were fully operational.

Although these services did start operation in April 2008, no DVTs were initially used due to delays in the refurbishment of the units. Up to mid October WSMR trains used two Class 67 Locomotives - one at either end of the train. On 11 October 2008 the first DVT entered traffic on a WSMR service.

Following the closure of Wrexham & Shropshire these vehicles transferred to sister company Chiltern Railways and started operating on Birmingham to London Marylebone services. They are currently being further modified to work with the power doors that Chiltern are fitting to the Mk3 coaches and to have a generator fitted to enable Electric Train Supply and compressed air to be provided to the coaches when the Class 67 locomotive is not running, such as when in terminus stations and when stabled.

As a result of the modification to work with the Class 67s, the WSMR DVTs have been renumbered 82/3 series although they do retain the ability to work with TDM fitted electric locomotives.

Arriva Trains Wales[edit]

In a similar vein to WSMR, the Gerallt Gymro Premier Service between Holyhead and Cardiff moved from Class 57 + Mk.2 coaches to Class 67 + DVT on October 10th 2012. Class 67 Three class 67 locomotives have been re-liveried into Arriva Trains Wales blue colours, the three being 67001, 67002, and 67003, along with 3 DVTs, 82306, 82307 and 82308, also sporting a new paint job.

Network Rail[edit]

In early 2013, several former Virgin Trains DVTs, including 82129 and 82145 have been acquired by Network Rail and modified to work with diesel locomotives for use on Network Rail test trains. Part of the modification work includes the integration of a diesel generator to provide power for on-board systems.

Direct Rail Services[edit]

In early 2013, the ownership of former Virgin Trains spare DVT 82101 passed to Direct Rail Services, to be modified to test AAR multiple working with the new Class 68 locomotives. 82101 was chosen as it already had OTMR fitted from its time as Virgin's spare DVT.

Current status[edit]

Key: In service In Service - Fitted With ETS Generator In service - modified for use on Network Rail test trains Stored Scrapped Renumbered Other use
Number Name(s) Built Livery Operator Status
82101 Wembley InterCity Depot
101 Squadron
1988 Derby Virgin Red/Black Direct Rail Services Stored by DRS at Barrow Hill
For future use with Class 68 locomotives
82102 - 1988 Derby 'One' Blue/Black with Greater Anglia White Stripe Greater Anglia In service
82103 - 1988 Derby Greater Anglia White/Grey Greater Anglia In service
82104 - 1988 Derby Renumbered 82309
82105 - 1988 Derby 'One' Blue/Black with Greater Anglia White Stripe Greater Anglia In service
82106 - 1988 Derby Virgin Red/Black None Stored
82107 - 1988 Derby Greater Anglia White/Grey Greater Anglia In service
82108 - 1988 Derby Renumbered 82308
82109 - 1988 Derby Virgin Red/Black None Stored
82110 - 1988 Derby Virgin Red/Black None Stored
82111 - 1988 Derby Network Rail Yellow Network Rail In service
82112 - 1988 Derby 'One' Blue/Black with Greater Anglia White Stripe Greater Anglia In service
82113 - 1988 Derby Virgin Red/Black None Stored
82114 - 1988 Derby 'One' Blue/Black with Greater Anglia White Stripe Greater Anglia In service
82115 - 1988 Derby Network Rail Yellow Network Rail In service
82116 - 1988 Derby Virgin Red/Black None Stored
82117 - 1988 Derby Renumbered 82301
82118 Britannia 1988 Derby Greater Anglia White/Grey Greater Anglia In service
82119 - 1988 Derby Scrapped at MoD Caerwent
(11/2005)
82120 Liverpool Chamber of Commerce 1988 Derby Virgin Red/Black None Stored
82121 Carlisle Cathedral 1988 Derby 'One' Blue/Black with Greater Anglia White Stripe Greater Anglia In service
82122 - 1988 Derby Virgin Red/Black None Stored
82123 - 1988 Derby Virgin Red/Black None Stored
82124 The Girls' Brigade 1988 Derby Network Rail Yellow Network Rail In service
82125 - 1988 Derby Virgin Red/Black None Stored
82126 G8 Summit Birmingham 1998
Wembley Traincare Depot
1988 Derby Virgin "Pendolino" Silver/Red Virgin Trains In service
82127 Abraham Darby 1988 Derby 'One' Blue/Black with Greater Anglia White Stripe Greater Anglia In service
82128 - 1988 Derby Scrapped at C F Booth, Rotherham
(12/2012)
82129 - 1988 Derby Network Rail Yellow Network Rail In service
82130 - 1988 Derby Renumbered 82304
82131 - 1988 Derby Renumbered 82307
82132 West Midlands Industry '96 1988 Derby 'One' Blue/Black with Greater Anglia White Stripe Greater Anglia In service
82133 - 1988 Derby 'One' Blue/Black with Greater Anglia White Stripe Greater Anglia In service
82134 - 1988 Derby Renumbered 82305
82135 Spirit of Cumbria 1988 Derby Renumbered 82303
82136 - 1988 Derby Greater Anglia White/Grey Greater Anglia In service
82137 - 1988 Derby Virgin Red/Black None Stored
82138 - 1988 Derby Virgin Red/Black None Stored
82139 - 1988 Derby 'One' Blue/Black with Greater Anglia White Stripe Greater Anglia In service
82140 - 1988 Derby Virgin Red/Black None Stored
82141 - 1988 Derby Virgin Red/Black None Stored
82142 - 1988 Derby Virgin Red/Black None Stored
82143 - 1988 Derby 'One' Blue/Black with Greater Anglia White Stripe Greater Anglia In service
82144 - 1988 Derby Renumbered 82306
82145 - 1988 Derby Network Rail Yellow Network Rail In service
82146 - 1988 Derby DB Silver DB Schenker In service
82147 The Red Devils 1988 Derby Virgin Red/Black None Stored
82148 International Spring Fair 1988 Derby Virgin Red/Black None Stored
82149 101 Squadron 1988 Derby Virgin Red/Black Fire Service College, Moreton-in-Marsh Training vehicle for fire-fighters at Fire Service College, Moreton-in-Marsh
82150 - 1988 Derby Virgin Red/Black None Stored
82151 - 1988 Derby Renumbered 82302
82152 - 1988 Derby Greater Anglia White/Grey Greater Anglia In service
82301 - 1988 Derby Chiltern Railways Mainline Silver/Grey Chiltern Railways In service - Renumbered from 82117
Fitted with an ETS Generator
82302 - 1988 Derby Chiltern Railways Mainline Silver/Grey Chiltern Railways In service - Renumbered from 82151
Fitted with an ETS Generator
82303 - 1988 Derby Chiltern Railways Mainline Silver/Grey Chiltern Railways In service - Renumbered from 82135
Fitted with an ETS Generator
82304 - 1988 Derby Chiltern Railways Mainline Silver/Grey Chiltern Railways In service - Renumbered from 82130
Fitted with an ETS Generator
82305 - 1988 Derby Chiltern Railways Mainline Silver/Grey Chiltern Railways In service - Renumbered from 82134
Fitted with an ETS Generator
82306 - 1988 Derby Arriva Trains Wales Blue Arriva Trains Wales
(Chiltern Railways)
In service - Renumbered from 82144
On hire to Chiltern Railways
82307 - 1988 Derby Arriva Trains Wales Blue Arriva Trains Wales In service - Renumbered from 82131
82308 - 1988 Derby Arriva Trains Wales Blue Arriva Trains Wales In service - Renumbered from 82108
82309 - 1988 Derby Chiltern Railways Mainline Silver/Grey Chiltern Railways In service - Renumbered from 82104
Fitted with an ETS Generator

Mark 4 DVT[edit]

Mk4 DVT on the East Coast Main Line

Mark 4 DVTs were built in 1988 by Metro Cammell at their Washwood Heath plant in Birmingham and were introduced to the ECML with the IC225 rakes of Mark 4 coaches. They operate with class 91 locomotives using the TDM system via UIC screened cables through the nine Mark 4 coaches of the rake.

Initially operated by British Rail's InterCity sector in its familiar livery, following privatisation of the railways the services were taken over by Sea Containers under the Great North Eastern Railway (GNER) brand but following a change of operator to National Express East Coast in December 2007 the vehicles were rebranded with NXEC logos and a white stripe whilst retaining the overall GNER blue colour scheme . However, the collapse of the NXEC franchise in November 2009 and its replacement by the Government operated East Coast operator means that the current mix of liveries will probably remain until a new private franchisee is found in 2015.

Key: In Service Scrapped
Number Current Name/Previous Name(s) Built Livery Operator Status
82200 - 1988 Metro-Cammell East Coast Silver East Coast In service (Note: was involved in Hatfield rail crash)
82201 - 1988 Metro-Cammell East Coast Silver East Coast In service
82202 - 1988 Metro-Cammell East Coast Silver East Coast In service
82203 - 1988 Metro-Cammell East Coast Silver East Coast In service
82204 - 1988 Metro-Cammell East Coast Silver East Coast In service
82205 - 1988 Metro-Cammell East Coast Silver with Flying Scotsman vinyls East Coast In service
82206 - 1988 Metro-Cammell East Coast Silver East Coast In service
82207 - 1988 Metro-Cammell East Coast Silver East Coast In service
82208 - 1988 Metro-Cammell East Coast Silver East Coast In service
82209 - 1988 Metro-Cammell East Coast Silver East Coast In service
82210 - 1988 Metro-Cammell East Coast Silver East Coast In service
82211 - 1988 Metro-Cammell East Coast Silver East Coast In service
82212 - 1988 Metro-Cammell East Coast Silver East Coast In service
82213 - 1988 Metro-Cammell East Coast Silver East Coast In service
82214 - 1988 Metro-Cammell East Coast Silver East Coast In service
82215 - 1988 Metro-Cammell East Coast Silver East Coast In service
82216 - 1988 Metro-Cammell East Coast Sky 1 HD vinyls East Coast In service
82217 Off to the Races 1988 Metro-Cammell East Coast Silver East Coast In service
82218 - 1988 Metro-Cammell East Coast Silver East Coast In service
82219 Duke of Edinburgh 1988 Metro-Cammell East Coast Silver East Coast In service
82220 - 1988 Metro-Cammell East Coast Silver East Coast In service
82221 - 1988 Metro-Cammell Scrapped after the Great Heck rail crash on February 28, 2001.
82222 - 1988 Metro-Cammell East Coast Silver East Coast In service
82223 - 1988 Metro-Cammell East Coast Silver East Coast In service
82224 - 1988 Metro-Cammell East Coast Silver East Coast In service
82225 - 1988 Metro-Cammell East Coast Silver East Coast In service
82226 - 1988 Metro-Cammell East Coast Silver East Coast In service
82227 - 1988 Metro-Cammell East Coast Silver East Coast In service
82228 - 1988 Metro-Cammell East Coast Silver East Coast In service
82229 - 1988 Metro-Cammell East Coast Silver East Coast In service
82230 - 1988 Metro-Cammell East Coast Silver East Coast In service
82231 - 1988 Metro-Cammell East Coast Silver East Coast In service

Mark 5 DVT[edit]

Main article: British Rail Mark 5

The Mark 5 DVT was to be part of British Rail's ill-fated InterCity 250 project on the West Coast Mainline.

Accidents and incidents[edit]

DVTs have been involved in very few accidents.

See also[edit]

References[edit]