LMS railcars

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The London Midland and Scottish Railway (LMS) introduced a number of railcars to service between 1933 and 1939. They were mainly single units but one was a three-car articulated set.

Single units[edit]

The LMS purchased three four-wheel diesel railcars from Leyland in 1933. They were numbered 29950–29952 (in the multiple unit section of their carriage number series). Each had a 95 hp (71 kW) diesel engine fitted. After trials between Preston and Carlisle, they operated from Blackburn to Springvale and Clitheroe and subsequently at Hamilton in Scotland. They were inherited by British Rail at Nationalisation, but were withdrawn in 1951, so never received TOPS classification.

In passing, mention should be made of an Armstrong Whitworth diesel-electric railcar which operated a luxury twelve-seat express service on the LMS for two weeks in 1933 between London and Castle Bromwich near Birmingham in connection with a British Industries Fair. This car, with body work by Cravens which incorporated a kitchen, was powered by a standard Armstrong-Saurer 250 bhp engine.

Articulated unit[edit]

LMS 80000–80002
In service 1939
Manufacturer London, Midland and Scottish Railway
Built at Derby Carriage and Wagon Works
Constructed 1938
Number built 1 set (3 cars)
Number scrapped All
Fleet numbers 80000–80002
Capacity 24 first-class
138 third-class
Operator London, Midland and Scottish Railway
Depot(s) Bedford
Train length 182 ft 0 in (55.47 m)
Car length Centre: 52 ft 0 in (15.85 m),
Outer:64 ft 0 in (19.51 m)
Articulated sections Three
Weight 73 long tons (74 t; 82 short tons)
Prime mover(s) Six 125 hp (93 kW) engines (2 per car)
Power output 750 hp (559 kW)
UIC classification 1A′A1′+1A′A1′+1A′A1′
Track gauge 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm)

In 1937 the LMS decided to produce a more modern diesel train for itself. This was a three-car articulated railcar which was outshopped from Derby Carriage and Wagon Works in 1939. The cars were numbered 80000, 80001 and 80002.

The streamlined three-car train was a single articulated unit; the two outer coaches were each 64 ft (19.51 m) long and rested on a centre coach that was 52 ft (15.85 m) long. The articulation was an idea that had been already taken up by Sir William Stanier for some locomotive hauled stock.

Mechanically the train was a development of the railcars that had entered service from 1933 on the LMS Northern Counties Committee's (NCC) lines in Northern Ireland, using an identical arrangement of in-line powertrain as NCC railcars Nos. 2–4. Under each coach were two vertically mounted Leyland 125 bhp (93 kW) diesel engines driving the inner axle of each bogie through a Lysholm-Smith torque converter. There were six engines for the three-car set which gave a total power of 750 bhp (559 kW). As the whole unit weighed 73 long tons, this yielded a power/weight ratio of slightly more than 10 bhp/ton which provided a main line standard of performance with a maximum speed of 75 mph (121 km/h).

It was first used on the Oxford-Cambridge line and then on St Pancras-Nottingham services. A second unit was planned but never built and No.80000/80001/80002 was withdrawn in 1939 on the outbreak of World War II; it never re-entered passenger service.

In 1949 the train was converted to a two-car set for overhead line maintenance. The centre car was removed and the number of engines in the set reduced to two. The driving cabs were given flat ends, all the passenger seats were removed and the roof was flattened to allow engineers to work on the overhead cables. It worked on the Manchester-Altrincham route. The set was moved to a depot at Longsight in 1959 and taken out of service shortly afterwards although it was still in existence in a derelict state as late as 1967.

The design may be seen as a step in the development of post-war British Railways diesel multiple units (DMU) such as the Derby Lightweight units, at least as far the powertrain is concerned.

See also[edit]


  • Flanagan, Colm (2003). Diesel Dawn. Newtownards: Colourpoint Books. ISBN 1-904242-08-1. 
  • Kidner, R.W. (1958). The Development of the Railcar. Lingfield: Oakwood Press. 
  • Mann, R.H. (1963). Diesel Rail Cars (An Introduction). Draughtsmen's and Allied Technicians' Association. 

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