Driving Van Trailer

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British Rail DVT
East Coast IC225 at Peterborough.jpg
In service 1988 – present
Manufacturer BREL, Metro-Cammell, Breda (Under sub-contract)
Family name British Rail Mk3 (82101–82152)
British Rail Mk4 (82200–82231)
British Rail Mk3 (82301–82309)
Refurbished
Constructed 1988
Number built Mk3: 52 vehicles
Mk4: 32 vehicles
Number scrapped Mk3: 6
Mk4: 1
Fleet numbers 82101–82152
82301-82309
82200–82231
Operator(s) Chiltern Railways
DB Schenker
Abellio Greater Anglia
Virgin Trains East Coast
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).

The direct InterCity from Shrewsbury to London Euston with a DVT and mailbags delivering the Royal Mail at a time when British Rail ran the network.

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 DB Schenker, with Great Eastern Main Line services and powered by Class 90 locomotives. During its operation, Chiltern Railways utilised Mark 3 DVTs on its services between Birmingham to London Marylebone services powered by Class 68 locomotives. The Mark 4 DVT is operated by Virgin Trains 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]

Current operators[edit]

Abellio Greater Anglia[edit]

Abellio 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 Trains 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 DB Schenker 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 Trains 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.

Former operators[edit]

Virgin Trains[edit]

Virgin Trains 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.

A Virgin Trains Mark 3 DVT pictured north of Weedon in 2004

Current status[edit]

Key: In service In service - fitted with ETS Generator In service - modified for use on Network Rail test trains Stored Scrapped Other use
Number Name(s) Built Livery Operator Status
82101 101 Squadron (denamed) 1988 (Derby) Virgin Trains Direct Rail Services Stored by DRS at Barrow Hill
82102
82310
1988 (Derby) Chiltern Railways Mainline Chiltern Railways Renumbered from 82102, In service
82103 1988 (Derby) Arriva Trains Wales Express Arriva Trains Wales In service
82104
82309
1988 (Derby) Chiltern Railways Mainline Chiltern Railways Renumbered from 82104, in service
82105 1988 (Derby) Abellio Greater Anglia Abellio Greater Anglia In service
82106 1988 (Derby) Virgin Trains None Stored at Loughborough Works
82107 1988 (Derby) Abellio Greater Anglia Abellio Greater Anglia In service
82108
82308
1988 (Derby) Arriva Trains Wales Express Arriva Trains Wales Renumbered from 82108, in service
82109 1988 (Derby) Scrapped
82110 1988 (Derby) Virgin Trains None Stored at Long Marston
82111 1988 (Derby) Network Rail yellow Network Rail In service
82112 1988 (Derby) Abellio Greater Anglia Abellio Greater Anglia In service
82113 1988 (Derby) Virgin Trains None Stored at Long Marston
82114 1988 (Derby) Abellio Greater Anglia Abellio Greater Anglia In service
82115 1988 (Derby) Network Rail yellow Network Rail In service
82116 1988 (Derby) Virgin Trains None Stored at Long Marston
82117
82301
1988 (Derby) Chiltern Railways Mainline Chiltern Railways Renumbered from 82117, in service
82118 Britannia (denamed) 1988 (Derby) Abellio Greater Anglia Abellio Greater Anglia In service
82119 1988 (Derby) Scrapped at MoD Caerwent, November 2005
82120 Liverpool Chamber of Commerce (denamed) 1988 (Derby) Virgin Trains None Stored at Long Marston
82121 Carlisle Cathedral (denamed) 1988 (Derby) Abellio Greater Anglia Abellio Greater Anglia In service
82122 1988 (Derby) Virgin Trains None Stored at Long Marston
82123 1988 (Derby) Virgin Trains None Stored at Long Marston
82124 The Girls' Brigade 1988 (Derby) Network Rail yellow Network Rail In service
82125 1988 (Derby) Virgin Trains None Stored at Long Marston
82126 Wembley Traincare Depot (denamed) 1988 (Derby) Abellio Greater Anglia Abellio Greater Anglia In service
82127 Abraham Darby (denamed) 1988 (Derby) 'One' (with Abellio Greater Anglia branding) Abellio Greater Anglia In service
82128 1988 (Derby) Scrapped at C F Booth, December 2012
82129 1988 (Derby) Network Rail yellow Network Rail In service
82130
82304
1988 (Derby) Chiltern Railways Mainline Chiltern Railways Renumbered from 82130, in service
82131
82307
1988 (Derby) Arriva Trains Wales Express Arriva Trains Wales Renumbered from 82131, in service
82132 West Midlands Industry '96 (denamed) 1988 (Derby) Abellio Greater Anglia Abellio Greater Anglia In service
82133 1988 (Derby) 'One' (with Abellio Greater Anglia branding) Abellio Greater Anglia In service
82134
82305
1988 (Derby) Chiltern Railways Mainline Chiltern Railways Renumbered from 82134, in service
82135
82303
Spirit of Cumbria (denamed) 1988 (Derby) Chiltern Railways Mainline Chiltern Railways Renumbered from 82135, in service
82136 1988 (Derby) Abellio Greater Anglia Abellio Greater Anglia In service
82137 1988 (Derby) Virgin Trains None Stored at Long Marston
82138 1988 (Derby) Virgin Trains None Stored at Long Marston
82139 1988 (Derby) Abellio Greater Anglia Abellio Greater Anglia In service
82140 1988 (Derby) Scrapped at C F Booth, January 2015
82141 1988 (Derby) Virgin Trains None Stored at Long Marston
82142 1988 (Derby) Scrapped
82143 1988 (Derby) Abellio Greater Anglia Abellio Greater Anglia In service
82144
82306
1988 (Derby) Arriva Trains Wales Express Arriva Trains Wales Renumbered from 82144, in service
82145 1988 (Derby) Network Rail yellow Network Rail In service
82146 1988 (Derby) DB Schenker silver DB Schenker In service
82147 The Red Devils (denamed) 1988 (Derby) Scrapped
82148 International Spring Fair (denamed) 1988 (Derby) Virgin Trains None Stored at Long Marston
82149 101 Squadron (denamed) 1988 (Derby) Virgin Trains Fire Service College, Moreton-in-Marsh Training vehicle for fire-fighters at Fire Service College, Moreton-in-Marsh
82150 1988 (Derby) Virgin Trains None Stored at Long Marston
82151
82302
1988 (Derby) Chiltern Railways Mainline Chiltern Railways Renumbered from 82151, in service
82152 1988 (Derby) Abellio Greater Anglia Abellio Greater Anglia In service

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 NXEC franchise had collapsed in November 2009 meaning that the original plan to repaint all the DVT's in NXEC colours were cancelled. The Government operated East Coast took over the franchise and as a result the East Coast logos had replaced the NXEC Logos on the white stripe. In 2010, a silver/grey livery was introduced and this was eventually repainted on all the Mark 4 DVT's by 2013. When Virgin Trains East Coast took over the franchise in March 2015, two of the DVT's were repainted in the Virgin livery whilst most other units temporarily received a Virgin Logo. By November 2015 all Mark 4 DVT's will be repainted in the Virgin Livery.

Key: In service Scrapped
Number Name Built Livery Operator Status
82200 1988
(Metro-Cammell)
Virgin Trains Virgin Trains East Coast In service
(Note: was involved in Hatfield rail crash)
82201 1988
(Metro-Cammell)
Virgin Trains Virgin Trains East Coast In service
82202 1988
(Metro-Cammell)
Virgin Trains Virgin Trains East Coast In service
82203 1988
(Metro-Cammell)
Virgin Trains Virgin Trains East Coast In service
82204 1988
(Metro-Cammell)
Virgin Trains Virgin Trains East Coast In service
82205 1988
(Metro-Cammell)
Virgin Trains with Flying Scotsman vinyls Virgin Trains East Coast In service
82206 1988
(Metro-Cammell)
Virgin Trains Virgin Trains East Coast In service
82207 1988
(Metro-Cammell)
Virgin Trains Virgin Trains East Coast In service
82208 1988
(Metro-Cammell)
Virgin Trains Virgin Trains East Coast In service
82209 1988
(Metro-Cammell)
Virgin Trains Virgin Trains East Coast In service
82210 1988
(Metro-Cammell)
Virgin Trains Virgin Trains East Coast In service
82211 1988
(Metro-Cammell)
Virgin Trains Virgin Trains East Coast In service
82212 1988
(Metro-Cammell)
Virgin Trains Virgin Trains East Coast In service
82213 1988
(Metro-Cammell)
Virgin Trains Virgin Trains East Coast In service
82214 1988
(Metro-Cammell)
Virgin Trains Virgin Trains East Coast In service
82215 1988
(Metro-Cammell)
Virgin Trains Virgin Trains East Coast In service
82216 1988
(Metro-Cammell)
Virgin Trains Virgin Trains East Coast In service
82217 Off to the Races (denamed) 1988
(Metro-Cammell)
Virgin Trains Virgin Trains East Coast In service
82218 1988
(Metro-Cammell)
Virgin Trains Virgin Trains East Coast In service
82219 Duke of Edinburgh (denamed) 1988
(Metro-Cammell)
Virgin Trains Virgin Trains East Coast In service
82220 1988
(Metro-Cammell)
Virgin Trains Virgin Trains East Coast In service
82221 1988
(Metro-Cammell)
Scrapped after the Great Heck rail crash in February 2001
82222 1988
(Metro-Cammell)
Virgin Trains Virgin Trains East Coast In service
82223 1988
(Metro-Cammell)
Virgin Trains Virgin Trains East Coast In service
82224 1988
(Metro-Cammell)
Virgin Trains Virgin Trains East Coast In service
82225 1988
(Metro-Cammell)
Virgin Trains Virgin Trains East Coast In service
82226 1988
(Metro-Cammell)
Virgin Trains Virgin Trains East Coast In service
82227 1988
(Metro-Cammell)
Virgin Trains Virgin Trains East Coast In service
82228 1988
(Metro-Cammell)
Virgin Trains Virgin Trains East Coast In service
82229 1988
(Metro-Cammell)
Virgin Trains Virgin Trains East Coast In service
82230 1988
(Metro-Cammell)
Virgin Trains Virgin Trains East Coast In service
82231 1988
(Metro-Cammell)
Virgin Trains Virgin Trains 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 Main Line. This would have resembled the Class 93 locomotive, but contain a driving cab, restaurant and bicycle storage area.

Accidents and incidents[edit]

DVTs have been involved in very few accidents.

See also[edit]

References[edit]