ATP Demonstrator ex-class 114 DMU

In the early 1990s as an aid to spreading the word about the future ATP national system, the Project decided that a means of demonstrating the merits of both systems to a larger number of people than could be fitted into an HST cab would be useful.

To this end a class 114 2-car DMU, consisting of vehicle Nos: 55929 & 54904 and built at Derby in 1956, was acquired to be converted into a demonstration unit. The original passenger DMU unit (50015 & 56015) had previously been converted into a parcels car and on general withdrawal of the class this was selected and brought to RTC Derby. The vehicles were completely stripped out and equipped with both the ACEC and the SEL systems. The unit was also fitted with a generator set, a conference room, fully equipped kitchen as well as forward-looking cameras etc. No expense was spared on the interior refurbishment and I recollect that the unit had some very swish fittings including wall to ceiling carpets and fire-proof curtains

The unit was completed in 1991 and renumbered as ADB977775 & 977776 and repainted into an attractive maroon & grey livery.

Here are a couple of pictures in its heyday - courtesy Steve Revell


977776 (ex54904) with 977775 (ex55929), forming the ATP Demonstrator, at Reading on 16th March 1993. Note the name and the ATP logo


Another view at Reading on 16th March 1993 on a run down the GWML

Unfortunately the underframe & control equipment did not receive the same attention and the unit was dogged with problems mainly due to the unreliability of its Leyland TL11 engines. Although the unit had run on both the GWML and the Chiltern line during its early days it was notoriously unreliable.

I remember several incidents, once failing at Gerrards Cross being dumped in the Turnback Sidings and having to be rescued by a class 47 which dragged us back to Aylesbury.

On another embarrassing occasion, one of the regular high-level meetings was scheduled to be the UK and it was decided that the class 114 should be brought down to Bristol Bath Road depot where it would be used to house the meeting. This was to be followed by the group being taken for a demonstration run up to Swindon and back. Unfortunately the unit never left the depot as it failed to start despite the attention of the technical support staff (us) for most of the day.

One problem with operating the unit as an ATP demonstrator was that its maximum speed was only 75 mile/h whereas the HST's maximum operating speed was 125 mile/h. Hence a large number of speed restrictions visible on the faster trains were not 'seen' and displayed by the demonstrator as its display would show only the maximum unit speed of 75 mile/h.

After the demise of the ATP Pilot Scheme project the unit found a new life with EWS as a driver trainer based at Margam, south Wales. After a few years EWS withdrew the unit and it was stored until it was purchased for preservation by the MRT Railcar Group

ATP Demonstrator

Former ATP test unit was sponsored by Transrail at the time of the photo taken at Warrington Arpley on the 21st September 1996

P Searle

It was removed to the Midland Railway Centre at Butterley where it was restored to its original condition, but I am unsure of its present status.

Here are a few shots of the unit after restoration in 2006

Click on the image for a bigger picture - all pictures are courtesy Roger Marks

Swanwick The class 114 demonstrator pictured at MRT Butterley on 15th July 2006 Interior The interior of 56015
Interior saloon The classroom in 56015 showing the screens for the forward looking cameras Interior The interior fittings and roller shutter door on 50015
Isolator ATP isolator switch on 50015 Control panel On-board 240v generator control panel on 50015


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