Test Coach 'Hermes' Lab 17

Prior to being incorporated into the Structure Gauging Train RDB975081 Test Coach 'Hermes' had been used by the Train Control Group at the Mickleover test track.

The cab to shore signalling consisted of two parallel cables laid in the 4-foot, and the signal aspects were coded and sent down the wire - as far as I know, the cab to shore signalling was only installed in DB975081 "Test Coach Hermes" which was usually propelled by an RTC owned class 17 Clayton (initially D8512, for a year or so, then D8598).

It was re-built without the driving facilities and used as a hauled coach as part of the Structure Gauging Train but as this has recently (2016) undergone a makeover the vehicle was made redundant

According to www.departmentals.com it survives in Klondyke Sidings at York where it was spotted out of use in July 2017

A splendid view of Mickleover Depot in the early 1980's showing the ground frame (in the cabin on the right), the running line (right) and the Long Siding (left).

In the large shed in the distance (right) is the battery railcar 'Gemini' and on the left the Train Control Group's test coach 'Hermes' .

Colin Marsden

 'Hermes' DB975081 receives some attention in the RTC yard

BR Official


RDB975081 Test Coach HERMES Driving Trailer at Glasgow Works on 3rd June 1978

P Searle

Driving trailer

A close up of 'Hermes' DB975081 in the RTC yard in its later R&DD livery. The coach is still fitted with Commonwealth bogies - note the class 24 'Experiment' in the background.

D Bower

SGT June 92

The SGT pictured in December 1992 in the newer livery passing Elland being propelled by 47976 - now fitted with B5 bogies

Phil Eames


Formerly 'Hermes' but now just DB975081 and part of the SGT. Here it is in all its hideous yellow (and black) at Derby on 19th September 2008. Very trendy - not.

Gone are the days of stirring Greek names and a bit of imagination!


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