Class 210 DEMU

The two class 210 DEMU's were built at Derby C&W Works in 1981.

The testing and commissioning of the units was mainly carried out on the WR, out of Paddington and Old Oak Common but one unit visited Scotland I was not involved as I was still working for R&DD at the time.

After arriving at Haymarket Depot in mid October 1983, the DEMU operated on the Edinburgh - Stirling - Perth diagram (normally operated by a 47/7 and Mk2 Push-Pull set) for two weeks from Monday 17th October.

For the next two weeks from 31st October the Class 210 unit ran on Edinburgh - Dundee services in place of one of the loco hauled trains.

On Monday 14th November, the DEMU ran ECS from Edinburgh to Glasgow Queen Street and then formed the 09.50 to Fort William and 14.15 return in place of the usual locomotive hauled set.

The following day it worked a special service from Glasgow Queen Street to Inverness, departing at 08.54 and returning to Glasgow at 16.05.

This completed its trials in Scotland and the prototype DEMU returned as ECS to Reading depot on 16th November.

The above information is from the excellent Scot-rail site at

210001 was a four car version, and 210002 was a three car. Each one had an above floor diesel engine of over 1000 BHP in one driving vehicle and were capable of 90mile/h. The principal behind the unit was to develop a diesel-powered train with the performance to match an EMU such as the class 317 hence the large engine required for fast acceleration.

The two sets were equipped with different power units, unit 210002 having the Paxman 6RP200L of 1,125hp in the Driving Motor Brake Second  with electrical equipment by Brush and 210001 had an MTU 12V396 TC11 unit of 1,140hp in the Driving Motor Second with electrical equipment by GEC.

210001 comprised vehicles 60201 ,60401, 60400 and 60300

210002 comprised vehicles 60200, 60450 and 60301

Although the performance was excellent, virtually a whole coach was sacrificed for the power unit and ultimately the option for a fleet was not taken up.

Unfortunately the units proved to be too expensive and wasteful of passenger space and the concept of marrying a high performance diesel train to an EMU was not pursued so they were eventually withdrawn in the late 1980's.The two driving trailers (and the intermediate trailer of the three car set together with one trailer from the four car set) were used in the Class 457 Networker development train. There was a plan for a driving motor also to be saved but, after the storage of the two of them at Eastleigh they were scrapped in 2003.

One of the TSO's is currently in class 455 set 455912 but the other two have been scrapped.

Click on the picture for a bigger image - all photos are as credited

210001 at Reading sometime in the mid 1980s

Andy Ford


210001 in the RTC yard when new c1981

C J Marsden

Reading Unit 210001 at Reading forming a service to Didcot on 30 May 1982, its first day in passenger service

R Cawsey

Carlisle 210001 was the four car version and is seen here at Carlisle Kingmoor open day on 9th September 1982. The units were also caught on camera at Preston on 13th September 1982 during their return trip to Derby as the photograph here testifies.

Colin Alexander

Kingham Unit 210001 enters Kingham station on the O,W&W line on 23rd April 1983

Martin Loader - see Martin's  excellent site here

Shipton Unit 210001 pictured departing from Shipton on the O,W&W line on 23rd April 1983

Martin Loader

Oxford 210001 is seen here leaving Oxford bound for Paddington c1984

Bill Wilson

Didcot 210001 near Didcot in 1984


Paddington 210001 approaching Paddington in 1984


Paddington 210002 was the three car - seen here approaching Paddington in 1984


Ealing Broadway 210002 at Ealing Broadway on 23rd March 1986

Flickr photos courtesy jhazan99

Twyford 210002 arrives at Twyford on 14th July 1986

David Wainwright- see David's excellent site here

Eastleigh Former class 210 coaches in their latter days at Eastleigh

Mark Bowman



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