Test Car 2

The history and details of LMS No:2 Dynamometer car M45051 are rather elusive. All I know is that it served the DM&EE at Derby for a number of years but never wore the red and blue nor was it ever called Test Car 2.

Second version

The Eastern Region dynamometer car was built at Doncaster in 1951, based on a design by Edward Thompson and numbered No:DE320041.

On the formation of the RTC the vehicle was inherited from the York CM&EE and became Test Car 2. It was primarily used for brake testing by the Testing & Performance Section for which it had a specially piped independent brake system.

It had an unfortunate demise in an accident on the Crewe - Winsford slip brake testing work in 1974 when the vehicle under test failed to stop and collided with the Test Car at low speed. Fortunately nobody was seriously injured, just shaken but the vehicle suffered irreparable damage. It was dumped at Crewe Coal yard for a number of months before being cut up on site.

Photos are BR Official except where credited

MGR tests Here it is on test with D1754 and an MGR train at Habrough and Brocklesby, between Grimsby and Barnetby in 1965. As new As built and painted in BR's early blood and custard livery
D5516 On test in early diesel days with a class 31 DB999500 Renumbered DB999500 and now in maroon livery the vehicle later became Test Car 2 when transferred to the DM&EE at the RTC in the late 1960s. It is not certain but it was probably re-painted into the red and blue livery of the departmental test vehicles and re-numbered ADB999500.
TC2 This is an air braked test train passing through Peak Forest station in April 1968 and the vehicle behind the locomotive in the ex-ER Dynamometer Car DB995000 later to become Test Car 2 and a large number of ferry vans. Look here for more photos and information

Courtney Haydon collection R.C.T.S.

Test Car 2 in the red and blue of DMEE's fleet pictured outside the weighbridge at RTC in the1970s

53A Models via Flickr

Third version

The third Test Car 2 was numbered ADB975397 and was converted in the EDU at the RTC from a Mk1 BSK No 35386 but like most later vehicles, was purely a mobile laboratory with home comforts.

It was originally painted in red and blue but in 1995 was re-painted into maroon. In 1998 it was again re-painted into Serco Railtest livery of red and grey.

During its life it had a couple of additional end windows added to facilitate the slip and brake testing for which it was often employed. To this end it had its own independently piped brake system which enabled the brakes on the vehicle and the hauling loco to remain released even after slipping a test vehicle.

It remained in Serco ownership (2011) and was the last surviving Test Car. In 2011 it was moved to Asfordby on the Old Dalby test track and looked unlikely to be involved in any more testing. 

It was bought by a private buyer in 2016 and is currently (2019) being restored at Quorn on the GCR

This is the interior layout as I remember it in the 1970s and 80s

Photos are BR Official unless otherwise credited

EDU The last Test Car 2 ADB975397, pictured in the EDU around 1990, was converted from a Mk1 BSK No 35386. EDU Another view of Test Car 2 ADB975397 in the workshop
Crewe Test Car 2 ADB975397 pictured at Crewe station on 10th August 1992 on what appears to be a slip and brake test train.

Simeon Gaskill

Serco TC2 in its new Serco livery in 1998 pictured in the yard at the RTC - Note the incorrect number 976397 which should be 975397.


Out of service At the Nottingham Heritage Centre on 8 November 2003.


Retirement? On 23rd February 2011 the vehicle left RTC by road for the Old Dalby test track where it was thought likely to end its days as a conference coach but it has since been moved to Quorn on the GCR  for restoration

Steve Hempsall


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