Maiden Newton 7.8.1973
Many of us grew up with these diesel units that were ubiquitous all over the UK. I grew up in the heart of Southern Electric territory (Littlehampton) so these were quite exotic to me! Heading west on a rover ticket I'd run into diesels at Hilsea, as the line west to Southampton wasn't electrified at that time. These were the then common 'Thumpers', which to me just looked like electric units with a big grill on the side! They also ran in threes which was a change from the twos and fours further east. Further west I'd hit Weymouth where the Western Region DMUs would mix with our Class 33 headed trains, splitting off in Dorchester to take the scenic route through Maiden Newton and Yeovil and on up to Castle Cary and Bristol.
I gradually got to travel all over the UK and met these units in their various forms all over the place. We didn't really appreciate them at the time, but with their front windows (in most cases) it was a real treat to get a forward view. I particularly remember the Dawlish sea wall stretch, the Tamar Bridge and the run from Exeter to Okehampton with the forward view.
B405 Oxford 2.7.1986.
These units of course no longer run on the Network. many second generation ones have also vanished. The new units are smart and look good, but I've not travelled on any yet, I rarely travel on trains these days sadly, though hopefully that will change in the future.
So to celebrate the first generation units that were such a huge part of my early railway life I've started a Facebook group just for them. Please come and join us and, if you have pictures, memories etc, please share!