Unit 1109/205009

Before it was withdrawn 1109's claim to fame was on the final Last Thump Railtour.

it is seen here during a break on the tour at Brighton

Image by Amy Adams

Still in drab green the unit is seen on the Eden Valley Railway

All the above images supplied by the Eden Valley Railway

1109 has been the forgotten unit in preservation due to its remote location at the Eden Valley Railway.

The unit runs most weekends and is the staple for m of motive power for the line.

When it arrived on the line it was hastily painted drab green to cover graffiti but for the 2015 season has been given a livery of BR Crimson & Cream, non authentic but looks the part

DEMU 1109 was one of the first batch of 18 units to be produced at the Eastleigh works, having been built on Ashford produced under-frames. These DEMU (Diesel electric Multiple units) were based on the BR designed 2 HAP units (Half lavatory with Electro Pneumatic Brakes, i.e. one lavatory to serve both carriages) as opposed to the Southern Railway design, that were produced from 1951 onwards; and the electric, BR designed, 2EPB (Electro Pneumatic Brakes) units that were produced from 1954-5 originally for use on the Tyneside 3rd rail system, but transferred to the Southern region in 1963 after the north eastern line was de-electrified. This first batch of DEMU was designated as 2h units, reflecting the number of coaches and the intended route base (Hampshire) and released for use on the 16th September 1957 for use on the Portsmouth / Southampton and Alton, non – electrified routes in Hampshire.

British rail and Southern railway had a long working relationship with English Electric Company, so inevitably, The English Electric Company were tasked to produce a diesel engine for these new units. The English electric 4srkt diesel engine (4 cylinder, supercharged, RK engine designed for Traction as opposed to marine use) which sat on a three point mounting was subsequently fitted which powered 2 English electric EE507 motors that provided the drive to the bogie at the inner end of the DMBSO (Driving Motor Braked standard open). It was fitted with a suburban gearbox. In early 1958 the engine was up-rated from 500hp to 600hp with the replacement of its Napier MS100 turbocharger with a Napier MS200 model.

Shortly after implementation, a new “Burgess” straight through silencer was fitted, following complaints about the excessive noise and there was also a problem with the mk 3 bogies. The 2HAP and 4 EPB units had been fitted with the same bogies, but very quickly cracking on the frames was discovered. From around September 1958 all of the Batch 1 DEMU stock was sent back to Ashford for the bogies to be modified. The modifications included more robust side spring hanger brackets and various types of vibration reduction dampers being fitted. With theses modifications the bogie was redesignated as a mk 4 and this bogie design lasted until the end of the units life.    

The 2 car units consisted of a Driving Motor Braked standard open carriage, which carried the engine, a driving cab and guard compartment. The second carriage was a Driving Trailer Composite, which had a driving cab and some first and second class compartments.  Together the 2 carriages were 133 feet, 3 and a half inches long; weighed 88 tons and seated 13 first class and 114 second class passengers. A breakdown of each carriage is now discussed.

The DMBSO – carriage no s60108 consisted of a full width drivers cab – and was fitted with 2 EE507 motors with suburban gear ratios, and behind the engine was a guard’s compartment 8 feet 2 and a half inches wide. There was access from the guard’s compartment to the engine room, but no access to the rest of the passenger compartment. The passenger compartment consisted of 52 seats, located within 5 bays consisting of 3 seats on one side and 2 on the other. Smoking was allowed in this compartment. The carriage was 64 foot long – weighed 56 tons (split 32 tons on leader bogie, 24 tons on motor bogie) and was fitted with a buckeye coupler with rubbing plates, as opposed to the central buffer and 3 chain arrangement used on the 2HAP units mentioned earlier. It also consisted of an external lighting conduit along the roof. Underneath and between the bogies were fuel tanks and battery boxes. This first batch of these units had been ordered on the 16th November 1955. 

The Driving trailer composite (DTC), carriage 60808, had a large 2nd class compartment but, unlike the 2 hap units of the time, did not have 3 first class cabins; only two. The outer first class cabin, behind the cab, was converted to a 12 seat second class compartment and was not linked to the other first class accommodation. The first class compartments had access to its own lavatory via a corridor and consisted of 13 seats. The large second class saloon consisted of 50 seats; was designated as non-smoking and had access to a lavatory. This lavatory was positioned in the centre of the carriage and on the opposite side from the 1st class lavatory. The two lavatories were completely separate and isolated from each other.  This carriage therefore consisted of a total of 13 first class and 62 second class seats, 12 of which were located in the outer first class cabin next to the driving compartment. It was 64 feet long and weighed 32 tons and was also fitted with a buckeye coupler with rubbing plates. It also consisted of an external lighting conduit along the roof.

In august 1959 the entire first batch of units was augmented with an additional centre coach, which had become a necessity due to the popularity and reliability of the units. These “Trailer second” coaches consisted of 2 saloons of 5 bays each, seating 104 second class passengers. One of the saloons was designated as non-smoking. The carriages were 63 feet 6inches long and weighed in at 30 tons. With the three carriages, the unit was 199 feet 6 inches long and seated 13 first and 206 second class passengers.. This augmentation was completed by November 1959.The units were subsequently re-designated as 3H units. The trailer second for this unit was s60658.

During 1959 the entire first batch of units had their motor bogies removed and replaced with new ones fitted with express gear ratios. However the combination of 3 carriages, steep inclines on some lines and express gear ratios proved unsuccessful and all units had their suburban gear ratios reinstated by Feb 1961.

By the end of 1964, the second class compartment in the DTC had been cleared of seating to become a luggage compartment.

During 1960 all units began to have a large orange “V” painted on the cab ends. From 1965, this was replaced by a small yellow warning panel. The end with the guards compartment was supplemented with a black upside down triangle within it, to indicate to station staff at which end the guard’s compartment was located. By the end of 1966, this unit was repainted in blue with full yellow ends.

By 1966 this unit was fitted with a Baldwin type AWS.

The closure of the Mid Hants line in February 1973 saw this unit rendered as spare and sent to St Leonards, subsequently undertaking duties on the Oxted/Uckfield Line.

By 1976 this and other units were found to have insufficient First class accommodation for the Oxted line. The former second class compartment in the DTS, by now a luggage area, was converted to a 7 seat First class compartment. Ironically this change brought the units into line with the 2HAP electric units that these units had originally been based on.

During the 1980’s, blue asbestos insulation was stripped out at Selhurst, and it is only those units that had this operation that have now survived into preservation..

With the introduction of the TOPS system in June 1986, these 3H units were designated as class 205, this unit becoming 205009.

In Sept 1998, following an overhaul at Eastleigh, this unit was repainted into connex yellow/white livery.

This unit was fitted with TPWS (Train protection warning system) in late 2002 / early 2003.

The unit was taken out of service in Dec 2004 and was subsequently purchased by the Eden Valley Railway. 

The unit is  currently in service, being the most used unit on passenger service at this railway and is in a dark green livery on the passenger side, and Connex yellow on the other. The green was applied to cover up the graffiti it received before the railway purchased it.

Chris Cannon 2012


http://www.southernelectric.org.uk/features/stockdir.html (accessed 07/08/2012)

http://www.hsups.org/  Hampshire & Sussex Units Preservation Society (accessed 07/08/2012)

http://www.semgonline.com/proto/emudes.html  Southern Electric Group (accessed 07/08/2012)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Class_205   (accessed 07/08/2012)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/English_Electric_diesel_engines  (accessed 07/08/2012)

http://www.evr-cumbria.org.uk/  (Eden Valley Railway) (accessed 08/08/2012)

Welch, Michael, 2005 “Southern DEMUs” Capital Transport Publishing ISBN 1854142879.

Welch, Michael, 2005 “Slam doors on the Southern” Capital Transport Publishing ISBN 185414296