Porterbrook and Vivarail should be congratulated for their initiative of adapting second-hand electric multiple units and converting them into diesel multiple units for urban and inter-urban/rural operations, thus alleviating the acute shortage of diesel-powered passenger rolling stock.
By adapting older displaced EMUs and using proprietary engines, these DMUs can be produced quickly and should be significantly cheaper than brand new units.
Porterbrook uses displaced Class 319s, while Vivarail uses former London Underground District Line stock. Both are quality vehicles with many years of service remaining. Porterbrook’s Class 319 Flex and Vivarail’s D-Train deserve every success. Christopher Holt, Loughton