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Lo­co­mo­tive: Swin­don DMUS Gauge: ‘OO’/’N’ Pro­posed by: Mel Har­wood and Stu­art Moore, by e-mail

What is it?

Swin­don Works built four classes of diesel mul­ti­ple units based on the 64ft Mk 1 coach, rather than the 57ft chas­sis that formed the foun­da­tion for the ma­jor­ity of first-gen­er­a­tion DMUS. These four be­came Class 120, 123, 124 and 126 un­der TOPS. Where they were built does not nec­es­sar­ily dic­tate where they op­er­ated. Only the Class 123 was built for the Western Re­gion. The sim­i­lar Class 124, which shared its dis­tinc­tive wrap­around wind­screens but not the end gang­ways, were built for trans-pen­nine ser­vices. The Class 120s were shared be­tween the Western and Scot­tish Re­gions. They too had a dis­tinc­tive nose, with two large wind­screens, which was shared by the ‘126’ built for the Scot­tish Re­gion. The ‘126s’, how­ever, only had this nose at one end – the other had a flat front with two wind­screens ei­ther side of a gang­way. Whether pow­ered by AEC, Ley­land or Bri­tish United Trac­tion en­gines, Swin­don called its

What would make it vi­able?

All four units share the same un­der­frame and a good pro­por­tion of their body pan­els, which would have a pos­i­tive ef­fect on tooling costs. They were ver­sa­tile, work­ing across the West of Eng­land, Wales and the Mid­lands, Scot­land, and be­tween Liver­pool/manch­ester and Ty­ne­side. They lasted un­til the early 1980s so they re­ceived green (with speed whiskers or yel­low pan­els) plus blue and blue/grey liv­ery.

Can I see a real one?

One Class 120 car sur­vives at the Great Cen­tral Rail­way, while a com­plete four-car Class 126 has been fully re­stored at the Bo’ness & Kin­neil Rail­way.

Be­low: Class 123 four-car DMU. COLOUR RAIL DMUS ‘in­ter-city’ long be­fore those words formed the ba­sis of BR’S premium long-dis­tance brand.

Above: Class 120 three-car DMU. G. PARRY COL­LEC­TION/COLOUR RAIL

Above: Class 124 three-car DMU. JOHN E. HEN­DER­SON/COLOUR RAIL

Be­low: Class 126 four-car DMU. COLOUR RAIL

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