The Bluebell Railway's Multiple Units
1305 – Oxted DEMU ‘Brighton Royal Pavilion’
3417 – 4 Vep EMU ‘Gordon Pettitt’
Diesel Electric Multiple Unit
BR(S) Oxted DEMU 1305 ‘Brighton Royal Pavilion’
Type: 2D (formerly 3D) Class 207 2-car Diesel Electric Multiple Unit
Built: 1962, Eastleigh Works (Lots 30625 & 30627)
Unit No: 1305, later 207005, 207102, then 207202
Unit name: ‘Brighton Royal Pavilion’
Vehicle Nos: MBSO 60130 & DTSO 60904
To Bluebell: 19 January 2023
Owner: Bluebell Railway plc
Current status: Requires bodywork attention before entering service
Photo shows another Oxted unit, 1315, at East Grinstead when new.
“Oxted units or “3D” DEMUs were built for the Southern Region, specifically for use along the Oxted Line to East Grinstead and Tunbridge Wells West and were introduced in 1962 after the success of the Hastings and Hampshire units. All these units were colloquially known as Thumpers due to the unique “thumping” noise their 4 cylinder diesel engines make.
In 1991 207005 was converted for conductor/guard operation and renumbered to 207102. This conversion involved removing the centre coach, converting the lighting to fluorescent tube, fitting a PA system and fitting corridor connections between the remaining two coaches.
In 1995 when Ashford to Brighton services were introduced, 207102 had an ex CEP unit trailer coach added to it and was renumbered to 207202. On 3 June 1995 at Brighton 207202 was named ‘Brighton Royal Pavilion’.
The restoration will be carried out by the 1305 Oxted Thumper Gang, a group of volunteers separate from the Carriage & Wagon Department.
Once back in service it will be used for the first and last services of the day from and back to East Grinstead, allowing an earlier start for visitors travelling from the National network as well as saving the steam locomotive crews hours.
She is also a useful backup in case of a locomotive failure and if we suffer from high fire risk in hot weather like summer 2022, a service can still be run.
The work is expected to take 2 years with your help, be it joining the 1305 Oxted Thumper Gang and volunteering, donating to the restoration of her back to passenger service, or both!
Electric Multiple Unit
BR(S) 4 Vep unit 3417 ‘Gordon Pettitt’
Type: 4 Vep (Class 423) 4-car Electric Multiple Unit
Built: 1967, BREL York (62236 built in 1969)
Unit No: 3417 (423 417), previously 7717, 3017
Unit name: ‘Gordon Pettitt’
Vehicle Nos: DTCsoL 76262, MBSO 62236, TSO 70797 & DTCsoL 76263
To Bluebell: 17 January 2009
Owner: Bluebell Railway plc
Current status: In the care of The Southern Electric Traction Group (SETG)
Being overhauled with the long-term aim of being able to carry passengers on main-line tours as well as visiting heritage lines
Photo shows the unit at East Grinstead on the day of its arrival on Bluebell metals (Derek Hayward)
3417 was formally handed over by South West Trains to the Bluebell Railway on Saturday 17 January 2009 at a ceremony at East Grinstead.
The unit remains in Bluebell Railway ownership, but since May 2012 has been in the care of The Southern Electric Traction Group. This was founded in 2009 by staff members of South West Trains based at Wimbledon Park depot. A long-term loan agreement exists with the Bluebell Railway for SETG to provide specialist operational and technical knowledge to ensure the long-term future of 4 Vep No. 3417, with the aim being to return the unit to mainline operation. The unit is currently based at Strawberry Hill Depot. The latest news on 3417 may be found on SETG’s news page, Facebook and Twitter.
Our four Metropolitan Railway carriages, which were at one time EMU vehicles.
Multiple Unit vehicles which are no longer at the Bluebell Railway:
- Operational Locomotives
- Locomotives under overhaul
- Locomotives on static display
- Multiple Units
- Locomotives formerly based on the Bluebell