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Title:British Railways Electric Multiple Units to 1975 Review image
Author:Hugh Longworth
Publisher:OPC
Format:Book
Subject:Multiple Units
Category:Numbers - All
Spec:A4, hardback, 368 pages, 160 B&W photos, ISBN: 978-0-86093-668-8
Publication date:2015
Summary:An epic reference work, detailing the full histories of all British EMUs built before the advent of 2nd generation units in the mid-1970s.
Review:Having covered first-generation DMUs (a book I have not yet been able to get hold of) and the BR-built loco-hauled coaching fleet, Hugh Longworth turned his attention to electric multiple units with this massive book published in 2015. Although the first two books covered just the stock built in the BR era, he made the sensible (but brave) decision to cover earlier EMUs as well. As with the coaching stock book, a cut-off point was required, these books being suited to covering types no longer in service. The introduction of 2nd generation units in the mid-1970s was the chosen watershed, although the prototype PEP units of 1971/1972 are also included, as are the slam-door 312s, the last of which entered service in 1978. Although not clear from the title, the book does cover all changes affecting the stock listed, including those after the cut-off date. For example, the many renumberings of Southern units in the 1980s and 1990s are all detailed. The book is split into two halves, the first detailing each set with formations, set numbers (where relevant) and dates of operation. The second half lists each individual coach in side number order, again showing the dates and the sets in which each was formed. This brief summary of the content does little justice to the incredible amount of information that is covered. The book is littered with numerous drawings, these being end, side and plan views from the railway diagram books, and a wide selection of excellent photos, including many from the earliest days of EMUs.
Reviewed:03/10/2019 by Thomas Young (Comments made by others can appear in the notes section towards the bottom of this page)
Sample pages:(Click on any image to view full-sized in a new window)
Page image The front cover.
Page image Part 1 lists complete units. The level of detail is amazing, including the dates at which units were given TOPS-prefixed number. For example, AM4 unit 001 became 304001 in 10/1982. Changes of formation (with dates) are also shown.
Page image Each class is headed with an overview of its history.
Page image EMUs with TOPS numbers are listed separately, with (for example) 304001 being counted as a different number to its original 001. When a unit had a change of formation but not of set number, this is shown with the set number in italics, as seen with 303009 and others.
Page image The title of this book is slightly misleading. Events after 1975 are covered, just not stock built after 1975. For example, this page details the new numbers given to 4-VEP EMUs in the 1990s.
Page image A wide selection of photographs covers most types and variants, including rare views of some of the earliest EMUs.
Page image The second half of the book lists individual coach numbers, the majority being in either the BR or SR coach series. The numbers of each set that each coach was formed into are given, with dates.
Page image Each design is headed with build dates and side and plan drawings. Driving cars also have an end view.
Page image Some obscure stock is covered, such as this page showing tube stock owned jointly by the London Electric Railway and the LNWR for use on the Bakerloo Line to Watford. It is re-listed elsewhere under the numbers applied by the LMS in 1933.
Page image Lists towards the back of the book detail all EMU vehicles renumbered as departmental stock, internal users or parcels vans, followed by a full BR coach lot listing, with EMU vehicles highlighted in bold.
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