Hastings DEMU

Unofficial page

This page was generally last modified on 2 November 2000,
but with a selected addition on 3 October 2023.

Please note, this is an unofficial page only. Ultimately the material here will probably become absorbed and incorporated into the new official Hastings Diesels website.

official Hastings Diesels Limited website:


You are cordially invited to visit the official site, which includes news and information of forthcoming events.


[PHOTO: front view of DEMU at Godstone: 45kB]
[PHOTO: DEMU at Godstone: 42kB]

This is the photo-stop at Godstone, on the Downs, Marsh and Weald DEMU afternoon/evening railtour of Friday June 5 1998, at 19:10; the vehicle seen in the left-hand picture is Motor Coach number 60000, “Hastings”. It was the first Southern DEMU vehicle to be built; an inscription inside reads “Primus Inter Pares” (First among equals). For reasons that are not entirely clear, prior to returning to Main Line Running this vehicle was fitted with unpainted cab-window surrounds; it has run like this ever since. Note the air-operated chime whistle fitted above the driver’s window, a feature of all units when new but soon phased out in favour of the two-tone warning horn.

Bringing up the rear of the train (right) is Motor Coach 60018, “Tunbridge Wells”; note that it actually carries the number 60118 now in order that the central operations computer, TOPS, does not confuse it with Class 60 locomotive number 18 (which did not exist when the vehicle was withdrawn in the 1980s).

[PHOTO: power cars approach square-on at Ashford, daytime: 56kB]

Right: Power car 60118 clearly demonstrates the unique narrow-bodied appearance of these units as it sets back out of the sidings into platform 1 at Ashford. The power cars had been sent from Norwich back-to-back, and would shortly run across the Walland and Romney marshes to Hastings, for maintenence at St. Leonards depot. Date: 5 March 1999.

[PHOTO: Hastings DEMU in station at dusk: 36kB]

Left: As the November gloom descends at around 4pm, the Hastings unit calls at platform 2 of Oxted station, having reversed at the crossover. 1996 saw the first Uckfield Line Gala, instigated to promote the return of the line to full operation following the tragic Cowden collision. Further Galas took place, although none occurred during 1999.

More photos

[PHOTO: DEMU approaching, scenic background: 21kB]

Right: Near Treorchy, Mid-Glamorgan

In December 1997 the unit was hired by Regional Railways North East for use on the Whitby line in connection with the departure of the ship Endeavour; Hoppy, at the time a regular contributor to the Usenet newsgroup uk.railway, travelled there and took some high-quality video footage. A selection of still photos, from that outing and other occasions, was made available specially for this page.

The photos have been put on two pages:

Each page is about 500K in size, but the pictures are excellent: you won’t be disappointed!

Please note, this page is not part of any official website. All responsibility for the content lies with the author, who was originally an occasional volunteer worker at St. Leonards depot as well as an HDL customer on its railtours, but who has subsequently and interatively taken on further responsibilities on behalf of and within HDL.