The pioneer (nearly!)

Author/Source: 

Steve Bartlett

Editors Notes: 

Despite the Hastings "Thumper" DEMU seen in today's non-steam clip (the fire ban was still in force for steam) at Southampton on 4th August 2018 bearing the number 1001, the two power cars are actually from a later-built set as the real pioneers, power cars S60000/1, are not yet fully restored. Nevertheless, the Hastings units of classes 6S and 6L may be regarded as true harbingers of the future as they were the first DEMUs to be built in Great Britain for express main line duties, a concept which is today regarded as the "cutting edge" of development; most of the new Intercity Express Trains (Class 80x trains) currently being introduced into service are effectively DEMU since they have diesel engines powering generators to power electric motors. These latter are described as "Bi-Mode" since they can work on either electric or diesel power, a concept pioneered by the locomotive development of the Hastings power cars, the class 73 Electro-Diesels!

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