HAMPSHIRE UNIT RUNNING DAYS
On selected days throughout the year the Hampshire Unit, affectionately known as Hammy, will be operating in addition to our standard steam service.
The Hampshire Units were one of several classes of Diesel Electric Multiple Unit (DEMU) built by the Southern Region of British Railways.
The DEMU’s came to the Mid Hants line in November 1957, taking over from M7 steam locomotives. The DEMU’s reduced the journey time and saw an hourly service introduced on the line – even on Sunday’s. The units were so successful in arresting declining passenger numbers that overcrowding became a problem.
The units had a design life of 15 years as it was envisaged that the lines over which they operated would have either been electrified or closed by the time that the units planned life cycle had been exhausted. In actual fact the units completed 47 years main line service with several examples passing into the hands of Heritage Railways and are now approaching 50 years old – a real tribute to British engineering.
Not The Last Thump
In 2014 we celebrated ten years in preservation of our Hampshire Unit Class 205. It arrived by rail on 18th May 2004, being driven here from Selhurst depot following withdrawal by operator South Central Trains and sale by leasing company Porterbrook.
'The Last Thump' was a farewell railtour run that year to mark the passing of these popular units.
Image courtesy of David Snow, taken at Alton on 18 May 2004.
Running Days 2017
16th - 17th September (Open Weekend)
7th - 8th October
14th - 15th October
20th - 22nd October (Diesel Gala)