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Page first written 12 October 2003
Last updated 12 October 2003
The driving van trailer used on West Coast Main Line
Photograph taken on: 17 November 2002. (Larger image)
A DVT (Driving Van Trailer) on the West Coast Main Line. Although it looks like a locomotive, it has no traction equipments on board and should be pushed from behind. In UK the basic rule is that trains running over 100mph (160km/h) are not allowed to carry passengers on leading coaches; to conform with this regulation this DVT comes with no passengers' seats, although there is a cargo space. In addition, to prevent derailment (e.g. by hitting a cow which came astray on the track) DVTs are intentionally designed heavier than other coaching stock. I doubt if this is a rational regulation at all; I have heard that it came into force in the aftermath of Polmont accident in Scotland which killed 13 on 10 July 1984. I believe this is another example of countermeasures taken immediately after a serious accident, which has a lasting ill effect on the future performance of the country's railways -- I know of one such case in Japan to stop using carbon sliders on pantographs used in Japanese National Railways after the famous Sakuragicho fire accident in 1951.
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TAKAGI, Ryo email@example.com (c) R. Takagi 2003. All rights reserved.