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British Rail Class 128 was a class of diesel multiple unit, built for British Rail. Introduced in 1959, ten of the class were built by Gloucester Railway Carriage and Wagon Company, each with two 230 hp British United Traction - Albion engines.[7] The class was built specifically for parcels, fitted out with parcel racks and bike storage at each end, and did not feature any passenger accommodation. The last members of the class were withdrawn in 1990 and broken up the following year, and none were preserved.

British Rail Class 128
M55989 Post Office motor parcels van at Manchester Victoria, 1982
In service1959–1990
ManufacturerGloucester Railway Carriage and Wagon Company
Order no.
  • 30551 (55991-55996)
  • 30552 (55987-55990)[1]
Family nameFirst generation
ReplacedSteam locomotives and carriages
Entered service1959[3]
Number built10
Number scrappedAll
FormationSingle car:
  • DX501 or BR643
  • DX502 or BR644[4]
Fleet numbers55987-55996[5]
CapacityLuggage space only[3]
Operator(s)British Rail
Line(s) servedWestern Region
London Midland Region (1959-1988)
Eastern Region (1988-1990)
Car body constructionSteel[4]
Car length64 ft 6 18 in (19.663 m) (over body)[4]
Width9 ft (2.7 m) (over body at waist)[4]
Height12 ft 8 14 in (3.867 m) (over vents)[4]
Floor height4 ft 3 716 in (1.307 m)[4]
DoorsSlam for cab, sliding for luggage[3]
  • 46 ft 6 in (14.17 m) (bogie centres)
  • 8 ft 6 in (2.59 m) (bogies)[4]
Maximum speed70 mph (110 km/h)[4]
  • 41.5 tonnes (40.8 long tons; 45.7 short tons) (Diagram DX501)
  • 40.5 tonnes (39.9 long tons; 44.6 short tons) (Diagram DX502)[4]
Prime mover(s)2 × 230 hp (170 kW) Leyland Albion RE901[4][6]
Engine typeDiesel
Cylinder count6 (horizontal)[4]
Power output460 hp (340 kW)[3]
Train heatingOil burning air heater[4]
UIC classificationBo'Bo'
Braking system(s)Vacuum[4]
Safety system(s)AWS[4]
Coupling systemScrew[4]
Multiple working Blue Square[4]
Track gauge4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm)



Table of orders and numbers
Lot No. Type Diagram Qty Fleet numbers Notes
30551 Gangwayed Motor Parcels Van 643 or DX501 6 W55991–W55996 Worked on the Western Region
30552 Non-gangwayed Motor Parcels Van 644 or DX502 4 M55987–M55990 Worked on the London Midland Region


Royal Mail Livery, 1990


Heljan produce a few 00 scale and 0 scale models in BR green and blue and Royal Mail Post Office Red liveries.


  1. ^ Longworth 2015, p. 366
  2. ^ a b c Fox 1987, p. 40
  3. ^ a b c d "Class 128". The Railway Centre. Archived from the original on 9 March 2005.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q Vehicle Diagram Book No. 220 for Diesel Multiple Unit Trains (Railcars) (PDF). Barrowmore MRG. Derby: British Railways Board. 1982. DX501, DX502.
  5. ^ "Class 128 Gloucester RC&W Parcel DMU Cars: Numbering". Retrieved 23 February 2016.
  6. ^ a b "Class 128 Gloucester RC&W Parcel DMU Cars: Description". Retrieved 23 February 2016.
  7. ^ Ian Allan ABC of British Railways locomotives, winter 1962/3 edition, page 289


  • Fox, Peter (1987). Multiple Unit Pocket Book. British Railways Pocket Book No.2 (Summer/Autumn 1987 ed.). Platform 5 Publishing Ltd. ISBN 0906579740. OCLC 613347580.
  • Longworth, Hugh (2015). British Railways Electric Multiple Units to 1975. Oxford Publishing Co. ISBN 9780860936688. OCLC 923205678.

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