Bowerbooks Rail Vehicle Testing

Rail Vehicle Testing


Bringing to Life My Experiences of Railway Vehicle Testing During the 1980s & 1990s

by Dave Bower


ISBN - 978-1-9999356-0-3

Published by Salient Books

Available from Amazon              and eBay

Bowerbooks on Amazon
Bowerbooks on eBay

A unique insight into why and how trains were tested in the 1980s and 90s

Full details of DM&EE test trains and train formations based out of the Railway Technical Centre in Derby

First hand accounts and photographs of testing Wagons, Passenger Coaches, Locomotives, On-Track Plant, and Road-Rail vehicles

The book is available to purchase through eBay and Amazon Marketplace.
Please click on the link below to find out more. ( RRP - £25 )
Bowerbooks on eBay
Bowerbooks on Amazon
The RAIL VEHICLE TESTING book is also available to purchase NEW direct from the author.  £25 + £3.75 p&p.  [ UK shipping only ].
Payment method is PayPal, details will be sent following receipt of your order.
Please click on the  Contact  link below to ask any questions or to order a copy.
Dave Bower
Also now available from West Hill Wagon Works



Read about why and how Slip / Brake Testing was carried out.

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BRUFF Testing - Mickleover

BRUFF Recovery Truck Testing - Mickleover

Class 59/2 Type Testing - Cricklewood



Read about Road-Rail vehicle type testing,  the acceptance of new locomotives such as the Class 59 for National Power, MkIV coach testing using High Speed Trains with Test Car 10, and wagon testing to ensure safety against derailment.

HST 43051 Test Train - ADB975814

Container Wagon Torsional Stiffness Test - Derby

MkIV Coach Testing - East Coast Main Line

HST Test Train - Speed Record

HST Test Train - World Speed Record 



World Speed Record

for Diesel Traction

attained during testing with an HST on the


1st Nov 1987

Certificate from 1st Nov 1987
Test Car 2 ADB975397 Slip/Brake Testing ECML

Test Car 2 (ADB975397) Slip/Brake Testing - East Coast Main Line in June 1985

Test Car 2 is now preserved at the Great Central Railway. 

The Quorn Wagon & Wagon group have restored Test Car 2 (ADB975397); resplendent in its 1980s DM&EE livery, the coach now has a home at Quorn & Woodhouse on the Great Central Railway.

Quorn Wagon & Wagon

Click the logo to visit Quorn Wagon & Wagon

Readers Reviews

" There is nothing like a book by somebody who was actually there to get the real inside story on something, and this is what we have here. It is a fascinating look at perhaps an overlooked side of railway operations. We all take for granted that trains work, but that is only because of the thorough testing that has gone on in the background.  It gets quite technical in places, but that is a positive as you cannot get information like this readily elsewhere, making this very good value for money " [Rail Express Magazine] 

" This is a superb product just what I was looking for, in-depth and informative " [Amazon]

Great, very technical read for those who are interested in the area. Very detailed and comprehensive "


" Book is well printed with good reproduction of colour and BW images and the information is well laid out "


" Covers a huge amount of testing through the period and really shows what the railways were developing at the time " [eBay]

" Great book on a fantastic and unusual subject, well worth the asking price " [eBay]


" A fascinating read incorporating both a chronological journal and technical treatise on the subject during a transitional period of British Railways history. Should appeal to those interested in railway history or the technical aspects of railway vehicles and operation as well as the lay reader​ "

" A smorgasborg of info about British Rail RTC at Derby. The book covers the period of the mid 1980's -end 1990's at the DM&EE section, which covers wagon, loco, and coach testing. It explains the types of tests carried out & results. A good enjoyable read with more than enough info to keep me enthralled. " [eBay]


" A good enjoyable read with more than enough info to keep me enthralled " 

" Excellent Book Great Detail! "

Very interesting subject,  Well written and a good technical book.  Authors knowledge of subject very in depth. " [eBay]

" Book delivered on time. Highly informative book. " [eBay]

About the Rail Vehicle Testing Book 

Bringing to Life My Experiences of Railway Vehicle Testing During the 1980s & 1990s
by Dave Bower

ISBN-9781999935603  -  Published by Salient Books

358 pages Hardback book with case laminate cover

Over 250, mostly colour photographs and diagrams


This book explores many different areas of testing on all types of traction and rolling stock in the 1980s and 1990s; providing readers with an in depth insight into the different aspects of testing, supported by photos of the tests and test trains.

Detailed descriptions are provided of the test coaches and locomotives used to facilitate the on-track testing, and the reasons why testing was undertaken; investigating the static and dynamic tests associated with freight vehicle running characteristics, braking systems and the structural integrity of freight vehicles. On-track plant vehicle testing, passenger rolling stock and locomotive tests are also covered; as well as special investigations and modification tests.

The appendices detail dynamic test runs totalling nearly 700 tests between 1983 and 1999.

All in all this book takes an in depth look at an area of the railway industry that is not often written about, bringing to life the subject for those with an interest in the technical background as well as the enthusiast looking back at the history of test train workings in the 1980s and 1990s.

Bowerbooks on eBay
Bowerbooks on Amazon

Available from Amazon


and eBay

Links relevant to Rail Vehicle Testing
Link to Dave Bower's Test Train Pictures on Flickr
Link to the website
Link to the website
ADW150375 in preservation (W233)
ADB975397 in preservation Quorn Wagon&Wagon at GCR
Train Resistance Testing to Taunton - 1986
Rob Armstrong's Rail Industry Info Pages
Dave Coxon's Traintesting website
The Old Dalby Test Track website
National - Forums
Modelling the Railway Technical Centre (FB Group)
Model Railway - Development of Damson Park Layout
West Hill Wagon Works - Model Railways
150002 Sprinter Preservation Society (154001 Testing)
For all your printing requirements - Mugs, T-Shirts, Canvas
Model Railway Backscenes, Banners, Transfers, Etching
Model Railway Stockist / Specialist - Ilkeston Derbys. UK
Salient Books - Publishers website
Rail Express – Essential reading for today's rail enthusiast
Bob Pearman - the specialist for music and transportation. 
Douglas Blades, Ardrossan - Transport Books
Quorn Wagon & Wagon
Quorn Wagon & Wagon Group, a team of dedicated volunteers whose aim is to keep an ageing collection of Wagons, Departmental Vehicles and Non Passenger Carrying Coaching Stock in operational condition for the enjoyment of visitors to the Great Central Railway.





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Test Car 2 - ADB975397 - © Matt Baker

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