The Diesel Electric Rail Motor
(commonly referred to as a DERM
) was a railmotor
A railcar, in British English and Australian English, is a self-propelled railway vehicle designed to transport passengers. The term "railcar" is usually used in reference to a train consisting of a single coach , with a driver's cab at one or both ends. Some railways, e.g., the Great Western...
operated by the Victorian Railways
The Victorian Railways operated railways in the Australian state of Victoria from 1859 to 1983. The first railways in Victoria were private companies, but when these companies failed or defaulted, the Victorian Railways was established to take over their operations...
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...
Originally built as a Petrol Electric Rail Motor (PERM) they were the longest-lived railmotor on the Victorian Railways, with the first entering service in 1928 and the last being withdrawn in 1991. The first railmotor was built by the St. Louis Car Company
The St. Louis Car Company was a major United States manufacturer of railroad passenger cars, streetcars, trolleybuses and locomotives that existed from 1887–1973, based in St. Louis, Missouri.-History:...
and shipped to Australia where the Victorian Railways built a further 9 copies of it. It was powered by a 220 hp Winton petrol engine which was used until the 1950s when they were converted to twin Diesel Electric engines giving a total of 255 bhp.
By the 1970s the longest regular scheduled journey run by a DERM was the Bendigo to Robinvale run, withdrawn on 3 June 1978. A DERM with a DERM Trailer car ran a regular passenger train on the South Gippsland Line from the 1960s - 1970s. In the late 70's RM 55 and RM 61 were extensively modified with the cab being rebuilt, the engine being relocated and the engine room rebuilt with porthole windows, and new aluminium cabin windows fitted. As such they looked significantly different, as can be seen in this
DERMs with the porthole windows were a familiar sight on the Mornington and Stony Point lines prior to the line closures in the early 1980s.
55RM and 61RM are operational on the South Gippsland Tourist Railway. 63RM was restored to the 1930's livery of dark red with silver stripes and runs on the Daylesford Spa Country Railway
The Daylesford Spa Country Railway is a volunteer-operated broad gauge tourist railway located in Victoria, Australia. It operates on a section of the formerly disused and dismantled Daylesford line...
. 58RM is preserved for mailine use by the Diesel Electric Rail Motor Preservation Association Victoria at the Newport Workshops along with RM64 which is under restoration and 60RM which is stored. 62RM is undergoing restoration at the Yarra Valley Tourist Railway
The Yarra Valley Railway is a tourist railway operating on a section of the former Healesville railway which operated between Lilydale and Healesville in the Yarra Valley area northeast of Melbourne, Australia.- History :...
and 59RM is stored at the Mornington Railway
The Mornington Railway is a heritage railway near Mornington, a town on the Mornington Peninsula, near Melbourne, Victoria. The line is managed by the Mornington Railway Preservation Society and operates on part of the former Victorian Railways branch line which ran from Baxter to Mornington.-...
. 57RM is the only DERM to have been scrapped. DERM 56, which is stored at Newport Workshops, is apparently going to be sold to the South Gippsland Tourist Railway.