In the late 1950’s a new type of suburban diesel unit was introduced in the form of the DEMU Units or Thumpers, these powerful diesel units provided their own power unlike the Electric multiple units which meant they could travel along the less busy branch lines and lines which did not have an electric link.
The Lavender Line purchased 205033 in early 2005; just a few months after the final rail tour named ‘The Last Thump’ took place of which 205033 had the honour of leading the 9 coach thumper special out of London Bridge at the head of the train. After covering almost 2.5 million miles on network rail 205033 was in need of much care and attention, within months of her arrival work was started and our resident thumper specialist Chris set to work stripping and rubbing down the paint to ensure that she will one day look as good as she did when being rolled out the works!
Due to the immense amount of necessary work needed on the unit the bulk of the restoration has continued on the power car unit to ensure that the work has been carried out properly. This left the railway with one trailer unit still in Connex colours, fortunately in late 2007 a newly restored trailer unit belonging to Hastings Diesels arrived at Isfield which enabled our own power unit to join with the freshly painted trailer unit number 1121.
Although the work still continues on 205033 she can often be seen on thumper special days paired with the Hastings trailer car recreating the perfect picture of how these humble thumpers would have look 50 years ago along the southern region.