Many preserved railways use their DMUs simply as a cheap and convenient train, just as BR did, with no real interest in them.
Many other preserved DMUs are looked after by internal Diesel or DMU groups, often owned privately by these groups or by individuals. They can be accessed by becoming a member of the railway itself.
There are a few groups which also encourage "armchair" members, with membership open to anyone, and produce newsletters to keep members up to date.
-Battlefield DMU Group look after the Class 116/118 and 122 sets at the Battlefield Line.
-The Birmingham RailCar Workgroup are custodians of all preserved Class 104 vehicles, and have thirteen vehicles on five different railways
-Blue Square Heritage have a Class 117 3-car set at the Strathspey Railway.
-The Bury Unit Team own the Class 105 and Class 122 at the East Lancashire Railway, and also oversee the other DMU sets based on the line.
-Class 107 Ltd own three Class 107 sets based on two railways.
-Cotswold Diesel Railcar Limited were formed to relaunch DMU operations on the Gloucestershire & Warwickshire Railway and have since grown to own five Class 117 & 122 vehicles.
-The Dean Forest DMU Group own 2 Class 108 sets on the Dean Forest Railway, and are one of the groups mentioned above who have a formal membership facility which caters for those who wish to support but cannot do so via volunteering physically
-The Derby Lightweight Preservation Group own the Derby Lightweight set currently being restored at the Ecclesbourne Valley Railway
-Diesel Unit Preservation Associates Ltd with a class 101 set at the East Anglian Railway Museum.
-DMU Group (West Midlands) has five Class 108 vehicles on the Severn Valley Railway.
-East Anglian Railcar Group are a consortium of private railcar owners and volunteers on the Mid Norfolk Railway and currently have custody of Class 101, 108 & 122 sets.
-Ecclesbourne Valley Railway DMU Group restore and operate a very large fleet of vehicles in Derbyshire.
-The Gloucester Railcar Trust have the sole surviving Class 119 set at the Swindon & Cricklade Railway.
-The Gwent DMU Group has a Class 108 set on the Pontypool & Blaenavon Railway.
-The Helston Diesel Group owners of the unique Class 103 set in Cornwall.
-KWVR Diesel Railcar Group look after the Worth Valley's railcars and railbus
-The Llangollen Railcar Groupwith Classes 100, 104, 105, 108, 109, 127 & 141.
- The Midland Railway Trust Railcar Group has two Class 114 sets and a 127 set.
-Mendip Traction & Rolling Stock Group have the Class 108 set at the East Somerset Railway.
-Northumbria Rail Ltd owns the quirky Swedish Railcar "Helga"
-Nottingham Railcar Group have the last Class 116 set at the Great Central Railway (Nottingham).
-NYMR DMU Group are involved in running the Met Camms on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway.
-Recycled Railcars are the custodian of Class 103 M56160.
-Renaissance Railcars operate Metro Cammell vehicles at the Great Central Railway, including the sole surviving Class 111 buffet.
-Suburban Preservation are based on the Colne Valley Railway and operate a historically original Class 121 + trailer combination.
-The Pacer Preservation Society aims to preserve representatives from classes 142, 143 & 144 in the future.
-The Railbus Trust is working to protect the future of Single Car Railbuses and Second Generation DMU prototypes.
-The Swindon Diesel Preservation Society with the unique Class 126 set.
The Railcar Association has its own Facebook group, used mainly for sharing pictures: Preserved DMU Photo Group
Several of the railcar groups described above also maintain Facebook groups:
-Birmingham RailCar Workgroup
-Bury Unit Team
-Derby Lightweight Preseration Group
-DMU Group (West Midlands)
-East Anglian Railcar Group
-Ecclesbourne Valley Railway DMU Group
-Gloucester Railcar Trust
-Helston Diesel Group
-KWVR Diesel Railcar Group
-Llangollen Railcar Group
-Mendip Traction & Rolling Stock Group
-Northumbria Rail Ltd
- Nottingham Railcar Group
- Pacer Preservation Society
Like to get involved in DMU preservation? Want to know what is involved? Ian MacDonald, ex-owner of 55001/3 kept a comprehensive diary of his work on these bubble cars. It is an amazing story, giving a wonderful insight into the problems, politics and of course the pleasures involved: