DU 65 rail inspection car REE

DU 65 rail inspection car

Photo SNCF.

REE MB-072


DU 65 unified rail inspection car 4 5M 154.

94 g

Max. current

32 mA at slipping; 150 mA motor blocked.

The car is delivered with a very complete historical notice presenting numerous photos in colour. This is a very good point and an example to follow for competitors.

The dimension table shows that the dimensions are only loosely respected. But it’s still a performance to have installed a motor, a decoder, or even a speaker, in such a small space, while keeping a well cleared cab.

The front grille will require a blackening, but not the side grilles, well cut. The front buffer beam is equipped with a tulip coupling. The rear one is equipped with a NEM dovetail drawbar. There is an elongation, although of low amplitude and perhaps useless. It is not possible to mount an elongating drawbar at the front.

The exhaust pipe, painted yellow, is surely to be weathered. All handles (buffer beams, doors) are inserted. The windscreen wipers, which I first thought moulded with the windows, are inserted and very fine. Attention: we can easily hang them during handling. The windows are not so flat. There is an interior layout. Too bad that REE does not indicate how to dismantle the body to install staff.

The installation of a decoder is delicate. We must first remove the dummy circuit in a very narrow housing. The main PCB comes with the previous one: you have to be careful not to tear off the wires of the headlights that are soldered on the PCB. Finally, when putting the axle back, there is a chance of twisting the current pickup strips and therefore causing a short circuit.

In use, the motor is noisy running forward, but not backward. The single driving axle is struggling, especially since there is no three-point suspension. The car nevertheless managed to tow a wagon in level. The front white lights, whose LEDs are off-axis (they are two-coloured LEDs), are more or less visible depending on the viewing angle.


  • Installation of a specific Zimo MX630P decoder (not sound). To be able to control the cab lighting, the following assignments are to be made:
    • Add 128 to the existing value of CV124.
    • Set the value 8 into the CV corresponding to the desired function key, for example CV37 for the F3 key.
    See other decoder settings on this page.
  • Installation of a crew (construction machinery drivers Herpa No. 052948 deprived of their big Playmobil eyes and of their helmet, and dressed in blue). See the picture.
  • Radiator grille blackened.
DU65 with crew

Manufactured by CIMT Lorraine, the DU 65 (Draisine Unifiée 1965) track inspection cars were delivered in three sub-series from 1966 to 1973, with the aim of replacing all the older, very disparate inspection cars.

They are equipped with a Unic diesel engine with Voith hydromechanical transmission, with railcar wheels and buffers for standardization. In addition to the standard screw coupling, they have a special tulip coupling for towing small trucks (the official SNCF term is simply remorque — trailer).

Main characteristics (1st series): power 72 kW ; max. speed 70 km/h. Capable of carrying 18 people or 1.8 t into cab, 0.7 t on the rear platform. Capable of hauling 8 to 60 t. Weight in running order: 11.2 t (source : Loco-Revue sheet).

The “M” in the registration means able to circulate in mountain area.


  • Loco-Revue sheet No. 237/121968-68 d 20 (former series). Sheet preview.LR sheet
  • Loco-Revue Special Issue Chemins de fer réels No. 7, 4th quarter 2000: les draisines de 1951 à 1975, p. 18.
  • Photo of the reception of a DU 65 by my father in Lille St Sauveur around 1968. This one has its side window stiles painted in grey, like on EAD DMUs!DU65 with red roof in Lille St Sauveur

DU 65 rail inspection car REEDU 65 rail inspection car REE

DU 65 rail inspection car

Photo SNCF.

Dimensions 1:87
8 330 95.7 96.3
7 000 80.5 80.2
Cab length 4 055 46.6 46.0
Cab width 2 600 29.9 30.5
2 960 34.0 34.0
3 600 41.4 41.0
860 9.9 9.9