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In the past couple of years the size of the old British Rail designed or built train fleets has decreased dramatically with many classes disappearing completely. Others are in terminal decline or are seeing members being sent for store with their future uncertain. One class which has survived intact and that shows no sign of being retired is the seven strong , 2-car class 155 diesel fleet built by British Leyland at their Workington plant back in 1988. Numbered 155341-347 they were the tail end of a much larger order of 40 2-car trains which were converted to single-car units in the 1990s which are now being retired, leaving the West Yorkshire sets as the last of their kind. The reason the seven still exist is that they were paid for by the West Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive, who took a proactive approach to developing rail transport by funding mew trains (the Class 158/9s being another example).

The 155s were bought as a replacement for the ageing but powerful class 110 ‘Calder Valley’ units built by the Birmingham Railway Carriage and Wagon Company (BRCW for short) in 1961. To show their allegiance Yorkshire 155s were delivered from new in the WYPTE livery of red and cream with ‘metrotrain’ branding. With the onset of privatisation management of the 155s was taken on by Porterbrook leasing, on whose books they remain to this day. The 155s have remained in the North, having passed through the hands pf all the various Northern franchises right from the original Arriva Trains North. The units have always been allocated to Leeds Neville Hill depot although nowadays they’ve spread their wings and can be seen on other routes than just the Calder valley thanks to the arrival of the new CAF built Class 195s.

Here’s a pictorial review of their lives, times, liveries and the locations they can be found.

155341, the first of the Yorkshire units is seen in Northern advertising livery approaching Sowerby Bridge in the Calder valley with a service from Manchester to Leeds via Bradford on the 21st January 2013.
The builders and owners plate inside 155341 seen in 2017.
Seem from the Pennine hills around Todmordon (which can be seen in the background) 155342 has just crossed the historic Gauxholme viaduct on the 12th September 2009 whilst working from Leeds to Manchester.
Here’s 155343 carrying WYPTE ‘metrotrain’ branding and the simplified original livery (but operated by the Northern franchise) calling at Todmorden on the 4th September 2006.
Here’s when 155344 was almost new and before the 1st generation DMUs they helped displace were still around. This is the very shabby looking Manchester Victoria station shortly before rebuilding on the 18th June 1991.
One of the classic locations in the Calder Valley is Hebden Bridge where the station retains many of its original features including a fine selection of wooden signs. 155345 is pictured calling on its way to Manchester Victoria on the 25th September 2007.
155346 is pictured in revised WYPTE livery stabled in York station on the 13th August 2004.
Here’s 155347 pictured leaving Halifax station en-route to Bradford with the monolithic Halifax Building Society building dominating the skyline in the background. Seen on the 30th May 2017.
Here’s 155347 in original condition with the full livery including the orange stripe seen at Blackpool North on the 5th April 1991. In BR years these units weren’t uncommon in the North-West, making it to Blackpool, Preston and Liverpool.

The units interior layout has always been superior to earlier units like the Class 150s. Here’s some views over the years.

Here’s the interior of 155346 seen on the 3rd March 2013. The view’s taken from mid-car, showing the 2+2 seating arrangement and table bays. The seats are covered with the original Northern mocquette.
Cycle and luggage storage on the same unit and same date as above.
The generous luggage space on 155342. The steel bar construction makes the units seem more airy than the likes of the 150s and 158s.
155344 on a quiet evening. 1st September 2016.

Here’s a few units in their later years when they began to spread their wings…

On the 29th July 2019 155345 is seen under the magnificent station roof at Hull. It’s sporting the latest variation of the Northern Liveries, this time the predominantly white Arriva Northern version.
155345 seen keeping company with converted classmate 153351 (in the old Arriva Northern livery) crossing the viaduct at Knaresborough on the 22nd August 2007.
155344 is seen heading West from the bay platform at Selby on the 12th August 2016.
155341 waiting to return to Leeds after reversal at Knaresborough on the 10th August 2017.
155346 calls at Ulleskelf on the 2th November 2021 whilst working 2R21, the 1546 York to Bridlington.

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