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.
The units interior layout has always been superior to earlier units like the Class 150s. Here’s some views over the years.
Here’s a few units in their later years when they began to spread their wings…
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