Watch out for the posh 150! ….

Posted on March 21st, 2011, by The Chairman

There’s a posh train about!

Northern have been allowed to hire a train from Arriva Trains Wales, a class 150, currently 150285, the last production class 150. It was working Victoria-Clitheroe services last Thursday.

Arriva Trains Wales’ class 150s were beautifully refurbished a few years ago. Comfy 2+2 seating (ours are 2+3) and with some tables in each carriage (ours have none). The conductors appreciate them more as they have full CCTV (ours have none) and the doors can be operated from within the passenger compartments (for ours they are operated from the end vestibules). They’re in a very tasteful green and light green colour scheme inside. All paid for by those nice people in the Welsh Assembly Government (WAG).

Ours haven’t been refurbished, though have been “refreshed” – new seat covers, an internal repaint and the floors have been scrubbed, all paid for by Northern using some of the extra profits they’ve made as passenger figures are around 40% up on DfT’s original franchise expectations.

Last time our local TOC was allowed by DfT to sublease a train from another TOC (apart from ones not being used by that other TOC like East Coast’s class 180s) was many years ago when First North Western were allowed 142069 back from Wales & Borders. It was previously a First North Western unit, though had been upgraded with 2+2 seating and painted in the tacky “Pizza Box” Cardiff Valleys livery. It features on the superb DVD of the line, Along Cheshire Lines produced in 2005.

Normally our TOC gets told to hand units over to other TOCs, despite the overcrowding suffered locally. 150133 was subleased to Silverlink (remember them) for 18 months to cover whilst their class 150s went through refurbishment. It returned with a name “Northern (something or other – I can’t remember!)” and ran around with this for a few years until repainted into Northern livery. 150223 was similarly subleased to Wessex (remember them!) for 2 years whilst their class 150s went through refurbishment.

Recently Northern have suffered a shunting accident at Newton Heath Depot damaging one of the 3 x 5-car class 180s they have on sublease from East Coast – 180103. 103 has had to be sent away to Wolverton Works for the damage to be repaired and is not expected back until the summer. This is around the time the 180s are to be returned to East Coast anyway, since the 3 x 5-car 23 metre vehicle units are to be replaced with 6 x 2-car class 150 1980s 20 metre units from London Midland as their new class 172 DMUs arrive.

Perhaps DfT are slowly realising that the most “crowded” (i.e. you can’t get on them) trains in the country are actually somewhere other than in South East England. Or perhaps it’s a blip!

There’s more details, including a picture on the North Wales Coast Railway website. It’s about half-way down the page under “Arriva Trains Wales to Clitheroe”.

Please leave a comment

  1. Jen Says:

    150285 has returned to Arriva Trains Wales now and apparently never ran a Piccadilly sevice.

  2. Jen Says:

    150282 has been subleased to Northern this week. It worked as the rear unit on the 15:07 Chester-Manchester today.

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