|British Rail Class 155 Super Sprinter|
The refurbished interior of a Northern Rail Class 155 DMU
|In service||1987 - present|
|Built at||Leyland Bus, Workington|
|Replaced||First generation DMUs|
|Constructed||1987 - 1988|
|Refurbishment||2006 - 2007|
|Number built||42 trainsets|
|Number in service||7 trainsets|
|Car body construction||Steel underframe. Powder coated steel body and roof with some aluminium non-structural panels.|
|Car length||23.208 m (76 ft in)|
|Width||2.700 m (8 ft in)|
|Height||3.746 m (12 ft in)|
|Doors||Single leaf sliding plug|
|Maximum speed||75 miles per hour (121 km/h)|
|Prime mover(s)||1 × Cummins NT855-R5 285 hp (213 kW) (per car)|
|Engine type||Diesel engine|
|Power output||570 hp (430 kW)|
|Train heating||Warm air, hot water radiators|
|Multiple working||Classes 14x, 15x, 17x|
|All cars in sets 155301-155335 converted to Class 153|
The British Rail Class 155 is a diesel multiple unit. These DMUs were built by Leyland Bus at Workington (incorporating some Leyland National bus components) between 1987 and 1988 as part of British Rail's replacement of its ageing first-generation diesel fleet. 42 units were originally built, however only 7 remain; the other 35 units were converted to Class 153 railcars.
The fleet was part of the "Super Sprinter" build (the other half of which was the Class 156 fleet - though only the latter carried the "Super Sprinter" branding) and was built by Leyland with a similar construction technique to the Pacers, with extensive use of Avdel rivets holding pre-formed panels together in a lightweight body on a welded floor assembly. The large number of windows makes the vehicles look unusually long, although the fact that the vehicles are very long for such a lightly built body has led to a slight sag being apparent in certain coaches.
Introduction was rapid, but teething troubles soon emerged. The units were the first BR DMUs with sliding-plug automatic doors which closed to provide a smooth bodyside rather than sliding back into the bodyshell (the system used with 150s and 151s). These doors did not work properly and there were reports of them opening while the trains were in use. Consequently, the fleet was taken out of use and modified, with the 156s taking over their diagrams.
Following rework the fleet performance improved substantially. An emerging requirement for replacement rural lines stock saw BR decide to convert the Regional Railways fleet into single-cars to replace the elderly 121 and 122 "Bubblecar" units. These single-car sets, introduced 30 years previously, had been threatened with withdrawal and replacement by the Pacer fleet, although the Pacers had proved to be unable to work the sharply-curving steeply-graded branchlines involved. Instead the Pacers were moved to replace a number of Class 150s, the 150s took over certain 156 diagrams, and the 156s took on the 155 services which were not handed over to the new Class 158s. The 155s emerged from the workshops as single car Class 153s, and were put to work augmenting two car units and on the quiet Cornish, Welsh, North-Western, Norfolk and Lincolnshire branch lines. They do not operate North of the Scottish border. However, West Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive refused to allow the seven units which they owned to be converted, and these were merely modified to operate reliably in original form. The conversion to single car units was notable for not requiring any external doors to be moved, although this has led to the No.2 cab being unusually cramped, despite being extended into the vestibule area.
The previously mentioned seven remaining Class 155 units, which are numbered 155341 to 155347, were built in 1988 for West Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive (WYPTE) for their MetroTrain services, and remain in service today in their original formation. They are currently operated by Northern. These were previously seen on Manchester Victoria to Leeds services but as of 2019 they are allocated to Hull and mostly operate routes in Yorkshire.