|Arriva Trains Wales Class 153
153 303 = 52303All are in Arriva livery.
153 320 has its
uprated to 310 HP.
153 362 is named
Dylan Thomas 1914-1953.
Class 153 have BSI (Bergische Stahl Industrie)
work in multiple with Classes 142, 150, 156 and 158.
Arriva Trains Wales (ATW) has eight of these single
cars, all now in Arriva corporate livery. They can be
found on the Conwy Valley branch in winter, and are regular
performers on the 'Heart of Wales' line (Shrewsbury - Llandrindod -
Llanelli) and the stopping trains between Crewe and Shrewsbury.
Class 153 came about when Regional Railways resolved in
the early 1990s to
split their BREL / Leyland National Bus-built two-car Class 155 units
into two independent single cars. Hunslet Barclay of Kilmarnock were
charged with rebuilding
the inner ends with new cabs and adding a toilet to the 52xxx vehicles
which did not originally have one. All the 155s were converted, except
for seven two-car units which were bought new by West Yorkshire
Passenger Transport Executive and still work for Northern Rail in that
area in original two-car form,
In the privatisation area they have been shared between
various new companies with requirement to operate rural services, with
some shuffling and swapping of fleets having taken place.
They are controversial and unloved vehicles, especially with train crews who complain about the extra cab created during the rebuild, which is smaller that the original design at the other end, and uncomfortable, as well as often being too hot. Cyclists and pushchair-owners also find the entrance vestibule behind the new cab hard to negotiate. Their construction, based on body units originally designed for the Leyland National bus, sitting on an underframe built by BREL leaves something to be desired, too - a slight sag towards the centre of the body can often be detected. Unlike most of the other late-BR railcars, they have gained a variety of unofficial nicknames, usually derogatory: 'tin rockets' and 'dogboxes' are two that can often be heard.
153s were among the very last passenger
vehicles on the National Rail roster to carry a British Rail livery:
this is 153 326 at Shrewsbury in 2006.