Class 150 Sprinter (BREL York Provincial Sector 2 & 3-car)

In the late 1970s British Rail was faced with the problem that most of the 1950-60s built first generation DMU fleet was approaching the end of its life. British Rail explored a number of different options for possible replacements including the Class 210 DEMU prototype which was regarded as an excellent train but too pricy [1] and cheap and cheerful railbuses like the Class 141 which had too many disadvantages for BR's liking. In the end BR went for an update of the kind of DMU form they were used to.

The Class 150 Sprinter was designed to revitalise the DMU fleet and remains in service today mainly in the Midlands, North of England and Wales. The Class 150 had a rival in the Metro-Cammell built Class 151 [2] (and indeed made use of some work Metro-Cammell had already done on next generation DMUs) but following an extensive series of tests the 150 proved to be the more popular with BR (the fact the 151 was late didn't help matters), and series production was given the go-ahead [3]. One of the 150 prototypes was fitted with the transmission from the 151 for tests, this was re-designated the Class 154 [4] though it has now been restored to a standard 150.

Information
Number built: 276 (137 2 and 3-car sets)
Built: 1984-87
Builder: BREL York
Engine: Cummins NT855R4/5 per vehicle
Power: 855 hp (639 kW) / 570 hp (426 kW)
Formations: Driving Motor Standard Lavatory (DMSL)+Motor Standard (MS)+
Driving Motor Standard (DMS) (150/0)
DMSL+DMS (150/1 and /2)

The Class 150 comes in either 2 or 3 car sets, most these days apart from the prototypes are 2 car though for a time some 150/1s were in 3 car formations [5]. The original 150/0 prototypes remain in service, the main difference with them being smaller fuel tanks. The initial series production version was the 150/1 with the 150/2 having front-end gangways. There is also the small 150/9 in service with GWR which are hybrid 3-car sets with a driving car as the centre car. The Class 150 is currently in service with GWR, London Midland, Arriva Trains Wales and Northern.



An extra 2-car set was built for British Rail as the Class 950 Track Recording Unit which apart from body modifications for various test equipment is mechanically the same as the rest of the Class 150 fleet.
London Midland 150 109 at Bedford

Northern 150 211 at Liverpool Lime Street

Arriva Trains Wales 150 213 and 258 at Cardiff Central

Northern 150 225 at Harrogate

Arriva Trains Wales 150 235 at Bidston 
Northern 150 103 at York


[1] Brian Haresnape, Diesel Multiple Units - the second generation and DEMUs (Ian Allan, 1986) p. 54
[2] Colin J. Marsden (ed.), "BREL Class 150 Sprinter", Modern Locomotives Illustrated No. 211 February-March 2015 (Classes 150-156 Second Generation DMUs), p. 4
[3] Colin J. Marsden, DMU and EMU Recognition Guide (Ian Allan, 2013), p. 128
[4] Modern Locomotives Illustrated 211, p. 13
[5] Marsden, DMU and EMU Recognition Guide, p. 128