British Rail Class 150

British Rail Class 150

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British Rail Class 150

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The British Rail Class 150 "Sprinter" diesel multiple units (DMUs) were built by BREL from 1984-87. A total of 137 units were built in three main subclasses, replacing many of the earlier first-generation "Heritage" DMUs.


At the beginning of the 1980s, British Rail (BR) had a large fleet of ageing "Heritage" DMUs built to many different designs in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Some of the more reliable types were retained and refurbished. However, BR decided to replace many of the non-standard or unreliable types with new 2nd generation units, built to modern standards. Two different types were pursued; low-cost "Pacers" built using bus parts and used on short-distance services; and "Sprinters" based on BR's Mark 3 bodyshell design, and used for longer-distance services.


In 1984, BREL built two prototype 3-car Class 150/0 units, numbered 150001 and 150002. 150001 was fitted with Cummins engines and Voith hydraulic transmission and 150002 was fitted with Perkins (Rolls-Royce) engines and Self-Changing Gears mechanical transmission, at the same time Metro-Cammell built two prototype Class 151 units at its Washwood Heath plant.

The two types of unit were exhaustively tested,...
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