British Rail Class 156

British Rail Class 156

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British Rail Class 156

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The British Rail Class 156 Super Sprinter is a diesel multiple-unit train (DMU). 114 of these units were built from 1987 to 1989 by Metro-Cammell (now owned by Alstom) at its Washwood Heath Works in Birmingham. They were built to replace elderly First Generation "Heritage" DMUs and locomotive-hauled passenger trains.


The design of the Class 156 was more conservative than Metro Cammell's earlier Class 151 design. The bodyshell was made of steel instead of aluminium, and the cab design was deliberately similar to the BREL Class 150 to ease union acceptance.

The units were all built as two-car sets, numbered 156401-514. Each unit was formed of two driving motors, one of which contained a toilet. Individual carriages numbered as follows:
  • 52401-52514 - Driving Motor Standard Lavatory (DMSL)
  • 57401-57514 - Driving Motor Standard (DMS), containing an area for storing wheelchairs, bicycles, bulky luggage etc.

The vehicles are powered by 6-cylinder Cummins NT855-R5 diesel engines through Voith T211r hydraulic automatic transmissions and Gmeinder final drive units. They have a top speed of , although in practice speeds of up to have been observed on level track, though not in regular service.

Unlike the Class 150 units, the 156s have a single-leaf sliding door at either end of each coach. This...
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