Class 154 BREL prototype Sprinter

In 1984 BREL built two prototype second generation Class 150 DMUs.

Unit 150002 had Rolls Royce engines (later Perkins), Self Changing Gears transmission and Gmeinder final drives. Unfortunately this was not a very successful unit and was therefore chosen to evaluate a number of innovations.

Following unsuccessful trials with its original equipment, it was withdrawn from service and fitted with Twin Disc hydraulic 'hot shift' gearboxes which were equipped with a new control system. This type of  gearbox had been originally fitted to the prototype Class 151 units but had been beset with teething problems.

The unit was also used as the test bed for the air conditioning eventually fitted to the Class 158 units.

Here are a few pictures of the 154 prototype on test and in traffic. 

Click on the image for the bigger picture- All photos are the author's unless otherwise credited.

Buxton The 3 car version of the Class 154 is pictured in the sidings at Buxton after a test run from Derby on 5th May 1987

During its test programme the unit formation was varied. Here it is at Manton (between Melton Mowbray and Corby) in the snow on 3rd January 1987 on a test run from Derby in 2-car form

During another trip to Buxton the unit rests on the depot whilst the test engineers examine their equipment

D Bower

RTC sidings 154001 is pictured on Way & Works sidings at the RTC in the company of one of  the prototype Metro Cammell sprinters - 151001 - sometime in 1986

D Bower

Derby platform 6 The unit did run in passenger service as a two car set and has just arrived at platform 6 in Derby on a service from Birmingham on 13th May 1987

Steve Jones

Derby On the same day the unit departs for Nottingham

Steve Jones


The unit sits on the stops at Glasgow Queen Street after a test run

Tom Noble

Derby 154001 is pictured here at Derby again on a Lincoln train 

D Bower

154001 at Tamworth HL in 1988

Roger Coleman


As far as the author is aware MTK were the only company to make a kit for the Class 150. As you will see from the pictures the design was the fore-runner for a number of units both DMU and EMU's. However DC Kits market a number of DMU kits in '00' gauge and are always open to suggestions for future models, so you never know!

More will be added as time permits, but if anybody has any photos of the prototype 154 unit in former days and would wish them to be included then let me know, all credited to the photographer of course!


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