Pennines 156 Super Sprinters

The first 156 was delivered to the RTC, Derby in December 1987 for evaluation and type testing. Fitted with Cummins NT855-R5 285HP engines and Voith transmission these Metro-Cammell-built two x 23m long units were (in my opinion) the best of the modern generation of Sprinters by far.

Capable of 75 mile/h with Westinghouse 'Westcode' brakes they had BSI couplers and weighed in at approx. 40 tonnes each vehicle.

The author spent some time at Norwich Crown Point depot when the units were being commissioned and also took one on a trip to Holland and back.

Click on the picture for a bigger image - pictures are the author's if not otherwise credited

Crossing the Pennines 156475 is pictured somewhere in the Pennines 

Author's collection 

Severn Valley On 7th May 1988 156404 found itself on the Severn Valley Railway for a gala day

Steve Jones


Derby Strathclyde-liveried unit 156502 is pictured in the yard at the RTC, Derby prior to departure for Utrecht in July 1989.

Author's collection

Matlock 156401 stands at Matlock just off the single-line branch during its early testing in the late 1980's

Chris Ward

Approaching Peterbro 156413 drifts towards Peterborough station with a Norwich service from Liverpool via Grantham in the late 1980's Newport 156411 stops at Newport on 8th October 1999

Steve Jones

Carlisle Strathclyde liveried 156507 sits in the bay at Carlisle on 30th October 1999

Steve Jones

Crewe 156424 approaches Crewe on 30th March 2001

Steve Jones

Glasgow 156456 in Scotrail livery departs from Glasgow Central on 18th May 2006 Liverpool Northern hybrid-liveried 156468 stands in Liverpool Lime Street having just arrived from York on 25th May 2006
Carlisle Original Northern liveried unit 156438 on a Newcastle service pictured at Carlisle on 1st June 2006 Newcastle 156510 seen here at Newcastle wearing the Strathclyde PTA maroon and cream livery on 1st June 2006
Wigan Wallgate 156425 arriving at Wigan Wallgate in the then new Northern Trains livery on 20th July 2006 Utrecht visitor 156502 at Glasgow Central on 19th June 2007 still carries the NL sticker on the non-driver's side sun blind
First Group livery 156428 in First Group livery at Hull on 27th July 2006 One livery 156407 in 'One' livery leaving Norwich Thorpe on 27th July 2007
Leeds 156484 in promotional Settle & Carlisle Railway livery pictured at Leeds on 2nd May 2007 EMT livery 156404 in East Midlands Trains livery at Hucknall on the Robin Hood line on 2nd July 2008
156404 leaving Belper on 14th February 2009 156403 at Cossington on 15th August 2012
156401 passing Attenborough foot crossing on 23rd September 2019 156406 at Nottingham on 18th December 2019

More pictures will be added as time permits


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