British Rail Classes 253, 254 and 255

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British Rail Class 253 and 254
High Speed Train
Dawlish Warren 1970s - 5.jpg
Class 253 set at Dawlish Warren in the 1970s
In service 1976 –
Manufacturer British Rail Engineering Limited
Family name High Speed Train
Constructed 1975 – 1982
Number built 58 trainsets (Class 253)
36 trainsets (Class 254)
Formation 2+7 cars (Class 253)
2+8 cars (Class 254)
Operator(s) Western Region
Eastern Region
Scottish Region
InterCity
Line(s) served Great Western Main Line
East Coast Main Line
Cross Country Route
Midland Main Line
Specifications
Car body construction Steel
Maximum speed 125 mph (200 km/h)
Prime mover(s) Paxman Valenta 12cyl 12RP200L
Power output 2,250 bhp (1,680 kW) per power car

Class 253, Class 254 and Class 255 are classifications that have in the past been applied to InterCity 125 high speed trains in Great Britain.

History[edit]

Class 253 and 254[edit]

When built, from 1976, the InterCity 125 rolling stock was considered to be diesel-electric multiple units, with semi-fixed formations of power cars and intermediate passenger-carrying trailer cars. They were all numbered in the 4xxxx carriage series set aside for HST and Advanced Passenger Train vehicles. Numbers followed those allocated to the prototype Class 252 unit, so power cars were numbered from 43002 upwards. Class 253 were Western Region 2+7 (two power cars and seven coaches) sets operating out of London Paddington, Class 254 Eastern Region and Scottish Region 2+8 sets (with a second buffet car) operating out of London King's Cross.[1][2]

However, because two power cars carried the same 'set number', problems arose when for servicing reasons different units were used on a train, which would then display a different number at each end. For this reason, British Rail abolished the initial numbering system and all individual power cars became identified as such, using the format 43 xxx - this number was previously carried in small digits in the bodysides, prefixed by a 'W', 'E' or 'Sc' to identify the region, thus the power cars were reclassified as Class 43 diesel locomotives and the trailer cars as hauled Mark 3 carriages, collectively known as an InterCity 125. Despite this change in designation, no power car or carriage was renumbered.

Class Operator Number Year Built Cars per Set Unit Numbers.
Class 253 BR Western Region 27 1975-1977 9 253001-253027
13 1978-1979 253028-253040
BR Cross Country 18 1981-1982 253041-253058
Class 254 BR Eastern Region
BR Scottish Region
32 1977-1979 10 254001-254032
4 1982 254033-254037

Class 255[edit]

British Rail Class 255 Challenger
In service Never Introduced
Manufacturer British Rail Engineering Limited
Family name High Speed Train
Constructed 1975 – 1982
2002 (planned refurbishment)
Number built 14 trainsets (planned)
Formation 2+5 cars
Operator(s) Virgin Trains
Line(s) served West Coast Main Line
Specifications
Car body construction Steel
Maximum speed 125 mph (200 km/h)
Prime mover(s) Paxman Valenta 12 cyl 12RP200L
Power output 2,250 bhp (1,680 kW) per power car

In 2002, Class 255 was allocated for the reformation of some HST power cars and trailers into semi-fixed formation trains, to be known as Virgin Challenger units, for use by Virgin Trains after the introduction of their new 'Voyager' trains (Classes 220 and 221). These formations would have had power cars sandwiching one Trailer First, a Trailer Buffet, two Trailer Seconds and a Trailer Guard Second, and were intended for use on Virgin CrossCountry's planned services between Blackpool, Manchester and Birmingham, and Paddington to Birmingham via Swindon. These plans came to naught as the Strategic Rail Authority planned to transfer most of the stock to Midland Mainline for their London-Manchester 'Rio' services.[3]

Class Operator Number Year Built Cars per Set Unit Numbers.
Class 255 Virgin CrossCountry 14 (planned) 2002 (planned refurbishment) 2+5 255001-255014

Formation[edit]

The vehicle types used to form High Speed Trains are listed below:

Number Range Type Notes
400xx Trailer Buffet (TRSB) Renumbered 404xx in 1983; some converted to 402xx series
403xx Trailer Buffet (TRUB) All converted to 407xx series (first class)
405xx Trailer Kitchen (TRUK) All withdrawn and converted for other uses
41xxx Trailer First (TF) Majority in service, some converted or scrapped
42xxx Trailer Second (TS) Majority in service, some converted or scrapped
43002-43198 Driving Motor (Brake) (DM or DMB) Majority in service, three scrapped after accidents
44000-44101 Trailer Guard Second (TGS) Majority in service, some converted

The 197 power cars produced are numbered 43002-43198. The two prototype power cars, were originally numbered 41001 and 41002, latterly becoming 43000 (now preserved at York) and 43001.

Accidents and incidents[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Class 253 High Speed Train". Railblue.co.uk. Retrieved 15 February 2011. 
  2. ^ "Class 254 High Speed Train". Railblue.co.uk. Retrieved 15 February 2011. 
  3. ^ Privatisation 1993 - 2005 - 125 Group
  4. ^ Hoole, Ken (1983). Trains in Trouble: Vol. 4. Redruth: Atlantic Books. p. 36. ISBN 0 906899 07 9.