The 2006 Scene - 156 Super Sprinter

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At present class 156 units are owned by two Rolling Stock Companies, Angel and Porterbrook, and are leased by four Train Operating Companies; one Railway, Central Trains, Northern Rail and First ScotRail.
156469 at Middlesbrough, 17.Dec.05 Northern Rail

The Northern Rail franchise started in December 2004, together with the launch of a new Sheffield - Leeds fast service.

To celebrate the 1st anniversary Northern have applied special branding to Heaton based 156469, with images of Sheffield and Leeds on either side of the carriages.

Unit reallocations and changes to operating diagrams occured twice during 2005 as Northern merged its east and west operations.

In June, Northern's class 158s were concentrated at at Neville Hill, whilst class 150s moved to Newton Heath. 156498 in Northern Spirit livery also moved to Newton Heath.

Further reallocations occured in December with class 153s being moved to Neville Hill, and 4 more 156s moving to Newton Heath.

Northern have also adopted a more common-user approach, with 156s from its 3 depots regularly appearing on each other's diagrams.

At the start of the 2005, Northern had still to settle on a livery, and three units were returned from overhaul in a white and lilac scheme. A 3rd version of the livery appeared in May, this time dark blue and lilac, and this was subsequently adopted as standard.

From July onward tiny 'Northern' branding has slowly been applied to trains in existing liveries, although there were many 156s unbranded at the end of the year.

156422, one livery at Nottingham. 14.Mar.05 one-railway

Recently painted into 'one' livery, 156422 is seen at Nottingham on transfer from Tyseley to Norwich. 14.March.2005.

Five members of the fleet recieved this livery in 2005.

Photo: David Mulligan

During the first half of 2005 'one' gained a fleet of nine class 156 units from Central Trains in exchange for class 150s.

The nine units carried 5 different liveries, and Norwich depot also managed to create green and White hybrid sets on several occasions during the year.

156.419 at Grantham 05.February.2005 Central Trains

Repaints and reallocations during 2005 have left Central with a fleet of 11 156s all now in green livery.

The last of the class to be painted green, 156419 was released from overhaul in full Central Trains livery in the first week of February 2005.

At the end of the month it was transferred to one Railway.

The unit is seen at Grantham with a Skegness - Nottingham on 05.February.2005

At the start of 2005 class 156s were a common sight in the West Midlands on Birmingham - Shrewsbury and Cannock Valley routes.

Following fleet reduction from 20 to 11, with 9 units going to 'one', the remaining duties are in the East Midlands and Lincolnshire.

New style headlight were fitted to the fleet, including those later sent to 'one'.

ScotRail and SPT 156s at Glasgow Central First ScotRail

156.446 in First ScotRail Livery and 156.505 with the latest SPT branding at Glasgow Central on November 5, 2004

There were no further units put in First livery during 2005.

During the second half of the year ScotRail fitted new intermediate door controls panels to its 48 units.

Fitting of Passenger Information Systems to the 28 Strathclyde PTE sponsered units was completed in November.

Weekends duties for 156s on the North Berwick branch ended with the December 2005 timetable change, as did the evening trip over the Forth and Tay bridges on the 21:25 Edinburgh - Dundee.

156s at Wabtec, Doncaster

The 38 class 156 units owned by Porterbrook have been undergoing a programme of C6 overhauls at Wabtec, Doncaster.

Central Trains' 156.410 and First North Western's 156.423 were present during the Doncaster Works Open Weekend, 27.July.2003.

Since spring 2003 Porterbrook owned units, operated by 'one', Central Trains and Northern (ex First North Western), had been receiving their second C6 overhauls at Wabtec Doncaster.

The work involved corrosion repairs, attention to electrical and heating systems, repairing internal paneling, updating the door controls and fitting of On-train Monitoring Recorders (OTMR).

Units also received a full repaint.

The final unit in the program, 156407, was returned to 'one' at Norwich on September 12, 2005.