Arriva Trains Northern

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Arriva Trains Northern leased 28 Class 156 units from Angel Trains.

These were refurbished by Adtranz, between 1999 and early 2001, while the franchise was operated by MTL and known as Northern Spirit.

Unit 156.490 was the first and returned to traffic in September 1999. The first few units were refurbished at Derby before the programme was moved to Doncaster Works.

Arriva Trains Northern became part of Northern Rail on 12 December, 2004

156.484 departs York

156.484, in Northern Spirit livery, departs York for Blackpool, 2 August 2001.

Shortly after the refurbishment programme had been completed in early 2001, the franchises' new owners, Arriva, started to replace the Northern Spirit branding with it's own name.

inside 57498

During refurbishment new Richmond "Navigator" seats were fitted, covered with moquette of lime and turquoise spots on a grey base.

The large tables have been replaced with new one-piece mouldings

More litter bins have been fitted between seat backs through the train.

The units have diffusers fitted to the fluorescent lighting.

inside 52498 tip down seats
Two tip-down seats have been fitted in the luggage van.

The opposite side of the van has space for bicycles

A Wheelchair ramp is stored opposite the toilet.

The units also had the end walls and central pillars painted slate blue.

All the grab rails in the unit are painted bright green.


Units (Northern Spirit scheme) Seating Capacity DMS(A) details DMS(B) details
152 seats 74 Standard seats,
76 Standard seats,
2 tip-up seats,
luggage van.

Vehicles have been issued with a new design code: DMS(A) = DP261, DMS(B) = DP262

Allocation and Duties

The Arriva Trains Northern fleet is divided between two depots, Heaton and Neville Hill.

HT Heaton, Newcastle 8 units

NL Neville Hill, Leeds 20 units

Heaton based units work local trains in the Northeast along side class 142 'Pacers', including most of the Carlisle - Newcastle - Middlesborough services.

Those at Neville Hill share the Scarborough and York to Manchester Victoria route via Bradford with 155 and 158 units.

The Leeds - Settle - Carlisle route is mostly operated by 156's.

Other duties include Sheffield - Leeds, Sheffield - Hull - Scarborough, York - Selby.

The class frequently deputise for class 158s on Trans-Pennine routes; from Scarborough to Blackpool via Halifax, Hull - Manchester Airport, and the short Leeds - Manchester Piccadilly run.