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All across the Great Western territory => Across the West => Topic started by: grahame on March 05, 2019, 10:52:48 am



Title: A tribute to class 153 - leaving us in the very near future
Post by: grahame on March 05, 2019, 10:52:48 am
(http://www.mrug.org.uk/lib/800px-Class_153_GWR.png)

Love 'em or hate 'em?  My own view - coloured by my experience - at  http://www.mrug.org.uk/tribute153.html

Image under Creative Commons 4.0 license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/) by Wikipedia contributor Smithdo43172


Title: Re: A tribute to class 153 - leaving us in the very near future
Post by: grahame on March 09, 2019, 05:27:55 pm
One of the 153 units - 153-361 - had small vinyls attached to celebrate the successful first year of the TransWilts trial service, and indeed this was one of the last 5 units to stay with GWR.     Here it is - on its own line - in late 2017:

(http://www.wellho.net/pix/eo153_5.jpg)

BobM has caught up with this unit in recent weeks - and here you see it at Liskeard and Looe, then in Plymouth having come off a Gunnislake service and on it way back up to Exeter.

(http://www.wellho.net/pix/lootw1.jpg)

(http://www.wellho.net/pix/lootw2.jpg)

(http://www.wellho.net/pix/lsktw1.jpg)

(http://www.wellho.net/pix/twply.jpg)



The variety of liveries of the 153s was perhaps greater than any that of any other class ... a couple more of my pictures - here at Trowbridge:

(http://www.wellho.net/pix/eo153_i.jpg)

and at Chippenham:

(http://www.wellho.net/pix/eo153_d.jpg)

With those crowd getting on, we were often nearly "every seat taken" even at the weekend

(http://www.wellho.net/pix/eo153_c.jpg)

Here is what I believe was the very last day that a single 153 was used - Friday 15th June 2018.   Over previous months, 153s had become the exception rather than the norm - "thank goodness" by that time though we loved them dearly - they were just too small for the crowds.   It may look quiet on the platform - it was unbelievable inside!

(http://www.wellho.net/pix/eo153_1.jpg)

More pictures at http://www.mrug.org.uk/tribute153.html - I have updated that thread and there's now a lot more to see.


Title: Re: A tribute to class 153 - leaving us in the very near future
Post by: FarWestJohn on March 09, 2019, 06:32:55 pm
Have fond memories of 382 in Prism rail days. It died on two separate Sundays leaving Falmouth town for Truro and we had to roll back to the platform and find our own way. I even have a Hornby model of 382 in Great Scenic Devon and Cornwall livery as a memento!!


Title: Re: A tribute to class 153 - leaving us in the very near future
Post by: grahame on March 09, 2019, 07:03:55 pm
I even have a Hornby model of 382 in Great Scenic Devon and Cornwall livery as a memento!!

Lovely models, aren't they?   

(http://www.wellho.net/pix/153382_4mm.jpg)

Sad to see them go ... been around since I first used a train from Melksham.   But we've grown up.    The old single car first generation units were known as "Coffin Nails" because they were one of the final steps towards the death of many a line.   Thank goodness the 153s are gone because they got too busy, not too quiet.


Title: Re: A tribute to class 153 - leaving us in the very near future
Post by: martyjon on March 09, 2019, 07:05:55 pm
I remember a day shortly after my local station, Yate, was reopened when travelling to Bristol Parkway in a first generation dmu. We stopped short of BPW at a signal and after a few minutes crept slowly forward into the then sole down platform stopping well short of the normal stopping point. There proceeded an unusual amount of activity from platform staff at BPW. This was to open both the doors on the platform side of the Guards Van and then both of the doors of same on the non platform side whereupon the old dmu inched forward until the coolant filler cap of the up class 155 from which the class 153's were derived was aligned with the open Guards Van doors. A watering can arrived and the contents were used to quell the thirst of that half of the up class 155 service but it was not enough and a second watering can refill was sought and emptied into the thirsty 155's coach before both services could continue.


Title: Re: A tribute to class 153 - leaving us in the very near future
Post by: martyjon on March 09, 2019, 07:17:04 pm
I even have a Hornby model of 382 in Great Scenic Devon and Cornwall livery as a memento!!

Lovely models, aren't they?   

(http://www.wellho.net/pix/153382_4mm.jpg)

Sad to see them go ... been around since I first used a train from Melksham.   But we've grown up.    The old single car first generation units were known as "Coffin Nails" because they were one of the final steps towards the death of many a line.   Thank goodness the 153s are gone because they got too busy, not too quiet.

I expect that model will, if it isn't already, be a collectors item in the future, wonder how much my diecast model of the Millenium Dome is worth now, bought it at half price in the dying days of that projects life before its re-incarnation as the venue it is today.


Title: Re: A tribute to class 153 - leaving us in the very near future
Post by: RA on March 09, 2019, 08:34:36 pm
I managed to have a trip on the 153 unit that worked a special Saturday charter service along the Melksham line on the 5th September 1998 to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the opening of the route. In those days there was only the weekday peak 'work' trains on the route. Organised by the West Wiltshire Rail Users Group, tickets were sold in the local tourist information offices. £2 allowed a return trip from Westbury to Melksham and £3 a return trip from Westbury to Chippenham.

Complete with a commemorative headboard displayed in the cab window, 153353 in Regional Railways livery was provided to work the 2Z70 11:17 Westbury-Chippenham-Westbury charter train. A picture of the working (I can't recall seeing many as the event was reasonably low key) can be found in the book 'Wiltshire Traction'. I didn't take a picture myself unfortunately, although I have found the ticket.


Title: Re: A tribute to class 153 - leaving us in the very near future
Post by: RA on March 09, 2019, 08:48:56 pm
Further to my previous post, I will endeavour to upload some of my images of 153 units on the route next week. In the meantime, here is the ticket I purchased for the class 153 charter. The headboard had the same design as the upper image showing the rear of the ticket.

(https://i.ibb.co/Kypc1fY/20190309-202306.jpg)

(https://i.ibb.co/sVN1WFL/20190309-202341.jpg)


Title: Re: A tribute to class 153 - leaving us in the very near future
Post by: bobm on March 09, 2019, 10:14:21 pm
I must be something of a single railcar fan. As well as the 153 I have an affinity for the class 121 bubble cars which used to run on the Henley branch on a Sunday in the 1980s.

Quite like the GWR railcars too but donít remember them in service!


Title: Re: A tribute to class 153 - leaving us in the very near future
Post by: Clan Line on March 09, 2019, 10:37:01 pm
I have an affinity for the class 121 bubble cars which used to run on the Henley branch on a Sunday in the 1980s.

An "ex" Class 121 - at Warminster April 2008. I think this particular one is now at Swanage.

(http://i67.tinypic.com/2vkx0zp.jpg)


Title: Re: A tribute to class 153 - leaving us in the very near future
Post by: martyjon on March 10, 2019, 01:01:26 am
I must be something of a single railcar fan. As well as the 153 I have an affinity for the class 121 bubble cars which used to run on the Henley branch on a Sunday in the 1980s.

Quite like the GWR railcars too but donít remember them in service!


I do !  ;D


Title: Re: A tribute to class 153 - leaving us in the very near future
Post by: martyjon on March 10, 2019, 01:20:07 am
I must be something of a single railcar fan. As well as the 153 I have an affinity for the class 121 bubble cars which used to run on the Henley branch on a Sunday in the 1980s.

When I was at Slough and frequently visited Windsor the service was mainly provided with a bubble car which had attached to it a non-motorised second class driving trailer vehicle. It was 'a funny feeling' riding in the trailer particularly when the exhaust pipes were at the rear and you were sat in the front seats behind the driving cab and you got the drivers eye-view of the 'road ahead' whilst being almost silently pushed along.


Title: Re: A tribute to class 153 - leaving us in the very near future
Post by: BBM on March 10, 2019, 11:21:29 am
I can just about remember the 121s in green on the Henley branch and I also remember the 2-train service when a pair of them would cross at Shiplake when the station still had two tracks after the rest of the line had been singled. Otherwise my main memory of them is as strengtheners or replacement cars on the mainline stoppers. I too would enjoy sitting at the front behind the driving cab so imagine my disappointment on at least one occasion I can remember when the front vehicle on a Paddington stopper was a 121 with the brake end leading so no forward view!


Title: Re: A tribute to class 153 - leaving us in the very near future
Post by: eightonedee on March 10, 2019, 07:38:45 pm
My memories of the Pressed Steel bubble cars goes back to the early and mid 1980s when I commuted from Tilehurst to London. If I took a late train back, there was a connection at about 11 pm where the onward train was a single car stopper from Reading to Didcot. It was about the time of the 150th anniversary, so sometimes we got a chocolate and cream one!  For some reason they did not run it from the west bound bay platform (6?), but it stood "back to back" with a 3-car stopper back to Paddington. There was no need to have A and B ends then on the old Platform 8 to use it for two trains in those days.


Title: Re: A tribute to class 153 - leaving us in the very near future
Post by: RA on March 13, 2019, 05:49:51 pm
A few images of class 153 units on Trans-Wilts services;

(https://i.ibb.co/bvczrq0/IMG-1429-153-800.jpg)
153333 near Broughton Gifford with the 10:47 Swindon to Westbury service on 06th April 2015.

(https://i.ibb.co/sJW6y15/IMG-1460-153-800.jpg)
153333 heading away from Bradford Junction with the 15:14 Swindon to Westbury service on 06th April 2015.

(https://i.ibb.co/b3HMGs4/IMG-3293-153-800.jpg)
153333 passing Langley Burrell with the 10:47 Swindon to Westbury service on 05th January 2017.

(https://i.ibb.co/qmKgr0p/IMG-3551-153-800.jpg)
153318 heading away from Hawkeridge Junction with the 07:32 Westbury to Swindon service on 27th April 2017.




Title: Re: A tribute to class 153 - leaving us in the very near future
Post by: grahame on March 13, 2019, 05:58:37 pm
A few images of class 153 units on Trans-Wilts services;

Love 'em ... but I know I'm not trying to squeeze in the cab, maintain all the equipment, or travel home from Swindon every dat on the 15:18 or 17:36!


Title: Re: A tribute to class 153 - leaving us in the very near future
Post by: RA on March 13, 2019, 06:35:07 pm
A couple of 153 images elsewhere on the GWR network;

(https://i.ibb.co/v4p52DR/IMG-5500-ABCDEFG-153-800.jpg)
153333 is paired up with 150207 as they are seen leaving Dawlish Warren with the 16:43 St James' Park to Paignton service on 05th September 2018.

(https://i.ibb.co/f2wVryr/IMG-5724-153-800.jpg)
153325 is paired up with classmate 153369 as they are seen passing St Blazey with the 15:01 Newquay to Par service on 09th October 2018.


Title: Re: A tribute to class 153 - leaving us in the very near future
Post by: GBM on March 14, 2019, 06:19:56 am
Thank you RA.  Lovely shots.  Much appreciated


Title: Re: A tribute to class 153 - leaving us in the very near future
Post by: Adrian on March 14, 2019, 08:11:14 pm
Today a 153 has been shuttling to and fro between Cardiff and Taunton coupled to a 150/0.  Seems strange when there are so many diagrams on that route they can only find a 150/2 for, at the moment.  And, with no gangway connection I wonder whether, strictly speaking, they're allowed through the Severn Tunnel?  I did wonder whether the plan was to leave the 153 behind at Cardiff at the end of the day, but no - it's on its way back to Bristol for the night, via Taunton.


Title: Re: A tribute to class 153 - leaving us in the very near future
Post by: grahame on March 14, 2019, 09:18:32 pm
Today a 153 has been shuttling to and fro between Cardiff and Taunton coupled to a 150/0.  Seems strange when there are so many diagrams on that route they can only find a 150/2 for, at the moment.  And, with no gangway connection I wonder whether, strictly speaking, they're allowed through the Severn Tunnel?  I did wonder whether the plan was to leave the 153 behind at Cardiff at the end of the day, but no - it's on its way back to Bristol for the night, via Taunton.

My understanding is that new types through the Severn Tunnel must have doors that close between carriages.  Old types have "Grandfather rights", and no gangway (on the end of a 150/0) isn't a problem. 

What do the 387s and 345s have between carriages?  May be issues there if they're to go west of Parkway.


Title: Re: A tribute to class 153 - leaving us in the very near future
Post by: Adrian on March 14, 2019, 09:50:07 pm
My understanding is that new types through the Severn Tunnel must have doors that close between carriages.  Old types have "Grandfather rights", and no gangway (on the end of a 150/0) isn't a problem. 

Ah - so I'd misunderstood.  I thought the issue was that passengers needed to be able to move to the safety of another carriage if, for instance, there was a fire on board.  Being able to seal off part of the train is maybe good too, but seems perhaps less important than being able to evacuate part of it.


Title: Re: A tribute to class 153 - leaving us in the very near future
Post by: Umberleigh on March 16, 2019, 05:39:43 pm
I must be something of a single railcar fan. As well as the 153 I have an affinity for the class 121 bubble cars which used to run on the Henley branch on a Sunday in the 1980s.

Quite like the GWR railcars too but donít remember them in service!

Me too.

Once travelled from Barnstaple to Exeter (late 80s) in service comprised of two 121s, they bounced around a bit!

As regards their ďcoffin nailĒ nickname, Iím too young to remember the Beeching era, however I was walking alongside the South Devon Railway at dusk a decade ago and their green bubble car rattled past me, a pleasant surprise but also one tinged with regret that the scene I had witnessed represented the end for many a line.


Title: Re: A tribute to class 153 - leaving us in the very near future
Post by: phile on March 16, 2019, 05:59:04 pm
Today a 153 has been shuttling to and fro between Cardiff and Taunton coupled to a 150/0.  Seems strange when there are so many diagrams on that route they can only find a 150/2 for, at the moment.  And, with no gangway connection I wonder whether, strictly speaking, they're allowed through the Severn Tunnel?  I did wonder whether the plan was to leave the 153 behind at Cardiff at the end of the day, but no - it's on its way back to Bristol for the night, via Taunton.

Trains without through access have been running through the Severn Tunnel for years


Title: Re: A tribute to class 153 - leaving us in the very near future
Post by: RichardB on March 16, 2019, 07:04:51 pm
The end gets ever closer and 153325 is no longer "Citizens' Rail" .  The livery was designed by my colleague Mike Parker-Bray and included a photo of the launch of the additional Newton Abbot - Paignton shuttles in December 13, which meant me, various GWR, Devon CC and Torbay Council managers had their picture on the side of a train to much amusement.

The livery was on for four years so we had a good run and thanks to GWR for doing it.  More information about Citizens' Rail here  https://www.citizensrail.org/

From Facebook -


Title: Re: A tribute to class 153 - leaving us in the very near future
Post by: grahame on March 16, 2019, 07:30:23 pm
From Facebook -

Also from Facebook from earlier this week, reproduced with permission of Richard Mallett ... 153-361 arriving at Paignton and still advertising TransWilts.

(http://www.firstgreatwestern.info/last153_pgn.png)


Title: Re: A tribute to class 153 - leaving us in the very near future
Post by: MVR S&T, was justdarkbeer on March 18, 2019, 09:57:23 pm
Not a fitting end with GWR, for 153 333. the picture of the day for today, 18th March.

http://www.railway-centre.com/march1.html


Title: Re: A tribute to class 153 - leaving us in the very near future
Post by: RichardB on March 19, 2019, 10:22:36 pm
Travelled on the Trans-Wilts branded 153 back from Torre to Newton Abbot this afternoon.  It was attached to a Pacer as part of a three coach train.  As an aside, our Citizens' Rail shuttles (NTA - PGN) are now a Cl 158 having started in 2013 as a Cl 153.


Title: Re: A tribute to class 153 - leaving us in the very near future
Post by: xmth on March 23, 2019, 11:05:37 pm
From information received today the 153s are off to Bristol tomorrow, Sunday 24th March, and I note that there is a 16:22 from Exeter TMD to Westbury DMU sidings.

Today, 333,369 and 329 were operating on Avocet/Riviera/Tarka services coupled together, 325 was on Exeter depot and 361 was, by elimination, the one working on the Looe branch.

End of another era.

Would post photo of the three but can't work out how to!


Title: Re: A tribute to class 153 - leaving us in the very near future
Post by: grahame on March 24, 2019, 06:18:32 am
From information received today the 153s are off to Bristol tomorrow, Sunday 24th March, and I note that there is a 16:22 from Exeter TMD to Westbury DMU sidings.

Today, 333,369 and 329 were operating on Avocet/Riviera/Tarka services coupled together, 325 was on Exeter depot and 361 was, by elimination, the one working on the Looe branch.

End of another era.

Would post photo of the three but can't work out how to!


We have some too-well-hidden information on that ... which I have just extracted and put in its own thread in "News and Assistance" at http://www.firstgreatwestern.info/coffeeshop/index.php?topic=21265.0

For a one-off (and the departure of the 153s is a one-off ...) happy for you to email me a picture or two and I can put them in my own web space for inclusion in your posts.  My email is graham - at - wellho - dot - net .


Title: Re: A tribute to class 153 - leaving us in the very near future
Post by: phile on March 24, 2019, 11:54:11 am
From information received today the 153s are off to Bristol tomorrow, Sunday 24th March, and I note that there is a 16:22 from Exeter TMD to Westbury DMU sidings.

Today, 333,369 and 329 were operating on Avocet/Riviera/Tarka services coupled together, 325 was on Exeter depot and 361 was, by elimination, the one working on the Looe branch.

End of another era.

Would post photo of the three but can't work out how to!


That 16+22 move from Exeter could be just a move to balance units, there have been similar ones recently and going to Westbury because the line is closed between Weston and Bristol.    This move is being operated by GW where transfers from TOC to TOC are arranged by ROSCOS who use Freight/ROG companies thus are shown as ZZ in Real Time Trains.


Title: Re: A tribute to class 153 - leaving us in the very near future
Post by: xmth on March 24, 2019, 10:11:06 pm
The 153s are still with us. Information obtained and circulated yesterday was 100% inaccurate.

Today two were working on the Avocet /Riviera services (attached to 150s) and a third as I understand worked down to Penzance. A fourth is on Exeter depot; don't know about the 5th one.

Looks like we have them down here for another week.


Title: Re: A tribute to class 153 - leaving us in the very near future
Post by: RichardB on March 30, 2019, 01:17:13 pm
Any update on the departure of the 153s?


Title: Re: A tribute to class 153 - leaving us in the very near future
Post by: SandTEngineer on March 30, 2019, 06:02:22 pm
Apparently they are all leaving Exeter on Monday(01/04/2019): http://www.realtimetrains.co.uk/train/V18953/2019/04/01/advanced


Title: Re: A tribute to class 153 - leaving us in the very near future
Post by: grahame on March 30, 2019, 06:11:53 pm
Apparently they are all leaving Exeter on Monday(01/04/2019): http://www.realtimetrains.co.uk/train/V18953/2019/04/01/advanced

10:10 from Exeter, calling at Bristol Temple Meads (11:17 to 11:34) and Pilning (11:57 to 12:19) and arriving Cardiff at 13:03.



Title: Re: A tribute to class 153 - leaving us in the very near future
Post by: RichardB on March 30, 2019, 06:27:07 pm
Thanks Graham.  I'm sure there will be photos taken and posted of Monday's train and look forward to seeing them.

Over 20 years of service on our local lines.


Title: Re: A tribute to class 153 - leaving us in the very near future
Post by: SandTEngineer on March 30, 2019, 06:36:55 pm
Apparently they are visible in Exeter depot and most have been stripped of GWR vinyls.


Title: Re: A tribute to class 153 - leaving us in the very near future
Post by: grahame on March 30, 2019, 06:41:49 pm
Thanks Graham.  I'm sure there will be photos taken and posted of Monday's train and look forward to seeing them.

Over 20 years of service on our local lines.

'twas S&TEngineer who found it, not me ... I just copied some stuff from the link so we have it for posterity.

In researching, I did a search "where is 153361" and my top hit was to "Hit the gym and workout in comfort in this GEL-Cool sleeveless training tank for men. Shop men's tops and tees at ASICS online.".  Second was a picture of 153361 .... at Craven Arms in 2005, before it came to us.  https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:ATW_153361-Craven_Arms-02.jpg .


Title: Re: A tribute to class 153 - leaving us in the very near future
Post by: RichardB on March 30, 2019, 09:16:46 pm
Thanks to S&T Engineer too!


Title: Re: A tribute to class 153 - leaving us in the very near future
Post by: xmth on March 30, 2019, 10:28:13 pm
Whilst I incorrectly posted that the 153s were leaving last Monday I don't believe that they worked on any of the 'Devon Metro' services this past week. I know I pair worked to Cardiff (and back) a couple of times.

Judging by the number of short-formed trains at Exeter today there may be difficult days ahead.


Title: Re: A tribute to class 153 - leaving us in the very near future
Post by: martyjon on April 01, 2019, 07:22:29 am
Looks like they're missing the 153's this morning ;-

0 Line Updates
0 Train Cancellations
0 Other Train Service Updates
55 Train Formation Updates

Mostly in the Exeter area.


Title: Re: A tribute to class 153 - leaving us in the very near future
Post by: phile on April 01, 2019, 09:11:58 am
Looks like they're missing the 153's this morning ;-

0 Line Updates
0 Train Cancellations
0 Other Train Service Updates
55 Train Formation Updates

Mostly in the Exeter area.

They would have helped on the day but the introduction of the short HSTs last week and the juggling around of diagrams and formations have enabled the release of the 153s


Title: Re: A tribute to class 153 - leaving us in the very near future
Post by: dhassell on April 01, 2019, 11:38:06 am
Five units left Exeter at half 9 this morning headed for Cardiff Canton.
153325 153333 153329 153361 153369



Title: Re: A tribute to class 153 - leaving us in the very near future
Post by: Western Pathfinder on April 01, 2019, 11:56:57 am
According to RTT they will be stopped at Pilning about now at Platform Two !!.


Title: Re: A tribute to class 153 - leaving us in the very near future
Post by: SandTEngineer on April 01, 2019, 12:01:32 pm
Strange, according to my RTT and OTT Maps they are already at Cardiff Canton depot..... :P


Title: Re: A tribute to class 153 - leaving us in the very near future
Post by: grahame on April 01, 2019, 12:13:31 pm
Strange, according to my RTT and OTT Maps they are already at Cardiff Canton depot..... :P

Real Time Trains suggests they were 83 minutes early at Pilning and didn't stop ... having taken just 10 minutes from Bristol Temple Meads - 10:46 to 10:56.   Shows what you can do even with 75 m.p.h. stock, but I'm sure they were helped on their way with all the good wishes of those of us who they've carried happiliy in the South West in the last 10 years.

P.S. Know I'm not comparing like for like, but a 10 minute sprint from Bristol Temple Meads to Pilning compares rather well with 40 minutes in normal service to that part of South Gloucestershire - from Bristol Temple Meads to Severn Beach.


Title: Re: A tribute to class 153 - leaving us in the very near future
Post by: Western Pathfinder on April 01, 2019, 12:28:21 pm
Christmas that was a quick run I posted my reply from info that I'd seen  before leaving home earlier.



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