Class 156

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ScotRail operates a fleet of 45 Class 156 "Super Sprinters".

156 507 at Curriehill Photo by stanley
The fleet was originally split between SPT sponsored services and other ScotRail services. As such, twenty-eight of them were in SPT Carmine and Cream livery, and twenty in First ScotRail blue livery. With the transfer of SPT's rail powers to Transport Scotland and the rebranding of the ScotRail franchise to a unified livery, the entire fleet of twenty-eight Carmine and Cream 156s was repainted into the new ScotRail saltire livery.

In December of 2018 with the start of the new timetable, five of Scotrail's 156 'Barbie' units were to transfer south for a new life with Northern at Heaton Depot in Newcastle. These are as follows:

  • 156447, 156465 & 156485 (transferred on 13/12/18)
  • 156449 & 156496 (transferred on 15/12/18)

Corrour ยป 156 496 leads 06.03 Mallaig - Glasgow into Corrour Photo by robinbarnes


Ten of the fleet are fitted with RETB equipment for working on the West Highland Line. These are 156450, 156453, 156456, 156457, 156458, 156467, 156474, 156476, 156493 & 156499.

In early 2014 two 'SPT' units numbered 156445 and 156500 were fitted with the equipment.

Unit 156478 also had RETB equipment removed during 2015, but was re-fitted following the completion of refurbishment. In October 2016, 156478 returned to service. The unit is now owned by Brodies, Kilmarnock.

FSR Refurbishment

The ScotRail 156s went through a refurbishment programme at Derby Works with 156450 being the first to get the treatment, returning in February 2007. The refurbishment programme was completed in November 2007.

PRM-TSI Modifications

DMSL vehicle of 156437 (52437) after being modified to include the fitment of a new universal PRM compliant toilet. Photo by JModulo

From late 2016, ScotRail Class 156 units visited Glasgow Works to receive PRM-TSI modifications, including the fitment of a new compliant disabled toilet. This work also involves a full repaint and will eventually include a full interior refresh including new seats, power sockets, lighting, etc. Units 156432, 156462, 156467, 156501-156503 and 156505-156514 were completed however retained original seating, along with Brodies refurbished and owned 156478. Currently 156430-156437, 156439, 156442, 156445, 156446, 156450, 156457, 156458, 156474, 156476, 156477, 156492, 156493, 156494, 156495, 156504 and 156510 are the ones with the full refurbishment. The entire project was completed in July 2019, with unit 156445 being the last.

Interior of the toilet area after being modified to include the fitment of a new universal PRM compliant toilet and upgrade of wheelchair space from 1 to 2. Photo by JModulo


Class 156s currently operate the following routes:

  • Glasgow Queen Street - Oban/Fort William/Mallaig (RETB fitted units only)
  • Glasgow Queen Street/Edinburgh - Stirling/Dunblane/Alloa  (shared with 158s/170s + 365/385 EMUs)
  • Glasgow Queen Street - Maryhill - Anniesland  (shared with 158s/170s)
  • Edinburgh - West Calder - Shotts - Glasgow Central  (shared with 158s)
  • Edinburgh - Carstairs - Motherwell - Glasgow Central  (Shared with 380s)
  • Fife Circle  (More commonly covered by 158s/170s)
  • Glasgow Central - East Kilbride
  • Glasgow Central - Barrhead
  • Glasgow Central - Kilmarnock
  • Glasgow Central - Dumfries - Carlisle / Newcastle
  • Glasgow Central - Stranraer
  • Stranraer / Girvan / Ayr - Kilmarnock
Class 156's can also occasionally be found on the following lines in the event of service disruption:

  • Glasgow Central/Edinburgh Waverley - North Berwick/Dunbar (more commonly covered by Class 158/Class 170)
  • Edinburgh Waverley/Glasgow Queen Street - Perth/Dundee (more commonly covered by class 158/class 170)

See also...

Internal Links

Class 156 Formations
Class 156 Diagrams SX
Class 156 Diagrams Weekend
Class 156 Saltire Relivery
Ex Scotrail 156s
Class 156 SPT Livery
Class 156 FSR Repaint 2006
Class 156 FSR Refurbishment 2007
Class 156 FSR Refurbishment 2011-2014
Class 156 Refurbishment 2017-2019

External Links