EMR 158s with original seats?

Discussion in 'Traction & Rolling Stock' started by trebor79, 17 Jan 2020.

  1. trebor79

    trebor79 Established Member

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    Just boarded a 158 at Ely. It doesn't have the usual high backed seats with headrests, but low backed seats with much thicker cushions. The plastic hand holds seem vaguely familiar.
    I'm a bit confused as the seats look brand new (as opposed to the thread bare and stained condition of most of the high backed seats), but are obviously not a modern design.
    Are they re-upholstered originals?

    My word they are comfortable! And a much better feeling of space and airiness as you aren't hemmed in by high seat backs all around.
    Photo attached.

    Why ever did they replace them with the awful new seats at refurbishment?
     

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  3. sprinterguy

    sprinterguy Established Member

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    That sounds like it's ex-South West Trains unit 158889, now in use with East Midlands Railway. They were refurbished for use by South West Trains in 2007, around three years before the Grammer seats began to be fitted to East Midlands Trains and Arriva Trains Wales class 158s upon refurbishment, so retained the original design of seats.
     
  4. fgwrich

    fgwrich Established Member

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    You’ve also missed a trick there by boarding at that end, as EMR 158 doesn’t operate any 158s with first class ;)
     
  5. trebor79

    trebor79 Established Member

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    I didn't note the unit number but it's certainly different to all the other EMR 158s. I've just changed to another unit at Peterborough, with the usual Grammar seats. That awful fixed armrest next to the wall is another annoyance!
     
  6. trebor79

    trebor79 Established Member

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    Doh! Didn't even think of that. I don't mind though, it was still positively luxurious and much nicer than the usual carriage.
    Mind you, I always sit in the leading carriage to avoid breathing exhaust fumes, which is a common issue on 158s when sitting in the rear carriage.
    What seats are in first class, out of interest?
     
  7. aiden_g1

    aiden_g1 Member

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    Whilst they look comfortable and well padded, i personally find the grammar seats much better. Still comfortable, better back/neck support and much better privacy which i prefer. Ofcourse as ever it's all subjective.
     
  8. fgwrich

    fgwrich Established Member

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    I thought I had a photo of it but can’t find it at the moment. The SWT / SWR First Class consists of the Primarius FC seats of the time, although I believe either the 158s or the 159/1s actually obtained theirs from Ex Anglia & Hull Trains Class 170s when they were re-seated. Both FGW & GNER then went on to use the same design themselves in their respective refurbishments too. Whether or not they are anymore comfortable in the 158/159 fleets is debatable, but you can’t beat the feeling of an upgrade & power sockets when you need them!

    https://flic.kr/p/8kdNGo
     
  9. trebor79

    trebor79 Established Member

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    How come this one particular unit ended up with EMR?
     
  10. MatthewRead

    MatthewRead On Moderation

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    I thought the Grammar seats were fitted to the East Midland 158's in 2008.
     
  11. WillPS

    WillPS Established Member

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    It came up 'on loan' in May 2015 to cover PRM mods I believe, and never went back.

    The EMT franchise frequently had 1 or 2 SWT units on loan, whether that was easily arranged because they were sister companies or not, I don't know.
     
  12. Andy Pacer

    Andy Pacer Member

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    It's actually fairly unusual 'in theory' for 158889 to go to Norwich as the different seat configuration means that reservations can't be displayed.
     
  13. 43096

    43096 Established Member

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    I thought it came up to provide the extra set for the Newark Castle extension of the Matlock-Nottingham service.
     
  14. Failed Unit

    Failed Unit Established Member

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    I think both are true. It was around anyway but the Newark castle extension was probably why it didn’t return.
     
  15. trebor79

    trebor79 Established Member

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    Well, it's a very nice unit to travel in.
     
    Last edited: 17 Jan 2020
  16. OrangeJuice

    OrangeJuice Member

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    Seconded, was always a joy to travel on between Crewe and Derby on the occasion it turned up. So much so I had a hope whenever a 158 made it onto that diagram it would be the one!
     
  17. anthony kelly

    anthony kelly Member

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    The best units to travel on between Crewe and Derby will always be the class 120s fasten you're seat belt and loosen you're collar there heating was fab
     
  18. tom1649

    tom1649 Member

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    I've had it on the Matlock line before and found it to be very comfortable indeed. Not as claustrophobic as the ones with the new seats either.
     
  19. Helvellyn

    Helvellyn Established Member

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    As someone who is 6ft 5 I don't enjoy the original seats because I have no support for my neck and head. Same reason I am no fan of IC70 seats. Never got why EMT's 158s got new Grammer seats but the HST fleet didn't.
     
  20. 317666

    317666 Established Member

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    I'm 6ft 3 and my main gripe with original-seated 158s is the lack of legroom compared to the reseated examples. Although, XC 170s have to be the worst longer-distance units in that respect!
     
  21. D365

    D365 Established Member

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    Agreed; even for a 6’2 guy, the HST set that was loaned to VTEC was always a joy...
     
  22. tom1649

    tom1649 Member

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    I guess the people at BR who designed seats weren't very tall.
     
  23. 43096

    43096 Established Member

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    158s has new seats to increase capacity on the Liverpool-Norwich service as the number of seats was increased as a result, but still maintaining spacing.

    There was no need to do that with the HST fleet.
     
  24. Failed Unit

    Failed Unit Established Member

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    Remember the 158s were re padded in the 90’s to make the seat more comfortable. It reduced the leg room as a result. Leg room was fine as built but the padding would collapse. The worse seats in my opinion for both comfort and leg room was the Richmond’s ScotRail fitted. No sure if they are all gone in 158s now
     
  25. fgwrich

    fgwrich Established Member

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    Capacity of course having to be increased when the franchise was split, and went down from the 3 car 170s Central used on the service to the 3/2 car 158s. EMT did have a few of the ex TransPennine 3 car 158s but subsequently swapped out the centre cars with Northern for more 153s. Hence in part the obvious need to put as many seats in as possible to increase the capacity.
     
  26. fgwrich

    fgwrich Established Member

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    There’s a few left, as while GWR removed all of their Richmond’s (put in by FGW to replace the Electrostar / Desiro seats by Wessex) replacing them with the original BR Seats again. The ScotRail “Haymarket” sets - 726 to 741 I believe, does still retain Richmonds however and rather Unfortunately, have been made worse by decreasing some of the seat spacing to fit a larger luggage rack in, to match the Inverness sets.

    I never really understood why Wessex put those seats in the 158s but it was a nice effort!

    https://ukrailwaypics.smugmug.com/UKRailwayPics-2/Wessex-Trains/Wessex-Trains-class-158/i-pXpcw8L/A
     
    Last edited: 18 Jan 2020
  27. Failed Unit

    Failed Unit Established Member

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    I noticed all the FGW ones I saw on a recent trip to Bath we the original seats, I just assumed that they were ex-TPE ones. But yes Wessex and Wales and Boarders both totally reseated thier 158s. I suspect they are all with Northern now.
     

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