Is there really a Class 255 and Class 257?????

Jorge Da Silva

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Ok so someone on youtube by the name of thetransporthub posted a video showing a Class 257 at Bristol Temple Meads if your like me and thinking what is a 257 it is 'apparently' a slam door short formed HST and a sliding door short formed HST being a 255. Any truth in this?


Been spread on many rail forums, 255 for the sliding door short sets and 257 for the slam door
I can't find any evidence of it!!!!!
 
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gimmea50anyday

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255 was referred to previously as the 5 car HSTs used by Virgin XC post operation princess and were also known internally as challengers and pioneers, not sure what the difference was between the names at the time but some were supposed to be getting a voyager like interior refurb which of course never happened as the SRA stepped in and put them on Rio jobs instead...
 

43074

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No its complete rubbish. The only source which states they are Class 257 is on the frequently requested diagrams thread, which is hardly authoritative. I suspect the 255/257 thing is a way of GWR internally differentiating slam door and sliding door sets as they are operationally different, but it isn't a TOPs classification, as far as that is concerned they're still Class 43s locos and Mark 3 trailers.
 

43096

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GWR have put "Class 255" on the Castle Class (fully refurbished) nameplates.
Doesn’t mean it officially exists though - it is just made up by GWR for internal purposes. “Computer says no” if you ask the national vehicle register for Class 255 or 257.
 

swt_passenger

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As above by 43096 it’s probable that a 3 digit “dummy” class number has to be used in some software or other (such as for traincrew planning) that is programmed to only allow a numeric 3 digit entry. I think it’s fairly widely known that GWR internally referrred to 253 or 254 ever since they were new?

Some may also recall a discussion a few years ago when SWT used class 459 in traincrew diagrams for a while (to denote 458/5s) when they needed to differentiate them.
 

norbitonflyer

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I seem to recall that in the very early days of HSTs on the Eastern Region production of trailers had run ahead of power cars and the surplus were added to existing sets to create some 2+9 formations (performance was affected, of course, but many services were still timed for Deltics so they could still keep time). As a 2+7 was a class 253 and a 2+8 was a class 254, these temporary 2+9s were known as class 255s. Again, this may have been an unofficial designation but would have helped to ensure they were diagrammed on services with easy timings, heavy passenger loadings and/or long platforms.
 

hexagon789

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I seem to recall that in the very early days of HSTs on the Eastern Region production of trailers had run ahead of power cars and the surplus were added to existing sets to create some 2+9 formations (performance was affected, of course, but many services were still timed for Deltics so they could still keep time). As a 2+7 was a class 253 and a 2+8 was a class 254, these temporary 2+9s were known as class 255s. Again, this may have been an unofficial designation but would have helped to ensure they were diagrammed on services with easy timings, heavy passenger loadings and/or long platforms.
That may have been the case but that's the first I've heard of that.
 

hexagon789

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Not back in the day they weren’t. Originally HSTs were classed as DEMUs and were given class numbers of 253 and 254.
Technically originally they were loco-hauled coaching stock with buffers and Class 41 locos, then DEMUs, then the present arrangement
 

43 302

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So no class 255 and 257 aren't official TOPS designations but it is much easier to say "class 257" then it is "you know those short 2+4 slam door HSTs GWR had for about a year".

And then even if you say that someone thinks you mean the new sliding door sets.
 

hexagon789

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So no class 255 and 257 aren't official TOPS designations but it is much easier to say "class 257" then it is "you know those short 2+4 slam door HSTs GWR had for about a year".

And then even if you say that someone thinks you mean the new sliding door sets.
Unless they think you mean the short-lived Virgin Challenger sets ;)
 

Neptune

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255 was referred to previously as the 5 car HSTs used by Virgin XC post operation princess and were also known internally as challengers and pioneers, not sure what the difference was between the names at the time but some were supposed to be getting a voyager like interior refurb which of course never happened as the SRA stepped in and put them on Rio jobs instead...
The planned Virgin short sets were challengers. Pioneers were the Hull Trains class 222’s.
 

hexagon789

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From the 125Group:

The remainder of the power cars were nicknamed ‘Pioneer’ and these worked the Virgin West Coast services, in addition to four duties on Cross-Country operations.

The ‘Challenger’ fleet consisted of 43063/069-071/078/079/086-089/155/156/159/161/162/180/193-198 whilst the ‘Pioneer’ fleet consisted of 43065/067/068/080/084/090-094/097-103/121-123/153/164/157/158/160.
 

43 302

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How about Red 255 for a Virgin one and Green 255 for GWR? :lol:
To be honest I'll either say class 257 or class 255 castle. So no confusion with the challenger sets. Also didn't challenger explode? Would be more appropriate calling 221s challengers then!
 

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