154001 Clay Mills (Hargate) 15 May 1987

154001 passes Clay Mills (Hargate) on 15 May 1987 with the 11:06 Birmingham New Street to Derby Regional Railway service. This unit initially entered traffic in 1984 as one of a pair of Class 150 prototypes. 150001 was fitted with Cummins engines and Voith transmissions, and 150002 was equipped with Rolls Royce engines and transmissions by Self Changing Gears. Unfortunately this latter combination proved to be less than reliable, and in 1987 the opportunity was taken to convert 150002 into a testbed for the forthcoming Class 158 units, complete with Cummins engines. It was renumbered 154001, and spent the next five years as the sole member of the class, before being converted back to a standard Class 150. It shouldn't really have been a surprise that the Rolls Royce engines would be unreliable, as the earlier Class 111s were always having problems.