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Saturday, 24 April 2010

Chiltern Railways 168

My Train Home - Class 168 108 B sits at Marylebone on the 24 April 2010 prior to working the 20:05 semi fast to Aylesbury via High Wycombe. Strangely this working was comprised of a 3 car 168 and 3 car 168. With the 168 providing the main power to Aylesbury.

The driver can be seen in the background.

I must admit 168s are some of the most comfortable units of train I have ever travelled on maybe all Class 170s should have been designed in this manner.

Class 168s have a top speed of 100mph and a max speed of 106mph this is due to Chiltern Railways installing them with a speed limiter which could otherwise let them get up to 110mph following the 10% rule.

The first Class 168s were ordered by Chiltern Railways in 1997 following their successful bid for the Chiltern franchise in 1996. Five of these units were constructed by ADtranz now Bombaridier and delivered in 1998, 168001 - 005 and were designated as 'Clubmans'. Upon arrival the units were solely used on the London Marylebone to Birmingham Snow Hill Line however being fitted with tripcock meant they would stray onto LUL Tracks on the London Marylebone to Aylesbury service.

In 2001 Chiltern Railways took on a further delivery of 8 Class 168 units to strengthen services to Birmingham and allow the release of more Class 165s on the Metro services to High Wycombe and Aylesbury. The units are identical to the Class 170/2 which were at the time operating on the GEML of behalf on Anglia Railways.

In 2004 Chiltern Railways took on their third and last delivery of Class 168s. They are identical to the Class 168/1s in terms of the body shell, the only difference is the size of the buffers. These units are used on the London to Birmingham Line but can often be found on the London to Stratford -Upon- Avon Line.

I have to say my favourite sub class of the 168s are the 168/0s due to their unique styling and their rarity.


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