NI Railways Class 450 at Larne harbour station
The Class 450 is a type of diesel multiple unit (DMU) used by Northern Ireland Railways.
In the mid 1980s, Northern Ireland Railways was in the process of upgrading its rolling stock. Having already purchased three new locomotives, it then proceeded to purchase replacements for its Class 70 diesel multiple units. A total of nine three car trains were constructed by BREL between 1985 and 1987 intended to supplement the existing Class 80 DMUs then in service. The trains were constructed using underframes of existing Mark 1 coaching stock, altered to 1600mm gauge and new Mark 3 bodyshells. These were combined with refurbished power units and traction motors from the withdrawn Class 70 units (there were only eight Class 70 units available to be salvaged, so the equipment for the ninth train came from a withdrawn Class 80 train). The power cars are named after Castles.
The Class 450 operate as permanently formed 3 car sets with a 79x intermediate trailer and a 78x driving trailer.
Sets are 451-791-781 to 459-799-789
As of 2007, the trains operate almost exclusively on the Belfast to Larne line during weekdays (as there are not enough CAF sets to serve the Larne line) and a set is stabled at Coleraine for use on the Portrush branch. They bear a strong resemblance to the British Rail Class 150 ,British Rail Class 210 and 455, as they both use Mark 3 bodyshells. They were expected to be withdrawn in 2012 and replaced by new railcars to be ordered in March 2009, however according to Translink's capital expenditure plan, they plan to invest £1.8m improving these trains to the financial year 2010/11 at least, resulting in doubt as to whether they may be retained as back-ups in an emergency.
(Text : Wikipedia)
Picture added on 19 December 2008