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  • Writer's pictureBen Jones

Colourful Class 153s!


Skateboard, Dogbox, Tin Rocket – call them what you like but Class 153s have been a familiar part of the UK railway scene for more than 30 years. Reaching almost every corner of the network, from Penzance to the Highlands of Scotland and Fishguard to Lowestoft, they are one of the few ‘go anywhere’ trains and the perfect single vehicle train for any layout.

Updated and improved engineering samples of the O gauge Class 153 arrived in the UK for review last month and livery artwork has just been approved. Factory decorated samples are expected for review over the summer. Please note that these are not complete samples (for example, no rivet detail was included on the original sample!) and are subject to modification and improvement before production starts.

Based on original research and extensive assistance from Porterbrook Leasing, the HELJAN Class 153 is packed with desirable features that will make it a ‘must have’ for modellers of the BR Sectorisation era and post-1994 privatisation period.

- Eight separately switchable lighting functions in DCC mode

- Saloon interior and cab lights

- Tail lights and headlights with day/night settings

- Illuminated destination blinds

- Bodyside door locking indicator lights and illuminated door buttons

- Original/revised headlight units, according to period and livery

Other standard features will include the myriad rivets and panel lines typical of the British Leyland derived body design, fine underframe and bogie details plus...

- Factory fitted speaker on all models

- Detachable BSI auto-couplers

- Optional magnetic coupling bars

- Detachable snowploughs

- Fully detailed interior with separately fitted seats, tables and partitions

- Detailed cab interiors

- Optional NRN radio roof pods

- Authentic variations to underfloor radiator grille mesh

- Smooth, reliable and discreet power bogie

All models will be offered DCC Ready with an easy-to-access 21-pin decoder interface or with factory fitted DCC and sound, taking full advantage of all the sound and lighting features this offers. Decoration will be the icing on the cake for these superb models, featuring a wealth of detail based on original livery diagrams sourced from train operators and detailed research of the prototype. The first batch of liveries will be...


#53201 Regional Railways 153301 DCC READY

#53203 Regional Railways 153301 DCC SOUND

#53241 EMT Stagecoach 153311 DCC READY

#53243 EMT Stagecoach 153311 DCC SOUND

#53251 Northern ‘Swoosh’ 153351 DCC READY

#53253 Northern ‘Swoosh’ 153351 DCC SOUND

#53271 Transport for Wales Grey/Red 153906 DCC READY

#53273 Transport for Wales Grey/Red 153906 DCC SOUND

#53291 London Midland City 153356 DCC READY

#53293 London Midland City 153356 DCC SOUND



Suggested Retail Price (SRP) for DCC Ready models is £399.00 or £519.00 with factory-fitted DCC and authentic sound. Delivery of this exciting addition to our range is now expected in Q1 2025. Look out for more updates soon or come and see us at Model World Live at the NEC Birmingham on April 27/28.

In the meantime, whet your appetite with eight minutes of Class 153s in action across the British Rail network in recent years and start planning those layouts to make the most of what the new HELJAN model will offer!



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