The BR Class 159 South Western Turbo is a type of Sprinter unit, closley derived from the BR Class 158. They are all converted 158 Units, owned by Porterbrook and operated by South West Trains.


The 158 was designed to take over from the "Heritage" DMUs on British railways. The set is made up of two cars, both of which were powered through advanced bogies by 350 to 400 horse-power diesel motors. They are best suited to medium distance runs, but perform well on long distance runs as well. They are very comfortable compared to other Sprinters.

When South West Trains took over the franchise, they converted a number of the units into 159s for use between Exeter St Davids, Weymouth, and Sailsbury to London Waterloo. Most of them operate in the direction of Exeter St Davids with some of the other services being taken by the Desiro and remaining 158 units.

BR Class 159 (South Western Turbo)
A 159 (159017) in St Davids

Years built




Number Produced

by South West Trains

Years in Operation

London to the South West.

Fleet Numbers



Class 159

Number Operational


Number Preserved


Number Scrapped


l x w x h)



143.5cm(4ft 8.5in)STANDARD

V - E - T - D


The units are operated between London Waterloo and the South West of England and between Sailsbury and Weymouth (alongside 158s, which can make identification difficult from a glance). They are also sometimes operated as railtour excursions by Uk Railtours to replace thier HST specials, as the fact that they have plug doors and are Multiple Units reduces the cost significantly.


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