Over 360 Class 158 diesel multiple units were original built for Regional Railways, in the early 1990's at Derby, by ABB Transport Ltd, (currently trading as Adtranz Ltd). Their high standards of performance, comfort and low running costs have made significant improvements to 'Express' cross-country routes, where they susequently displaced the remaining loco-hauled trains operated in the Provincial sector, as well as servicing some routes covered by earlier type 'Sprinters'.
With a maximum speed of 90 miles per hour, the two-car consists are formed of a pair of Driving Motor Standard Class with Lavatory (DMSL) vehicles, one of which has a parcels secure storage area, designated DMSL(A), and the other a disabled person's toilet.
The bodyshells are fabricated from seam welded aluminium alloy extrusions, running on Series 4 bogies, with 70 seats in both cars - all cars are powered, the power train being an uprated version of that used in the Class 150 'Sprinter' units. Passenger amenities are of InterCity standards, and includes air-conditioning, public telephones and provisions for trolley catering services. Distinctive external features include the low air-dam front to the cab, and the use of dark tinted glazing in the cars' side windows.
The Class 158 is DCC Compatible but is not provided with a socket or plug. Common opinion is that a lot of work is required to install a decoder to this model.
Information on installing a DCC Decoder to a Class 158 can be found by clicking on the following link http://www.bachmann.co.uk/pdfs/issue8.pdf