Class 142, Newton Heath depot

What Can You Do With a Fallen Pacer?

Department For Transport launches scheme to bring new life to withdrawn Pacer units

Has April Fool’s Day 2020 been brought forward? The Department For Transport have conjured up a wheeze to bring new life to the Pacer family of trains. What you may be relieved to find is that continued use on our permanent way is out of the question.

Continue reading “What Can You Do With a Fallen Pacer?”

Packed Pacer Problem Solved for 2019 Deadline

East of the M60 EXCLUSIVE: Nodding Donkeys become beautiful bi-modes with revolutionary technology

  • 10-car Pacers set for DDA compliant overhaul;
  • New breed of Nodding Donkeys go electric.
40 more years? Imagine these units, only five times longer, with a pantograph, a steam funnel and a tender.

Set to carry on for a longer period of time than the UK’s Brexit negotiations is the fate of Northern’s Pacer units. Due to disability legislation, the much-maligned family of diesel units were scheduled for withdrawal in 2019. In reality, the delivery of Northern’s replacements have delayed the Pacer family’s withdrawal. So much so that one of the units scheduled for inclusion in the National Railway Museum’s collection is still in service.

According to reports from an informed source, East of the M60 can confirm that the Pacer family of units will be seeing continued service for another 40 years.

Continue reading “Packed Pacer Problem Solved for 2019 Deadline”

Serco Loses Northern Franchise to Arriva

FirstGroup and Keolis retain Transpennine Express franchise

  • Pacers peddled with new rolling stock in place;
  • Evolution of Smart Ticketing and free WiFi at stations;
  • New connections throughout Northern England.

The Department for Transport today [09 December] has awarded the Northern franchise to Arriva/DB Regio today. As part of their franchise, the unpopular Class 142 and 144 Pacer units will be scrapped. In their place would be a mix of brand new and nearly new rolling stock. Their franchise term will be active from April 2016 to March 2025. Continue reading “Serco Loses Northern Franchise to Arriva”

Twin Squeaks: Know Your Pacer Units

An absolute beginners’ guide to Britain’s much maligned railbuses

Class 142 Pacer DMU, Manchester Piccadilly, post-rush hour
The most commonplace constituent of the Pacer family, seen at Manchester Piccadilly railway station.

In the late 1970s, the railbus was a far from new concept for British Rail. There had been single car railbuses, such as those by Wickham seen on branch lines. By the dawn of the 1970s, most of the branch lines served by the single car DMUs had closed. Even so, some local routes such as the Penistone and Oldham-Rochdale Loop Lines were threatened with closure. Continue reading “Twin Squeaks: Know Your Pacer Units”

Train Interiors from Hell: The Infamous Five Alive

Go back to your stations and prepare for backache, piles and migraines ahead…

Greater Manchester, besides having more Pacer units than anywhere else on the planet plays host to some rather grim trains. Most of which are fellow Northerners built in Lillyhall, Workington from bus bodies. Till recently, a lot of our rolling stock were cast-offs from the South of England. By 2012, we will getting some more Southern cast-offs, though seven of these are returning to their spiritual home. They are the seven Pacer units returning to the North of England from First Great Western, four of which The Infamous Oldham Four, referring to the spare units used on the Oldham-Rochdale Loop line.

For the purpose of our new feature, The Infamous Five Alive, we are focusing on the railway carriage interiors which have brought shame onto our railways. Continue reading “Train Interiors from Hell: The Infamous Five Alive”

All Your Pacers Belong To Us

22 more carriages for Northern Rail

Any improvement in capacity for Greater Manchester’s squeezed commuters (both physically and financially) is a welcome development. A further 22 carriages (11 two-car diesel multiple units) will be made available to Northern Rail by Christmas 2011. This is in addition to a further 50 carriages due the same month, and a further 10 which are already in revenue earning service. This takes the total to 82 for one of National Rail’s biggest franchises in terms of operating area. Continue reading “All Your Pacers Belong To Us”

Pacers of the Mancunian: The Curse of the Yellow Peril

A companion article to Nodding Donkeys: Greater Manchester’s Love/Hate Relationship with the Class 142 Pacer Unit.

Ich Bin Ein Merseyfailer

Point One: Pacers are a poor substitute to most rolling stock seen on UK National Rail metals. Continue reading “Pacers of the Mancunian: The Curse of the Yellow Peril”