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Porterbrook’s rebuilt Pacer set to enter traffic in April

A Class 144 Pacer modified to operate beyond 2020 will enter traffic in April, following a rebuild by Rail Vehicle Engineering Limited at its Derby workshops.

The scheme is being funded by Porterbrook, which owns the two-car diesel multiple unit (144012). The rolling stock leasing company is paying £800,000 for the project, but told RAIL on February 10: “We expect the full Class 144e specification to cost around £175,000 per vehicle; £350,000 for a two-car unit.

“This compares with an estimated cost for a new two-car DMU of £3.5 million to £4m, if you could find a manufacturer to build one. And the new train would be more expensive to maintain.”

Porterbrook says the Class 144 Evolution scheme “aims to transform perceptions of the Class 144 fleet by improving the exterior, upgrading the interior, and investing in the latest onboard technologies”. 

  • For more on this story, read RAIL 768, published on February 18


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  • Pacer man - 13/02/2015 15:08

    Please realise that no one wants your rubbish trains. Someone needs to fix the market so companies are forced into competition and cannot get away with running their assets down into this state and still making a profit.

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  • Chris Herbert - 13/02/2015 22:36

    Ridiculous. These outdated trains should be consigned to the scrapheap. Says a lot for the non-investment in the rolling stock and railways in the north. Crossrail 2 and fleets of new trains for London. 10% of that investment please.....

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  • StPaddy - 16/02/2015 21:51

    What a waste of £800k! Nothing to improve the awful riding. Same unsafe and draughty bus doors and fall hazard step wells. Still with single glazed windows, obscured with condensation on cold days. No improvement to the terrible adhesion and braking delaying journeys every Autumn. No TOC would be stupid enough to fall for this con - surely they'd be rewarded by failing to get the franchise. Northern (and others) have had no choice but to lease this rubbish at inflated prices guaranteeing fat profits for the ROSCOs at the passenger's expense - well not for much longer!

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  • Paul sleightholm - 19/02/2015 15:33

    Totally agree with all the comments , what a watse of money, we want new trains not 30year old trains that ride awful. Porterbrook spend your money on procuring new modern dual power trains diesel/electric ahould be the way forward.

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  • RMG - 13/06/2015 11:31

    Does anyone know where this Pacer is? I've messaged Porterbrook and they aren't replying.

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