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