Rail Minister Andrew Jones will launch a competition this summer to find new uses for Northern Rail’s Class 142 and '144' fleets.
Some of the British Rail diesel multiple units will be donated by their leasing companies, with Porterbrook the first to release a unit, and community groups will be given the chance to put forward their plans to convert redundant vehicles into new public spaces. Initial suggestions include turning them into community spaces, cafes or new village halls.
Announcing the competition, Jones said: “The Pacers have been the workhorses of the North’s rail network, connecting communities for more than 30 years, but it is clear that they have outstayed their welcome.
“That is why they are being phased out completely to make way for new or fully refurbished trains, improving journeys and creating space for 40,000 more passengers.
For the FULL story, read RAIL 880, published on June 5, and available digitally on Android, iPad and Kindle from June 1.