Competition is now open for applications to Government to see Pacers converted for use in the community.
The Department for Transport is running the competition until the end of September, with the winners announced later this year. Their prize will be a Porterbrook-owned Class 144 vehicle withdrawn by Northern.
Rail Minister Andrew Jones launched the campaign at St. Catherine’s Primary School in Bolton today (July 11).
Porterbrook is making three Pacer vehicles available, and a judging panel including Pete Waterman will select the winners.
Jones said: “The energy and ideas shown by the children today has been really creative and fun, providing some brilliant examples of how the Pacers could play a new, exciting role in our communities.
The Pacers have been carrying passengers for over 30 years, but they have outstayed their welcome.”
Waterman said: “This competition provides a fantastic opportunity for community groups to actively engage with the rail network to make a difference to their local areas.”
Porterbrook CEO Mary Grant added: “It is fitting that this competition will seek to identify new ways in which these Pacer vehicles can continue meeting the needs of the communities they once served.”
Professor Paul Salveson, Chairman of Bolton Station Community Development Partnership, said: “I can’t say that we’re not glad to see them going - we now have fast trains with more capacity and greater comfort. It’s a great idea to re-use the old trains for community projects and I hope this event will stimulate lots of groups to come forward with innovative ideas.”
For the FULL story, read RAIL 884, published on July 31, and available digitally on Android, iPad and Kindle from July 27.