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Infrastructure delays force Northern to soldier on with Pacers

Forty-six Pacers remained in traffic with Northern at the start of January, after they were supposed to have been sent off-lease.

According to the operator’s franchise agreement, 33 Class 142s were due to be off-lease from January 5. Meanwhile, 13 two-car Class 144s were to have been returned to Porterbrook by January 5 (the first five were supposed to have been sent off-lease on September 15 last year, followed by two in October, four in November and the final two this January).

Instead, the trains remain in traffic, with Northern citing problems with electrification for their retention. The final ten three-car Class 144s are due off-lease on March 31.

Northern spokesman Glyn Hallam told RAIL: “The delays to infrastructure improvements, including Manchester-Bolton electrification, meant that the May 2018 timetable was rewritten in 16 weeks rather than 40 weeks, and one ongoing consequence of the delays to electrification is that we can’t yet use electric trains on Manchester-Bolton."

  • For the FULL story, read RAIL 871, published on January 30, and available digitally on Android, iPad and Kindle from January 26.

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