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Pacers - the debate continues

“The Department for Transport has not assessed the feasibility of modernising Pacer trains, (but) officials have been shown plans by Porterbrook to modernise one Class 144 unit this winter,” Transport Minister Robert Goodwill said in a Written Answer on November 17.

“It will be for the owners to decide whether to invest in life-extension works, alongside bidders for future franchises,” he added.

“The Government recognises the need for new rolling stock on (future) franchises, and that is why we will require bidders for the Northern franchise to include proposals as part of their bids for the removal of Pacer units.”

Goodwill was replying to Catherine McKinnell (Labour, Newcastle-upon-Tyne North).

  • More information in RAIL 762, published November 26


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  • North West Enthuasiast - 20/11/2014 20:19

    I think we are missing a trick here. Instead of new trains, how about Class 150 units and using redundant trailercars from class 507/8 and modify them for use with the power twins. Maybe fit uprated clean burn diesel engines and modern transmissions and you have an enhanced capacity train for approx 1/3 the cost of a new one

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  • Ed earnest - 30/07/2017 21:36

    The Class 150s are as old as the Pacers and are claustrophobic and noisy. They are very depressing to travel on. A number have had severe corrosion problems and have gone past their 30 year design life. The Class 156s have the problem of slow boarding and alighting due to their narrow entrances.

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  • ed - 09/01/2018 23:27

    As a passenger it is a bone of contention that cascaded 150/1s from elsewhere are likely to be brought in to replace 142s. I have absolutely hated the contraptions for the past 32 years, owing to their dark interiors with poor ambiance and the noise of their late 1960s marine engines that really goes through me. They are just as old if not slightly older than 142s and had a designed fatigue life of 30 years and I gather that in recent times there have been severe corrosion issues with some units. Apparently FGW are retaining their 150/2s and getting rid of their 150/1s which are coming to Northern. Fares are not cheap and keep going up. I consider that a Class 170 is a minimum acceptable direct DMU replacement for a Pacer and even the eldest of these are coming up to 20 years old.

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