Northern Powerhouse


Northern begins removal of Pacer trains

Northern Railway has today (Dec 3) said goodbye to the first three Pacers as they leave the network for good.

The rolling stock has been removed and returned to owners Angel Trains, the first of many more to make the same journey over the next few weeks.

The Pacers were originally introduced as a temporary measure, despite some of them being operational for almost 35 years across the North of England.

Northern’s 102-strong fleet of class 142 and class 144 pacers are in the process of being removed and replaced following a commitment from the rail company.

The first pacer train (142 005) entered retirement in August of this year, and has been in storage at the Heaton train depot ever since.

David Brown, Northern’s Managing Director, said:

“We’re delighted to be delivering on our commitments of removing Pacers from customer service and, at the same time, introducing 101 brand-new trains.

“Whilst pacers have served the north well, we know that they are old, outdated and not popular with our customers. For these reasons, when we won the right to being operating the franchise in 2016, we developed plans to remove them all from service."

“We are transforming our business and service to customers with a £600m investment in brand new and refurbished trains – and improvements at stations – that will provide everything a 21st Century customer expects.”

The majority will be off the network by the end of the year, with only a handful left by 2020, and stored at a train depot in Worksop, before being scrapped.

Kevin Tribley, CEO of Angel Trains, said:

“The first three Pacer trains coming off-lease from Northern marks the company’s move to replacing the entire fleet and its commitment to improving customer service and experience.

“Although the Pacers have served the north well for many years, their scrappage is a significant move towards an improved rail network across the region.

“As Northern’s partners, Angel Trains is committed to investing in, and creating, the railway of the future by delivering and enhancing assets that modern UK passengers deserve. Replacing the Pacers as they reach the end of their life-span is a natural step towards this goal.”


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