Latest Rail News


Competition opens to convert retiring Pacer trains in the North

Community groups in the North of England can now submit their plans on how to renovate retiring Pacer train carriages.

The Department for Transport (DfT) announced the scheme earlier this year, and argues that instead of scrapping the trains they could be converted into community assets.

The DfT officially launched its Pacer competition yesterday at Bolton Station.

School children from St. Catherine’s Primary School in Bolton were among the first to pitch ideas such a ‘time traveller train’, a museum and classroom where people could learn about the history of Bolton.

rail minister aj

Rail minister, Andrew 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 Pacer trains have been carrying passengers for over 30 years, but they have outstayed their welcome and are being replaced by modern trains and extra services, creating space for thousands more passengers.

“This competition is now open for ideas, and I look forward seeing a host of exciting proposals to provide them with a new home off the tracks.”

After more than thirty years of passenger service, Pacers are being retired from the rail network to make way for a new fleet of Northern trains.

The rail company has stated its ambitious aims to retire all Pacer trains by the end of the year.

Rolling stock companies are supporting the competition by making Pacer carriages available to be converted to serve communities in a new way off the rail network.

DfT is encouraging community groups to submit creative and innovative ideas for converting these carriages over the summer.

The competition will run until the end of September and a judging panel will pick the winners, which are set to be announced towards the end of the year.


There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment



Rail industry Focus

  • 11/09/2019The next generation of rail infrastructure

    How the rail industry delivers the next generation of complex infrastructure will rely heavily on the people tasked with leading the projects, and the technology they use to do it. Faithful+Gould...
  • 11/09/2019Putting passengers first

    How does the rail industry design the railways for the next 40 years, and when it does, how do we make sure it’s all done with the passenger in mind? Jane Fisher joined three members of the Arup team...
View all News


The challenge of completing Crossrail

05/07/2019The challenge of completing Crossrail

With a new plan now in place to deliver Crossrail, Hedley Ayres, National Audit Office manager, major projects and programmes, takes a look at ho... more >
Preparing the industry to deliver trains for the future

04/07/2019Preparing the industry to deliver trains for the future

The move to decarbonise the rail network involves shifting to cleaner modes of traction by 2050. David Clarke, technical director at the Railway ... more >

'the sleepers' blog

Connecting Network Rail with the supply chain

17/09/2019Connecting Network Rail with the supply chain

Continuing our mission to connect buyers with suppliers, This year TransCityRail North is adding a new element to the event. We are introducing an incomparable opportunity for you to meet with over 11 procurement directors from Network Rail... more >
read more blog posts from 'the sleeper' >


Andrew Haines, CE of Network Rail, tells BBC News his organisation could issue future rail franchises

24/06/2019Andrew Haines, CE of Network Rail, tells BBC News his organisation could issue future rail franchises

Andrew Haines, the Chief Executive of Network Rail, has told the Today programme on Radio 4's BBC’s flagship news programme that he would not rule out his organisation issuing future r... more >
Malcolm Holmes, executive director of West Midlands Rail Executive, announced as TCR Midlands speaker in Birmingham

24/06/2019Malcolm Holmes, executive director of West Midlands Rail Executive, announced as TCR Midlands speaker in Birmingham

Ahead of his appearance, Malcolm Holmes spoke with Rail Technology Magazine about what key leaders in the industry were doing to improve rail in the Midlands. He said: “It’s very... more >