Rail franchises operators & contracts

23.01.20

Transform a Pacer competition winners announced

Aired on television last night (Jan 22) the lucky winners of the Transform a Pacer competition were announced. The competition means that after 30 years of service to northern communities Pacer trains will now serve them in a new way, focused on bringing the community together.

The judges were won over by the ideas of Airedale NHS Trust, Fagley Primary School and the men’s mental health charity Platform 1. Their plans will help to develop NHS services, science and technology education and mental health care in towns and cities in the north.

Platform 1 will be converting the Pacer into a kitchen to teach cooking skills to members of the group. The charity is located at the former Platform 1 of Huddersfield Station, they already use retired train carriages as a safe space, counselling and learning environment to help hundreds of local men deal with mental health issues.

Airedale NHS Trust are going to renovate their carriage into a multiple purpose non-clinical space to improve the experience of patients using Airedale General Hospital. With a primary focus on helping children and families, as well as those suffering with dementia, it will deliver a unique communal environment to support patients during their stay.

Fagley Primary School in Bradford are going to transform the carriage into a new science lab for students, helping promote STEM learning. The train carriage will also benefit the wider community, who will be able to use the space for events and talks.

Head Judge Pete Waterman said: “The railway has always been very good at recycling its old assets.

“Lots of communities have benefited from this action over the years, we only have to look at the preserved railways and what they mean to rural communities. Where passengers might not miss the Pacers – their loss to the railways are these organisations’ gain.”

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: “The 3 winners are incredibly deserving, having presented creative and innovative ideas that will see their Pacer have a lasting and positive impact within their community.

“As their 3 decades of service comes to an overdue end, it is satisfying to know that new life for 3 of the last Pacer trains will ensure future generations can experience them in a different light.”

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