Pacer train

Retired Pacer repurposed to help mental health charity

A retired Pacer train has been given a new home at Huddersfield Station, as part of the Department for Transport’s (DfT) ‘Transform a Pacer’ competition in the North of England.

The class 142 diesel train, which first went into service in 1986, was lowered into place at Huddersfield Station over the weekend, getting it ready for local charity ‘Platform 1’ to use– an organisation that works to support mental health.

Rail Minister, Chris Heaton, said “It’s not every day you get to see a train suspended metres above a station. This has been a fantastic project for everyone involved and I am so pleased that this Pacer will support the exceptional and important work Platform 1 do in the local community.”

The restored 19-tonne carriage is one of three which have been awarded to Yorkshire bidders as a result of the DfT competition. Another was delivered to a primary school in Bradford to create a new science laboratory, and the other is being used at Airedale Hospital as a mixed-use, non-clinical space.

Built during the 1980’s, this dated class of train was intended as a short-term solution as a result of a scarcity of rolling stock, expected to run for no more than 20 years. They acted as rail buses, due to sharing so many similarities with the Leyland National buses, but years on, many continue to be used.

Project Leader at Platform 1, Gez Walsh, said “The Pacer trains may not have been popular in their working life, but this one will be cherished in its retirement.”

The train provided to Platform 1 was given by rolling stock company PoterBrook, and before taking on its new role, the train had travelled over 3 million miles in its lifetime. Network Rail teams helped to install the old carriage, and also donated railway sleepers for the Pacer to sit on.  

CEO of Poterbrook, Mary Grant, said “Many organisations from across the industry have joined together with Porterbrook and DfT to delivery this Pacer vehicle to the Platform 1 site, including Bam Nuttall, Harry Needle Railroad Company (HNRC), Network Rail and Northern.”

“I would like to thank all those involved as they have shown, yet again, how the railway works together to deliver for the communities we serve.”

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