First Pacer train WITHDRAWN from Northern service

Credit: Northern

The first of Northern’s Pacer trains has retired from service after more than 3 million miles in 32 years of service.

The train, 142005, entered service on 20 February 1987 and bowed out yesterday out after completing its final day of operation by carrying Northern customers between Manchester Victoria and Stalybridge.

Northern is introducing 101 brand new trains, a £500m investment in improving customers’ experience, with 15 new trains are already in service.

As the new trains come into service, Pacers will start to be retired from the Northern network on a phased basis over the coming months.

What did the officials say?

Rail Minister Chris Heaton-Harris said:

 “I am delighted to see the start of the Pacer trains retiring from the Northern network. This is a milestone moment for passengers in the north, as part of our commitment to delivering more comfortable, frequent and reliable journeys.

“We are now starting to see brand new, comfortable, modern trains in their place, alongside the 2,000 extra services a week that have already been delivered.”

David Brown, Managing Director at Northern, said:

“The Northern network is busier than it has been for a generation – more than 100 million customer journeys will be made on Northern services in 2019 – and the introduction of new trains and the retirement of the Pacers is at the heart of our transformation for customers.

“We have 15 brand new trains carrying customers, with 91 more to come throughout 2019 and into 2020. In all, we will introduce 101 new trains, a £500m investment in rail in the North. These fantastic new trains will give our customers a genuine step-change in journey experience.”

David Sidebottom, Director at Transport Focus, helped bid farewell to the retiring Pacer as it departed Manchester Victoria on its last day of service. He said:

“Passengers won’t be sorry to see these outdated and uncomfortable trains depart for retirement.

“Pacers have become a potent symbol for the need to invest in better transport infrastructure across the North. Their replacements cannot arrive too soon, though it’s now equally important that the railway improves punctuality and reliability of services, so passengers see every possible benefit from each new train.”

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  • Heard about the first withdrawal of this long-serving Pacer Fleet.

    I Do Hope some of these Pacers (such as some 142s, 143s and 144s) enter the UK Preservation Movement … Because I believe some of these ‘soon-to-retire’ pacers could (whom may) have the potential of being preserved upon Heritage Railways around the UK.

    Allowing Potential Recreation of Classic 1980’s (and early-mid 90’s) local British Rail Travel, within original livery colours these Pacers once wore when first in service all those years ago (even before I myself was even born).

    I wonder what’ll become of this pacer that’s been withdrawn after more than 3 decades on the rails of modern-day service.

  • Nice.

    Please don’t forget to fix those seats that have lost there spring in the cushion due to over-use in the non pacer trains which are not being withdrawn yet.


  • Adios Northern Class 142 Pacers. Great Western Railway and Transport for Wales will also say their goodbyes to the Class 142, Class 143 & Class 144 Pacers as new trains are replacing them.