Airedale Hospital in Keighley WINS Pacer train in competition

Northern 142049 at Burnley Central
Credit: RailAdvent

Three groups in Northern England have won a Pacer train carriage for community use as part of the Transform a Pacer competition.

The competition means that after 30 years, Northern has retired their Pacer trains and communities can now use them in new and exciting ways.

The proposals put forward by Airedale NHS Trust, Fagley Primary School, and men’s mental health charity Platform 1 showcased the best ideas in the competition. These plans will help improve NHS services, science and technology education and mental health care in towns and cities in the North.

Platform 1 will be converting a Pacer carriage into a kitchen to teach cooking skills.

Airedale NHS Trust will be converting their carriage into mixed-use, non-clinical space to improve the experience for patients using Airedale General Hospital, with their focus on helping children and families, as well as those suffering with dementia.

Fagley Primary School will set the Pacer up as a new science lab for students, helping promote STEM learning.

The winners were announced on last night’s ‘The One Show’ on BBC One.

The Department for Transport will now work with the winners to start on the installation and conversion of the former train carriages.

What did the officials say?

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said:

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

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.”

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