Platform 1 is a mental health charity based in Huddersfield and is also the winners of a competition by the Department of Transport to ‘Transform a Pacer’.
The charity won the competition and will use the restored carriage as an educational kitchen.
The full-size carriage weighs in at 19 tonnes and was delivered by crane from St. Georges Street, lifting the hefty load over the high wall and into its new position at Huddersfield Station on Saturday the 10th of July 2021.
The competition coincided with the final withdrawal of Pacer trains on the Northern network and the vehicle was the 2nd of the retired and repurposed Pacers to be delivered to community projects.
Another vehicle has recently been presented to a primary school in Bradford and is set to become a new science lab.
Pacers were unpopular with passengers during their 3-decade long service on the northern networks, but this inventive competition will hopefully bring a new and positive life to Pacers as they get new permanent homes and new roles in life with a key focus on bringing communities together.
Rolling stock company Porterbrook provided the train to Platform 1 following its lengthy service being on the network since 1986 and travelling a massive three million miles on the tracks over those many years.
The train was installed with help from Network Rail teams who handled the logistics of putting it in place and also donating railway sleepers which the Pacer now sits on. Many other rail industry organisations have offered support to locate the Pacer to its new Platform 1 site, they are Bam Nuttall, Harry Needle Railroad Company, Network Rail and Northern.
Airedale NHS Trust who have also won a carriage will use their vehicle to improve local NHS services with the Pacer being transformed into a mixed-use, none clinical location to offer improved patient experience at Airedale General Hospital.
The impact of the repurposed train will help children and families as well as those suffering from dementia offering an unusual community space to patients during their stay.
Chris Heaton Harris, Rail Minister, 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.
“Now that Pacers are off the network with modern, new trains running in their place, passengers will be pleased to know the Pacer at the platform is retired from service, but still helping the people of Huddersfield.”
Gez Walsh, Project Leader at Platform 1, said: “The Pacer trains may not have been popular in their working life, but this one will be cherished in its retirement.
“This train will now take people on a journey of development and deliver them to a more happy, secure life.”
Tricia Williams, Chief Operating Officer at Northern, said: “We’re delighted to be able to make a positive impact by helping Platform 1 expand the already outstanding support they offer to the wider Huddersfield community.
“Our Pacers gave many decades’ service to those same communities and now that they’ve been replaced on our network by brand new trains, it’s great to see one of those old carriages being given a new lease of life as a hub for Platform 1.”
Mary Grant, CEO of Porterbrook, said: “We were delighted to support DfT’s Transform a Pacer competition and particularly pleased that one of the winners is a charity in Huddersfield devoted to supporting mental wellbeing.
“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.”
The latest railway news
Railway Discounts, 4k Video, pictures and more!
Signup to our daily and weekly newsletters
Railway Prints, DVD’s / Blu-Ray’s, books and more
Come and share your railway pictures
UK STEAM INFO
Upcoming mainline steam tours/loco movements
Visit their website