Northern retires first Pacer train after 32 years of service
Ahead of the arrival of brand new trains, unit 142005 has completed its final day of service for UK train operator, Northern, after it clocked-up more than three million miles of customer journeys.
Pacer 142005 ready for its retirement and (r-l) Northern MD David Brown, Transport Focus Director David Sidebottom and Cllr Doreen Dickinson, Vice Chair of TfGMC
Northern is introducing 101 brand new trains in a ￡500 million investment to improve customer experience. An additional ￡80 million investment is also being made to refurbish and improve the quality of Northern’s remaining fleet.
Fifteen new trains are already in service and as more new trains are rolled out, Pacers will start to be retired from the Northern network on a phased basis over the coming months. The new trains are being introduced on longer-distance routes, allowing existing trains on those routes to be redeployed and replace the retiring Pacers.
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 ￡500 million investment in rail in the North. These fantastic new trains will give our customers a genuine step-change in journey experience.”
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David Sidebottom, Director at Transport Focus, said: “Passengers won’t be sorry to see these outdated and uncomfortable trains depart for retirement.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.”
The retirement of the Pacers and the introduction of new trains is part of Northern’s wider plan to improve and modernise the railway. This programme includes the full refurbishment of Northern’s existing trains, improvements at stations, more ways to buy tickets and great new offers for Northern customers.