The first of Northern's Pacer Railbuses retired from service today.
|Pacer Railbus 142005 at St Annes-on-the-Sea station last August. It's the first Northern Pacer to be retired from service|
They've been a 'popular' train up north for a fair few years and we quite often see - and hear - them squealing along the many lines in Greater Manchester.
Today the first of Northern's Pacer Railbuses retired from service, as 142005 made its final journey from Manchester Victoria to Stalybridge.
At the end of its run Northern stated that it had travelled 3 million miles in its 32 years of service!
The first Pacer Railbuses were introduced in 1984 and were designed as a short-term measure with a lifespan of twenty years. They've certainly been pushed beyond what they were originally intended for.
While I wouldn't necessarily want to travel on a Pacer Railbus on a long journey, nor would I much fancy using one for a daily rush-hour commute, there is something about them that makes them fun to travel on.
|We saw Pacer Railbus 142005 a couple of times while on the Fylde coast last August|
While modern trains may be sleeker and have more comfortable seating and air-con, there's a lot to be said for old diesel trains. Last week's large-scale power cuts showed that while new trains may be great when conditions are perfect, they were completely useless when the power went down.
|Pacer Railbus 142005 connected to another old train - a Class 150 Sprinter|
When we arrived in Stockport in 2016 we noticed that, although there are a lot of train lines and connections aren't too bad, the rolling stock itself is very old. In fact as we moved north so did a load of ex-Thameslink Class 319s that we'd been commuting into London on since 2003!
Having lived most of my life down south I didn't realise quite how poor the train services can be up north in comparison. And that's saying something as a long-suffering commuter on the 'Bedpan line' from Luton to London.
|Pacer Railbus 142005 arriving at St Annes-on-the-Sea station en route to Preston|
Prior to a one-stop journey in April 2017 I had only ridden on one Pacer Railbus. That first Pacer train trip was only one-stop too, going from Paignton to Torquay on our South West Minigolfing Roadtrip in 2015.
|Transport for Wales are also withdrawing their Pacer Railbuses and have added public service announcements to the sides of the trains declaring it's "The start of a new journey"|
On a recent trip to Carnforth we were lucky enough to see the first of the Pacer's replacements out on a test-run. While it was merely a brief encounter it was nice to see Class 195001 breeze through the station.
- Pacer Railbus
- Train Nerd