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Could PPMs replace Pacers?

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Badger

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Firstly I wholly expect the answer to be "no", and having never used a Pacer I don't know what they're like (luckily, probably).

http://www.halesowennews.co.uk/news...eases_new_images_of_proposed_light_rail_link/

Parry People Movers - class 139 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_Rail_Class_139) - operate on the Stourbridge branch. The above is something thrown around by Centro for longer PPMs, with three coaches.

The most important thing about them though is the cost: it would be £2.5m for three trains.

How much would the Pacers have cost if purchased today?

Is this just a daft idea, or would it be a feasible replacement?
 
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sprinterguy

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The majority of Pacers actually operate on busy urban commuter routes. The most suitable replacement for many of them would be electrification and the introduction of EMUs (North West electrification, Valley Lines, etc).

Parry People Movers would be best used to allow the reopening of comparatively short rural and provincial routes in order to prove that there is a demand for the service, or for high frequency shuttle services over short distances, like the Stourbridge shuttle.
 

ainsworth74

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You are correct to expect the answer to be no. Perhaps on some very limited routes PPMs could replace Pacers (for example a Darlington - Bishop Auckland shuttle might be possible, though even then I'm not convinced) but on the whole I struggle to think of anywhere that a PPM derived train would be a suitable replacement (unless PPM can come up with a version that is capable of 75mph and can carry around 130 passengers).
 

pemma

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Not this again!

The only new vehicle currently in production which is a suitable direct Pacer replacement is the class 172.

PPM may be able to work on the Cornish branch lines if they can cope with the curvy track, which Pacers failed on.
 
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If you are looking for a viable situation to use ppm's, you are looking for relatively short, isolated lines, just like the Stourbridge branch. As well as that, you need fairly low passenger numbers, and lines where squeaky wheels aren't going to become an issue. To be honest, one or another reason rules out most lines.
 

biggyn

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Above all, why would you want to replace an already bouncy ride with one that is literally spine shattering? How many people on here have been on the Stourbridge Shuttle and still have the same length spine since arriving at the end of the journey? We Black Country folk would only dream of a Pacer on the Stourbridge Town line! ;) At least we have our 'brilliant' new not-at-all-rattly class 172s now :roll:
 

HSTEd

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As has been stated, the only real replacement for Pacers has to be 75mph Class 172s with gangways..... lots of gangways....

More non gangwayed stock would be bad.
 

WestCoast

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I could just imagine a 2/3-car Northern Rail PPM rocketing down the WCML at Leyland, heading to Man Vic. The service could be DOO with the driver inspecting/selling tickets at stations. Low backed bench seating in keeping with tradition and keep a few of those emergency paper bag toilets under the seats just in case. There would be no need for a PA system, the driver could call out the stations. :lol::roll:

In all seriousness, no, for the vast majority of Pacer routes they are not suitable. They have a niche, but often busy commuter and medium-distance services are not viable routes for them.
 

W-on-Sea

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Yes, the PPMs, even just from Stourbridge Junction to Town....make Pacers look, almost like the Orient Express in comparison. Very basic, very small, very slow, very uncomfortable.
 

Old Hill Bank

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My understanding of the PPM concept is that it was developed for the third world!

The 139s on the Stourbridge shuttles suggest to me that is a bad idea on the basis they can not cope with poor track conditions, my back to suffers at every rail joint!

If you want a PPM instead of a Pacer think again!
 

Roylang

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Yes, the PPMs, even just from Stourbridge Junction to Town....make Pacers look, almost like the Orient Express in comparison. Very basic, very small, very slow, very uncomfortable.

In the defence of the Class 139s, the speed on the Stourbridge line is limited by the track condition. Network Rail apparently quoted a very high cost to replace it with continuous welded rail which would have allowed the PPM to operate at a higher speed. London Midland could not justify the cost.

That said, the branch is so short I am not sure that a much higher speed it realistically possible.

The passenger figures for the SBT-SBJ line are much higher now than in the past so in that regards the PPM is a success. Could you replace pacers with them? As said above, in most cases not.

Roy
 

starrymarkb

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I'd have thought something like the Stadler GTW would have been a better pacer replacement. They are still relatively cheap even if ordered in limited numbers. Order enough and Stadler will build a local plant to build them. And with the separate power module they will replace the HST in the Loco or Unit debate ;)
 

Badger

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The OP admits never having used a Pacer and doesn't seem to know what type of services they are used on.

Yes, my apologies. I was under the impression they were a sort of intermediate between light and heavy rail, but even if that's what they are that's not what they're used for :oops:

Maybe they are suitable for some other services which could then cascade their fleets to replace the pacers.
 
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pemma

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Yes, my apologies. I was under the impression they were a sort of intermediate between light and heavy rail, but even if that's what they are that's not what they're used for :oops:

The new train that GMPTE wanted in the 1980s was this one for all local services:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_Rail_Class_210

But Mrs Thatcher's government wouldn't fund that so instead they got a mixture of these:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_Rail_Class_142
and these:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_Rail_Class_150
and the EMUs got replaced by a combination of 323s and Metrolink trams later on.

Centro managed to avoid having the 142s forced on them, while the Cornish branch lines had 142s ordered specifically for them but then they proved unsuitable due to the curvy track wearing out the wheels so they got sent up North as well.

With passenger numbers growing some traditional Pacer routes now see larger Sprinters while some traditional Sprinter routes now see doubled up Pacers.

So really saying what should replace Pacers is effectively the same question as what should replace 150s. The only difference will be time scales.
 

ainsworth74

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The new train that GMPTE wanted in the 1980s was this one for all local services:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_Rail_Class_210

Really? They never operated on testing up north and were of course intended for the Southern Region to replace first gen DMEUs. I've certainly never heard anything that suggested GMPTE was interested in them.

Not saying your wrong just interested in some more details.
 

pemma

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Really? They never operated on testing up north and were of course intended for the Southern Region to replace first gen DMEUs. I've certainly never heard anything that suggested GMPTE was interested in them.

Not saying your wrong just interested in some more details.

Stanley Hall’s book ‘Rail Centres: Manchester’ is the source, my source is actually an article referencing that. As a DEMU you could obviously have them running on OHE if fitted with a pantograph or have them running on diesel and GMPTE saw them as the best replacement for all 1st gen units to have a common fleet.

Had the 150/0 trial not resulted in mass production, would they have reached all the parts of the country that they have operated in?
 

ainsworth74

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Interesting, thanks for that (any chance of a link to the article?). If we hadn't have had 150s then it's possible that 210s would have spread as far and as wide as the 150s have but then again if we assume the economics of the day remained the same then I feel likelihood is that we'd have ended up with more Pacers as there were probably few lines that could support 210s in squadron service. But if in this alternative world there was more money around for rolling stock then I see no reason why the 210 couldn't have been as widespread as the 150.
 
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