Pacer popularity in preservation

co-tr-paul

Member
Joined
8 Mar 2016
Messages
914
Location
Helston, Cornwall
Having travelled on many GWR 143, 150 , 153 and 158s, if I was on a scenic line, it would be a 143 anytime. AND you can open the windows ; clickety clack...... .
 
Sponsor Post - registered members do not see these adverts; click here to register, or click here to log in
R

RailUK Forums

Anonymous10

Member
Joined
19 Dec 2019
Messages
600
Location
Pembroke dock
Plus the 25mph speed limit, meaning that only a short line running into a decent-sized town could even consider it. I'd have thought the KWVR was the strongest candidate, and if they don't think it can work then it seems unlikely that anywhere could make it viable.
the mountain railway in north wales is semi commuter which runs up to the base of snowdon i remember friends and their families using that as transport to porthmadog
 

Bigman

Member
Joined
24 Feb 2011
Messages
51
Location
Leeds
I remember a really nice ride I had on 142031 a few years ago from Lincoln to Doncaster via Sheffield. You could lounge around on those bus seats (and not those bloody Chapman straight-jackets that are on the 150’s). Great views out of the large windows (unlike 158’s). Yes a bit of a bone shaker as to be expected but still very pleasant views of all the stored coal hoppers at Worksop and the Supertram Depot at Darnall. I am looking forward to having a nice 'bounce' up the KWVR at some point (hopefully this year). I bet you get one hell of a squeal on the curve out of Keighley. It will remind me of the curves at Shipley.
 

Cowley

Established Member
Associate Staff
General Discussion
Railtours & Preservation
Modelling & Games
Joined
15 Apr 2016
Messages
9,319
Location
Devon
the mountain railway in north wales is semi commuter which runs up to the base of snowdon i remember friends and their families using that as transport to porthmadog
Which railway do you mean?
 

D365

Established Member
Joined
29 Jun 2012
Messages
7,773
... and the Supertram Depot at Darnall.
Darnall? That’s news to me, I live eight minutes away from Nunnery Square (on foot). Darnall would take another 30 mins ;)

Sadly I don’t remember the last time I sampled a bus-seat Pacer. Will have to have a look at which bus-seat 142s have ended up in preservation, if there’s a list somewhere.
 

Bikeman78

Established Member
Joined
26 Apr 2018
Messages
1,683
Used to be the case that the mere suggestion of preserving one got you awarded with 'spawn of satan' status.

So being a bit of a devils advocate I'm happy to see so many getting a chance. Be interesting in a few years hopefully they will have provided a useful contribution in the various many ways that rolling stock can to a heritage railway.

Always had a soft spot for them, a run between sheffield and huddersfield was cheaper than an alton towers ticket and the bouncing about was almost equal to some of their attractions
Likewise the run from Wigan to Salford Crescent in the 1990s. Crow Nest Jn is particularly memorable. Much better value than the roller coasters at Blackpool. Towards the end of 2019 I rode a 144 from Shipley to Lancaster and return. Despite the track being jointed all the way from Settle Jn to Carnforth, it must be in good order because the ride wasn't too bad. I'm hoping that the preserved Pacers won't wipe out too many of the first generation DMUs.
 

Bigman

Member
Joined
24 Feb 2011
Messages
51
Location
Leeds
A run from York to Horsforth via Harrogate was very interesting. Lots of bouncy and squealy bits. Once had one from Lancaster to Shipley which was another real squeal job around Carnforth.
 

sprinterguy

Established Member
Joined
4 Mar 2010
Messages
10,593
Location
Macclesfield
I'm sure I saw a picture recently of a Pacer that has been turned into a school library.
That's 142045 at Kirk Merrington Primary School in County Durham:
Darnall? That’s news to me, I live eight minutes away from Nunnery Square (on foot). Darnall would take another 30 mins ;)

Sadly I don’t remember the last time I sampled a bus-seat Pacer. Will have to have a look at which bus-seat 142s have ended up in preservation, if there’s a list somewhere.
Of the bus-seated examples:

142001 is preserved by the NRM at Locomotion at Shildon, and may be used on the demonstration line at some point.
142011 and 013 are at The Midland Railway, Butterley.
142023 was earmarked for the Plym Valley Railway, not sure what's happened with that arrangement.
142028, 035 and 060 are at the Wensleydale Railway (I think one unit is for spares?)
142029 and 030 are at The Chasewater Railway.
142036 is at the East Kent Railway.
142038 and 061 are at the Mid-Norfolk Railway.
i can't remember its name its the mountain railway from porthmadog is all i know
There isn't a mountain railway as such that runs from Porthmadog, however there are two narrow gauge heritage lines, of which, as Peter suggests above, the Welsh Highland Railway operates closest to Snowdon.
 

Anonymous10

Member
Joined
19 Dec 2019
Messages
600
Location
Pembroke dock
Welsh Highland?
might be i just know its also used by locals

That's 142045 at Kirk Merrington Primary School in County Durham:

Of the bus-seated examples:

142001 is preserved by the NRM at Locomotion at Shildon, and may be used on the demonstration line at some point.
142011 and 013 are at The Midland Railway, Butterley.
142023 was earmarked for the Plym Valley Railway, not sure what's happened with that arrangement.
142028, 035 and 060 are at the Wensleydale Railway (I think one unit is for spares?)
142029 and 030 are at The Chasewater Railway.
142036 is at the East Kent Railway.
142038 and 061 are at the Mid-Norfolk Railway.

There isn't a mountain railway as such that runs from Porthmadog, however there are two narrow gauge heritage lines, of which, as Peter suggests above, the Welsh Highland Railway operates closest to Snowdon.
that'll be it then they've made it work as a form of public transport but then again suppose running between 2 towns with poor transport helps
 

Crewe Exile

Member
Joined
4 Jan 2016
Messages
45
I’m genuinely surprised that a number of folk think pacers are a good idea on a heritage line. While I can understand a couple being preserved, I just don’t think the general public would be very receptive to one if they rolled up to a railway. Back in my bashing days I didn’t mind taking in the odd diesel gala, but even back then you could see the amount of diesels being preserved was getting out of hand.
Fares on heritage lines aren’t cheap - I don’t think a family rolling up then paying good money for a trip would be too amused by a 142 rolling into the platform!
 

philthetube

Established Member
Joined
5 Jan 2016
Messages
2,518
There must be a huge market for people from London the ride on Pacers, "Wow, did people actually travel on these things, good job they replaced them with steam engines." :D :D
 

Anonymous10

Member
Joined
19 Dec 2019
Messages
600
Location
Pembroke dock
I’m genuinely surprised that a number of folk think pacers are a good idea on a heritage line. While I can understand a couple being preserved, I just don’t think the general public would be very receptive to one if they rolled up to a railway. Back in my bashing days I didn’t mind taking in the odd diesel gala, but even back then you could see the amount of diesels being preserved was getting out of hand.
Fares on heritage lines aren’t cheap - I don’t think a family rolling up then paying good money for a trip would be too amused by a 142 rolling into the platform!
honestly i can understand having them for low season and early trains but only if the price is reflected in that like previously suggested
 

Bigman

Member
Joined
24 Feb 2011
Messages
51
Location
Leeds
Wild dreaming time - 144 departs Oxenhope, runs out onto the mainline, turns back and heads towards Leeds, round the Holbeck curve, through Normanton, Wakefield Kirkgate, Brighouse, Rochdale and off at Castleton and round to Bury and Rawtenstall. Back again later the same day. Nice day trip out!! Are there any other pairs of preserved lines where you could potentially operate something like this?
 

pdeaves

Established Member
Joined
14 Sep 2014
Messages
3,692
Location
Gateway to the South West
Wild dreaming time - 144 departs Oxenhope, runs out onto the mainline, turns back and heads towards Leeds, round the Holbeck curve, through Normanton, Wakefield Kirkgate, Brighouse, Rochdale and off at Castleton and round to Bury and Rawtenstall. Back again later the same day. Nice day trip out!! Are there any other pairs of preserved lines where you could potentially operate something like this?
West Somerset and Swanage Railways, probably. Still, depending on how elaborate you want to be and timescales you could probably pick any combination of main line connected routes.
 

py_megapixel

Established Member
Joined
5 Nov 2018
Messages
2,908
Do any of the railways that will be preserving them have any plans to repaint them? Serco-Abellio Northern livery makes them look incredibly tacky.

The red/ivory WYPTE livery would be a nice choice in my opinion.
 

pdeaves

Established Member
Joined
14 Sep 2014
Messages
3,692
Location
Gateway to the South West
Do any of the railways that will be preserving them have any plans to repaint them? Serco-Abellio Northern livery makes them look incredibly tacky.

The red/ivory WYPTE livery would be a nice choice in my opinion.
In my view, the old Regional Railways colours would go well (that seemed to suit anything). I also think Pacers are ideally suited to any number of faux-heritage liveries (like the Weardale one linked earlier). I personally hope we end up with a nice combination of 'genuine' and 'make believe' liveries, though I readily accept that it's not my money being spent!
 

30907

Established Member
Joined
30 Sep 2012
Messages
10,050
Location
Airedale
might be i just know its also used by locals


that'll be it then they've made it work as a form of public transport but then again suppose running between 2 towns with poor transport helps
Beddgelert to Porthmadog on the WHR might be used by locals, but with a maximum of 3 trains per day offering at most 3.5hr in Porthmadog, it's a stretch to call it a commuter route - even mid pandemic there are 6 buses today offering a full day in Porthmadog (and running past Tesco and along the High Street).
 

Anonymous10

Member
Joined
19 Dec 2019
Messages
600
Location
Pembroke dock
Beddgelert to Porthmadog on the WHR might be used by locals, but with a maximum of 3 trains per day offering at most 3.5hr in Porthmadog, it's a stretch to call it a commuter route - even mid pandemic there are 6 buses today offering a full day in Porthmadog (and running past Tesco and along the High Street).
honestly i know the people i went to America used whatever train it was to get up to the village at base of snowdon
 

py_megapixel

Established Member
Joined
5 Nov 2018
Messages
2,908
honestly i know the people i went to America used whatever train it was to get up to the village at base of snowdon
Llanberis? That has two railways. There's a narrow-gauge steam railway but it doesn't really go anywhere useful from a tourist's perspective; it's more there for the scenery.
Then there's the mountain railway which actually goes to the summit of Snowdon.
"Proper" public transport is provided by the Snowdon Sherpa buses.
 

Crewe Exile

Member
Joined
4 Jan 2016
Messages
45
Wild dreaming time - 144 departs Oxenhope, runs out onto the mainline, turns back and heads towards Leeds, round the Holbeck curve, through Normanton, Wakefield Kirkgate, Brighouse, Rochdale and off at Castleton and round to Bury and Rawtenstall. Back again later the same day. Nice day trip out!! Are there any other pairs of preserved lines where you could potentially operate something like this?
I think a trip from Minehead down the west Somerset line, then past the sea wall at dawlish, down to Paignton and then Dartmouth would be a hell of a good trip to market.
 

Bigman

Member
Joined
24 Feb 2011
Messages
51
Location
Leeds
That's a cracking shout Crewe Exile. Maybe Kinsgwear to Buckfastleigh. Did both lines in 2019. Great days out.
 

Iskra

Established Member
Joined
11 Jun 2014
Messages
3,715
Location
Chapeltown, Sheffield
Do any of the railways that will be preserving them have any plans to repaint them? Serco-Abellio Northern livery makes them look incredibly tacky.

The red/ivory WYPTE livery would be a nice choice in my opinion.

I'm also hoping to see the KWVR paint one into a WYPTE red colour scheme.

Pacers are alright for plodding down a branchline in summertime, but I think the demand to actually travel on them is a bit niche. I can't see 'normals' being too impressed at paying top whack to travel on them on heritage lines; they want a steam train. The next potential market are enthusiasts, but I'm sure most of them would prefer a 20, 31, 33, 37, 50 etc if it had to be diesel traction and a spacious Mk1/2 with a buffet etc instead over a pacer.

To me, they satisfy neither of the main markets for a heritage railway and are subsequently a dangerous proposition, satisfying very few customers.

I might tolerate one on a day ticket on the ELR for the novelty when I could mix it in with at least two other locomotives, but would I travel 60mins+ to my nearest heritage railway to pay an expensive fare to ride solely on a 14X at 25mph, when I've had years of them on the mainline. Absolutely not.
 

Top