Pacers

Should Pacers be scrapped


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Craig

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Depends what you're planning to replace them with.

Remember, althouth they're crap, Pacers kept a lot of rural lines open.
 

O L Leigh

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Hi Chaps,

Why does this keep floating to the top...?

Pacers are as robust as Sprinters, as they all had to meet the same end-loading requirements. The only difference is that a Pacer bodyshell may come off it's underframe where a Sprinter doesn't have an underframe to come off. Compared to a Mk1 they are superior, as the seating is at least attached to the bodyshell unlike on a Mk1 where the passengers would be exposed should the coach come apart at the seams.

These units have their place and they are well suited to short distance frequent stop services. They may not be as comfortable or glamorous as some other classes, but they fill a need. What's the case for scrapping them? As long as the need remains and they are economical to operate, they should be allowed to continue on the network.

Incidentally, there are three preserved Pacers in the UK already (not counting the LEV prototypes). There are two Cl141's in running order, and the Cl140.

one TN
 

Techniquest

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Where are those Pacers preserved at then? I'd like to at least see them!

As for my views on scrapping Pacers, only when something suitable comes along...
 

Demps

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they are good for varying photographs, do we have to trail question on even further, we all have our opinions its just pacers seem to be very comon and keep cropping up on this forums, now why dont we change it onto a subject regarding the density of clag from a 37 ! hehe
 

Nick W

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Pacers are silly.

The HST was a great success. So did they make a mini-HST for branch line usage? No they made a bus on railway wheels.
 

O L Leigh

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Nick W said:
The HST was a great success. So did they make a mini-HST for branch line usage?
A what...?! Precisely how would a mini-HST have worked, and what qualities would it have brought to a struggling rural line that doesn't take much money?

I'm sorry, but this whole Pacer argument is bloody daft. It was daft the last time it came up and it hasn't got any more sensible since. Yes the Pacers were cheap, but that is precisely why they have been so successful. BR would not have been able to afford to buy large numbers of heavy, complex DMU's at the time because they were so badly strapped for cash. As a result, lines would have had to close because the running costs would have been too high.

Pacers are cheap to operate, fast and, if my reading is correct, popular with the crews that operate them (particularly the drivers). So what if they aren't 'traditional' railway technology, look daft and aren't particularly comfortable. They may be inferior to a Cl170 in most respects, but then they aren't designed for the same purpose.

Yes, like every other train Pacers will be scrapped when something appropriate replaces them in the fullness of time, but that time is not now.

one TN
 

Nick W

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one TN said:
A what...?! Precisely how would a mini-HST have worked,
2 mini power cars and one or two (or three) mark 3 units.

and what qualities would it have brought to a struggling rural line that doesn't take much money?
100/110/125mph

nice noise

good acceleration

long life

windows

reliable doors (had 2 153s fail due to doors)
 

Lewisham2221

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Nick W said:
2 mini power cars and one or two (or three) mark 3 units.



100/110/125mph

nice noise

good acceleration

long life

windows

reliable doors (had 2 153s fail due to doors)
We're talking about this creation of your's as a suitable alternative to a Pacer?!

High Speeds - certainly aren't required, or even possible on most Pacer routes.

Noise - we're talking about trains for commuters etc here....

Acceleration - Correct me if I'm wrong, but a Pacer accelerates pretty quick anyway? (certainly faster than a HST!)

Windows - Obviously referring to heads out ability, again, we aren't supposed to be discussing an ultimate enthusiast train here....

Reliable Doors - You've strayed onto the wrong family here mate ;)
 

ikar

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Lewisham2221 said:
Acceleration - Correct me if I'm wrong, but a Pacer accelerates pretty quick anyway? (certainly faster than a HST!)
Well HST acceleration depends in number of carriadges, surley it doesn't accelerate with 2 carriadges as same as with 9...

But back to the thread... mini HST's aren't realy suitable for branches...
 

Techniquest

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Too right they aren't. That's the glory of Pacers, they suit many branch lines down to the ground. Off the top of my head, perfect examples would be Maesteg to Bridgend (that's an experience and a half on a Pacer!), Treherbert to Pontypridd (that's fun on a semi-fast service, which I experienced last autumn!) and Middlesborough to Whitby (low speed limits, tight bends, high accleration rates required, perfect for a Pacer or Sprinter that line).

As for mini-HSTs, 43s aren't geared up for rapid accleration that branch line trains require. Smooth take-off, yes. High top speed, yes. Quick moving off from frequent station stops? No.

960012, 37s and 5 MK2s are not a suitable replacement for Pacers. The cost of running such trains on a regular basis on many branch lines is astronomical and makes no economical sense.

I personally do not, as such, mind a Pacer trip on lines where they operate, within reason. I would not like a Pacer on a high-speed service up the Settle and Carlisle for example. I wouldn't mind a Pacer on Leeds to Castleford and back though (done just that last Novemeber. 142021 there, 144013 back. The 144 was mighty enjoyable!). But I am NOT a Pacer fan or basher. I'll bash Pacers for mileage as and when required, but I wouldn't exactly go and do them all day.

My final thought for the day on this thread is that I am looking forward to seeing the Pacer equivilent. So long as it is done right. As for scrapping the Pacers, feel free to do so when the replacements, suitable ones at that, come along. I'm sure Caerwent will handle the ATF ones.
 

Tomnick

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I don't really see the problem with Pacers either. As has been said, they've successfully kept a lot of rural routes open. They're not the nicest units to travel in, but do they really need to be? I'd much rather have a slightly bouncy and uncomfortable train, than no train at all. Not that the refurbished units seem too bad - was quite comfy on a 144 back from Huddersfield the other day (maybe partly helped by real ale intake ;)) - the new seats have worked wonders...and it's a pretty smooth ride on CWR anyway! They're quite rapid accelerating away from stations, and their top speed of 75mph is quite adequate.

They seem to be quite good for beer/music trains too, judging by photographs. I'll try to get some first-hand experience of this in the next few weeks!
 

Nick W

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Lewisham2221 said:
We're talking about this creation of your's as a suitable alternative to a Pacer?!

High Speeds - certainly aren't required, or even possible on most Pacer routes.
Which is why many commuters will drive to the nearest mainline station and overtake a branch line train on the way.

Noise - we're talking about trains for commuters etc here....
Who probably hate the sound of any 14x and any 15x.

Acceleration - Correct me if I'm wrong, but a Pacer accelerates pretty quick anyway? (certainly faster than a HST!)
Initially yes maybe, but overall probably not, especially when you go faster than 70.

Windows - Obviously referring to heads out ability, again, we aren't supposed to be discussing an ultimate enthusiast train here....
Not just that but I often do heads out to cool as ONE MK3s tend to have no air con.

Reliable Doors - You've strayed onto the wrong family here mate ;)
Slam doors = less to fail
 

Guinness

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Nick W said:
2 mini power cars and one or two (or three) mark 3 units.
Jesus. How much would that cost to run?
[EDIT]
Nick W said:
Slam doors = less to fail
Ironically no. I've seen more DOOR LOCKED OUT OF USE on Slam Doors than on Modern Sprinters/Units.

How long is it until you realised a "Mini-HST" isn't feasible to run on a Branch Line?
 

Nick W

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Chaz said:
Jesus. How much would that cost to run?
[EDIT]


Ironically no. I've seen more DOOR LOCKED OUT OF USE on Slam Doors than on Modern Sprinters/Units.
A good thing, since if they were automatic the whole train could have been failed.

How long is it until you realised a "Mini-HST" isn't feasible to run on a Branch Line?
When I see no-one in a "Mini-HST" on a branch line.
 

Guinness

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Nick W said:
A good thing, since if they were automatic the whole train could have been failed.
Nope. You can isolate the faulty door and lock it out of use.

When I see no-one in a "Mini-HST" on a branch line.
So you now accept that it can't run. ;) ;)
 

Lewisham2221

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Nick W said:
A good thing, since if they were automatic the whole train could have been failed.


When I see no-one in a "Mini-HST" on a branch line.
There's a difference between 'no-one' on a train, and a train being feasible to run on a branch line.

In this day and age, it really isn't feasible to run loco-hauled trains of any kind on the vast majority of branch lines. If anything this should be about replacing Pacers with a different type of DMU...
 

Guinness

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Personally I dislike Pacers and I know what how great they were saving Rural Lines and so on 25 years ago. But that was 25 years. Surely with this "Modern British Railway" as the DfT put it we can surely replace Pacers with something similar or better still, better? Northern had the idea of replacing Pacers with Cheap Chinese DMUs and yet nothing has come about of it. ATW are apparently replacing Pacers with Turbostars (Although I think ATW are going to displace their Rolling Stock so 150s will take over former Pacer jobs).

It's a shame really that this country can no longer build trains despite us having one of the largest railways in the world. Stupid economics.
 

Demps

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yeh im sick of hearing about pacers now, dont scrap them they can be fun, but no way on earth are they better than seeing any loco haulage, they do beat plastic tubes and pendos but there aint much else that you would not prefer to see than a pacer.
 

Tomnick

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I'm not sure where the money would come from to provide replacement rolling stock (as a direct replacement...cascading from TOCs like TPE could free up other stock though), but I can think of much more worthwhile things to spend the money on, than getting rid of a perfectly good fleet of trains.

Nick's 'argument' - branch lines might not be the fastest lines in the country, but at least they're cheap to run...the businessmen driving to the mainline station (where they probably pay high car parking charges) may well pass the local unit as it makes its way along the branch, but that's better than overtaking the bus that everyone else has been forced onto. I don't see the point in linespeeds much higher than 60mph anyway, where all trains stop fairly frequently. And yes, slam doors can be locked out of use just as easily as sliding/plug doors...and i'm sure the rules on whether the train needs to be taken out of service or not will still apply.
 

ChrisM

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Scrapping them would mean alot of branchlines disappearing and more people using the roads.
Pacers maynot be suitable for long mainline journey but for many lines these units have helped keep the branchlines going and indeed the Welsh valleys would probably not be some well served and many of it's lines would have been closed or never reopened leaving many people more isolated.
About time some of you relised that loco hauled is a thing of the past and you should move on to the future..............units.....like it or not that is the future.
Pacers will be replaced but for now they do a great job when they are used properly.
 
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