Why are TOC's still allowed to use Pacers and Sprinters?

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Footplate1

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I don't understand why TOC's are still allowed to run 142 pacers and 150 class sprinters, I've driven both and these antique trains, they're over 30 years old and a total joke in this day and age.

It puzzles me how they're allowed to still operate these sheds, every modern european country has better trains than us.

A taxi driver can't use a 30 year old taxi so why does a TOC think it can operate a 30 year old train?
 
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Domh245

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I don't understand why TOC's are still allowed to run 143 pacers and 150 class sprinters, I've driven both and these antique trains, they're over 30 years old and a total joke in this day and age.

It puzzles me how they're allowed to still operate these sheds, every modern european country has better trains than us.

A taxi driver can't use a 30 year old taxi so why does a TOC think it can operate a 30 year old train?

Because they can...

To turn this question on it's head, why should XC be allowed to operate it's HSTs? They are over 30 years old as well?
 

class387

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150s are hardly antique and with a 'Renatus' style refurbishment would be very good commuter trains. The 144e isn't bad either - even in places like Paris I have seen far worse.
 

AlterEgo

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Those cheap, crappy trains keep a lot of loss-making lines open. Try travelling in France and getting around rural areas by train there.
 

Xenophon PCDGS

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150s are hardly antique and with a 'Renatus' style refurbishment would be very good commuter trains. The 144e isn't bad either - even in places like Paris I have seen far worse.

I note that in response to the "Pacers" query, you chose to mention the Class 144 units (Posh Pacers?) rather than the more numerous Class 142 units that are hated by the vast number of those passengers who have to endure them.
 

yorksrob

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30 - 40 years isn't an unreasonable lifetime for rolling stock. Some of the GW 150's have been particularly well refurbished as well, which helps.
 

class387

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I note that in response to the "Pacers" query, you chose to mention the Class 144 units (Posh Pacers?) rather than the more numerous Class 142 units that are hated by the vast number of those passengers who have to endure them.
To show what can be done to them.

Also I swear that the OP originally wrote 143, but it could be my mistake.
 
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Johncleesefan

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Probably due to the fact that they can, and they are cheaper and already in place.

What would you rather, a brand new shinny train in every job. Boosting ticket prices and losing money therefore closing lines, station and god knows what else
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To show what can be done to them.

Also I swear that the OP originally wrote 143, but it could be my mistake.

Didn't need to edit your response. If you read the first comment quoting footplate it says 143, he changed it to 142 later. No idea why but he's a strange one
 

sprinterguy

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Simple economics, really.

While the continued leasing of fully depreciated BR era stock, that may have been bought at a comparative pittance, would appear to be a licence to print money for the ROSCOs, there's a good chance that it is still being offered to the TOCs at a much cheaper rate than would new stock.

Plus, while the Pacers might be beyond their sell by date, I wouldn't consider the 150s life expired. From my limited experience of cab rides on the units the driving controls are still logically functional, if not as ergonomically configured as more modern stock. In terms of the saloon interior, they can still meet modern day commuter requirements, they are only disadvantaged by those great many units that are still running around in essentially as built configuration, which now seem extremely basic given that they were designed to meet spartan commuting requirements thirty years ago.
 
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class387

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Didn't need to edit your response. If you read the first comment quoting footplate it says 143, he changed it to 142 later. No idea why but he's a strange one
Thanks. Got a bit worried that I had read it wrong there!
 

Footplate1

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Because they can...

To turn this question on it's head, why should XC be allowed to operate it's HSTs? They are over 30 years old as well?

Because the XC HST's still perform the job they was built to do and to an high standard too. Most people aren't unhappy with the service of the HST's however that can't be said for the pacers/sprinters.
 

class387

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Because the XC HST's still perform the job they was built to do and to an high standard too. Most people aren't unhappy with the service of the HST's however that can't be said for the pacers/sprinters.
Might just be me, but I haven't heard anyone complain about Sprinters for a while (though admittedly they have been about Pacers). Meanwhile if you read the Class 700 thread there are quite a lot of people unhappy about them and they are brand-new trains.
 

sprinterguy

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Because the XC HST's still perform the job they was built to do and to an high standard too. Most people aren't unhappy with the service of the HST's however that can't be said for the pacers/sprinters.
150s and 142s still perform the job they were built to do. In the case of the latter, in the face of consistently rising passenger numbers they're now generally inadequate, but with the former a good refurbishment can still bring them up to modern expectations, the same as the HSTs if a little less glamorous in the role that they perform.
 

Footplate1

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Might just be me, but I haven't heard anyone complain about Sprinters for a while (though admittedly they have been about Pacers). Meanwhile if you read the Class 700 thread there are quite a lot of people unhappy about them and they are brand-new trains.

I used to drive sprinters everyday and customers would often vent their frustation to me regarding the aircon that never works and many other things.
 

class387

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I used to drive sprinters everyday and customers would often vent their frustation to me regarding the aircon that never works and many other things.

Do 150s even have aircon? I find opening windows just as good, if not better anyway given the proximity of the stops on the journeys they were designed for, meaning it would be hard for any aircon to cool the saloon well.
 
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6Gman

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A taxi driver can't use a 30 year old taxi so why does a TOC think it can operate a 30 year old train?

Are there any regulations regarding a maximum age for taxis?
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I don't understand why TOC's are still allowed to run 142 pacers and 150 class sprinters, I've driven both and these antique trains, they're over 30 years old and a total joke in this day and age.

In what sense are they a "joke"?
 

sprinterguy

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I used to drive sprinters everyday and customers would often vent their frustation to me regarding the aircon that never works and many other things.
Other than the 158s, there's no aircon to work! :p

I will admit that the commuting experience on Birmingham's Snow Hill lines has greatly improved since the arrival of the air conditioned class 172s: My Dad, down from the north east for a weekend, couldn't believe his eyes when the local train rolled in with air conditioning, carpet and more than two carriages!

Although the 150s that they replaced were essentially unchanged, original condition units with that terrible 3+2 seating.
 
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bramling

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I don't understand why TOC's are still allowed to run 142 pacers and 150 class sprinters, I've driven both and these antique trains, they're over 30 years old and a total joke in this day and age.

It puzzles me how they're allowed to still operate these sheds, every modern european country has better trains than us.

A taxi driver can't use a 30 year old taxi so why does a TOC think it can operate a 30 year old train?

Unlike a taxi, the lifespan of a train is generally expected to be approximately 35-40 years. Generally diesel trains may be less, electric trains marginally more. Obviously some designs are better than others, the fact that Sprinters are still performing reliably despite *very* intensive use suggests that they must be a sound design.

Maintenance and upkeep is a different matter entirely. I agree that many class 150s could benefit from a thorough internal refurbishment however, the benchmark interior in my view should be the ones refurbished by FNW - albeit in as-refurbished condition rather than the tatty state they are in now! Likewise the 156s could benefit from smartening up, although in my view they are fundamentally a very good train.

Old isn't automatically bad. My 'best' car is now in its 17th year, and although the bodywork is a bit tatty, the interior and mechanical condition is near perfect, and it remains extremely reliable and comfortable. It hasn't been used as intensively as a Sprinter though! ;)
 

SpacePhoenix

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It's probably a case of either the TOCs are allowed to use them or services get axed given the national shortage of DMUs
 

PHILIPE

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It's probably a case of either the TOCs are allowed to use them or services get axed given the national shortage of DMUs

The TOCs use them, but they don't have a say in what units are allocated to them This of the responsibility of the DFT. If new units can't or won't be funded to replace older stock there is no alternative but to carry on.
 

cjmillsnun

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I don't understand why TOC's are still allowed to run 142 pacers and 150 class sprinters, I've driven both and these antique trains, they're over 30 years old and a total joke in this day and age.

It puzzles me how they're allowed to still operate these sheds, every modern european country has better trains than us.

A taxi driver can't use a 30 year old taxi so why does a TOC think it can operate a 30 year old train?

Because rolling stock is designed to last longer than any road vehicle.

Also because rolling stock is much more expensive than a taxi.

Also every modern European country has better trains than us? Really?? Away from the TGV, SNCF is not the bed of roses everyone thinks it is. And they aren't the only ones.

Again, for someone who has supposedly been driving for many years, you do come out with some rubbish.

150s don't have air con for starters (the only sprinters that do are the 158/159 - and yes 158s do have problems, mainly to do with the fact that their air con systems are designed for CFC refrigerants instead of the R134a used in the post CFC world). There are replacement systems available that have proven successful in SWT's fleet of 158s and 159s
 
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PHILIPE

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I don't understand why TOC's are still allowed to run 142 pacers and 150 class sprinters, I've driven both and these antique trains, they're over 30 years old and a total joke in this day and age.

It puzzles me how they're allowed to still operate these sheds, every modern european country has better trains than us.

A taxi driver can't use a 30 year old taxi so why does a TOC think it can operate a 30 year old train?

There are 143 and 144 Pacers also. 153s, 155s and 156s are only slightly newer than 150s.
 

Philip Phlopp

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150s are hardly antique and with a 'Renatus' style refurbishment would be very good commuter trains. The 144e isn't bad either - even in places like Paris I have seen far worse.

150001 is only 32 years old, and recently repainted and overhauled with DDA modifications. The bodyshell is intimately known by firms such as Wabtec and Brodies, modifications such as adding in air conditioning modules are now off-the-shelf offers, and corrosion repair work is very simple to carry out - the areas to check and repaint on depot are increasingly well known, repairs are also becoming easier as engineers and metal workers get to know how the units were built, where frames are and where to cut out and weld in new metal.

The running gear was well understood before British Rail adopted the Nederlandse Spoorwegen diesel-hydraulic railcar system with a horizontal engine coupled to a Voith T211 gearbox. ZF have direct replacement mechanical gearboxes and final drive components to reduce fuel consumption and improved reliability.

The bogies are another well understood part of the jigsaw - the BREL P3/T3 bogie is under something like 4,500 individual vehicles and is used on every BREL DMU other than the Class 158/159 fleet, plus the Bombardier Class 170/171 fleets.

They'll see out 50 years of service without too much trouble, maybe 60 years if you put a bit of effort into new engines, transmissions, uprating alternators, and fitting air conditioning and electric doors.
 

bramling

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150001 is only 32 years old, and recently repainted and overhauled with DDA modifications. The bodyshell is intimately known by firms such as Wabtec and Brodies, modifications such as adding in air conditioning modules are now off-the-shelf offers, and corrosion repair work is very simple to carry out - the areas to check and repaint on depot are increasingly well known, repairs are also becoming easier as engineers and metal workers get to know how the units were built, where frames are and where to cut out and weld in new metal.

The running gear was well understood before British Rail adopted the Nederlandse Spoorwegen diesel-hydraulic railcar system with a horizontal engine coupled to a Voith T211 gearbox. ZF have direct replacement mechanical gearboxes and final drive components to reduce fuel consumption and improved reliability.

The bogies are another well understood part of the jigsaw - the BREL P3/T3 bogie is under something like 4,500 individual vehicles and is used on every BREL DMU other than the Class 158/159 fleet, plus the Bombardier Class 170/171 fleets.

They'll see out 50 years of service without too much trouble, maybe 60 years if you put a bit of effort into new engines, transmissions, uprating alternators, and fitting air conditioning and electric doors.

Out of interest, are you able to offer an opinion on how Turbostars and class 185s compare?

I like Turbostars, however I do get the feeling the build is not as robust as a Sprinter.
 

Domh245

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Because the XC HST's still perform the job they was built to do and to an high standard too. Most people aren't unhappy with the service of the HST's however that can't be said for the pacers/sprinters.

So what exactly were Sprinters and Pacers built to do? Were they built to transport people in luxury from one end of the country to another, or were they built to get you less than 100 miles cheaply?
 

Harbornite

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I don't understand why TOC's are still allowed to run 142 pacers and 150 class sprinters, I've driven both and these antique trains, they're over 30 years old and a total joke in this day and age.

It puzzles me how they're allowed to still operate these sheds, every modern european country has better trains than us.

A taxi driver can't use a 30 year old taxi so why does a TOC think it can operate a 30 year old train?

This post is just wrong on a number of levels.
 

D365

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It puzzles me how they're allowed to still operate these sheds, every modern european country has better trains than us.

Have you ever travelled on 70s/80s-era LHCS on the continent? I shudder to even think about it.


I note that in response to the "Pacers" query, you chose to mention the Class 144 units (Posh Pacers?) rather than the more numerous Class 142 units that are hated by the vast number of those passengers who have to endure them.

To be honest, the 144s are no better, as much as enthusiasts seem to think that they are more worthy than their 142 brethren.
 

Darandio

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I used to drive sprinters everyday and customers would often vent their frustation to me regarding the aircon that never works and many other things.

Ah, so you drove 158's as well? Did they have a turbo boost like your HST?

As an apparent driver, I really cannot believe you needed to ask the original question in the opening post???
 
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