Late start for new trains puts ‘Pacer’ withdrawal months behind schedule

PLANS to withdraw the first Northern Rail ‘Pacers’ at the end of September 2018 have missed their scheduled date by four months.

The plan, published by the DfT, was for five two-car Class 144s to start the ball rolling on the withdrawal programme back in September, with all two-car sets out of traffic by January 5.
That has not happened.

New CAF EMU No. 331102 passes Balshaw Lane Junction, between Preston and Wigan North Western, during a test run from Preston to Edge Hill depot on January 23. COLIN WAREING

In parallel, the schedule was to retire from service five Class 142s by November 10 last year, followed by a further 19 sets by December 8, and nine more on January 5.

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In all, 47 sets have missed their planned withdrawal dates. However, Northern has indicated its target remains for all ‘Pacers’ – 126 sets in all – to be withdrawn by the end of 2019.

Read more in the February 2019 issue of The RM – on sale now!

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