Prototype The last pacers

Discussion in 'Gallery' started by Bazzmund, 9 June 2021.

  1. Bazzmund

    Bazzmund Active Member

    A couple of weeks ago saw the last Pacers on the UK network work their last services. Luckily one was on the Rhymney line so me and the wifey got a last round trip down to Penarth and back. 143601 was coupled to 150237 for the final Rhymney workings.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I suspect by accident rather than design the last two were together in platforms 7 and 8, where 143609 was working the City line.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Most of the spotter types were youngsters about me and the Wifey's age so I'm guessing it was the "grown up with it" generation saying bye bye to an early love. The wife being from Kent had no major connection but having grown up with them on the Scunny stoppers I can't say my eyes weren't wet slightly. IIRC when the 141s were withdrawn there were only two left on the Adwick shuttles, so it's rather spooky that the whole Pacer fleet went out with just two left as well.
     
    richard carr, Neil, 76043 and 5 others like this.
  2. Yorkshire Dave

    Yorkshire Dave Western Thunderer

    Some of the Northern Rail Pacers were parked up in KWVR sidings at Keighley in April 2020 shortly after lockdown. I would suspect they were withdrawn at this time without turning another revenue service wheel.

    Pacer.jpg
     
    Last edited: 9 June 2021
    David B, Neil and 76043 like this.
  3. Chris Veitch

    Chris Veitch Western Thunderer

    The major factor in me starting to drive to work rather than take the train. I’m sure we’ll have a wry chuckle at them in preservation, but it wasn’t funny at the time...
     
    simond likes this.
  4. Sheffield

    Sheffield Member

    I used them for some years in Lincolnshire and South Yorkshire, and did not think they were that bad. At least I could get a seat with a window I could look out of easily. They were generally reliable, and I suspect had they not been available quite a few services and lines would not have survived.
     
  5. Osgood

    Osgood Western Thunderer

    Never rode in one - they were really that bad?
    Could they be any worse than a DMU being driven flat out on the governors for a good 30 seconds before each gear change?
    Never did understand the logic of that other than to make sure any body fasteners that might be slightly loose could become apparent by their subsequent relocation onto the floor......
     
  6. Chris Veitch

    Chris Veitch Western Thunderer

    Yes, they were that bad.

    My commute changed from old Met-Cam 101s, which were comfortable in a tatty 1950s sort of way, to some of the first Pacers. The first couple of years were appalling with sticking doors, leaks, overcrowding, very uncomfortable seating, dreadful flange noise and above all incredibly poor reliability. I literally did give up and take the car.
     
    Osgood likes this.
  7. Osgood

    Osgood Western Thunderer

    A most apt description - you could kind of forgive them for whatever shortcomings they had :D
     
  8. richard carr

    richard carr Western Thunderer

    I'm originally from Bridlington and Pacers for a while were the only train on the Hull Scarborough line, my Mother always referred to them as "Square Wheelers" on the old bullhead track it did feel like that. Fortunately after about 5 years most of the old track was replaced with new continuously welded rail which made a huge improvement to the ride quality, but still the same old dreadful seats.

    Richard
     
  9. Chris Veitch

    Chris Veitch Western Thunderer

    I was always pleasantly sleepy after my evening commute home in them, and didn’t realise until later that it was probably carbon monoxide poisoning rather than the soft seats ;-)
     
    eastsidepilot, Dan Randall and Osgood like this.
  10. Yorkshire Dave

    Yorkshire Dave Western Thunderer

    Pacers were bad to travel in - especially when Northern rostered a 3 car pacer instead of the usual 4 car cl.333 EMU on a Leeds - Skipton evening rush hour service. The cl.333 was already loaded to the gunwales and trying to get 4 cars worth of passengers onto a 3 car pacer was no fun.

    And when travelling on jointed track in a pacer (Settle-Carnforth) you would be bouncing like a bucking bronco!
     
  11. AJC

    AJC Western Thunderer

    They weren't much better on the continuously welded stuff: the memory of travelling from Redcar to Durham in one - including the run from Darlington to Durham at 70ish mph was probably the most terrifying bit of rail travel I've ever done. It's also the only time I've ever been properlly motion sick - sober, anyway - on a train. Quite alarming.

    Adam
     
  12. borgrail

    borgrail Member

    You mean to say that somebody actually wants to preserve them???? If IRC the 142s were known as Skippers as they skipped along the track. Awful things.
     
  13. LarryG

    LarryG Western Thunderer

    I remember passing a Pacer or 'Nodding Donkey' in the loop at Llanrwst station and wishing we were in it instead of the viewless Class 150 Sprinter we were in. That was the only time I felt travel sick on a train! The Class 156 was probably the best of the junk on BR at the time IMV.

    We have been getting used to declining standards of public transport for years and in addition to heritage DMU's, I remember avoiding BR Mk.I coaches!

    Beddum-beddum-beddum-beddum....Brand new Pacer 142 040 bowling along with the 16.10 Llandudno-Blaenau Ffestiniog on 30th August 1986. The Conwy Valley branch was and still is short-length track...
    WEB Pacer 1.jpg
     
    Last edited: 10 June 2021
    David B likes this.
  14. AJC

    AJC Western Thunderer

    No, that was formal BR branding for the chocolate and cream batch intended to work the SW branches - I remember riding on a brand-new one between Pen Mill and Junction in Yeovil on a shuttle connected with the steam runs from Yeovil to Salisbury in 1986 (back when that bit of line was used almost exclusively for diversions - it see regular passenger services now!). Their long wheelbases didn't agree with the curves and they went up to the north east, I think.

    Adam
     
  15. Bazzmund

    Bazzmund Active Member

    They were pretty amusing to ride on up the valleys lines. Up north on relatively flatter terrain with steadier gradients was bad enough but factor in ruling gradients of 1 in 50, loadings that taxed the 150s AND a tendency to spontaneously combust gave you all the adrenaline rush you needed.

    Anyhoos, despite the shortcomings I do believe that a lot of services would have disappeared were it not for these tin donkeys and I am wary of cutbacks or closures with units not previously associated with Pacer haunts running them (170s on the Barton on Humber branch???!!!?!).

    Happier times now :'(

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    David B likes this.
  16. Yorkshire Dave

    Yorkshire Dave Western Thunderer

    I think some were offered to the KWVR.
     
  17. Rob Pulham

    Rob Pulham Western Thunderer

    A couple of sets have ended up on the Wensleydale line (shudders!) they have passed the house a couple of times but I declined to grace them with a photo.

    I really can't get my head around describing them as Heritage traction, they may have got them cheap but I can't see visitors flocking to the line to see /ride on them.
     
    simond likes this.
  18. Rob R

    Rob R Western Thunderer

    Rob, they were saying that about big diesels and dmus 30 years ago.
    They will be very useful for any line running saturday morning shoppers trains like the KWVR used to do with the W&M railbusses - best view of the line, sat next to the driver.:cool:
    Rob
     
  19. LarryG

    LarryG Western Thunderer

    The public are not diesel enthusiasts. They may not even be steam enthusiasts. But they visit heritage lines to see the steam traction of yesteryear.

    My nearest heritage line was running DMU's even during the summer months. Now imagine you are a tourist in Llangollen and you look over the river bridge and see a DMU in the station. You walk on by because there is nothing unusual about that. If you see a smoking steam loco, it captures your attention and you walk down the station slope to investigate and hopefully buy a ticket to ride. Commitees that forget their USP and why heritage lines actually exist do so at their peril.

    The K&VWR is in a slightly different position because it also runs shoppers services in conjunction (I think) with local bus services. A DMU, heritage or otherwise, would suffice as mentioned above.
     
    Last edited: 11 June 2021
    Rob R likes this.
  20. eastsidepilot

    eastsidepilot Western Thunderer

    The analogy that springs to mind for me as an old biker is that I have known a couple of guys that have rescued and restored BSA Bantams, 30 odd years ago and they were classed as classics :confused: then, my close mates and I thought they were total pieces of crap that needed melting down ( probably still are :D), I could never understand why they did waste money on them.

    Col.
     
    fenman likes this.