Pacers are thankfully on their last legs or is that wheels

The BBC has the story on its web site – see link above

An alternative title for this posting could ‘Well John Pugh are you happy now?’ because during his time as MP for Southport John fought to get the appalling Pacer Trains replaced. To be fair many, many other people were on a similar track (sorry about the pun) but John made it onto a BBC North West TV programme about his fight to rid the rails of Pacers.

John has now returned to his political roots as a Sefton Councillor and leads the opposition on Sefton Council.

My previous relevant posting (amongst many!) about Pacers, because it links to the BBC TV programme that John Pugh appeared in, is accessible via the link below:-

John’s contribution to the programme is at about the 12 minute mark.

And here’s a video of the new trains being built in Spain:-

Pacers! Their history and why we got the damned things

The BBC magazine has the story on the BBC web site – see link above


I have covered the campaign to get rid of these trains a number of times previously on this blog site but this bit of history is interesting. One of my previous postings on the subject can be accessed via the link below:-

One reason why we fought for Pacer Trains to be taken out of use

5th October 1991 at Liverpool Lime Street

5th October 1991 at Liverpool Lime Street

I picked up on this old story via Facebook but none the less it is an important if historical pointer to the failings of the Class 142 Pacer trains that organisations and people such as OPSTA (Ormskirk, Preston & Southport Travellers Assn), John Pugh MP (the MP for Southport) and many others have been fighting to have taken out of service.

It seems the battle to have them consigned to history is all but won but they will be around for a while yet until their replacements come along.

The end of ‘Pacer’ trains!


The BBC has the story – see link above

This really is very good news indeed. So to all those campaigners across England including John Pugh (the MP for Southport) and OPSTA (Ormskirk, Preston & Southport Travellers Association) who have fought high profile campaigns to rid our railways of what are little more than buses on rails I say a big thank you to you all.

Nodding Donkeys in Southport – Well Class 142 Pacers anyway but don’t tell John Pugh MP.

This class of Pacer diesel train has been panned for years and they have acquired the derogatory nick name of ‘Nodding Donkeys’ because of their tendency to move up and down front to back.

John Pugh MP has long campaigned against them not least because they are regularly used on the Northern Rail services out of Southport to such places as Wigan, Manchester and Manchester Airport. Readers may recall that John featured in a TV programme about these disliked diesel units a couple of years ago.

John Pugh MP for Southport

But they are still in use, despite John and others campaigning for them to be replaced. Their future remains uncertain but to misquote a Trainline TV advert slogan the 142’s are ‘Brilliant for the scarp yard, rubbish for anything else’

This was the scene at Southport Station on Tuesday 16th September with 2 of the unloved 142’s sat awaiting their next turn of duty. A Merseyrail class 507 EMU is in the background in its startling new ‘Graffiti’ livery:-


Here is a close up of the Merseyrail EMU – put your sun glasses on!:-


The two photos above are amongst my Flickr shots at:-

Railway Electrification – between Liverpool & Manchester – A look at Prescot

Works are continuing to electrify the lines in the Liverpool and Manchester area. I went along to Prescot Station the other day to have a look at how the project is progressing there.

Here are few shots I took:-

Cantenary on the way up

Cantenary on the way up

Looking north from Prescot Station

Looking north from Prescot Station

Another view northwards along the line

Another view northwards along the line

A Class 150 DMU on a Liverpool bound service with a 142 DMU in front of it.

A Class 150 DMU on a Liverpool bound service with a 142 DMU in front of it.

Whilst the electrification will be completed in the not too distant future many of the trains will still be diesel hauled because Northern Rail does not have enough electric multiple units (EMU’s) to run on the lines that are being electrified in the north of England. As ever Northern Rail’s rolling stock issues are the biggest concern here as they are across the whole of their franchise.

The photos above are amongst my Flickr shots at:-