The end of ‘Pacer’ trains!

www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-30311722

Pacer

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:-

rsz_2_nodding_donkeys_and_a_507_emu_at_southport_station

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

rsz_507_emu_at_southport_in_graffiti_livery

The two photos above are amongst my Flickr shots at:-
www.flickr.com/photos/86659476@N07/

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:-
www.flickr.com/photos/86659476@N07/