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:-

Sefton – The only tramway in the Borough – Southport Pier Tram


Trams died out across the UK in the 1940’s and 50’s but Southport’s Pier Tram has continued to serve holiday makers and anyone else who wants to ride on a tram along the Town’s famously long pier. Blackpool may well be famous for its trams and places like Southport must very much regret letting theirs go.


Of course trams are making a big come back in some major cities such as Sheffield, Manchester, Nottingham and Edinburgh and in Sunny Southport its Lib Dem councillors want to extend the tram to Southport Railway Station.

A good read about Southport’s former tram network is ‘Southport in the age of the tram’ by James Dean and Cedric Greenwood published in 2008 by Silver Link Publishing.

Photos of the Pier Tram are amongst my Flickr shots at:-