Pacer popularity in preservation

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Bevan Price

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Llanberis? That has two railways. There's a narrow-gauge steam railway but it doesn't really go anywhere useful from a tourist's perspective; it's more there for the scenery.
Then there's the mountain railway which actually goes to the summit of Snowdon.
"Proper" public transport is provided by the Snowdon Sherpa buses.
There used to be a standard gauge line to Llanberis, but the final (by then, summer only) passenger services were in the 1950s.

Having travelled on many GWR 143, 150 , 153 and 158s, if I was on a scenic line, it would be a 143 anytime. AND you can open the windows ; clickety clack...... .
A very few enthusiasts may go out of their way to ride on Pacers, but I think the majority response by visitors finding Pacers on heritage railways would be to delete that railway from their list of places worth revisiting.
 

30907

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the mountain railway in north wales is semi commuter which runs up to the base of snowdon i remember friends and their families using that as transport to porthmadog

honestly i know the people i went to America used whatever train it was to get up to the village at base of snowdon
That makes sense - travelling from Porthmadog to Rhyd Ddu or Snowdon Ranger stations (or even to Beddgelert) would be sensible, though I still think it's a stretch to call ot semi commuter - it's more like the Worth Valley (and no doubt other lines) where people use it for linear walks...
 

Bletchleyite

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That makes sense - travelling from Porthmadog to Rhyd Ddu or Snowdon Ranger stations (or even to Beddgelert) would be sensible, though I still think it's a stretch to call ot semi commuter - it's more like the Worth Valley (and no doubt other lines) where people use it for linear walks...

Snowdon Ranger's purpose is essentially precisely so you can combine a train ride with a walk up Snowdon. It also serves the YHA, to be fair.
 

Mat17

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A run from York to Horsforth via Harrogate was very interesting. Lots of bouncy and squealy bits. Once had one from Lancaster to Shipley which was another real squeal job around Carnforth.
Pacers were great between Barnsley and Meadowhall when it had jointed track, they bounced around all over the place at line speed. It's just not the same anymore!
 

Mack91

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Pacers were great between Barnsley and Meadowhall when it had jointed track, they bounced around all over the place at line speed. It's just not the same anymore!
I second that. Going through the tunnel at Chapeltown produced some incredible noises! :D
 

philthetube

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Llanberis? That has two railways. There's a narrow-gauge steam railway but it doesn't really go anywhere useful from a tourist's perspective; it's more there for the scenery.
Then there's the mountain railway which actually goes to the summit of Snowdon.
"Proper" public transport is provided by the Snowdon Sherpa buses.
It could be argued that the Mountain railway is both commuter and freight, how else would the staff and goods get to the top.
 

Mcr Warrior

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A very few enthusiasts may go out of their way to ride on Pacers, but I think the majority response by visitors finding Pacers on heritage railways would be to delete that railway from their list of places worth revisiting.
My thoughts entirely. Pacers are without doubt the 'Marmite' of the railway world. :rolleyes:
 

43096

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My thoughts entirely. Pacers are without doubt the 'Marmite' of the railway world. :rolleyes:
They are, though I'd suggest there's rather fewer of those who like Pacers than like Marmite! Further, I'd say the vast majority partaking of the Pacer love-in are the usual end of life "doom bashers" who will chase anything that's going. They'll move on to the next thing soon enough. That there's no long-term Pacer society says plenty; the majority of enthusiasts have a preference for locomotives.

The current position is totally unsustainable with such huge numbers "saved" (or, at least, scrapping deferred) - a lack of support (those "doom bashers" won't be around long term) and lack of funds will see most parked up. Added to that, at some point the railways they are at will at some point work out just how bad they are:
- appalling ride quality, especially on jointed track.
- an interior not really fit for the days out market with (on most of the 142s) bus seating and few bays of 4.
- those "panoramic" windows that are spoken about, that rapidly become misted and damp and can't be seen out of.
- the toxic "Pacer" brand. They were widely - and rightly - derided before withdrawal, and that message isn't going to help when a preserved line tries to sell trips on them to Joe Public. They simply aren't a great "day out" proposition when railways are charging fares for them, even off-season.

My prediction is that most will be laid up within a short timeframe, littering the usual preserved line junkyards. And a message for the railways that have taken leave of their senses and acquired one: if you really have a genuine need for a 2nd generation DMU, you'd be far better off waiting until 156s become available.
 

DB

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A run from York to Horsforth via Harrogate was very interesting. Lots of bouncy and squealy bits. Once had one from Lancaster to Shipley which was another real squeal job around Carnforth.

Most notable was coming off the end of Crimple viaduct and round the tight curve - they really screeched there.

I’m genuinely surprised that a number of folk think pacers are a good idea on a heritage line. While I can understand a couple being preserved, I just don’t think the general public would be very receptive to one if they rolled up to a railway. Back in my bashing days I didn’t mind taking in the odd diesel gala, but even back then you could see the amount of diesels being preserved was getting out of hand.
Fares on heritage lines aren’t cheap - I don’t think a family rolling up then paying good money for a trip would be too amused by a 142 rolling into the platform!

Could say the same about Mk1 DMUs.

Once they are all gone from the mainline they become 'heritage' pretty rapidly.

And a message for the railways that have taken leave of their senses and acquired one: if you really have a genuine need for a 2nd generation DMU, you'd be far better off waiting until 156s become available.

Could be quite a wait!
 

Mack91

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That there's no long-term Pacer society says plenty; the majority of enthusiasts have a preference for locomotives.
There is. 142055 belongs to the Pacer Rail Group.

To add to your point about heritage railways waiting for other DMUs of the same era becoming available, 144003 belongs to the GCR(N) 2nd Generation DMU Group. I'd say their name suggests that they intend on acquiring other DMUs when they are withdrawn.
 

47434

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They are, though I'd suggest there's rather fewer of those who like Pacers than like Marmite! Further, I'd say the vast majority partaking of the Pacer love-in are the usual end of life "doom bashers" who will chase anything that's going. They'll move on to the next thing soon enough. That there's no long-term Pacer society says plenty; the majority of enthusiasts have a preference for locomotives.

The current position is totally unsustainable with such huge numbers "saved" (or, at least, scrapping deferred) - a lack of support (those "doom bashers" won't be around long term) and lack of funds will see most parked up. Added to that, at some point the railways they are at will at some point work out just how bad they are:
- appalling ride quality, especially on jointed track.
- an interior not really fit for the days out market with (on most of the 142s) bus seating and few bays of 4.
- those "panoramic" windows that are spoken about, that rapidly become misted and damp and can't be seen out of.
- the toxic "Pacer" brand. They were widely - and rightly - derided before withdrawal, and that message isn't going to help when a preserved line tries to sell trips on them to Joe Public. They simply aren't a great "day out" proposition when railways are charging fares for them, even off-season.

My prediction is that most will be laid up within a short timeframe, littering the usual preserved line junkyards. And a message for the railways that have taken leave of their senses and acquired one: if you really have a genuine need for a 2nd generation DMU, you'd be far better off waiting until 156s become available.
It is likely to be at least a 10 year wait for a 156. Logically, the Pacers will help many of the lower league Pres railways move forward with a cheap, reliable machine and then yes, maybe they will be binned when the 156’s et al become available.
 

pdeaves

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Think of most of them as not preserved but moving to a new owner, which will use them whilst it makes sense to do so. Sure, it will be a shame to see some trains go to the 'scrap man', but is that any different to the ROSCOs selling them for scrap after they have finished with them?
 

warwickshire

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Maybe 142078 142018 142087 have also gone to wensleydale railway. Could it be that there could be reqular daily timetabled Pacers services on this line. Or could it be that possibly wensleydale railway might become pacer more less operated with only a very few selected locomotive hauled services.
 

43096

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There is. 142055 belongs to the Pacer Rail Group.
I wouldn't claim a group started in 2019 is "long term"; at least not yet. How many members have they got - as in signed-up, subscribing members (not Faceache/Tw@tter follows/likes/whatever)?
 

Anonymous10

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They are, though I'd suggest there's rather fewer of those who like Pacers than like Marmite! Further, I'd say the vast majority partaking of the Pacer love-in are the usual end of life "doom bashers" who will chase anything that's going. They'll move on to the next thing soon enough. That there's no long-term Pacer society says plenty; the majority of enthusiasts have a preference for locomotives.

The current position is totally unsustainable with such huge numbers "saved" (or, at least, scrapping deferred) - a lack of support (those "doom bashers" won't be around long term) and lack of funds will see most parked up. Added to that, at some point the railways they are at will at some point work out just how bad they are:
- appalling ride quality, especially on jointed track.
- an interior not really fit for the days out market with (on most of the 142s) bus seating and few bays of 4.
- those "panoramic" windows that are spoken about, that rapidly become misted and damp and can't be seen out of.
- the toxic "Pacer" brand. They were widely - and rightly - derided before withdrawal, and that message isn't going to help when a preserved line tries to sell trips on them to Joe Public. They simply aren't a great "day out" proposition when railways are charging fares for them, even off-season.

My prediction is that most will be laid up within a short timeframe, littering the usual preserved line junkyards. And a message for the railways that have taken leave of their senses and acquired one: if you really have a genuine need for a 2nd generation DMU, you'd be far better off waiting until 156s become available.
i would say they would get 150s earlier if anything but honestly my love for the pacer comes from memories of journeys that i loved not the noo save them all rubbish i just hope one or two from each operator and class is kept
 

DB

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i would say they would get 150s earlier if anything but honestly my love for the pacer comes from memories of journeys that i loved not the noo save them all rubbish i just hope one or two from each operator and class is kept

Quite possibly, but 150s are fairly horrible trains - not much better than a Pacer.

153s might be an option too.
 

61653 HTAFC

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The thing to remember is that with so many being preserved initially, it won't matter all that much if a fair few of them turn out to only be delaying their appointment with the gas-axe for a few years.

Just be glad that by the 1980s we'd stopped using asbestos in our passenger rail vehicles, as the costs of removal are what did for so many of the first-gen units.
 

Mat17

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Further, I'd say the vast majority partaking of the Pacer love-in are the usual end of life "doom bashers" who will chase anything that's going. They'll move on to the next thing soon enough. That there's no long-term Pacer society says plenty; the majority of enthusiasts have a preference for locomotives.

...

My prediction is that most will be laid up within a short timeframe, littering the usual preserved line junkyards. And a message for the railways that have taken leave of their senses and acquired one: if you really have a genuine need for a 2nd generation DMU, you'd be far better off waiting until 156s become available.
For myself, I couldn't disagree more with regards to the first point you made.

I think in essence you were correct in that they are marmite of the railways, and so, all the reasons you listed to hate them are the very reasons I like Pacers, they have terrible ride quality (so they are lively and interesting), they are shoddily built perhaps and seem a complete cast off, a cut off bus on a wagon chassis, kind ofa Frankenstein creature, but to me that's what makes Pacers stand out. They are different, they are unusual, they are a 'how on earth did that get off the drawing board?' kind of train, and that's why I like them.

As for doom bashers, I had to think about that a little. Well yes I did chase the 101s during their demise and I will miss the Pacers, but I won't be upset when the sprinters go. I will happily rejoice when the 153s are routed, awful trains. Don't really like sprinters to be honest, 158s excepted.

With regards to locomotives, perhaps you're right that most railway enthusiasts prefer them, but I always took much more interest in carriages as they were the things I was actually travelling in. Maybe that's why I always homed in on the DMUs over the locos.

Your prediction, you are correct I suspect in that most will fall into disuse and end up sidelined and scrapped.

I dread the day 156s end up on heritage lines, I have absolutely no interest in riding on a sprinter in preservation, I'm afraid I'd want my money back.
 

pdeaves

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I dread the day 156s end up on heritage lines, I have absolutely no interest in riding on a sprinter in preservation, I'm afraid I'd want my money back.
I think that highlights the fine balance to be had on heritage railways, catering for everyone. By your own admission, you like travelling on other DMU types; there will be those who would be a bit miffed if one of them turned up; there will be those for whom only a 'proper' steam engine will do (let's not debate what proper means to different people). I am sure in years to come there will be sprinters on heritage lines. All do their bit for history. All are great/rubbish to different people. What should the heritage sector do? The same debate will be going on in a generation's time as the next load of old trains becomes available.
 

warwickshire

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Fully agree sprinters are not the same. Would be nice though iff northern via branch line society or any interested party could do a farewell tour for the north. When the covid 19 situation is over and well under control via vaccination.
However seeing as the pacer rail group and woodhead society are at guide Bridge. And also April the 21st 1981. Approximately is when the final dmu staff farewell special ran over the woodhead before it closed. Does warrant some celebration and farewell this year 2021. So maybe a trip aboard a pacer ie in preservation one would be ideal. Or like wcrc did a couple off years ago. Ie 2018 oxenholme to windermere could be achieved say Manchester Piccadilly to rosehill via guide Bridge using a pacer in gmpte livery and the old br blue 1987 original livery. As a combined service/farewell preservation orinated service . Especially as Pacers are a symbolic feature off the north.
 

fgwrich

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Quite a nice surprise, and making a change to the usual endless BR based liveries, 142030 at the Chasewater Railway is currently undergoing a repaint into North Western / First North Western Gold Star livery.
 

robert thomas

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There used to be a standard gauge line to Llanberis, but the final (by then, summer only) passenger services were in the 1950s.


A very few enthusiasts may go out of their way to ride on Pacers, but I think the majority response by visitors finding Pacers on heritage railways would be to delete that railway from their list of places worth revisiting.
There were still summer trains to Llanberis in the early 60's
 

yorksrob

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I very much enjoyed travelling on the 144 at the ELR DMU weekend in November. Hard to believe it was about two years since I'd last been on one.

It seemed very busy as well - almost like the commute.
 

Iskra

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Quite a nice surprise, and making a change to the usual endless BR based liveries, 142030 at the Chasewater Railway is currently undergoing a repaint into North Western / First North Western Gold Star livery.
Yes, I've seen that and it looks excellent.
 

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