Pacer is the operational name of the British Rail Classes 140, 141, 142, 143 and 144 diesel multiple unitrail buses, built between 1980 and 1987. Therail buses were intended as a short-term solution to a shortage of rolling stock (with a lifespan of no more than 20 years), but as of 2019, many are still in use.
The Pacer series were built with low construction and running costs in mind, and so all of the Pacer units feature the following: The use of a lightweight modified bus body and other bus components, such as seating, with a reinforced driver's cab area to comply withcrash worthiness standards. The use of a long-wheelbase four-wheel freight-wagon inspiredunder frame, rather than the more usual arrangement of two four-wheeled bogie's. This arrangement has beencriticized for rough-riding, and causing loud noise and excessive wear to the wheels and track on tight curves.
At the beginning of the 1980s British Rail (BR) needed to produce new trains to replace itsaging fleets of first generation diesel multiple units (DMUs) which had been built between the mid-1950s and early-1960s.
These first-generation units had helped replace steam and had, when introduced, proved popular with the public. At the time BR was under severe financial pressure from the government and lacked the money to replace all of them with units of similar quality. BR developed two different types of units as second generation replacements: The Sprinter series, as conventional DMUs for use on urban and longer-distance services, and the Pacer series as low-cost DMUs built using bus parts and intended for short-distance rural and branch line services it is these trains we hoping to preserve at least one of.
The Pacers were originally intended as a low-cost stopgap solution to the rolling stock shortage, with a maximum lifespan of 20 years. BR set a challenge to several companies to design a cheap, lightweight train similar torail buses. Since then, 165 Pacer trains (totaling 340 carriages) have been built; by 2015, some of these were over 30 years old.
Based on the single carrail bus prototypes, the class 140 was built to BR's then stringent regulations regardingcrash worthiness and resistance to end loading in 1980. This meant that it lost its lightweight 'bus on a wagon' look and was much more substantial. The original traction powerThe prototype was joined by another 20 two-car units which formed the Class 141 fleet. The units were used mainly in Yorkshire, operating on predominantly suburban services. They had a capacity of 94 passengers per two-car set, and two Leyland TL11 engines gave a total of 410 bhp (310 kW), resulting in a top speed of 75 miles per hour (121 km/h). The entire class underwent a technical upgrade in 1988 at the Hunslet-Barclay works in Kilmarnock. The units were withdrawn from use in 1997. Many were sold to Islamic Republic of Iran Railways but have been withdrawn and are left in disused sidings in Iran, whilst a few remain in preservation. Because it used a standard Leyland National body, the Class 141 was narrower than the later Pacers, and could therefore accommodate only standard bus seating. The later Pacers had widened body panels to allow an increase in seating.
The unit's body is based on that of the original Leyland National bus, and many fixtures and fittings of the bus can be found on the units. Each unit has a seating capacity of any number between 102 and 121 passengers per two-car set. In theory there should be 106 or 121 seats per unit.
However, many units have had seats removed to provide additional space for wheelchair access, The same engines and mechanical transmissions were used as on Class 141, as also the same double-folding external doors. Each car has a fuel capacity of 125 gallons.
The British Rail Class 143 is a diesel multiple unit, part of the Pacer family of trains introduced between 1985 and 1986. They originally worked in the North-East of England but were later transferred to Wales and South-West England.
The Rail Vehicle Accessibility (Inter operable Rail System) Regulations 2008 require that all public passenger trains must be accessible by 1 January 2020. No Class 143 train currently meets this requirement. Porterbrook has proposed an extensive refurbishment of the Class 143 and 144 units in an attempt to meet this requirement although this would significantly reduce the number of seats. First Great Western are planning on withdrawing their eight by December 2019 with a cascade programme allowing them to be replaced with Class 150s however as there is not many 150s currently available.
The units are currently used on short distance services around Cardiff and Exeter. Previously they were common on services in the Bristol area.
At the beginning of the 1980s British Rail (BR) had a large fleet ofaging "Heritage" DMUs, built to many different designs in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Some of the more reliable types were retained and refurbished. However, BR decided to replace many of the non-standard or unreliable types with new second generation units, built to modern standards. Two different types were pursued; low-cost "Pacers" built using bus parts and used on short-distance services; and "Sprinters" built for longer-distance services.
Twenty-three Class 144 units were built. The units have a maximum speed of 75 mph (121 km/h) and are externally similar to the earlier Class 143 Pacers (they have a Walter Alexander body like the Class 143), built in 1985–1986. The first thirteen of the class, No. 144001-013 are 2-car units. The remaining ten, No. 144014-023 are all 3-car units, although all were originally built as 2-car units, the centre vehicle being added later. These ten Pacers are the only Pacers to contain intermediate vehicles. Units are formed of two driving motors, one of which contains a toilet. The 3-car units have an additional intermediate motor. All vehicles have standard-class seating only. The technical description of the formation is DMS+(MS)+DMSL. Individual vehicles are numbered as follows.
55801-55823 - DMS 55850-55859 - MS (units 144014-023 only) 55824-55846 - DMSL The Class 144 units have BSI couplers. This allows them to work in multiple with Class 142, Class 143, Class 150, Class 153, Class 155, Class 156, Class 158, Class 159 and Class 170 units, as well as units of the same class.
The class were built specifically for local services sponsored by West Yorkshire PTE (since rebranded as Metro). As such, the fleet was painted in the crimson/cream West Yorkshire Metro livery, although three units (nos. 144011-013) were later repainted into Regional Railways livery. Units are used on services such as: Harrogate Line - York-Harrogate-Leeds The Wakefield part of the Huddersfield Line - Leeds-Huddersfield The Huddersfield branch of the Calder Vale line Hallam Line - Leeds-Barnsley-Sheffield Penistone Line - Huddersfield-Barnsley-Sheffield Pontefract Line - Wakefield-Pontefract They can also be found operating the Leeds-Morecambe services, services between Scunthorpe and Adwick to Sheffield and Lincoln. More recently from 2008, they have been working between Manchester Victoria and Leeds (usually via Brighouse) amongst others. Prior to 1994, they were also used on Leeds/Bradford-Ilkley and Leeds/Bradford-Skipton services. These lines were electrified in 1994, and passenger services were operated by Class 308 electric multiple units. Due to their similarities, services booked for a Class 144 can often be replaced by a Class 142, and vice versa.
Sinceprivatization, the fleet has been operated by several franchises. The first operator was Northern Spirit, which was later taken over by Arriva Trains Northern who refurbished the fleet between 2002 and 2004, with units emerging in a new silver and red Metro livery complete with refurbished interior. In December 2004, the fleet was transferred to the new Northern rail franchise. Northern Rail replaced the silver and red Metro livery with Northern Purple and Blue. During 2009, 144001-013 were all repainted. As of April 2010, all Class 144s have been repainted.
Northern Rail carried out a refurbishment programme to their fleet of Class 144 trains. 144006 was the first unit to be so treated and this was also the first one to be refurbished in the joint Arriva Trains Northern/WYPTE Metro programme in 2002.
The refurbishment features the following enhancements: Installation of 'easy to mop' flooring The bike area at one end has been extended by removing the bulkhead wall and extending the perch seat from three to four Repainted hand grips and stanchions New dado side panels and repainted wall ends Retrimmed seats in the purple Northern Rail moquette Repainted ceiling Repainted driving cab
The Class 144e (Evolution) is a proposed refurbished variant of the Class 144 which will bring it up to the requirements of the Persons with reduced mobility-Technical Specifications for Interoperability accessibility regulations. The demonstrator Class 144e unit (144012) features a number of upgrades such as the addition of new 2+2 style seating, a fully accessible toilet, two wheelchair spaces and spaces for bicycles and luggage, as well as Wi-Fi and media screens. The demonstrator unit was expected to re-enter traffic in April 2015, but this was delayed until later in the year.