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Pacers: The End

Discussion in 'Diesel & Electric Traction' started by DismalChips, May 24, 2018.

  1. toplight

    toplight Well-Known Member

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    I could see maybe a few new generation lines getting a pacer as a starter train, but they probably wont have a long term future in preservation as they aren't appealing to visitors or enthusiasts. They would probably then get used and used until something major goes wrong, then get parked in a siding to rust away for a while, until they get the chop.

    Would I want to give up my weekends to volunteer to work on one ? no thanks, its the glory days of railways I want to see/work on
     
  2. Fred Kerr

    Fred Kerr Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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  3. Martin Perry

    Martin Perry Nat Pres stalwart Staff Member Moderator Friend

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    Someone applied to bring one to Llangollen years ago; it was declined, (just) one of the reasons being that there was no easy way to rescue it in the event of failure (incompatible couplings, special tow bar required, not available at the time)
     
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  4. 5944

    5944 Resident of Nat Pres

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    Owned by the same group who own the other DMUs isn't it? Currently at Butterley. Best place for it - I'd much rather ride on the Wickham at Llangollen!
     
  5. Midlandsouthern

    Midlandsouthern New Member

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    Only ever had a couple of rides on a pacer, but ill agree that its certainly a unique ride on them, but kinda like them even if they are a pile of junk, cheap unit that did a job that it was needed for and to be fair have done it well, for alot longer than anyone thought possible. A couple deserve preservation they tell important part of railway development and how cash strapped br kept services going
     
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  6. MellishR

    MellishR Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    I had what I think was my first ride in a Pacer and will probably be my last on Friday last week, when services from St Pancras were cancelled and the station announcer advised us to go to either Euston or Kings Cross, so I had a Pacer from Doncaster to Sheffield. I am happy to have had that experience once.
     
  7. Monkey Magic

    Monkey Magic Part of the furniture

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    Pacers tell an important story in the development of British railways. Namely at a time when the rail network was coming under political pressure and there was the potential for things like Sopel to be enacted, they were a response - cheap to build, not very sophisticated, a debatable upgrade on what went before.

    They do not reflect a ‘glorious’ phase of railway history, but they tell a story of the railways under pressure, every much as important as Edwardian, interwar or Victorian era developments.

    They are no more out of place on a heritage line than an Ivatt tank on the IOWR (had the lines survived then that is what BR would have run on them).

    They may well go the way of many 1st gen DMUs where a lot were preserved, only to fall out of use and many end up being cannibalised or cut up. (Thinking here about the DMUs at the WSR in the 1980s for example).

    I didn't have any love for the units I used to commute to work on, but I am glad that some have been preserved.

    I will also say this. While we as users may not love them, they may have meaning for later generations. For example, I like the fact that I can travel behind locos or travel in carriages that my grandparents used in the 1920s and 1930s. I know they didn't love them because they said so, but now that they are gone, it is a little bit of a connection to relatives who are now gone.

    I wouldn't want to commute in a 4 wheel coach from the 1890s every day, I wouldn't want to travel in a Quadart every day, nor a Wickham or a 101. But I am glad that they are all preserved and I can travel in them for a short while.
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2018
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  8. pete2hogs

    pete2hogs Member

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    No they aren't . They are an embarrassment of the same scale as the Paget locomotive or the Fell loco - but no-one was stupid enough to put either of those in production. They are vastly inferior to the 1st gen units they replaced and must have driven many thousands off the railways.
     
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  9. toplight

    toplight Well-Known Member

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    Simple answer, set out yourself to preserve one then and spend your cash/time on getting one and working on it.
     
  10. Robkitchuk

    Robkitchuk Member

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    Your right they are inferior. But the first gen units were life expired. Unlike many it seems I think they deserve their place in railway preservation. For me they were my introduction to railways, in the way steam was to earlier generations. And I've commuted on them too and I still prefer them to the modern dross. Maybe we shall have to agree to disagree.
     
  11. pete2hogs

    pete2hogs Member

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    Well, we have common ground about modern dross - I live on a line where we had our magnificent comfortable HST's replaced with ghastly noisy cramped Voyagers with no luggage space.
     
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  12. estwdjhn

    estwdjhn Member

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    Maybe they should have rung Met-Cam up and just ordered another batch of 101s!

    Considering that the pacers arrived 20 years before the 101s departed, I'm not sure all the 1st gen stuff was *that* worn out (or they could have followed the SR practice of rebodying the 1st gen underframes).
    From a passenger's point of view, a 101 is like a Rolls Royce compared to a 14x or a 15x unit.
     
  13. DismalChips

    DismalChips Member

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    I was just thinking on my way into work that the Pacers take a lot of the heat but the 150s are about as bad in terms of comfort, but don't seem (although I haven't checked) to be quite as much of a priority to be got rid of.
     
  14. Victor

    Victor Nat Pres stalwart Friend

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    Can't agree with the comfort comment ............ a 2 axle chassis (Pacer) is VERY inferior ride to a 4 axle (air suspension ) chassis (150).

    No rail vehicle rides well on jointed track, a Pacer on The Bentham Line really should be a 'must do' for any rail enthusiast.
     
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  15. Ploughman

    Ploughman Part of the furniture

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    Slight modification to that statement.

    No 4 wheel vehicle rides well.
     
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  16. 35B

    35B Nat Pres stalwart

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    They are both torture devices. The Pacer is deservedly on the way out, as the failure of an experiment that anyone should have seen would not work. My backside still shivers at the memory of going through the middle of Tinsley Yard in a 141.

    The 150s, equally due for an appointment with Mr Gillette, ride better but at the price of even worse seating, and a wilfully perverse relationship of windows to seats.
     
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  17. Monkey Magic

    Monkey Magic Part of the furniture

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    Met Cam did offer a replacement https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_Rail_Class_151

    I think the problem was not so much with the 101s but with other units. For example the Park Royals, Cross Country, Cravens etc that were withdrawn around that time.

    I do recall some less that fun rides in drafty 101s my abiding memory is everything vibrating
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2019
  18. burnham-t

    burnham-t New Member

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    Probably a discussion for elsewhere, but I recall travelling in an LMS design sleeping car on the Euston-Barrow sleeper some time in the mid 1970s. The ride on the cwr of the WCML was absolutely awful with terrible hunting and it was quite impossible to sleep. Once we turned off at Carnforth, it rode beautifully on the jointed track (and admittedly at lower speed) to Barrow.
     
  19. Matt37401

    Matt37401 Nat Pres stalwart

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    Try climbing Old Hill Bank in a 150..! Everything including your fillings would vibrate on one of those!
     
  20. acorb

    acorb Part of the furniture

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    Rail magazine reports that Northern's discarded 144s are to come to Wales as a short term stop gap to cover for unavailable units that are being modified - states they should all be gone by the end of the year. Temporary stay of execution!
     

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