On Friday 27th November 2020, Northern bid a final farewell to the fleet of Pacers after more than three decades service. Part of a significant modernisation programme, their retirement has made way for our fleet of brand-new diesel and electric trains now serving customers across the north.
The last Pacer to carry Northern customers completed its swansong journey on Friday having travelled from Kirkby to Manchester Victoria. The final journey completed by 142004 coupled with 150225 departed Kirkby at 16:36 and arrived bang on time at Manchester Victoria at 17:46, marking just over 35 years of continuous service in the north of England and clocking 3 million miles in the process.
Chris Jackson, Regional Director at Northern, said: “The Pacers have kept millions of Northerners on the move and, while they have served us well and provided some communities with rail services they may have otherwise lost, it is time to give them a well-earned rest.”
“Northern has overseen significant modernisation in recent months and the retiring Pacers have made way for a fleet of 100 brand-new trains which are already servicing people across the north of England.”
During their time on the network Northern’s fleet of 102 Pacers travelled more than 300 million miles, equivalent to 630 trips to the moon and back.
Retirement of the Pacer fleet began in the summer of 2019 and the trains have been gradually removed from service and more and more new and refurbished trains have been introduced.
Northern’s new trains feature free Wi-Fi, air-conditioning, at-seat power and customer information/media screens with real-time information. They are also more spacious and fully accessible, with spaces for wheelchairs and cycles.
Grant Shapps, Transport Secretary with Cabinet Responsibility for the Northern Powerhouse, said: “The Pacer fleet has connected communities on the Northern network for over 30 years, but today marks the sun finally setting on trains that have become loved by some, but hated by many.”
“This marks a new era of transport in the north, with passengers enjoying a brand-new fleet of trains, delivering more modern services and creating a more reliable network across the north.”