Could pacer trains to be a thing of the past from Preston station by 2020?

Posted on - 3rd March, 2015 - 7:00am | Author - | Posted in - Business, Preston News, Transport
The days of the pacer are numbered Pic: Dave Wragg

The days of the pacer are numbered Pic: Dave Wragg

They are the bane of many commuters lives – pacer trains.


The latest rail investment announcement has seen a bold declaration for the pacers – you know, the bus on wheels type train – to be completely gone by 2020.

Northern Rail currently uses them on local services from Preston to Liverpool and on the routes into Manchester Victoria. They are also in operation for services to Blackpool and Blackburn.

What the new operator of the Northern railways has to do:

– 120 new-build carriages for use on non-electrified routes
– No more pacer trains by 2020
– Longer trains with more seats
– More train services in the week and on Saturdays
– More services to more places on Sundays
– Free WiFi by 2020 at the latest
– £30 million spent on doing up stations

County Councillor John Fillis, Lancashire County Council cabinet member for highways and transport, said: “I warmly welcome the publication today of the Invitation to Tender (ITT) documents for the Northern and Trans Pennine franchises.

“The county council has worked hard in partnership with councils right across the region through Rail North and the DfT to develop an investment-led specification that should deliver significantly improved train services over the period of the new franchises.

“For Lancashire this should mean investment in new and refurbished rolling stock, better train services that take advantage of the investment in the Northern Hub and associated electrification schemes, improved facilities at stations and increased funding for Community Rail Partnerships.

“Officers already have had a positive dialogue with bidders for the two franchises and this will continue to ensure they fully take into account Lancashire’s needs.”

What do you think about the local trains in and around Preston? Do you use Northern Rail at the moment? Be glad to see the back of the pacers? Let us know in the comments below

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