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Northern ‘Pacers’ to nod along until 2020

Photo: Ben Jones.

Arriva Rail North has confirmed that some of its unpopular ‘Pacer’ railbuses will be required beyond the December 31 withdrawal deadline.

Delays in the delivery and commissioning of new CAF Class 195 DMUs and Class 331 EMUs, which entered limited public service six months late on July 1, mean Northern will not be able eliminate its fleet of 102 railbuses entirely before the end of the year.

The 23 Class 144s, based at Neville Hill in Leeds, should all have been retired by March 2019, but will now be retained into 2020 for short-distance diagrams in South Yorkshire.

Only Porterbrook’s No. 144012 currently meets new PRM (persons with reduced mobility) accessibility regulations, with the 22 other ‘144s’ receiving a derogation to allow them to continue until at least mid-2020.

Read the full story in the August issue of The Railway Magazine – out now.

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