COMMUNITY and heritage railway groups in Cumbria are being urged to get in touch if they would like to own a retired Pacer train.

Angel Trains - one of the country’s leading train leasing companies - has announced plans to offer Class 142 Pacer units to heritage railways following the withdrawal of the trains from service across the country, with the proceeds donated to charity.

The trains have been a longstanding - and widely loathed - feature of British rail travel, built between 1985 and 1987.

Since then, the units have been upgraded and refurbished in order to offer a low-cost solution to train operators and passengers on regional services that otherwise may not have had service.

As a total of 83 sets of two-car Pacers are set to come off-lease from Northern imminently, a small number of vehicles are being offered to the heritage railway groups to use as they wish.

Community railways will also be able to apply for Pacer units at market price.

All remaining trains that are not set aside for further use by heritage railways or community railway groups will be scrapped in the coming months.

For rail users in Cumbria, the sight of a Pacer train has been all too often.

The sets were often used on the trans-Pennine route from Carlisle via Brampton, Haltwhistle and Hexham to Newcastle, and also some others routes across the county, including the Cumbrian coast line.

Kevin Tribley, CEO at Angel Trains, said: “The first Pacer trains coming off-lease from Northern marks the beginning of replacing the entire fleet and demonstrates commitment to improving customer service and experience.

“Although the Pacers have served the industry well for many years, their scrappage is a

significant move towards an improved rail network across the region.

“As Northern’s partners, Angel Trains is committed to investing in, and creating, the railway of the future by delivering and enhancing assets that modern UK passengers deserve.

“Replacing the Pacers as they reach the end of their lifespan is a natural step towards this goal and we believe the discontinued trains could be of value to select organisations.”

n If any heritage railway or community railway organisation are interested in receiving a

Pacer train, they can do so by email. Send a request by email to