Class 142 diesel multiple units
Class 142 diesel multiple units were conceived during hard times at British Rail in the early 1980s. Based on an original bus design they were intended for use on rural branch lines. Because of their harsh ride and poor performance on tight curves, however, most were eventually banished to Northern (currently Arriva Rail North) with a few also going to Arriva Trains Wales.
Ninety-six two-car units (numbered 142001-142096) were built by British Rail Engineering Limited (BREL) in Derby between 1985 and 1987.
Due to Government legislation that will require all public passenger trains to be accessible by 1 January 2020, it is anticipated that this class of train will have to be phased out by the end of 2019 as they will not meet the new standards.
Now may be a good time to document their presence before they vanish from our lives forever.
In England the last Pacers were withdrawn by Northern Trains on 27 November 2020, the last service being the 16:36 Kirkby to Manchester Victoria, operated by 142004. In Wales the last Class 142 Pacers were withdrawn from service by Transport for Wales in December 2020.
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