Whats wrong with Pacer trains?

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mercalia
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Whats wrong with Pacer trains?

Postby mercalia » 21 Oct 2019, 9:19am

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-50119525

Politicians in northern England are demanding that passengers still having to use the heavily-criticised Pacer trains should be offered reduced fares.

Manchester mayor Andy Burnham, Sheffield City Region mayor Dan Jarvis and Leeds City Council leader Judith Blake have told train operator Northern using the ageing units is unacceptable


The picture shown looks ok to me. Are they diesel? like the ones used in East Anglia eg Ipswich to Lowestoft?

brynpoeth
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Re: Whats wrong with Pacer trains?

Postby brynpoeth » 21 Oct 2019, 9:25am

TSO, Train-shaped-object, is the word :?
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PDQ Mobile
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Re: Whats wrong with Pacer trains?

Postby PDQ Mobile » 21 Oct 2019, 9:25am

They run on diesel!
Or should that be coal?

kwackers
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Re: Whats wrong with Pacer trains?

Postby kwackers » 21 Oct 2019, 9:28am

A Pacer is luxury on Northern Rail.
Positively clean and bright compared to some of the crap they run.

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mjr
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Re: Whats wrong with Pacer trains?

Postby mjr » 21 Oct 2019, 10:01am

kwackers wrote:A Pacer is luxury on Northern Rail.
Positively clean and bright compared to some of the crap they run.

The 1980s diesel Sprinters based on 1970s IC carriage designs with five-across airline seating and low luggage capacity are bad, but are they really worse than Pacers that are basically two fixed-axle 1970s buses back to back? Or did you mean some other Northern trains?
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softlips
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Re: Whats wrong with Pacer trains?

Postby softlips » 21 Oct 2019, 10:10am

Pacers were really a stop gap cheap train modified from the Leyland National bus. As such the wheels are simple axles - there are no bogeys like other trains. This means they are very uncomfortable and often make terrible noises when going around bends etc.

kwackers
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Re: Whats wrong with Pacer trains?

Postby kwackers » 21 Oct 2019, 10:23am

mjr wrote:The 1980s diesel Sprinters based on 1970s IC carriage designs with five-across airline seating and low luggage capacity are bad, but are they really worse than Pacers that are basically two fixed-axle 1970s buses back to back? Or did you mean some other Northern trains?

I don't know enough about trains to identify them (and the pics on websites don't help a lot).

I can identify them by the bike racks though... ;)

The ones with the compartment at the end that has slots for the front wheel and foldable seats tends to be one of the worse (sometimes only one side has wheel slots).
The one with the 'cage' in the compartment where you put your bikes in and they're held in place by a wire rope that comes from above are usually pretty good - at least you can fill them full of bikes without too many issues and they're moderately clean.
Then there are newer ones where the bike compartment is part of the carriage, it has foldable seats and bizarrely the space it leaves isn't long enough for any bike I've ever seen there so they either hang out into the entrance or block the path through the carriage. Usually clean though.

In truth compared to the rolling stock used elsewhere on the lines they're all crap.
Even the new trains they've started running (although currently not stopping at my stations) are a poor second cousin of the stuff that runs darn sooth.

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Audax67
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Re: Whats wrong with Pacer trains?

Postby Audax67 » 21 Oct 2019, 10:24am

Why "Pacer"? Do they sway from side to side like a camel?
Have we got time for another cuppa?

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661-Pete
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Re: Whats wrong with Pacer trains?

Postby 661-Pete » 21 Oct 2019, 11:10am

I wonder how they compare, for [dis]comfort, with this splendid example?
Image
Yes that really is a train! The rails were submerged at high tide. Apparently it only ran for 5 years from 1896 to 1901.
Suppose that this room is a lift. The support breaks and down we go with ever-increasing velocity.
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mercalia
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Re: Whats wrong with Pacer trains?

Postby mercalia » 21 Oct 2019, 12:37pm

661-Pete wrote:I wonder how they compare, for [dis]comfort, with this splendid example?
Image
Yes that really is a train! The rails were submerged at high tide. Apparently it only ran for 5 years from 1896 to 1901.


looks like a pier on wheels. Must have been fun when the tide was in

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mjr
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Re: Whats wrong with Pacer trains?

Postby mjr » 21 Oct 2019, 12:42pm

Audax67 wrote:Why "Pacer"? Do they sway from side to side like a camel?

I suspect it was because much like how pacers are sometimes employed to lead out an endurance runner, they were developed as a short-term solution to lead the way for better trains later once either tracks were upgraded to cope with the weight of the likes of the Networker Turbos or advances in technology made better trains as light as the Pacers (24t/carriage) - but privatisation meant few track upgrades came soon and the only trains as light per passenger built have been the smaller Class 139s (although a Pacer-replacing PPM200 was planned but no-one bought).

An alternative theory is that the name is a nod to the Pacerailer prototype railbus.

Of course, once the trains and their bobbing and banging suspension were in use, the name has stuck. You really feel like the trains are jogging along sometimes.

The main reasons most of the southeast never suffered them were the lines were electrified (Pacers were only ever diesel) and the Pacer's 50ish seats per carriage compared badly with the existing trains 70ish seats for already overcrowded peak commuter services. The low-cost alternative there seemed to be keeping old wooden slam-door trains in service longer.

mercalia wrote:The picture shown looks ok to me. Are they diesel? like the ones used in East Anglia eg Ipswich to Lowestoft?

The picture is rather flattering, hiding its obvious Leyland National bus heritage. They are diesel but Ipswich to Lowestoft went to Sprinters rather than Pacers, then mixed with Turbostars (arguably a descendant of the Networker Turbos) and soon it'll be shiny new bi-mode Flirts allowing some peak-time extension onto full-speed electric service to London. I don't think East Anglia has ever suffered from regular Pacers.
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merseymouth
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Re: Whats wrong with Pacer trains?

Postby merseymouth » 21 Oct 2019, 12:50pm

Hi all, Quite comparable with Northern Trains, simply "Shocking Service"!
One can still find evidence of the system, but only when the tide has gone out.
I think that the Brunel Atmospheric Railway would be a better option than NR.

I bought a nice Northern Rail Pacer last Christmas, a Dapol N Gauge unit. Going to recreate the Whitehaven - Keswick - Penrith line that went west in the early 1970's. Probably prove more reliable than the NR mob. :lol: TTFN MM

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mjr
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Re: Whats wrong with Pacer trains?

Postby mjr » 21 Oct 2019, 12:57pm

A side view like https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File ... castle.jpg pretty clearly shows it's a pair of 1970s buses, from the riveted sides, to the doors folding in around the steps.

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File ... 156438.JPG shows it next to a Sprinter train, with the bus having everything from the headlights and destination blind as well as the doors in bus positions, plus the height and shape are wrong and there's no corridor connector or even space for one due to the lack of height.
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Tangled Metal
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Re: Whats wrong with Pacer trains?

Postby Tangled Metal » 21 Oct 2019, 1:02pm

We get a pacer occasionally for rush hour when there's issues with northern rail service. Horrendous. I remember when they were new. Didn't bother me being shaken around does now though.

There's an older rolling stock on that line. It still has a luggage area like the old guards vans / guards areas on old carriages. It's only on during off peak times though so pretty empty. Possibly the Leeds train. Never seen it myself but my partner likes it for those days she cuts her bike commute short. Makes it easier to take your bike on the train

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Mick F
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Re: Whats wrong with Pacer trains?

Postby Mick F » 23 Oct 2019, 1:57pm

Years ago, they tried them on the Tamar Valley Line. Late 1980s.
They were called "Skippers" and were on loan from East Anglia somewhere to help out with lack of rolling stock.

They had great difficulties climbing the gradients and getting round the tight curves. You could hear the wheels screaming on the bends and slipping on the gradients. They were nicknamed "Slippers" or "The Plymouth Slipper".

The main issue, was they they were damaging the tracks. They lasted maybe three or four months when they HAD to be taken off the route and proper trains back on - ones with bogies and heavier carriages - the DMU things. Still in use now but a modern variation.
Mick F. Cornwall