New northern rail franchises ‘must scrap Pacer trains’

Monday 2nd March 2015

BBC News has reported that the government wants to scrap the 30-year-old Pacer trains on railways in northern England.

Companies bidding for the government’s new rail franchises in the North will be required to replace them by 2020, the Department For Transport said.

Northern and TransPennine bidders will have to add 200 new train services daily and accommodate 19,000 extra Manchester commuters.

Built in the 1980s, Pacers were intended for short-term use and would contravene disability discrimination legislation from 2020.

Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said: “Pacers have had their day, they are not suitable for modern commuting. There was a bit of pressure on us not to push this forward because people were arguing the financing did not match up, we have decided we are going ahead.”

The transport select committee is meeting next month to take evidence from Mr McLoughlin to examine the specification for the Northern and TransPennine Express franchises and question him on the future of Pacer trains currently in use in Wales and the South-West.

Click here to read the related article on BBC News.