HomePeopleCommunityTransform a Pacer competition to recycle Class 144 carriages for the community

Transform a Pacer competition to recycle Class 144 carriages for the community


The Department for Transport (DfT) has launched a competition to find the best community use for a recycled ‘Pacer’ train.

Under the title ‘Transform a Pacer’, community groups across the North have been invited to submit plans and ideas for how an old Pacer carriage could be converted into a vibrant public space. From a café to a yoga studio, the DfT is opening the floor to ideas on how the Pacer carriages could be renovated to continue to serve communities.

The winning proposals will see three Pacer carriages, donated by rolling stock company Porterbrook, installed ready for transformation.

After more than three decades of service, Pacer trains are being phased out alongside the introduction of a fleet of entirely new and refurbished trains across the northern network.

Interior of an in-service Class 144 Pacer.

The carriages that are prizes in the competition will be single carriages from a Class 144 train. They will be made safe and, if the winners request it, the interiors (seats, luggage racks) will be removed. Bogies and running gear can also be removed on request so the carriage can sit flat on the floor.

Pete Waterman, famed record producer and rail enthusiast, has been named as head judge.  The other four are:

  • Tim Dunn (Railway enthusiast, historian, broadcaster and presenter of Trainspotting Live)
  • Mary Grant (the CEO of railways rolling stock leasing company Porterbrook)
  • Jools Townsend (Chief Executive of The Association of Community Rail Partnerships – ACoRP)
  • Trudy Harrison, MP for Copeland.
Pete Waterman.

When his participation was announced, Pete Waterman said: “This competition provides a fantastic opportunity for community groups to actively engage with the rail network to make a difference to their local areas.

“I’m delighted to be chairing the judging panel to oversee the proposals put forward ensuring they are realistic, credible and provide a real benefit to wider northern communities.”

The competition closes on 30 September. Winners will be given time to prepare the sites for their new carriages which will be delivered over the Spring and Summer 2020.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

- Advertisement -

Latest news

Keeping GBR hopes on track with data innovations and expertise

Paul Coleman, account and customer experience executive at ITAL, considers modernisation of the railway in a new state-owned era. What are the opportunities and...

Union Connectivity Review report released

The Department for Transport has published the final report of its Union Connectivity Review, led by Network Rail chairman Sir Peter Hendy. It makes...

Crossrail commences Trial Operations on the Elizabeth line.

Crossrail – the project that will deliver the Elizabeth line under London – started Trial Operations on Saturday 20 November 2021 in preparation for...
- Advertisement -

More news

Integrated Rail Plan – reactions are almost all negative

One day after Transport Secretary Grant Shapps addressed the House of Commons to explain his Integrated Rail Plan (IRP), quite a number of reactions...

Body-worn camera evidence helps secure conviction for assault

Footage from body-worn cameras has been used successfully to help secure a conviction in a case of physical assault against Transport for London (TfL)...

Eversholt and Gemini to convert Class 321 units for express freight

Eversholt Rail and Gemini Rail Services have announced a programme to convert four Class 321 units for Swift Express Freight. Work to convert the units...