Pacer train becomes museum piece amid calls to halt fares rise

A Pacer train arrives at the National Railway Museum in County Durham Credit: Ian Richardson/National Railway Museum/PA

A Pacer train has arrived at a museum amid calls for the upcoming fares rise across the railway network to be scrapped on routes where they are still used.

The National Railway Museum (NRM) told the PA news agency the 1980s-era train will “spark debate” when it goes on display at its site in Shildon, County Durham.

Political leaders in the North say the continued use of outdated Pacers – known for being slow, bouncy and noisy – shows a wide disparity in transport investment between the region and the South East.

Rail fares set to increase in new year

A Pacer train with a destination of Goole. Credit: PA

Rail fares will increase by an average of 2.7% across Britain from Tuesday.

But the addition of a Pacer to the NRM’s collection comes weeks after Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham, Sheffield City Region mayor Dan Jarvis and Leeds City Council leader Judith Blake wrote to Northern – one of three operators still using the trains – calling for fare reductions on routes where they remain in operation.

Pacers were built using bus parts more than 30 years ago and were intended to be a cheap stop-gap solution to a lack of rolling stock.

A staggered retirement of the trains is being rolled out, with the final Pacer service running next year, Northern said.

The NRM’s Pacer was retired by Northern and donated by leasing company Angel Trains earlier this month.