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European Railroad Discussion > Pacer sunset


Date: 12/11/20 02:05
Pacer sunset
Author: 86235

Transport for Wales Pacer rail buses are entering their last few months of service. The BR / Leyland 142s are due to be withdrawn by the end of the year whilst the Barclay / Alexander class 143s will be gone early in the New Year, how early is dependent on the full introduction of the class 769 DEMUs and TfW receiving more class 153s from other TOCs. Here are a few pictures of the unremarkable rail buses going about their business on the Valley Lines of South Wales in the last few months.

1: The 143s have a pedigree dating back to the nineteenth century, as can be seen on the axlebox. Andrew Barclay was a long established builder of industrial locomotives, both steam and diesel. They built the underframes of the 143s, the bodywork was by Scottish bus builder Walter Alexander. WABCO has recently closed the old Barclay's works in Kilmarnock.
2 & 3: The interior is pretty utilitarian although the 2+2 seats are actually rather more comfortable than the 3+2 seating in the new class 769s. 



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 12/16/20 05:00 by 86235.








Date: 12/11/20 02:19
Re: Pacer sunset
Author: 86235

4: Cardiff Central platform 6, a pair of Pacers, a 143 on the left and 142 on the right, are about to be despatched on another journey along one of the South Wales Valleys.
5: Plodding up the Rhymney Valley between Ystrad Mynach and Hengoed are a pair of 142s
6: Descending from Cardiff Queen Street to Cardiff Central a pair of 143s are about to cross the South Wales Mainline








Date: 12/11/20 02:34
Re: Pacer sunset
Author: 86235

7: At Morganstown a Pontypridd to Barry Island service passing Castell Coch
8: To support social distancing most services on the Valley Lines have been expanded to four cars, this is one configuration, a 142 sandwiched by two 153s leaving Pontlottyn on a Rhymney to Cardiff and Bridgend service.
9: On September 16th a pair of 142s on a Treherbert to Cardiff service approaching Pontypridd. This was the last day I was in the Taff / Rhondda Valleys as the following day the local area, Rhondda Cynon Taf , went in to a local lockdown which lasted until the 9th November, curtailing my Pacer safaris in the South Wales Valleys.








Date: 12/11/20 03:56
Re: Pacer sunset
Author: ghCBNS

Memories!....Thanks for posting.

Sorry to see them go. I roamed Britain a few years back with a BritRail Pass. The IC125, 225 and Sleeper Trains were great.....but it was the Pacers I took on the branch lines that got me into the country side I really enjoyed riding!




Date: 12/11/20 04:09
Re: Pacer sunset
Author: 55002

A good comprehensive coverage, Nick, of the Pacers in S Wales. I wonder if their replacements will be as reliable. The sad thing is, we'll miss them!! A ride down the hill from Marsden, non stop to Huddersfield was quite the thrill ride. You were glad of the bus seats to hold onto the on in front!! Nice shot of the Pacer fest in Leeds as well. I was just scanning this slide for another project, and is one of the transferred 'Skipper' units, from Devon and Cornwall to Yorkshire. chris uk




Date: 12/11/20 04:17
Re: Pacer sunset
Author: exhaustED

Good riddance to the boneshakers, those things would buck and lurch like the proverbial bronco when crossing over points/switches! ;-)
Some very nice photos there, by the way.



Date: 12/11/20 04:58
Re: Pacer sunset
Author: railsmith

exhaustED Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Good riddance to the boneshakers, those things
> would buck and lurch like the proverbial bronco
> when crossing over points/switches! ;-)

And unlike the Class 332 units, truly worthy of being converted into razor blades (of the bargain variety).



Date: 12/11/20 05:17
Re: Pacer sunset
Author: 86235

exhaustED Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Good riddance to the boneshakers, those things
> would buck and lurch like the proverbial bronco
> when crossing over points/switches! ;-)
> Some very nice photos there, by the way.

Thanks.

On the Valley Lines, which are almost entirely CWR, they don't ride badly at all and with proper railway seats, as opposed to the 3+2 bus style seating with which they were delivered, they are perfectly tolerable for short-ish distances. But they are extremely noisy, sound proofing is pretty minimal and the long wheelbase causes very loud flange squealing on the tight Valley Lines curves.  

Back in September I rode my bike from Cardiff to Mountain Ash on a Pacer safari, timing my return on an Aberdare to Cardiff service which I knew would be a pair of 142s. Until Sunday's timetable change Aberdare and Merthyr services run the 11.94 miles from Pontypridd to Cardiff Queen Street non stop. I thought that would be an enjoyable bouncy ride but sad to say it wasn't, even over the junctions at Radyr which we took at 50 mph, the ride was surprisingly good, we did it in 14.9 minutes which is an average speed of just over 48 mph, and that includes the slack through Trefforest Estate station and slowing for the approach to Queen Street from Cathays. But you're right, at 35 years old they are definitely life expired, I don't think they were supposed to last more than 20 years. And a number have been preserved by heritage groups, so people will still be able to relive the "nodding donkey" experience on heritage jointed track :-)

And of course growing up and living virtually all my life in and around London we were never subjected to Pacers or Skippers when they were new, they were most definitely not for the likes of us. LoL



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/11/20 05:21 by 86235.



Date: 12/11/20 05:30
Re: Pacer sunset
Author: exhaustED

railsmith Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> exhaustED Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > Good riddance to the boneshakers, those things
> > would buck and lurch like the proverbial bronco
> > when crossing over points/switches! ;-)
>
> And unlike the Class 332 units, truly worthy of
> being converted into razor blades (of the bargain
> variety).

I wouldn't recommend using those razor blades, you'll take your head off! ;-)



Date: 12/11/20 07:13
Re: Pacer sunset
Author: dwatry

Wow rail buses is right!  Even down to the door mechanisms.  I don't think I have ever ridden any of these and looks like I'll miss my chance now.



Date: 12/11/20 19:50
Re: Pacer sunset
Author: tq-07fan

As I am a Bus Freak, I liked them!

Jim



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