|British Rail Class 142 Pacer|
Northern Rail 142066 at Castleton East Junction in June 2008
The interior of an Arriva Trains Wales Class 142 in March 2013
|Manufacturer||British Rail Engineering Limited, Derby Litchurch Lane Works|
|Constructed||1985 (142001 - 050) 1986-1987 (142051 - 096)|
|Number built||96 units|
|Number in service||15 units (National Rail)|
|Number preserved||15 units|
|Number scrapped||36 units|
|Car body construction||Steel underframe. Aluminium alloy body and roof.|
|Car length||15.55 m (51 ft in)|
|Width||2.8 m (9 ft in)|
|Height||3.86 m (12 ft 8 in)|
|Articulated sections||2, flexible diaphragm within unit only|
|Wheelbase||9 m (29 ft in)|
|Maximum speed||75 mph (120 km/h)|
|Weight||24.5 t (24.1 long tons; 27.0 short tons) per vehicle|
|Prime mover(s)||one per car: Cummins LTA10-R |
(Originally fitted with Leyland TL11)
|Engine type||6-cylinder 10-litre |
(Originally 6-cylinder 11.1-litre) turbo-Diesel
|Power output||Cummins: 225 hp (168 kW) at 2100 rpm|
Leyland: 205 hp (150 kW) at 1950 rpm
|Transmission||Voith T211r two-stage hydraulic|
(originally SCG 4-speed mechanical)
|Multiple working||Classes 14x, 15x and 170|
The British Rail Class 142 is a class of Pacer diesel multiple-unit passenger trains used in England and Wales. 96 units were built by British Rail Engineering Limited's Derby Litchurch Lane Works between 1985 and 1987. They were a development of the earlier Class 141, which were introduced in 1984. The first batch (142001-050) was delivered in 1985, with the remaining units (142051-096) being delivered between 1986 and 1987.
The unit's body is based on that of the original Leyland National bus; many fixtures and fittings of the bus can be found on the units. Each unit has a seating capacity of any number between 102 and 121 passengers per two-car set. In theory there should be 106 or 121 seats per unit. However, many units have had seats removed to provide additional space for wheelchair access. The same engines and mechanical transmissions were used as on Class 141, as also the same double-folding external doors. Each car has a fuel capacity of 125 gallons.
Excessive flange squeal on tight curves has been a problem on many routes operated by 142s, caused by the long wheelbase and lack of bogies. The rough ride which can result has led to the units being nicknamed (along with the related Class 143s) Nodding Donkey.
The 142s that were (briefly) allocated to Cornwall in the mid-1980s were officially known as "Skippers". They were transferred to the north when the Cornish branch lines proved unsuitable for the Class 142; the tight bends caused excessive screeching and caused the wheels to become damaged. All Skippers left the West Country in the late 1980s.
The class was mechanically upgraded starting in the early 1990s, as the original parts were already starting to fail by then. All units carry a more powerful Cummins L10 series engine - 230 bhp per car, which equals 460 bhp (340 kW) per twin-car unit - and Voith T211r two-stage hydraulic transmission, starting with a torque converter which switches to fluid coupling drive once the unit is up to 45 miles per hour (72 km/h). All units were fitted with new Voith transmission by late 1991 and Cummins engines were fitted between 1993 and 1996 to improve reliability. This has proven successful, although incidents have occurred, such as when a Northern Rail unit derailed en route from Blackpool to Liverpool in June 2009, due to a cardan shaft failure. During the period of conversion, the fleet were renumbered into either the 142 2xx series or the 142 5xx series, before reverting to their original numbers (some units received the transmission change before the engine change). The original bi-folding doors fitted on the Class 142 were replaced in the 1990s due to reliability issues.
From new, some units were painted according to the region they operated in. For example, the first 14 Greater Manchester Passenger Transport Executive sponsored units (142001-014) received GMPTE orange and brown, then the next 13 West Country based units (142015-027) were painted in a Great Western Railway inspired chocolate and cream livery and marketed as 'Skippers'.
Upon the privatisation of British Rail, the Class 142 Fleet was divided between North Western Trains in the North West and Northern Spirit in the North East.
Northern Spirit started its operations in 1997 and continued until 2000. At this point, parent company MTL ran into difficulties and the company was sold to Arriva, who renamed it as Arriva Trains Northern.
In 1998 ATN swapped seven Class 142s (142085-142091) for seven Class 150/2 units from Valley Lines. In October-December 2002 these were swapped for unrefurbished units 142072-77 and 080-3, as 142086-091 had only recently been refurbished by Northern Spirit and Valley Lines wished to start their refurbishment from scratch.
All 79 Class 142s are now painted in Northern Rail livery. Due to rising passenger numbers in the north of England (by about 10% per annum and even by over 25% per annum at some stations where 142s are in operation), some units have been replaced by Sprinter trains.
Five Class 142 Pacers, in service with First Great Western, were returned to Northern Rail in December 2008; the rest returned to Northern Rail by November 2011, much later than originally planned.
Despite being built for branch-line stopping services, the Class 142s are mainly used on urban commuter services in and out of cities like Liverpool, Manchester, Sheffield, Leeds and Newcastle and can be seen on longer-distance services of up to three hours including the 1632 Middlesbrough-Carlisle service (nearly 110 miles); they had also been used on services between Blackpool North and Chester via Stockport, which ceased to operate in December 2008. All 79 passed with the Northern franchise to Arriva Rail North in April 2016, and any remaining units transferred to the government-owned operator Northern Trains on 1 March 2020.
A total of seventeen Class 142 units based at Newton Heath TMD (142041-049 and 142051-058) were refurbished for use on Merseyside Passenger Transport Executive's City Line on services around the Liverpool and Greater Manchester areas. The refurbishment included dot-matrix route indicators, a new design of individual low-backed seating and the units were repainted into Merseyrail's livery. Upon privatisation, these units passed to First North Western in March 1997. All of these sets transferred to Northern in 2016, however remained in the livery of previous operator Northern Rail.
Valley Lines acquired its Class 142s by swapping Class 150/2 units with Arriva Trains Northern. The Class 142s were initially painted in Valley Lines livery.
Transport for Wales uses its Class 142 Pacer trains on the commuter lines around Cardiff, Barry and Penarth known as the Valley lines. All of its Class 142 Pacer fleet now bear the turquoise and cream house colours of Arriva Trains Wales.
The Class 142s are frequently used for the Cardiff to Penarth service calling at Grangetown, Dingle Road, and Penarth.
The Class 142 units are also primarily used on South Wales Valley line routes and routes through the Vale of Glamorgan. On Valley and Vale of Glamorgan services, Class 142s are often coupled together with Class 143 or Class 150 units to cope with demand on the busy Valley Lines network. The Class 142s have received minor refurbishments with retrimmed seats in new moquette, plus the installation of ceiling-mounted CCTV cameras.
Twelve Class 142 Pacers were received by First Great Western in 2007, and started operations in December 2007. These were loaned from Northern (where they had been stored), in part to cover for the refurbishment of FGW's Sprinter fleets but also to allow the Class 158s to be reformed as three-coach sets.
Five 142s were returned to Northern Rail in the autumn of 2008, following the completion of the refresh of Class 150 Sprinter units. The remaining seven units were returned to Northern Rail in November 2011 after being replaced by class 150 units cascaded from London Overground and London Midland.
Bidders for the Northern franchise that commenced in April 2016 were required to order new DMUs and take on Sprinters and Turbostars (Classes 150, 156, 158 and 170) released by other franchises as replacement. The Long Term Passenger Rolling Stock Strategy for the Rail Industry indicates up to 500 non-electric carriages will need to be built in the short term. Northern withdrawals were scheduled to commence in November 2018 with the last to be removed from traffic in October 2019. This has been slightly delayed until the first Class 195s enter service.
In August 2019, Northern retired seven and placed them in store at Heaton TMD. Scrapping commenced in December 2019 with 142005 taken to CF Booth, Rotherham. In December 2019, three withdrawn Northern units were transferred to Transport for Wales for spare parts.
In December 2019, both Northern and Transport for Wales were issued derogations to allow use into 2020. Northern Trains are permitted to the use the units until the 31 May 2020, but only whilst coupled to a compliant unit, whilst Transport for Wales are permitted to use the units until 31 July 2020 and can be operated alone.
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Fifteen class 142s have so far been saved/earmarked for preservation. The majority all being ex-Northern operated units. Unit no 142001 is part of the National Collection and preserved at the National Railway Museum Shildon. Additionally, three further units are to be preserved. Unit 142003 is to be purchased by a private individual, two further units 142023 and 142036 are to also be preserved following withdrawal from service in May 2020. 142023 will be based at the Plym Valley Railway and 142036 at the East Kent Railway.
|Set number||Vehicle numbers||Livery||Location||Notes|
|142001||55542||55592||Northern Rail unbranded||National Railway Museum Shildon||Operational First unit built. To be repainted into GMPTE orange livery.|
|142003||55544||55594||Northern Rail unbranded||Purchased by a private individual. Current fate unknown.|
|142004||55545||55595||Northern Rail unbranded||Purchased by a private individual. Current fate unknown. To be repainted into GMPTE orange livery.|
|142017||55558||55608||Northern Rail unbranded||East Kent Railway|
|142019||55560||55610||Northern Rail unbranded||Waverley Route Heritage Association|
|142020||55561||55611||Northern Rail unbranded||Waverley Route Heritage Association|
|142023||55565||55614||Northern Rail||Plym Valley Railway|
|142028||55569||55619||Northern Rail unbranded||Wensleydale Railway|
|142029||55570||55620||Northern Rail unbranded||Chasewater Railway|
|142030||55571||55621||Northern Rail unbranded||Chasewater Railway|
|142036||55577||55627||Northern Rail||East Kent Railway|
|142038||55579||55629||Northern Rail unbranded||Mid-Norfolk Railway||Purchased by a private individual and later donated to the Mid-Norfolk Railway. To be repainted into BR Provincial blue.|
|142084||55734||55780||Northern Rail unbranded||Rushden Historical Transport Society||To be repainted into Regional Railways livery.|
|142091||55741||55787||Northern Rail unbranded||Rushden Historical Transport Society||To be repainted into Regional Railways livery.|
142027 was purchased as a spares donor for the Chasewater Railway's two operational Class 142 units (142029 and 142030).
Alongside the operational preserved class 142s, one has already been acquired by South Wales Police.
|Set number||Vehicle numbers||Location||Notes|
|142033||55574||55624||Brewery Field, Bridgend||Acquired by South Wales Police for training. Located at Bridgend rugby pitch.|
|142060||55710||55756||Wensleydale Railway||To be converted to a holiday let and arts space|
BR Western Region Class 142 No. 142025 at Newcastle
BR/Manchester PTE Class 142 No. 142012 at Edale
BR Provincial with added Network NorthWest branding
First North Western Class 142 No. 142031 at Hunts Cross
Arriva Trains Northern Class 142 No. 142094 at York
Merseyrail Class 142 No. 142055 at Castleton East Junction
Northern Rail Class 142 No. 142084 at Castleton East Junction
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|Class||Operator||Number||Built||Cars per Set||Unit nos.|
|Class 142||Transport for Wales||15||1985-87||2||142002, 142006, 142010, 142069, 142072–077, 142080–083, 142085|
|Stored||32||NT: 142003–142004[a], 142007, 142011, 142013–014, 142018, 142023,[a] 142032, 142035, 142041, 142043, 142045, 142047, 142051, 142055–056, 142058, 142061, 142065, 142068, 142070-071, 142078, 142087, 142089-090, 142094-095
TFW: 142012, 142079, 142086[b]
|Scrapped||35||142005, 142008–009, 142015–016, 142021–022, 142024–026, 142031, 142034, 142037, 142039–040, 142042, 142044, 142046, 142048–050, 142052–054, 142057, 142059, 142062–064, 142066–067, 142088, 142092–093, 142096|
|Preserved||14||142001, 142017, 142019–020, 142027,[c] 142028–030, 142033[d], 142036, 142038, 142060, 142084, 142091|
Select units have previously carried names.
start of year
|2019||94||44||142001/03/05/07/09/12/15-17/19-22/25-27/29-31/33-34/37-39/42/44/46/48-50/52-53/57/60/64/66/79/84/86/88/91-93/96||142001, 003, 017, 019, 020, 029, 030, 033, 038, 060, 084 & 091 preserved|
|2020||50||50||142002/04/06/10-11/13-14/18/23-24/28/32/35-36/40-41/43/45/47/51/54-56/58/61-63/65/67-78/80-83/85/87/89-90/94-95||142004, 023, 028 & 036 preserved|
John Pugh, the then Liberal Democrat MP for Southport, described the 142 trains as "unsafe". However the UK Government's Transport Secretary at the time Geoff Hoon denied this claim saying, "I would not accept that any of that rolling stock is unsafe", and that they constantly upgrade them.
A train driver has prevented a major disaster by braking seconds before his express ploughed into another train.
The railway inspectors say lightweight rail-bus trains do not meet current safety standards and they are concerned that some of them are now being used on the same tracks as conventional heavyweight inter-city and freight trains.
Media related to British Rail Class 142 at Wikimedia Commons