Outdated trains to stay until 2019

Picture of Northern Rail Class 142 Pacer diesel multiple unit 142021
Picture of Northern Rail Class 142 Pacer diesel multiple unit 142021

Ministers have come under fire after shelving plans to scrap the outdated Pacer trains which run on the Calder Valley line.

The 30-year-old trains were due to be replaced in 2016 as part of local franchise contracts, but replacement plans have been pushed back by at least three years.

The move comes following a pledge was made earlier this year by the then transport minister Stephen Hammond to remove the Pacer trains from the network by 2016.

The trains will fall foul of disability discrimination legislation if access is not improved by 2019.

Labour MP for Halifax Linda Riordan said: “The Pacer units are not fit for purpose - they are dated, dirty and uncomfortable and the sooner they sent to the scrap yard the better.

“Long suffering passengers deserve better than having to travel on these terrible trains.

“The sooner is investment is made in some new units for our local lines the better.

“We keep being told the Pacers are coming to the end of their life, yet incredibly they are still in use. It’s time the axe fell on them once and for all.”

Chair of Metro James Lewis said he will continue to lobby government for upgrades to the Calder Valley line.

He said: “Our long-term aspiration is to see see electricifcation of the Calder Valley line so we can have a modern fleet of trains.”