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KeithMacdonald

New roles for Pacer trains

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I'd just comment that on a run across the Hope valley last May, during a deluge, required my waterproof jacket to be worn, with the hood up,  Not just an isolated incident either;  every 142 I've travelled on during rain, over the past 4 years is just not watertight, they all leak quite badly into the passenger compartment,  and not just from the perished window seals, the roofs especially near the heating pods leak like mad ( often causing seats underneath to be tape barriered  out of use).

Cl 144's , whilst nowhere near as bad, are now getting that way too, though they don't have a heating pod a la 142 to cause a potential leak point.

When the weather dries up a bit, they then stink like a stagnant pond, (until they dry out) after a week or two).

 

So, not wishing to offend in any way, I honestly couldn't apply the term 'perfectly serviceable' to them, not nowadays, not in any country, and definitely not in their present state .  I'd go no further than just about serviceable frankly. Their bodywork is just too knackered ( 142's especially). 

KG

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Interesting comments about spare parts being an issue for 142’s...

 

how come its not an issue for 150’s, 156’s, 158’s, class 90’s ? - they were built +/-3-5 years  at the same time. They haven't has major rebuilds either. Indeed even the prototype 150/0 is still in service after nearly 40’s, making it probably the longest serving prototype since 111 The Great Bear.

 

Returning to the overseas subject, life expired 86’s and 87’s seem to be hanging on ok overseas... and here.

 

Edited by adb968008
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12 hours ago, Northmoor said:

Indeed they are - 4 decades being typical for EMUs - but remember they have also had their planned lives extended by the delays to the New Tube for London programme.  Funnily enough, I am involved in obsolescence management for LU trains and can confirm that while may be easier obtaining some spares than for newer types, it still isn't easy.  Mechanical parts are relatively easy, but 1970s control gear hasn't been made since, well, the 1970s and wasn't designed to be upgraded whereas 1992/6 stock is of an era where every few years you replace a circuit board with its modern equivalent.

Interesting. I started my career at LU in the 1970s and ended up doing 11 years on traction equipment and motors, including the 1973 and D78 stocks. My perception was that whereas the older relay based equipments were obvious as to how they worked and full of discrete components whose function was obvious, what went on in the electronics was far from obvious, as the suppliers kept that to themselves.

 

Jim

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I wouldn't have a clue re spares for Pacers, given that they ( probably ) have a lot in common with Sprinters I should imagine keeping them running & mobile isn't too much of a problem.

What I do contend as precluding any further onward use as frontline units,,'as is' , is that their Bodywork is totally shot.

 

Tacking just one problem, sure, they might be able to cure the leaky window seals by wholesale replacement of same ( the silicon seal bodging failed ages ago) ,  But a cursory glance at most 142's and it's apparent that taking the windows out to do this will probably lead to the surrounding 3-4 inches of metal crumbling into iron oxide powder , thus needing some tricky and inevitably costly metalwork and welding before you re-fit them ( Market 65's pic in the 'pace yourself' thread shows this problem ).  And that's just addressing one their bodywork troubles

 

Given the designed lifespan of bus bodies ( 15-20 years average), they've done remarkably well, especially given that rust,  and we're not talking cosmetic rust,  on Leyland Nationals was a big problem.  The thing is they really are at the life expiry point in terms of bodywork, 

  

Other classes mentioned are pure heavy rail designs, designed for a long life, thus are way more robust, and economically repairable

Sadly, the Pacers initial cheapness, due to lightness has become their Achilles heel. 

Some things do wear out beyond economic repair

kg  

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Spent last weekend up at Thornaby and there were plenty of 142's on local services. Just a shame Redcar is closed as they were all junk and should be driven into a blast furnace. Loose and ripped seats, out of use toilets, full of rubbish and the odd one or two that did not sound well.

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44 minutes ago, 25901 said:

Spent last weekend up at Thornaby and there were plenty of 142's on local services. Just a shame Redcar is closed as they were all junk and should be driven into a blast furnace. Loose and ripped seats, out of use toilets, full of rubbish and the odd one or two that did not sound well.

Apart from the odd one or two sounding unwell, is that the fault of the design, or the train operator cutting costs?

I would suggest the latter, rather than any fundamental defect in the design.

My usage of 14x units may have been sporadic, but I can't say that they were a disaster.

 

Jim

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10 hours ago, adb968008 said:

Interesting comments about spare parts being an issue for 142’s...

 

how come its not an issue for 150’s, 156’s, 158’s, class 90’s ? - they were built +/-3-5 years  at the same time. They haven't has major rebuilds either. Indeed even the prototype 150/0 is still in service after nearly 40’s, making it probably the longest serving prototype since 111 The Great Bear.

 

Returning to the overseas subject, life expired 86’s and 87’s seem to be hanging on ok overseas... and here.

 

I agree with others; it's corrosion that is killing off Pacers more than spares but they are CRUDE.  Passengers CAN and SHOULD be provided with better.

 

86s and 87s are indeed hanging on but again electric stock generally lasts significantly longer than diesel power.  It should also be noted that those exported were sent with a sackful of spares - plenty of their classmates were stripped - and in some cases a whole spare loco exported with them.  I know the people involved well as many of them were also key members of the AC Loco Group; from memory of our conversations at the time there are some significant and potentially terminal issues with things like SAB wheels.  When the current spares are exhausted that's it - the manufacturer no longer has the capability to produce its own design (the skilled people have retired).

9 hours ago, jim.snowdon said:

Interesting. I started my career at LU in the 1970s and ended up doing 11 years on traction equipment and motors, including the 1973 and D78 stocks. My perception was that whereas the older relay based equipments were obvious as to how they worked and full of discrete components whose function was obvious, what went on in the electronics was far from obvious, as the suppliers kept that to themselves.

Jim, you're right.  However as I said earlier about Pacer spares consumption disguising reliability issues, maintenance costs on Picc stock may be higher than a modern equivalent.

 

Rob

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3 minutes ago, jim.snowdon said:

Apart from the odd one or two sounding unwell, is that the fault of the design, or the train operator cutting costs?

I would suggest the latter, rather than any fundamental defect in the design.

My usage of 14x units may have been sporadic, but I can't say that they were a disaster.

 

Jim

 

They had a job to do and did it well at the time but are long in the tooth now, yes cost cutting on maintenance has been a big issue with these units and Northern have not helped with their somewhat low attitude of what is fit for purpose. One depot near Manchester now being called the new Bescot lol

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Posted (edited)
On 20/09/2019 at 15:33, D9020 Nimbus said:

Highly reliable? Not in my experience (although they are more reliable now than when they were new). They are certainly highly uncomfortable and extremely noisy going round curves.

 

The 142s were based closely on the design of the Leyland National bus. How many of those are still in front-line service?

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-51412945

http://preserved.railcar.co.uk/Class142.html

https://www.railmagazine.com/news/rail-features/pacers-the-unlikely-local-heroes

 

The Leyland National was a long lived bus. Production ended in 1985-6 and they were a common sight until the early 2000s. At the time of introduction, they were reputed to be the safest bus on the road and an example was driven into a block of concrete to show this. The 510 fixed head 'headless wonder' engine of the MK1 National was it's only real weakness and some operators fitted different engines to replace them. For example, Crosville fitted Gardner units to over 100 of it's MK1s and Fishwick's of Leyland fitted DAF units (based on the Leyland O.680) to a number of their MK1s. East Lancs Coach builders revamped a number of Nationals as 'National Greenways' an idea that may have been extended to Class 142s.

 

I stopped using public transport around 18th February. It was the last week of off peak operation of Northern's remaining four Class 142s. (After I had been sneezed and coughed over on a bus, I felt that public transport was unsafe due to the emerging Covid-19 pandemic).

 

For the past 4-5 years, I have been saying to friends that once the Pacers are withdrawn, I will be travelling by trains much less; the claustrophobic nature and excessive engine noise levels of their Class 150 replacements causes me too much stress and anxiety. i liked nothing better on a hot day than to sit on the bench seats near the doors on Pacers and feel the breeze coming in. They provided a good source of fresh air, that was ideal in the Pandemic that we now find ourselves in.

https://www.cbsnews.com/live/video/20200512123109-indoor-spread-of-oronavirus-is-affecting-how-establishments-must-consider-ventilation/

 

I was intending to get a few last rides on 144s, but the pandemic put pay to that.

Edited by pacerfan
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