'Pacer' train donated to Aln Valley Railway
A two-car diesel ‘Pacer’ has been donated to the Aln Valley Railway.
It will be transported to the railway’s Lionheart station in Alnwick once it is withdrawn from service on Network Rail’s tracks around the end of May.
The donation was made by Porterbrook, the rolling stock asset management company.
John Hurlbutt, Aln Valley Railway traction manager said: “I would like to thank our friends at Porterbrook for the kind donation of Pacer number 144004 to the Aln Valley Railway.
“It will eventually help us to introduce a low-cost mid-week service from our station at Alnwick Lionheart to our projected station at Alnmouth.
“In the meantime 144004 will be running mid-week services between Lionheart and our new halt at Greenrigg, which will be opening in April 2020. This service will commence once we have completed crew familiarisation and training.”
The Class 144 Pacers were built at the Litchurch Lane Works of British Rail Engineering Limited during 1986 and 1987. Twenty three train sets were built to this specification.
Pacer 144004 has been based at Neville Hill Depot in Leeds and has spent its life running mainly in Yorkshire.
Other Pacer units were based near Newcastle and they have provided local train services including on the lines from Newcastle to Carlisle, Sunderland, Hexham and Chathill, including the service between Morpeth and the Metro Centre.
Although Pacers have a top speed of 75mph, it will be limited to a maximum of 25mph on the Aln Valley Railway, as on other ‘heritage’ lines.