British Rail Class 144
|British Rail Class 144 Pacer|
Northern Rail/WYPTE Metro Class 144 Pacer No. 144001, recently reliveried, is seen at Sheffield
The interior of a Northern Rail/SYPTE Metro Class 144
|Manufacturer||BREL Derby and Walter Alexander|
|Refurbishment||2002 - 2004 and 2010|
|Number built||23 trainsets|
|Capacity||99 or 157 seats per unit|
|Car body construction||Steel underframe. Aluminium alloy body and roof.|
|Width||2.695 m (8 ft 10.1 in)|
|Height||3.725 m (12 ft 2.7 in)|
|Floor height||1.288 m (4 ft 2.7 in)|
|Doors||Twin leaf pivot|
|Wheelbase||9 m (29 ft 6 in)|
|Maximum speed||75 mph (121 km/h)|
|Transmission||Mechanical, self-changing gears|
|Multiple working||Class 14x, 15x and 170|
|Track gauge||1,435 mm (4 ft 8 1⁄2 in) standard gauge|
The British Rail Class 144 Pacer diesel multiple units (DMUs) were built by BREL Derby from 1986 to 1987. A total of 23 units were built, replacing many of the earlier first-generation "Heritage" DMUs.
At the beginning of the 1980s British Rail (BR) had a large fleet of ageing "Heritage" DMUs, built to many different designs in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Some of the more reliable types were retained and refurbished. However, BR decided to replace many of the non-standard or unreliable types with new second generation units, built to modern standards. Two different types were pursued; low-cost "Pacers" built using bus parts and used on short-distance services; and "Sprinters" built for longer-distance services.
Twenty-three Class 144 units were built. The units have a maximum speed of 75 mph (121 km/h) and are externally similar to the earlier Class 143 Pacers (they have a Walter Alexander body like the Class 143), built in 1985–1986. The first thirteen of the class, No. 144001-013 are 2-car units. The remaining ten, No. 144014-023 are all 3-car units, although all were originally built as 2-car units, the centre vehicle being added later. These ten Pacers are the only Pacers to contain intermediate vehicles.
Units are formed of two driving motors, one of which contains a toilet. The 3-car units have an additional intermediate motor. All vehicles have standard-class seating only. The technical description of the formation is DMS+(MS)+DMSL. Individual vehicles are numbered as follows.
- 55801-55823 - DMS
- 55850-55859 - MS (units 144014-023 only)
- 55824-55846 - DMSL
The class were built specifically for local services sponsored by West Yorkshire PTE (since rebranded as Metro). As such, the fleet was painted in the crimson/cream West Yorkshire Metro livery, although three units (nos. 144011-013) were later repainted into Regional Railways livery. Units are used on services such as:
- Harrogate Line - York-Harrogate-Leeds
- The Wakefield part of the Huddersfield Line - Leeds-Huddersfield
- The Huddersfield branch of the Calder Vale line
- Hallam Line - Leeds-Barnsley-Sheffield
- Penistone Line - Huddersfield-Barnsley-Sheffield
- Pontefract Line - Wakefield-Pontefract
They can also be found operating the Leeds-Morecambe services, services between Scunthorpe and Adwick to Sheffield and Lincoln. More recently from 2008, they have been working between Manchester Victoria and Leeds (usually via Brighouse) amongst others. Prior to 1994, they were also used on Leeds/Bradford-Ilkley and Leeds/Bradford-Skipton services. These lines were electrified in 1994, and passenger services were operated by Class 308 electric multiple units. Due to their similarities, services booked for a Class 144 can often be replaced by a Class 142, and vice versa.
Since privatisation, the fleet has been operated by several franchises. The first operator was Northern Spirit, which was later taken over by Arriva Trains Northern who refurbished the fleet between 2002 and 2004, with units emerging in a new silver and red Metro livery complete with refurbished interior. In December 2004, the fleet was transferred to the new Northern rail franchise. Northern Rail has started to replace the silver and red Metro livery with Northern Purple and Blue. During 2009, 144001-013 were all repainted. As of April 2010, all Class 144s have been repainted.
Northern Rail carried out a refurbishment programme to their fleet of Class 144 trains. 144006 was the first unit to be so treated and this was also the first one to be refurbished in the joint Arriva Trains Northern/WYPTE Metro programme in 2002.
- Installation of 'easy to mop' flooring
- The bike area at one end has been extended by removing the bulkhead wall and extending the perch seat from three to four
- Repainted hand grips and stanchions
- New dado side panels and repainted wall ends
- Retrimmed seats in the purple Northern Rail moquette
- Repainted ceiling
- Repainted driving cab
The Rail Vehicle Accessibility (Interoperable Rail System) Regulations 2008 require that all public passenger trains must be accessible by 1 January 2020. No Pacer trains (except the prototype Class 144e) currently meet this requirement. Porterbrook has proposed an extensive refurbishment of the Class 143 and 144 units in an attempt to meet this requirement, although this would reduce the number of seats. Bidders for the next Northern rail franchise must not operate any Pacer trains after 31 December 2019. They are required to order at least 120 new self-powered vehicles and are permitted to take on Sprinter and Turbostar units released by other franchises. 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.
The Class 144e (Evolution) is a proposed refurbished variant of the Class 144 which will bring it up to the requirements of the Persons with reduced mobility-Technical Specifications for Interoperability accessibility regulations. The demonstrator Class 144e unit (144012) features a number of upgrades such as the addition of new 2+2 style seating, a fully accessible toilet, two wheelchair spaces and spaces for bicycles and luggage. as well as Wi-Fi and media screens. The demonstrator unit was expected to re-enter traffic in April 2015, but this was delayed until later in the year. This unit is expected to have its life expectancy increased and could last up to 2032 instead of 2020 when all the un-refurbished units are withdrawn.
|Class||Operator||No. Built||Year Built||Cars per Set||Unit nos.|
|Class 144||Northern||23||1986–1987||2||144001 - 144013|
|3||144014 - 144023|
- 144001 - The Penistone Line Partnership
- A pair of Northern Rail/WYPTE Class 144 Pacers No. 144005 and 144015 at Leeds
- The interior of a Northern Rail/WYPTE Metro Class 144 Pacer DMSO vehicle
- Northern Rail/WYPTE Metro Class 144 Pacer No. 144020 at Leeds
- The interior of a Northern Rail/WYPTE Metro Class 144 MSO centre vehicle
- Pacers, having 4 wheels per vehicle, are less expensive than 8-wheel DMUs. Northern Rail No. 144014 at Leeds.
- Fox 1987, p. 42
- Vehicle Diagram Book No. 220 for Diesel Multiple Unit Trains (Railcars) (PDF). Barrowmore MRG. Derby: British Railways Board. 1982. DP240, DP241, DR205.
- "Class 144". The Railway Centre. Archived from the original on 9 March 2005.
- "THE NORTHERN INTERIM FRANCHISE AGREEMENT" (PDF). Retrieved 22 April 2015.
- Diesel Multiple Units 2010. Platform 5. 2010. p. 15. ISBN 978-1-902336-75-6.
- "System Data for Mechanical and Electrical Coupling of Rail Vehicles". Rail Safety and Standards Board. Archived from the original on 5 July 2008. Retrieved 5 January 2009.
- "The Junction Fleet List". Retrieved 19 April 2010.
- "Interior of refurbished Class 144 No. 144006". Retrieved 26 April 2010.
- "Interior of refurbished Class 144 No. 144006". Retrieved 26 April 2010.
- Rail Vehicle Accessibility (Interoperable Rail System) Regulations 2008
- "Class 143 & 144 Diesel Multiple Units" (PDF). Porterbrook Leasing Co.
- "Porterbrook unveils Pacer DMU life-extension demonstrator". Railway Gazette International. 29 June 2015.
- "Northern Invitation to Tender" (PDF). Department for Transport.
- "More rolling stock needed as passenger growth rises again". Railnews. 9 March 2015. Retrieved 2 December 2015.
- "Class 144 Evolution" (PDF). Porterbrook. Porterbrook. Retrieved 27 March 2015.
- "Porterbrook's rebuilt Pacer set to enter traffic in April". Rail Magazine. Retrieved 27 March 2015.
- "Manchester to Leeds train catches fire in Rochdale". BBC News. BBC. 21 November 2013. Retrieved 22 November 2013.
- "Commuters evacuated from train after it catches fire in Rochdale". Manchester Evening News. Trinity Mirror. 21 November 2013. Retrieved 22 November 2013.
- "DMU FORMATIONS". AbRail. Retrieved 27 March 2015.
- Fox, Peter (1987). Multiple Unit Pocket Book. British Railways Pocket Book No.2 (Summer/Autumn 1987 ed.). Platform 5 Publishing Ltd. ISBN 0906579740. OCLC 613347580.
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