Chasewater Railway takes delivery of first diesel trains

A heritage railway has taken delivery of its first diesel trains after decades of operating steam engines.

Luke Tucker with the Class 142 Pacer
Luke Tucker with the Class 142 Pacer

Chasewater Railway, in Brownhills, was the first in the country to snap up the classic 1980s Class 142 Pacer model as part of a preservation project which will see two trains being used to lay on children's birthday parties.

Bosses at the site off Pool Lane said enthusiasts are already been coming to see the new arrivals trains at their new home.

Staff are working extra hard to refurbish the attraction's cafe to provide the in the influx of visitors with refreshments.

The trains made their last trip under the ownership of Northern Rail from Leeds to Sheffield, then were transported to Worksop, in Nottinghamshire, before being and brought by road to the Brownhills West depot.

The trains had to be split in two and moved on special low loader lorries before being reconnected by the railway’s own engineers to offer tourists their first opportunity to ride in the diesel trains which never operated here in this region although they were built in Derby.

The Pacer trains have had a full service and clean in the railway’s workshops, and drivers and guards are now being trained.

Chasewater Railway commercial manager Mike Hurley said: “We are intending to use our Pacer trains to provide value-for-money children’s birthday party specials, please ask at our cafe or email for details.

“Our school visits programme is being redesigned to include these classic trains, along with our museum and our wildlife filled heathland and lake. Teachers are welcome to contact me to find out more.”

The Class 142 Pacer diesel multiple units were built by British Rail Engineering Ltd in Derby in 1985 to 1987 with a fleet of 96 based on Leyland National bus design. They operated mainly in the north and in South Wales.

Withdrawal started in November last year with some snapped up by heritage trusts and others scrapped. Proceeds from the sale of the fleet are being donated the Railway Children charity which has projects in India and East Africa.

Chasewater Railway tea room manager Becky Weeks said: “We invite enthusiasts and families alike to come and see our Pacer trains and enjoy a warming meal from our new menu. To help celebrate our new trains, if you say ‘Pacer’ when you place your order I will give you a half price tea or coffee until the end of February.”

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