Angel Trains, one of Britain’s leading train leasing companies, has announced plans to offer Class 142 Pacer units to heritage railways and emergency services following the withdrawal of the trains from service, with proceeds donated to charity.

The Class 142 Pacer DMUs are a longstanding feature of British rail travel, built between 1985 and 1987. Since then, the units have been upgraded and refurbished in order to offer a low-cost solution to train operators and passengers on regional services that otherwise may not have had service.

With the Pacers set to come off-lease from Northern Rail imminently, Angel Trains recognises the importance of innovation and modernisation for the future of Britain’s railways and does not have plans to re-lease the Pacers to franchise operators.

Angel Trains has 83 x 2-car Class 142 Pacer units in operation and is offering a small number of vehicles to the below organisations, donating proceeds to charity.

  • Emergency services – all proceeds will be donated to a charity of the organisation’s choice
  • Heritage Railways – all proceeds will be donated to Angel Trains’ charity of choice, Railway Children

Railway Children is an international children’s charity working with street children in India, East Africa and the UK, providing protection and opportunity for children who run away or are forced to leave home due to violence, poverty, abuse and neglect.

In addition, the National Railway Museum has received one Class 142 unit, further cementing the historic importance the Pacers have had on British rail travel.

Community Railways will also be able to apply for Pacer units at market price. All remaining trains that are not set aside for further use by emergency services, heritage railways or community railways will be scrapped.

Kevin Tribley, CEO at Angel Trains, said: ‘The first Pacer trains coming off-lease from Northern marks the beginning of replacing the entire fleet and demonstrates commitment to improving customer service and experience. Although the Pacers have served the industry well for many years, their scrappage is a significant move towards an improved rail network across the region.

‘As Northern’s partners, Angel Trains is committed to investing in, and creating, the railway of the future by delivering and enhancing assets that modern UK passengers deserve. Replacing the Pacers as they reach the end of their lifespan is a natural step towards this goal and we believe the discontinued trains could be of value to select organisations.’

If any emergency services, heritage railway or community railway organisation are interested in receiving a Pacer train, please send your request to [email protected].