Retired Northern Pacer arrives at Huddersfield Station to be repurposed as the home of a mental health charity

A mental health charity which won a competition to receive a retired Pacer train has taken delivery of its ex-Northern stock.

The Pacer being lowered into position at Huddersfield Station
The Pacer being lowered into position at Huddersfield Station

A Class 142 diesel unit that first went into service in 1986 was lifted into place at Huddersfield Station, where the Platform 1 organisation is based, over the weekend.

The restored 19-tonne carriage was one of three awarded to Yorkshire bidders in the competition after the Pacer fleet was scrapped by Northern - with the others being Airedale Hospital and a primary school in Bradford.

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A crane had to be hired to deliver the Pacer

The mental health charity plan to use their Pacer as an educational kitchen to run cookery courses and workshops from.

A crane had to be used overnight to hoist the carriage from St George's Street and over a high wall onto the station site. Network Rail donated railway sleepers for it to stand on.

Platform 1 project leader Gez Walsh said: "The Pacer trains may not have been popular in their working life, but this one will be cherished in its retirement.

"This train will now take people on a journey of development and deliver them to a more happy, secure life."

Northern chief operating officer Tricia Williams added: "We’re delighted to be able to make a positive impact by helping Platform 1 expand the already outstanding support they offer to the wider Huddersfield community.

"Our Pacers gave many decades’ service to those same communities and now that they’ve been replaced on our network by brand new trains, it’s great to see one of those old carriages being given a new lease of life as a hub for Platform 1."

Fagley Primary School's Pacer will be converted into a science classroom and Airedale NHS Trust plan to use theirs as a non-clinical space to improve patient experience.

Both the National Railway Museum in York and Wensleydale Railway have also acquired retired Pacers for preservation, with the NRM's now on display as a test train at their Locomotion site in County Durham. The Wensleydale line's Pacers have already been put into service and in future will be used on James Herriot-themed rail tours.