Labour MP for Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland, Tom Blenkinsop, today (December 15th 2014) issued a warning that the government’s Transport Ministry may be looking at replacing the aged and detested fleet of “pacer” trains operated by Northern Rail with equally aging trains formerly used on London’s underground network.
“The influential railway industry source, the Rail Business intelligence Bulletin has become aware of a proposal to convert London Underground District Line D78 units – that were already 30-years-old and being de-commissioned by London Underground – into diesel engine carriage sets for use on North of England commuter lines like the ones in my constituency from Nunthorpe and Saltburn to Middlesbrough and Darlington.
“This worries me as a local rail service user, we don’t want to see veteran trains replaced by equally aging old London Underground trains which will be nothing more that vintage carriages with a diesel engine bolted on to them. If this happens, the only winner will be London Mayor Boris Johnson who will get a Christmas present of some cash for trains he was going to scrap anyway.
“I have a simple message to coalition transport ministers – just get rid of the Pacers. They are an embarrassment to our rail system, the regular commuters who have to be sardined in them on a daily basis, and give people on Teesside the longer trains and comfortable carriages enjoyed in the South. Only then will you see passenger numbers really increase on local routes instead of today’s steady decay.”