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Pacer Page 2- Classes 140, 141, 143 and 144

This page is a photographic history of the above classes, for a written history see Pacer Page 3- History and Background.
Above can be seen the sole class 140 unit, 140001 at its current home in preservation, Dufftown station on the Keith and Dufftown Railway. The unit is currently not operational, being in need of replacement engines, and can be found on an isolated section of track at Dufftown station. The black deposit seen on the unit is a by-product of the local Whisky industry, being given off as the Whisky matures in its barrels.
Below is a close-up of the sliding-plug doors which were a feature of this unit.
The class 140 was considered over-engineered and as a result too costly, so the design was simplified to more closely resemble the prototype LEV's. The result of this simplification was the class 141, of which 20 were built from late-1983 onwards. After much persuasion, BR managed to convince the West Yorkshire PTE to sponsor the units, which thus entered service on the Leeds- Harrogate- York, Leeds- Goole, Leeds- Doncaster and Huddersfield- Wakefield routes in May 1984. From 1988 the units were refurbished and fitted with BSI automatic couplers in place of the original Tightlock fittings, thus allowing them to work in multiple with other classes for the first time. A refurbished set, 141117, is seen above in platform 1 at York with the blind set for a stopping service to Leeds. The blind itself has been replaced, the black-on-white version seen here replacing the white-on-black version originally fitted. Only a handful of units were so treated.
Below is seen 141119, retaining the original blind. The unit is at Scunthorpe awaiting its return to Sheffield. In the last few years of their life, the class 141's had become too small for many of their original duties in West Yorkshire (as they only had 2+2 seating), but found a niche on Doncaster area local services from that town to Adwick, Goole, Scunthorpe and Sheffield. These were often interlinked to form an Adwick to Goole service or, as here, Scunthorpe to Sheffield. Incidentally, the gentleman visible on the platform is a friend of the photographer who was busily engaged in adding amusement to the photograph, and not just a passing nutter!

The class 141 suffered low seating capacity due to its narrow body, which also caused a larger than normal gap between the train and the platform at stations. To overcome these troubles, British Rail and Leyland developed the class 142 which featured a wide body, thus allowing 3+2 seating. These units are covered in detail on Pacer Page 1 of this site, but to illustrate the type 142005 is seen (above) in First North Western livery with Northern branding, arriving at Preston on a Colne to Blackpool South service in March 2006.

The BRE-Leyland partnership was abandoned with the ordering of the Class 143 units which were delivered from 1986 onwards. Andrew Barclay of Kilmarnock won the contract for the underframes, but due to the works being busy at the time they were actually built by sister company Hunslet of Leeds, although still marked as Barclay products. The bodywork came from Walter Alexander and Sons, Falkirk, who supplied a version of their P-type bus body. Some of the units were completed just as the Edinburgh to Bathgate line re-opened to passenger services and went on loan to Haymarket for these services until displaced by suitably jazzed-up class 101's. The 143's then settled at Heaton depot, Newcastle where they worked on Tyneside local services and routes around Middlesbrough, and also across to Carlisle. 19 of the 25 units carried Provincial services Blue livery as seen (below) on an unidentified unit at Carlisle in 1989. The other 6 carried Tyne and Wear Yellow and White livery. Note that the unit, which is awaiting departure on a Newcastle service, carries paper window labels giving its destination and calling points. Judging by the size of the labels this was an all-stations service!

Starting in 1991 the class 143 units were repainted in Regional Railways livery and transferred to Cardiff Canton depot where most have remained, although some moved again to the Bristol area. The Cardiff units are now with Arriva Trains Wales, but prior to this worked for the Valley Lines franchise in whose patriotic Welsh livery 143601 is seen at Radyr in 2002.

The class 144 featured the same Alexander-built body as the 143, but the underframes were constructed by BREL. 23 units were constructed, all initially 2-car sets, but during the latter part of 1987 West Yorkshire PTE funded centre cars for 10 units. The class have so far spent their entire life allocated to Leeds Neville Hill depot.In the view below an unidentified member of the class, in the original version of West Yorkshire PTE livery carried by these units,demonstrates the contrast in front ends with 142039 as they stand at Hull Paragon in 1992.

Above. From 1994 20 of the class were repainted in a new version of the West Yorkshire PTE livery with less cream, and featuring Regional Railways branding in addition to the Metro-Train name which had been carried on the old livery. 144003 illustrates at York in 1995.
Following the electrification of the Airedale and Wharfedale lines from Leeds, Metro (West Yorkshire PTE) cut funding for diesels. This led to some of the class 141 units being re-deployed in the Doncaster area (see above), and also to the remaining 3 class 144's being painted in Regional Railways livery for services outside West Yorkshire. The units involved were 144011, 144012 and 144013. In the view below, 144012 stands at Hull Paragon on 15/4/95 awaiting its duties for the day. An initial siting of these units led to speculation that class 143's had been transferred to the area, as these 144's now looked identical to that class!

From 2003, all of the class 144's were refurbished with 2+2 high-backed seating and new floors. At the same time they received a new version of Metro livery consisting of swirling patterns of Red and Silver, as seen on 144001 above. The unit is at Huddersfield on the day of the station gala in 2003, where it had been named "Penistone Line Partnership". The name in black lettering was applied using a vinyl and is just visible amidships, under the fourth window from front, adjacent to the ventilation grilles. The unit was operating a special free shuttle service to and from Lockwood. 66546 is visible behind the unit and 37174 was also present for the event.

The centre vehicles of the 3-car units (144014 to 144023) are owned by Metro and thus were subject to a different refurbishment contract. This led to some units operating in a hybrid condition as illustrated below by 144021, arriving at Morley on a Huddersfield to Leeds service in the summer of 2004. This unit has unrefurbished driving cars and a refurbished centre car, this being the normal way around, but at least one operated with refurbished driving vehicles and an unrefurbished centre car. The contracts soon caught each other up ensuring that such a spectacle was short-lived.
Northern took over the former Arriva Trains Northern and First North Western franchises in December 2004. After a slow start, during which various experimental liveries were tried, repainting of all units began in earnest from late-2006. This led to all of the class 144's receiving Northern livery, with dual-branding for Metro and Travel South Yorkshire, as well as Northern branding. The centre cars carry only Metro branding, however, to reflect their ownership. In the above view 144004 arrives at Doncaster during summer 2009.

For further information on class 142's and on the History and Development of all classes, please see Pacer Pages 1 and 3 respectively on this site.