Seventeen community projects from across the North have entered a Government run competition for a chance to win a Pacer carriage.

Entrants range from radio stations to local hospitals, and the winners will be chosen based on the benefits they can bring to the wider community. Ideas have included converting the carriage into a wildlife classroom to teach the wider community about the local environment, turning the carriage into a local heritage centre that will tell the story of the history of the railways in the region, and a Library’s fantasy grotto for children.

The competition is part of the long-awaited nationwide withdrawal of Pacer trains from the rail network after over thirty years of service.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said:

“The winners of this competition will give a handful of Pacers a future serving local communities in a new and exciting way.”

“The Pacers have served communities in the North for three decades. But in that time they have divided opinions and they have become a symbol of underinvestment in the North.

“As we level up the economy in the North we are we are phasing Pacers out completely, with the last trains off the network this year. Their modern replacements will improve journeys and create space for 40,000 more passengers.”


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