The Classic BR Class 142 ‘Pacer’ arrives for service in Train Simulator, emanating authentic 1980s vibes!
By the time that the 1980s rolled around, many of British Rail’s regional passenger trains were ageing and in dire need of replacement – however, the Government were being tight on BR, and as a result they didn’t have enough money to produce a new unit that could bring a step change in quality across the network.
Instead, another plan was put into place; 2 new trains would be developed, the ‘Sprinter’ and the ‘Pacer’, one matching the quality and evolution that BR were aiming to achieve, with the other being a lower cost type that would get the job done but ultimately with the intention of just being temporary. The Sprinters would be derived from the Mk3 body shell profile and be put to use on urban, longer-distance services, while the Pacer got its design from a very different source…
The concept was simple, use the body of the bus set atop what was essentially stripped-down freight wagon, this ensured cost was kept to a minimum as very little bespoke construction was required. There would be various Pacers based off multiple buses, but the largest and most prolific would be those built with assistance from British Leyland with their ‘Leyland National’ bus design – and these units were dubbed the BR Class 142.
A fleet of 96 Class 142 Pacers were built between 1985 and 1987, and they were quickly put to use on regional services in Devon and Cornwall, as well as the North West. It was early on in their careers that they came under scrutiny for being uncomfortable, and bouncy, thanks to their bogie-less wheel configuration; the 142s in Cornwall were struggling with sharp curves on the branch lines, and so they had to be moved elsewhere, in particular around Liverpool and in the North East.
Love them or hate them, it cannot be ignored that the revolutionary Pacer stands tall as a fine example of a stopgap that made an era-defining impact on the British rail network.
- BR Class 142 ‘Pacer’ DMU in as-built condition
- BR Provincial and Regional Railways liveries
- Original “bus seat” passenger view with both BR Provincial and Regional Railways seat moquettes
- 3 Career scenarios for the Liverpool to Manchester route, also available on Steam
- Quick Drive compatible