Pacer train returns to service on Wensleydale Railway

The Class 143 Pacer unit 143623 returns to service.

Wensleydale Railway has announced the return to service of its class 143 Pacer unit, number 143623.

The class 143 diesel multiple unit arrived at the Wensleydale Railway in July 2021 from its previous home in South Wales.

Affectionately known as ‘nodding donkeys’ by train enthusiasts, the second-generation, two-car diesel multiple units first entered service in the mid 1980s.

143623 started service with the Tyne and Wear PTE and later moved to South Wales for service with Transport for Wales.

It was one of the last remaining Pacers in operation until it was withdrawn by Transport for Wales in May 2021.

This brought an end to Pacer operation on the mainline, after over 35 years of service.

Wensleydale Railway has repainted 143623 in Regional Railways livery, carried out various repairs and completed driver familiarisation training.

The unit is now in operation alongside the railway’s class 142 units, operating services between Leeming Bar and Leyburn and also on Leeming Bar to Scruton shuttles.

Supporters who  donated to an appeal to transport the unit back from South Wales in 2021 have been issued with complimentary travel vouchers that can be redeemed on any regular service.

Nick Keegan, fundraising and marketing manager at Wensleydale Railway, said: “The 143 Pacer is a great addition to our heritage diesel fleet.

“It’s economical to operate and with comfortable seating, large windows and a toilet, is well-suited to provide our visitors with an enjoyable experience when travelling on our railway.”

For more information and to book tickets visit: https://wensleydale-railway.co.uk/running-days-2023/