Class 144 'Pacer' Profile and Models

Class 144 'Pacer'

144005 at Sheffield in September 2018. ©Kevin Prince

The British Rail Class 144 Pacer was a diesel multiple unit (DMU) passenger train built at Derby between 1986 and 1987. BR, seeking to procure improved derivatives of the earlier Class 141, placed an order with the manufacturers British Rail Engineering Limited (BREL) and Walter Alexander to construct their own variant, the Class 144. A total of 23 units were constructed. The first Class 144 units were delivered during 1986. They were produced specifically to perform local services sponsored by the West Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive (since rebranded as Metro). Early operations of the type were marred by unreliability to the extent where the Class 144 was commonly substituted for at the last minute by either first generation DMUs or locomotive-hauled trains. All units have now retired from mainline service, though the majority of the units have been acquired for preservation on heritage railways and in other uses. As of December 2022, 20 out of the 23 units have been purchased following withdrawal for this purpose, of which 15 units are in operational condition.

(Information provided via Wikipedia)

Type of Unit

Diesel Multiple Unit


British Rail Engineering Limited
Walter Alexander Coachbuilders

Build Dates

1986 to 1987

Total Built

23 sets

Power Output

200hp to 225hp per engine (2 or 3 per unit)

Top Speed

75 mph

Passenger Capacity

104 to 195 seats

Operated By

British Rail
Arriva Rail North/ Arriva Trains Northern
Network Rail
Northern Rail/ Northern Trains

Main Duties

Local/ Regional Passenger

In Service Until


Surviving Examples

20 sets