Protests over plans to use old trains on north routes

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Rail union chiefs are to hold a ‘day of action’ in protest at plans to “dump” refurbished London-based trains on some of the north’s busiest lines.

The RMT has warned that ‘Pacers’ are set to remain in service for years to come as 30-year-old trains withdrawn from service in London are undergoing refitting to diesel operation and could be “dumped” on railways in the north.

The Gazette reported anger from local campaigners earlier this month that the move, which will increase available space and seating on busy routes, will see the old trains serving the Blackpool North line.

The RMT says the first of the D78 London D-Stock train to be pulled from service has arrived at Viva Rail’s Long Marston base and is undergoing conversion to diesel operation.

RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said: “The Government’s whole franchise timetable for the Northern and TPE routes has descended into chaos but an announcement is expected any day now.

“We now know that the pledges to replace the clapped out Pacers have been exposed as 
nothing but hot air as the Government strategy for rail across the north unravels before their eyes and that they are also being forced to consider replacing one lash up with another by press-ganging 30-year-old London Underground stock into service raising serious safety issues.

“In New York they are dumping clapped out subway trains in the sea.

“In Britain they are threatening to dump them on the railways of the 
north.

“While Chancellor George Osborne has been spouting a stream of rhetoric about a “Northern Powerhouse” the real truth is that the whole region can expect a sub-standard, bodged-up services for many years to come.”