PROVING the point that everyday things soon become consigned to history, a heritage railway has been given a contemporary piece of rail hardware.

Love them or hate them, the BR Class 142 Pacer has been a stalwart of many rural and urban services for over 35 years.

With changes to rules regarding disabled access, these units are now being phased-out on the main line, with many heading for the scrap heap.

However all is not lost – the Wensleydale Railway has been given a Pacer unit by a generous benefactor. Along with a second unit being stored for the Mid-Norfolk Railway, they both arrived at Leeming Bar last week and are pretty much in full working order, having been in service until the New Year.

Helen Ashworth, of the Wensleydale Railway, said: “We are delighted with the gift, it was obtained by a kind benefactor and donated to us.

“It will be primarily used on shuttles between Leeming Bar and Scruton in association with our Heritage Education Program, and when necessary on the western section of the railway.”

Two drivers were quickly trained and the remaining pool of volunteers will follow and the units themselves need to pass an inspection.

In what was a week of arrivals, it was also announced that two Class 60 diesel locomotives have arrived at Leeming Bar ahead of restoration and return to running condition.

The locomotives, withdrawn from service in 2005, were in no fit state to travel on the main line and having been sat for such a long time.

They were brought on the back of a low loader by Allelys Haulage. One of the locomotives hauled the last limestone train on the Wensleydale Railway in 1992. They will have to share facilities with the A1 Trust’s steam locomotive Tornado currently undergoing its winter maintenance at Wensleydale.

Service along the Wensleydale Railway re-started last weekend after the winter break; see for details.