NRM Review- Hornby Class 142 Pacer DMU

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Metrocamel
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NRM Review- Hornby Class 142 Pacer DMU

Postby Metrocamel » Thu Dec 27, 2007 5:13 pm

Hornby Class 142 "Pacer" Old version (ie. no DCC, one motor)
Image
142065 takes on fuel at Octane Vale TMD.

Liveries produced- Regional rail grey, Regional rail yellow, Manchester PTE orange, Provincial blue, Northern Spirit Turquoise (there were some others including a brown/cream livery and a grey/red one, if anyone can name them I'd be grateful)

* I can't be sure which of these were the one motor type and which were the earlier two motor.

Class History- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_Rail_Class_142

Available from- Ebay and other stockists of older models (Rolling Stock model shop in North Shields usually has some second hand).

Upgrading the model- Branchlines do a replacement chassis with new drive and compensation units. There are also replacement doors available to correct the double folding ones on the Hornby model which were replaced with two rigid folding on later liveries. Express models also do a lighting system for every occasion, DC and DCC!


Writing this I can already see half the forum turning in disgust at the mention of the Class 142 and it's Hornby counterpart. There are however plenty of people who like the "Nodding Donkey" and would like a review.
My model is an example of the second attempt at a Pacer by Hornby. The original had a motor in each car and proved to be unreliable a the motors often ran out of sync. Mine is the later single motor version though it too has now been superseded by a new DCC fitted model (although this is restricted to a single livery at present).

Outwardly Hornby's effort is reasonable. The cab ends look the part (but would benefit from lights). The body sides and roof too are well made and covered with rivets like the real thing! The only thing I dislike about the appearance is the interior. It's a one piece beige plastic block with seats on it that rises up behind the doors on both sides and makes the model look like someone has been sick enough times to fill the gangways with vomit! The doors are also double folding type (I'm pretty sure these was a thing of the past by the time Northern spirit took over and they certainly are now). Glazing is flush and the livery is well applied with legible Northern Spirit lettering, running numbers and desitnation boards reading "Sunderland" (home sweet home!)

Image
142065 at rest. The interior moulding clearly rises above the doors and makes the floor look rediculously high.

The under frame is reasonable and looks 142ish. On the rails the model performs as you'd expect. It rattles, shakes and squeals just like a real Pacer. While this could be dismissed as "authentic" it stops the thing being reliable. On curves the 142 slows to a crawl if it's at a normal running speed. This forces the operator to put his foot (or finger) down and power up on these parts of the Layout, slowing carefully to avoid the sudden burst of speed when the units reach the next straight!
A challenge to drive perhaps but if you're planning on sitting back and watching you've got another thing coming!

My 142 runs very jerkily also (though this is more likely due to lack of track and wheel maintenance.

The unit's pickups are on both cars and on three axles (the powered axle being fitted with traction tyres). The pickups should be adequate and are well spread out but still the thing continues to stutter. (I can't fault Hornby's efforts here as there are no more axles to collect current).
The coupling between cars is a semi permanent clip which also provides an electrical connection. It's a nice bit of kit and would benefit many other types of unit like the Lima/Hornby 156.

Overall I'd rate this model a 6 out of 10. It's appearance is mostly ok minus the interior but running really lets it down. Once again I must stress that this is not Hornby's fault. The real thing has just as many cornering problems and with just four axles there isn't much room from pickups. Removing the traction tyres in favour of more pickups would likely make the Pacer a nightmare on gradients (and it probably already is!).

Branchlines chassis could improve things but are expensive and I doubt whether they'd improve things much within the limitations of the long wheelbase (although I think they do offer flywheels). With some lights, weathering and maybe even some kadee couplings to model the four car sets somethings rushed out on a busy shopping day the 142 is nonetheless a unique unit and a must for modern image!


Rating- 6/10.

Good points- Liveries, overall appearance, interesting unit.

Bad points- running on curves, pickups, interior.
"Out of commission become a pillbox, out of ammo become a bunker, out of time... become heroes"
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K9-70
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Postby K9-70 » Thu Dec 27, 2007 6:33 pm

1987 R867 Class 142 Pacer BR Railbus Blue 55639/55589 both cars powered
1988 R297 Class 142 Pacer BR Railbus Orange 55604/55554 both cars powered
Neither railcar has traction tyres fitted

Both the above from Sept 1989 are 4 wheel pick-up, I assume that means that Hornby only used only a single power car and trailer ?.

I still have my original 1987 Blue one,
Image
and I can tell you that it still runs as sweet as the day and hour I bought it, price £30.50. and also, there's never been any problems with the twin
motors running out of sync.

I just wish that Hornby had bought out either a Class 141, or 143/44 as a stable mate.

K9-70
The Rides the "REASON" the "DESTINATION" is only an "EXCUSE" :-).

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Metrocamel
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Postby Metrocamel » Thu Dec 27, 2007 6:43 pm

Hmm. Thanks for that K9. I've never seen a two motor version run before, I was going by some reviews elsewhere on the net but looks like they were wrong! If anything your model sounds much better than mine.

Update- I've taken a vid of 142065 running. Note that it may be affected by lack of cleaning in a while of both track and wheels. My layout tends to be used mostly by my newer models like the Hornby 60 which are less sensative to this.

I'd also like to say that while "filming" I managed to send 142065 up the wrong siding at high speed and into a four wagon train which subsequently spilled coal and scrap metal all over the joint but left the Pacer completely intact! Build quality indeed... :?

Image

Image
"Out of commission become a pillbox, out of ammo become a bunker, out of time... become heroes"
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PTmodeller
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Postby PTmodeller » Thu Dec 27, 2007 7:01 pm

Metrocamel wrote:Build quality indeed... :?


Assuming you're talking about the real thing, remember this?

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/383785.stm

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Postby K9-70 » Thu Dec 27, 2007 7:22 pm

PTmodeller wrote;
Assuming you're talking about the real thing, remember this?

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/383785.stm


I remember that accident happening. I can't remember the details, but I think the 142 was travelling to the depot, when it was rear-ended by the Class 86 loco. Luckily at that time, there wasn't any passengers onboard, only the driver and guard.

K9-70
The Rides the "REASON" the "DESTINATION" is only an "EXCUSE" :-).

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Postby K9-70 » Thu Dec 27, 2007 9:05 pm

A list of all known Hornby Class 142 Pacer models.

R867 1988/92 142 048 (55589 - 55639) BR Provincial Sector Blue
R297 1988/89 142 013 (55554 - 55604) BR MPTE Orange
R326 1992/93 142 015 (55556 - 55606) BR Western Brown & Cream
R103 1994/95 142 023 (55564 - 55614) Regional Railways Grey
R451 1996/97 142 069 (55719 - 55765) Regional Railways MPTE Grey
R2161 2000/02 142 074 (55724 - 55770) Northern Spirit Blue & Green
R2611 2007? 142 045 (55586 - 55636) Mersey Railways Yellow

Issued with the following trainsets only and not on sale separately. Neither of these railcars where issued with a serial number.
R346 Twin Train Set 1995/96 142 020 (55561 - 55611) BR Yellow Tyne & Wear? Carries the name, Regional Railways
R1022 Spirits of the North 1999/2000 142 065 (55715 - 55761) Northern Spirit carries the name Northern Spirit.

K9-70
The Rides the "REASON" the "DESTINATION" is only an "EXCUSE" :-).

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Metrocamel
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Postby Metrocamel » Thu Dec 27, 2007 11:07 pm

PTmodeller wrote:
Metrocamel wrote:Build quality indeed... :?


Assuming you're talking about the real thing, remember this?

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/383785.stm


How could I not. That was some accident. I was talking about the model though :lol:
The driver of that Pacer over ran a red light and took his empty unit onto the mainline infront of the Class 86 I seem to recall.
"Out of commission become a pillbox, out of ammo become a bunker, out of time... become heroes"
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mortyfootball
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Postby mortyfootball » Fri Dec 28, 2007 7:43 pm

Missed a livery out, forgot to put in the Regional Railways two tone blue and grey.

Most of the others were in the colours of the passenger transport executives (PTE's) for the region they were allocated to.
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Postby K9-70 » Fri Dec 28, 2007 8:27 pm

mortyfootball worte;
Missed a livery out, forgot to put in the Regional Railways two tone blue and grey.

Most of the others were in the colours of the passenger transport executives (PTE's) for the region they were allocated to.


Which one did I miss :?:
A list of all known Hornby Class 142 Pacer models.

R867 1988/92 142 048 (55589 - 55639) BR Provincial Sector Blue
R297 1988/89 142 013 (55554 - 55604) BR MPTE Orange
R326 1992/93 142 015 (55556 - 55606) BR Western Brown & Cream
R103 1994/95 142 023 (55564 - 55614) Regional Railways Grey
R451 1996/97 142 069 (55719 - 55765) Regional Railways MPTE Grey
R2161 2000/02 142 074 (55724 - 55770) Northern Spirit Blue & Green
R2611 2007? 142 045 (55586 - 55636) Mersey Railways Yellow

Issued with the following trainsets only and not on sale separately. Neither of these railcars where issued with a serial number.
R346 Twin Train Set 1995/96 142 020 (55561 - 55611) BR Yellow Tyne & Wear? Carries the name, Regional Railways
R1022 Spirits of the North 1999/2000 142 065 (55715 - 55761) Northern Spirit carries the name Northern Spirit.


I don't recall Hornby producing a 142 in Regional Railways two tone blue and grey livery. Unless you mean 142 023 ? (see photo)
Image
Image
A 6car 142 set (142 012, 142 014, 142 023) leaving Manchester Victoria 24-07-1991, couldn't get the 6 cars into a single photo, so I made two instead :lol:

K9-70
The Rides the "REASON" the "DESTINATION" is only an "EXCUSE" :-).

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mortyfootball
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Postby mortyfootball » Fri Dec 28, 2007 8:33 pm

Yep, they produced the livery as seen in your first "real" picture, the Reg. Railways one. Think they were avaiable seperately, whereas the TWPTE yellow livery came as part of a set.
Currently on the rails with my camera

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Postby K9-70 » Fri Dec 28, 2007 8:44 pm

mortyfootball wrote;
Yep, they produced the livery as seen in your first "real" picture, the Reg. Railways one. Think they were avaiable seperately, whereas the TWPTE yellow livery came as part of a set.


R103 1994/95 142 023 (55564 - 55614) Regional Railways Grey

I seen 142 020 on ebay a while back, went for around £50 I think.

K9-70
The Rides the "REASON" the "DESTINATION" is only an "EXCUSE" :-).

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Postby mortyfootball » Fri Dec 28, 2007 8:47 pm

Should read it properly, my mistake.

Nice pic from Victoria, sure has changed
Currently on the rails with my camera

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Postby K9-70 » Fri Dec 28, 2007 9:07 pm

That was my one and only visit to Manchester Victoria, made a few photos but never photo'd the Bury Electrics :cry: .
Been to the UK since, but mainly around Colton Jct, Monk Fryston, Barnetby chasing freight, and a few locations along the East Coast mainline.
I plan to be back over in July 08 for a week or two, providing I can stop spending on ebay and Suzy doesn't give up the ghost. (Suzy's my motorcycle). She's 8 year old, nearly 100,000 miles on the clock chasing trains in the UK and Ireland.

K9-70
The Rides the "REASON" the "DESTINATION" is only an "EXCUSE" :-).

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Postby Mike Parkes » Fri Dec 28, 2007 11:14 pm

With regard to the doors whilst etched replacements are available a simple dodge at updating the model can be undertaken by removing two of the folding door bars to replicate the correct doors.

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Postby Foxy » Sun Dec 30, 2007 11:05 am

Did hornby ever produce the Class 142 in this livery?

http://mark5811.fotopic.net/p27127110.html


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