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Class 144 Railcar – 144003 to be preserved at the Great Central Railway (Nottingham)


GCR(N) are pleased to announce that an agreement has been reached with Porterbrook for Class 144 DMU Railcar 144003 to become preserved for Heritage Operation from our Ruddington base once released from mainline duties.

Scheduled to arrive during the first half of 2020 and after a period of crew training and familiarisation, 144003 will support operations at GCR(N) with the intention of enabling GCR(N) to extend its operational offering throughout low footfall and off peak running seasons with the intention to make GCR(N) a 52 weekend per year operation.

Phil Stanway, Commercial Director GCRN said Love or loath them, since the mid 1980’s, Class 142, 143 & 144 Railbuses have been a low cost & efficient way of transporting passengers to their destination over lines which may otherwise have seen a large decline in services or in some cases, no services at all.

We are extremely grateful to our friends at Porterbrook for their support in agreeing to the sale of 144003 which will enable us to increase our offering here at Ruddington & look forward to her arrival once withdrawn from mainline operation 

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Rupert Brennan Brown, Porterbrook’s Head of Communications and Engagement said: We are delighted to be able to support the Great Central Railway (Nottingham) with a Class 144 Pacer.

These trains were in many ways the saviour of the social railway, so it is fitting that one of these multiple units will meet the future needs of a community and heritage railway.

With two 1st Generation DMU sets currently undergoing long term restoration at Ruddington, in time, this could pave the way for larger scale DMU based events as seen at other heritage railways throughout the country.

144003 will be cared for on behalf of her new owners by the newly formed GCR(N) 2nd Generation DMU Group, a group of existing GCR(N) volunteers, a large proportion of which, have either current or previous experience of 2nd Generation DMU’s on mainline operations and bring a wealth of knowledge and experience.

We look forward to being able to announce the arrival date and inaugural running days in due course once the relevant arrangements are in place.

Image courtesy of Jack Needham


Published: 21 May 2022 12:47

Author: Phil Stanway