AS part of a £500m investment in the Northern rail network, an old Pacer train which had travelled more than three million miles has been taken off the tracks.

Rail operator Northern has committed to introducing 101 brand new trains and retiring the outdated Pacer trains, with the unit 142005 train taking its last journey this week.

The train entered service on February 20, 1987 and bowed out after carrying customers between Manchester Victoria and Stalybridge.

As part of the investment, 15 new trains are already in service and an additional £80m will be ploughed into refurbishing and improving the quality of Northern’s remaining fleet.

As the new trains come into service Pacers will start to be retired from the Northern network – including the Tyne Valley line – on a phased basis over the coming months.

Rail Minister Chris Heaton-Harris said: “I am delighted to see the start of the Pacer trains retiring from the Northern network. This is a milestone moment for passengers in the north, as part of our commitment to delivering more comfortable, frequent and reliable journeys.

“We are now starting to see brand new, comfortable, modern trains in their place, alongside the 2,000 extra services a week that have already been delivered.”

David Brown, managing director at Northern, said: “The Northern network is busier than it has been for a generation – more than 100 million customer journeys will be made on Northern services in 2019 – and the introduction of new trains and the retirement of the Pacers is at the heart of our transformation for customers.

“We have 15 brand new trains carrying customers, with 91 more to come throughout 2019 and into 2020.”