The decades-old trains on Lancashire lines

One of the old trains at Carnforth

One of the old trains at Carnforth

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They’re here – and rail passengers can’t believe their eyes!

The train company that carries Britain’s nuclear waste has been brought in to help on the North West rail network.

The decades-old trains have now been seen in Lancashire.

Direct Rail Services’s carriages have been brought in to help out overstretched Northern Rail as the region waits for more modern trains to appear.

One passenger who got on a DRS train at Carnforth said: “I couldn’t believe what I was seeing.

“When it turned up I thought it was an old freight train. Eventually we realised it was ours and we went to Lancaster on it.

“To say it looked ancient is an understatement.”

The use of the DRS carriages add to the debate over the 1980s Pacer trains, which are still in service in the North West and many passengers say should be scrapped.

RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said: “The crisis in availability of rolling stock, as passenger demand for rail services surges ahead, is just part of the toxic legacy of two decades of rail privatisation which created the murky world of the ROSCO’s and has left us desperately short of trains and carriages.

“The fact that 50-year-old diesel units, scrounged from the nuclear authorities, are pulling vintage slam-door carriages around the north makes a nonsense of George Osborne’s ‘Northern Powerhouse’ rhetoric.

“The lashed up Pacers, supposed to be a short-term solution in the 1980s, are still in operation indefinitely and speculation that decommissioned tube trains will be thrown onto our railways shortly just adds to the overall picture of total chaos.

“This is fragmentation and profiteering in action and it shames Britain that our railways have been reduced to this shambles. The only solution is public ownership.”

Northern Rail has said DRS will provide a “good short-term solution”.

But the firm said there was a need to build more diesel trains and create a proper rail strategy for the North.