DATES have been revealed for when hated Pacer trains will be removed from service on the district's railway lines.

The 1980s diesel rail-buses have widely been condemned as 'cattle trucks' and were only designed to have a lifespan of 20 years.

Now newly-released Government documents reveal the full timetable that operator Northern – which runs trains on the Wharfedale line – will have to follow to remove more than 200 carriages from service, under a franchise agreement.

The first five two-car Pacers will have to be withdrawn by September 15 next year, starting a programme which will end with the removal of the final four carriages on November 9, 2019.

Rail campaigner James Vasey welcomed the news.

He said Pacers damaged the railway tracks, were outdated and uncomfortable and were inaccessible for wheelchair users.

“I think there will be very few people who will mourn the passing of the Pacer train," he added.

"It’s like walking back on an old bus, because that’s exactly what they are. They’re a bus body on a fixed axle so it’s about time we got rid of them.

"People deserve to be able to sit in a train that’s comfortable.”

Pacers were brought in as a stop-gap way back in the mid-1980s and critics say they fit poorly to the track, with slow acceleration and a need to brake early for station stops.

Their removal became a key requirement of the franchise to run Northern from 2016 to 2025, which was won by Arriva Rail North.

The company has announced a multi-million pound investment in 281 new carriages, with the first of the new fleet being delivered by October next year.

The 100mph trains will include air conditioning, power sockets, toilets and free WiFi for passengers.

A spokesman for Northern said: “We recently outlined our commitment to modernise our stations and services across our network.

“We are in the process of refurbishing our trains and phasing out the Pacers.

“Of course, this can’t happen overnight and our trains will be phased in and out of refurbishment in order to ensure minimum impact on our daily services.”