ScotRail unveiled the first of 40 new-look trains as part of a £14million modernisation project.
The new trains will deliver improved seating, better lighting, accessibility enhancements and at-seat power sockets for customers.
The two-carriage Class 158 trains will be painted in ScotRail’s ‘Saltire’ livery and receive revamped interiors including modern carpets, finishes and toilets.
The 137-seat trains will also be fitted with new CCTV systems and automated passenger-counting systems.
The fleet is being upgraded with Scotland’s scenic railways in mind, with seats aligned alongside windows to offer panoramic views on the country’s most picturesque routes.
The refurbishment project is being funded by ScotRail, and jointly managed by Porterbrook. The work being carried out at the Knorr-Bremse RailServices’ Springburn facility in Glasgow – with 14 extra new staff already recruited specifically for this project.
The first carriage will leave the depot tomorrow (2/9) and will be on the track ready for the opening day of the new Borders Railway.
Derek Mackay, Minister for Transport and Islands, watched as the finishing touches were applied to the first refurbished train.
Mr Mackay said: “We are investing record amounts in Scotland’s railways and, with passenger numbers increasing by more than six million last year, these refurbished trains will further improve the travel experience. I am also particularly pleased that, in the process, Scottish jobs are being supported with these improvement works delivered by workers at Knorr-Bremse RailServices’ depot here in Springburn.
“Passengers will soon see more of these refurbished trains rolling out on routes all over Scotland and, fittingly, the first carriages off the production line will start their journey as part of the historic Borders Railway launch, with all the benefits that will bring for the Borders, Midlothian and Edinburgh economy.”
The revamped trains will be rolled out at a rate of roughly one a month between now and April 2018 on routes across Scotland, including:
Inverness – Aberdeen/Kyle/Wick
Glasgow Queen Street – Stirling/Dunblane/Alloa
Glasgow Queen Street – Falkirk Grahamston
Glasgow Queen Street – Anniesland via Maryhill
Edinburgh – Dunblane/Perth/Glasgow Central via Shotts
Edinburgh Waverley/Glasgow Queen Street – Perth/Dundee/Aberdeen/Inverness
ScotRail Alliance managing director Phil Verster said: “Completing the first refurbishment is a big moment for this exciting project, which I believe will make a real difference for passengers using Scotland’s railways.
“We’ve listened to customers, and that feedback is reflected in the upgrades being made. Seats are better aligned alongside windows, interiors are brighter and more modern, and people can charge phones and laptops during their journeys.”
Alex White, Porterbrook’s Operations Director, said: “This project shows what can be achieved in terms of passenger comfort features, environment and quality. Having the work done in Springburn gives us and the industry the chance to retain and even increase a qualified local workforce, which is so critical to the rail industry as a whole.”
Nick Fitzwater, managing director of Knorr-Bremse RailServices in the UK, said: “We are very proud to be involved in this major refurbishment project.
“Working closely with our customers Porterbrook and ScotRail Alliance in this way further supports our commitment to employment, growth and investment in the Springburn facility and to playing our part in supporting rail operations in Scotland.”